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Titans Radio Voice Mike Keith: AJ Brown Saved Someone’s Life

“I’m so proud of A.J. Brown, and so thankful that he felt the comfort to do this and that he felt moved to do this in this way.”

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Earlier this week, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown had a candid discussion about a social media post he madeencouraging those struggling with depression to seek help. Unequivocally straightforward and genuine in his rhetoric, Brown revealed that he nearly committed suicide last year during a particularly difficult time where he was struggling with his mental health.

In a press conference, Brown expounded on why he openly shared his message to fans and followers around the world.

“I posted it because I wanted to encourage others to seek help whenever they are down,” said Brown, who was selected to his first career Pro Bowl in 2019. “I didn’t know [or] really take into consideration what depression really was… That’s how I grew up. I just brushed off my feelings and it got the best of me.”

On Friday morning, JMart & Ramon on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville welcomed “Voice of the Titans” and team Vice President of Broadcasting Mike Keith to the program. Over his 22 years with the team, Keith avowed that he has never been more proud of a Titans’ player than he is of Brown for bringing light to the issue of mental health among young men, revering him as a hero and a lifesaver.

“He saved somebody’s life with that video,” said Keith, “and with the follow-up comments and being as direct as he is. We all know in our own lives people who are going through this; people who have been through this; people who are helping family members or friends through this. When somebody like A.J. Brown says something, I promise you there was… somebody out there who was on the ledge who heard that and stopped and ask for help.”

Brown has grown not only in his ability on the gridiron, but also internally as a man being able to cope with mental health struggles. Posting a video divulging his struggles and offering help to those afflicted, according to Keith, is something he would not have done two years ago; rather, it is indicative of the progress he has made in this regard.

“It’s something that he has developed, and something he feels comfortable in this culture laying out there,” said Keith. “I’m so proud of A.J. Brown, and so thankful that he felt the comfort to do this and that he felt moved to do this in this way.”

Co-host of the morning show Ramon Foster gave his thoughts on Keith’s answer, and thanked him for expressing his thoughts on the subject on-the-air.

“I almost feel like we can just end the interview right now,” said Foster. “Thank you for putting that in the way you did. People look at football players like their gladiators; they’re not supposed to get hurt. That’s the mentality. Watching a guy like A.J. Brown just expose himself — you’ve got to be proud of that.”

Conversations like these clearly highlight the impact radio can still have on the listening public amid a congested media landscape. Moreover, it provides the awareness to those struggling with mental health that they are not alone in their fight, and that there are people in the world willing to help them through their difficulties.

For those struggling with mental health, or having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at (800) 273-8255. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free to call.

Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Out At WEEI

“In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.”

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Jeff Rickard’s tenure in Boston did not last long. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that the WEEI brand manager has left Audacy and intends to return to Indianapolis.

Rickard was announced as the new brand manager of the legendary Boston sports talker in August. He left his role as morning show host and PD at The Fan in Indianapolis at that time.

In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.

In the meantime, Ken Laird has been promoted to operations manager for the station. Laird announced yesterday that this means he is leaving the Greg Hill Show, which will be on the lookout for a new producer.

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David Ortiz On WEEI: Everyone Knows Dan Shaughnessy’s An A-Hole

“He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.”

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Mark Sardella

You don’t have to guess how David Ortíz feels about Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. He is more than happy to tell you if you ask.

On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame candidate was a guest on WEEI and afternoon host Lou Merloni asked. He wanted to know how Ortíz felt about Shaughnessy saying he would never vote for the Red Sox slugger to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

“You know that Dan Shaughnessy has been an asshole to everybody,” Big Papí responded.

He didn’t seem to take the slight personally. He also didn’t seem to think it mattered.

“What can I do? Dan’s not gonna stop anything. He’s just one guy that didn’t vote for you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But I mean, this is a guy who likes giving a hard time to everyone, so you’ve got to love him that way.”

For the record, according to BBHOFTracker.com, Ortíz has received more votes than anyone else on the ballots of the writers that have made their votes public. Time will tell if that holds up and he meets the 75% threshold for induction.

Dan Shaughnessy released his Hall of Fame ballot last week along with the rest of the Boston Globe staff. He only voted for Jeff Kent. He was the only one not to vote for Big Papí

David Ortíz will find out next week if he is in. He is one of four players with the numbers that make one think it makes sense for him to be in the Hall of Fame, but a cloud of doubt over him because of his past use of performance enhancing drugs.

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Tim Kurkjian: There Is No Right Way To Vote For The Hall Of Fame

“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier.”

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The results of the Baseball Hall of Fame vote will be revealed next week, and ESPN MLB writer Tim Kurkjian has been on the fence about a lot of the players on the ballot.

Speaking Wednesday with Tim McKernan of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, Kurkjian said having the opportunity to elect some of baseball’s greatest players to the Hall of Fame is not lost on him. But the task of choosing players with ties to performance-enhancing drugs has been hard.

“It’s the greatest privilege I have,” he said of being a voter. “I love it, but it’s really, really difficult. I don’t think there are any right answers anymore.”

Kurkjian himself will be honored at the induction ceremony, and will be enshrined in the media wing as the winner of the Baseball Writers Association of America Career Excellence Award.

In the lead-up to the results of the voting, ESPN’s Outside the Lines is presenting a series on the Hall of Fame cases for five controversial candidates: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

McKernan asked Tim Kurkjian what his voting process was, and if he considers voting for players on a case-by-case basis. Kurkjian said that was indeed the case given how each player’s ties to banned substances is different, and that in his mind, doing it that way is the most balanced way of voting.

“If I just said, look I’m not voting for anyone that has a connection to PEDs, that would be easier,” he said. “But I do care, and I’m kind of trapped in the middle as I so often am.”

Some of the other voters have a more hard-lined stance. Guys like Bonds, A-Rod, Mark McGwire and others will never get a particular writer’s vote simply because they admitted to using PEDs. But Kurkjian said that’s not how he does it.

He also said others should model how he votes.

“I’m not suggesting it’s the right way, because I’m not sure there is a right way,” he said. “I just don’t think I’m wrong in what I’m doing. I’m doing the best I can, and it is a very difficult assignment these days.”

ESPN’s series will conclude on Wednesday with reaction to the results of the hall of fame vote. Tim Kurkjian will be a part of the series.

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