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10 Tributes To John Madden From The BSM Staff

“This is a piece that could go on forever. Frankly, there is no one correct way to eulogize John Madden.”



No one, and I mean NO ONE has made a bigger impact on the way football is presented on television than John Madden. You could just mention his eponymous video game series and the way TV executives plucked innovation after innovation from it to change the way the sport looks on TV and that would be enough. His contributions and the things networks did to woo him and make him happy though go far beyond however many pixels we are at these days.

Madden NFL All-25: Coach John Madden
Courtesy: EA Sports

Busses, turduckens, telestrators – these are all things football fans know and think about because of John Madden. He orchestrated a trade of a cartoon character to Disney in order to get the partner he wanted at NBC.

This is a piece that could go on forever. Frankly, there is no one correct way to eulogize John Madden. That is why the BSM staff is doing it in ten different ways.

After news of Madden’s death became public, I scribbled down about two dozen ideas. Then I picked my ten favorites and sent them to our columnists to make sure the guy got every kind of tribute he deserved. Enjoy! – Demetri Ravanos


Pat Summerall and John Madden’s pairing was perfect. They were a hit for over two decades because they understood their roles and the differences each brought to the broadcast booth. In Summerall, you got the straight man, who gave the booth the steady, serious touch it needed when important moments were unfolding. No matter how dramatic the moment, Pat was calm, cool, and collected, allowing the pictures to tell the story. Perhaps his best quality though was understanding Madden, and giving him the room needed to operate.

The nation became captivated by John’s personality and vocabulary, but they also respected his ability to analyze football. The fact that each spent time in the NFL led to mutual respect between them, which allowed them to understand the pace of the game, tell stories, and interact unlike any other combination in the history of football broadcasting. Many are understandably saddened by John’s passing. But knowing that one of the greatest tandems of all time is now reunited in Heaven should ease some of the pain, and make all of us envious of not being able to hear their next broadcast.


Growing up, when Madden and Summerall were the ones doing YOUR game, you knew the eyes of the entire country were going to be on your team (for better or worse).  Whenever another announcing crew from CBS was calling the action, it just didn’t feel as special or meaningful.   

When FOX got the rights to air games in 1994, reuniting that duo was vital and Rupert Murdoch outbid NBC and ABC to do it.  Why?  Because he knew that having Madden and Summerall as the number one crew helped give his young network much-needed credibility to the league and its fans as a rookie rightsholder. 

RIP Pat Summerall

Sure, Fox brought new voices and innovations to the broadcast that have withstood the test of time, but having Pat and John remain the duo that would bring you every week’s marquee matchup provided that comfortable familiarity that made things feel legit.  


Of all the many reminders we have of Madden — his famous video game, his signature usage of the word “boom!” — any mention of turducken will also remind me of him immediately. Madden routinely professed his love for the magical mixture of boneless chicken, duck and turkey on Thanksgiving Day telecasts. Madden also began giving away a turkey leg to the Thanksgiving Day MVP way back in 1989.

Madden fit perfectly on Thanksgiving; he had a jolly vibe and was ready to eat. If only Madden had been on the call for the infamous Jerome Bettis botched coin toss game in 1997. Now that would’ve been some tremendous television.


When you think of John Madden, you may harken back to his Super Bowl victory as head coach of the Raiders. But if you’re of a certain age, it’s all about Madden the television analyst. That’s where I’m most familiar with his work. 

Think about how many times you heard, “Boom!”, “Whap!”, “Bang!” or “Doink!” to describe action on the field. Madden was a master of describing things the way we saw it. He simply said it how we were thinking it. The words live on as his legacy. 

He also pioneered the use of the telestrator, a device he first used during the 1982 Super Bowl to draw plays and routes on our screens at home. Madden would use his squiggly lines to punctuate things that happened on the field. But they weren’t only used to highlight those plays. He once circled the lack of facial hair on Troy Aikman who said he was trying to grow a beard. But when it came to football, those markings were followed by information that the common fan could understand. 

Imagine trying to watch a game now without a telestrator. You can’t, can you? He paved the way for Tony Romo and even a still facial hairless Troy Aikman.


Who was the NFL MVP in 2005? Yeah, I don’t remember it either, but I could easily tell you who was on the Madden cover that year. That’s because being on the cover of Madden was arguably more celebrated and memorable than winning the league MVP.

“The Madden Curse” even became so synonymous with the NFL, that EA Sports had to continually dismiss the notion an actual curse was hovering over the game. The suspense of the unveiling of the Madden cover athlete has turned into one of the main events of the NFL offseason, and that will only continue to grow in time. Madden’s is easily one of the most iconic names in video game history. 


Mad TV was to Saturday Night Live what the La Quinta by the airport is to the Chrysler Building. The former produced nearly nothing worth remembering. That is, nothing except for Frank Caliendo’s impressions and one stood out above the rest. 

Caliendo’s John Madden impression struck a chord. Thanks to the video game and his presence on the biggest games every week in our country’s most popular sport, Madden’s voice was ubiquitous enough to convince even the most casual of sports fans that this Frank Caliendo guy was onto something. 

Viewers noticed and networks noticed too. Since he retired Madden, Caliendo has brought Terry Bradshaw, Mel Kiper Jr, Jon Gruden, and more to life for both FOX and ESPN. The sports world wouldn’t know Frank Caliendo existed, let alone have him on speed dial, if not for Caliendo locking in on John Madden as his jumping-off point. 


John Madden didn’t hurry to get to his next NFL assignment. Due to claustrophobia, he avoided airplanes and rode the “Madden Cruiser” to his assignments. He willingly signed up for a life on the road from September until February from 1979 all the way until 2008.

He stopped and visited with people in small towns, went to minor league baseball games, and interviewed people on the bus. