Through what was supposed to be a season of promise for Jacksonville Jaguars fans amid the arrival of quarterback Trevor Lawrence has transformed into another season of hopelessness and concern both on and off the gridiron. The Jaguars currently sit at 2-11, tied for last in the AFC South with the Houston Texans, and have been eliminated from playoff contention with four weeks of football to go. It is the 10th time in 11 years that the team has lost at least 10 games in a single season.
First-year head coach Urban Meyer, who inked a five-year contract with the team in January 2021, was at the center of the team’s disarray. He was fired this week after a tenure filled with more turmoil than one would expect could fit into a span of about ten months.
“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in an ostensibly pejorative statement. “As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”
With a surfeit of off-field drama, combined with struggles on the field, Meyer’s firing has been a frequent topic of conversation across sports talk radio stations this week, including on AM 560 Sports WQAM in Miami, Fla. Jonathan Zaslow, host of the eponymous midday program The Zaslow Show, has been giving his guests throughout the week the opportunity to comment on the situation, something they have seemed to be quite eager to do including today’s guest, Ruthie Polinsky, a sports anchor for NBC 6.
“Everyone wants to be asked about Urban Meyer,” said Zaslow. “Everybody wants to be able to [take a shot]. Did you hear how excited Ruthie Polinsky was when I gave her the opportunity? Everybody wants the opportunity to bust on Urban Meyer.”
Zaslow then invited listeners to use WQAM’s text line to send their thoughts and opinions on what turned out to be one of the quickest time spans between a hiring and their subsequent firing in NFL history, although that record is still held by Bill Belichick, who famously resigned as head coach of the New York Jets after just one day on the job to take the same job with the New England Patriots – and, well, the rest is history.
“Take your shot,” Zaslow implored. “You want to give it to Urban Meyer? We’ll read it. It’s your turn out there. Tell everyone what a dirtbag Urban Meyer is. Go ahead – get in on the action.”
Show contributor Dan Day then played a clip of quarterback Trevor Lawrence responding to a question about Meyer’s firing, in which he said that the move brought clarity and direction to the locker room. Be that as it may, Lawrence stopped short of saying that the move has engendered a sense of relief for the team, a comment Zaslow deemed transparent and saw right through as a member of the media.
“Oh, I think you would say relief,” responded Zaslow. “You said relief by saying you wouldn’t say relief. You totally said relief, and I think next time you play that… I think you just got to play the sound of someone cackling; you just got to play a laugh track. That’s the play there.”
Derek Futterman is a contributing editor and sports media reporter for Barrett Sports Media. Additionally, he has worked in a broad array of roles in multimedia production – including on live game broadcasts and audiovisual platforms – and in digital content development and management. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks, wrote for the Long Island Herald and served as lead sports producer at NY2C. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Joe Buck: Minneapolis Miracle ‘Easily the Most Exciting Singular Moment’ of Career
“It was easily the most exciting, singular moment that I’ve ever been a part of calling games for now 30 years on the network level.”
Joe Buck has what could be labeled as a sometimes contentious relationship with Minnesota Vikings fans. However, he believes a moment including the franchise is one of the finest moments of his storied career.
During an appearance on SKOR North’s Purple Daily, Buck told Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad the “Minneapolis Miracle” — Stefon Diggs’ 2018 game-winning touchdown catch against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round — is one of the biggest moments of his broadcasting legacy.
“People ask me ‘What’s your favorite call of your career?’ They go, ‘What’s your favorite baseball call? What’s your favorite football (call)?’ That’s always my favorite football call. Because it’s a walk-off moment. You don’t really get that very often in football compared to baseball, obviously,” Buck said.
“If you do, it’s usually the kicker which, in that moment, I think the instinct for Diggs was unbelievable because he made that catch. And you’re thinking okay, ‘They got a shot of the game-winning field goal’. And he turns around, and nobody’s there. It was right down in front of us in this incredible, great stadium, with the best view we could possibly have. Your natural instinct is to go ‘Okay, get out of bounds’ and he spins around, nobody’s there. And he goes down the sideline, and they walk off with the win. I mean, it was easily the most exciting, singular moment that I’ve ever been a part of calling games for now 30 years on the network level.”
Joe Buck was asked about his relationship with Vikings fans. During a playoff game in 2004, Buck called Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss’ touchdown celebration a “disgusting act” as he pretended to moon Green Bay Packers fans. He claimed it was “unfortunate that we had that on our air live”.
The comments have been criticized for nearly two decades, with Buck admitting he went too far.
“I hear that back and it kind of gives me a little bit of a jolt because I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t believe that that’s what came out of my mouth’, but I have to live with that. And I’m not saying that I regret it, but it feels a little over the top.”
Joe Buck added that his wife — Michelle Beisner-Buck — preceded him at ESPN, and said Moss was the colleague that treated her the most, with Buck saying Moss “and I have become really good friends. And I don’t think Randy cares about it. So, you know, I guess I’ll just move on and hopefully everybody else can too.”
Anthony Lima: 97.1 The Fan in Columbus Does ‘Homer Radio’
“Down in Columbus on 97-point homer or whatever they are, all they did every day with Beau (Bishop) and all those guys, every day was ‘We’re not gonna lose.'”
Ohio State suffered its third consecutive defeat to Michigan on Saturday. 92.3 The Fan morning co-host Anthony Lima argues Buckeye fans in the Ohio capital have been told what they want to hear by 97.1 The Fan.
During The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima Monday, Lima turned his anger about the Buckeyes’ third consecutive loss to their chief rival into a rant about the “homer radio” provided by 97.1 The Fan to its Columbus audience.
“I was the only guy in the state of Ohio (saying Ryan Day wasn’t capable of beating Michigan),” Lima said. “Down in Columbus on 97-point homer or whatever they are, all they did every day with Beau (Bishop) and all those guys, every day was ‘We’re not gonna lose. We’re never gonna lose to Michigan. My god, Ryan Day picked up right where (Urban Meyer) left off. He’s just gonna take this to the next level.’ On the homer radio down there, that’s what they did, and you didn’t see it coming.”
Lima’s co-host, Ken Carman, laughed and covered his mouth in surprise during Lima’s rant.
“This is the man I wanted,” Carman joked after Lima concluded. “I’m glad I got him. I’m glad he pulled that out. He’s mad. You are unhinged.”
Bob Fescoe: Scott Hanson Doing NFL RedZone Outside During Evacuation ‘Would Have Been Spectacular’
“We don’t know what’s going on here, but you’ve got to protect Scott Hanson at all costs, don’t you?”
On Sunday’s edition of NFL RedZone, longtime host Scott Hanson announced during the fourth quarter of the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills that personnel inside of the studios needed to evacuate the premises. Outlining a scenario that never occurred during his broadcast career, Hanson explained that viewers could hear the alarm blaring over the top of his right shoulder and that the control room left the most competitive game on the screen. Before leaving the studios, he expressed that while they did not know the nature of the emergency, everyone was remaining calm and following protocols.
“So to be continued, hopefully, although this game is in the fourth quarter,” Hanson said. “I will come back and give you a live update if and when I am able to. Thank you for your understanding and your patience, and here is 3rd-and-13 for the Buffalo Bills.”
On Monday morning, 610 Sports Radio co-host Josh Klingler mentioned the emergency and how people who were watching RedZone were witnessing something brand new on the program. Fescoe, who was watching another game in the process, had the program on a different television on mute and had no idea it was happening. Yet he did look up several times and realized that the Eagles-Bills game had not moved from the screen, leading him to think about what could be going on.
“He’s a pro – Scott Hanson – he’s done this thing for a while,” Klingler said. “And so I guess the production facility in New York or New Jersey took over for a little bit.”
Fescoe was amazed at how Hanson’s statement on the air ended in repeating the down and distance within the game rather than leaving the studios immediately upon his explanation. The dedication to the craft he displayed reminded Klingler of when 610 Sports Radio broadcast from a stairwell in the midst of a tornado. Despite the ambiguous emergency, NFL RedZone remained on the air and presented viewers with a game that was in the critical stages, and those involved in the program were eventually able to re-enter the studios.
“We don’t know what’s going on here, but you’ve got to protect Scott Hanson at all costs, don’t you?,” Fescoe said. “He is, other than the football personnel people, the players and the coaches; he’s like one of the most famous NFL people right now that everybody knows.”
“I’m surprised they didn’t go, ‘Well, we’re going to keep one person in the studio in Scott Hanson, and the rest of them need to evacuate, but we’re going to keep this thing on the air,’” Klingler replied.
An on-air contributor for the program articulated that a viable backup plan for the program could have been to take Hanson’s phone and put it against the screen so he could continue to commentate to the audience. The production could then take a remote outside to switch between the games so fans would not miss the pivotal witching hour, which Hanson has long affirmed is where wins and losses are often decided. In order to see the games for himself, he could use NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube and YouTube TV, although Fescoe believes that Hanson would have cursed out the service for limiting the amount of games he can watch in multi-view mode.
“But people would watch that; that would be entertaining,” Fescoe said. “I think the one thing that we did learn through COVID is that the media doesn’t have to take themselves seriously when it comes to this production stuff. Throw a headset on a guy in a hotel room and call it a day. Hanson outside doing games off his phone would have been epic. It would have been spectacular.”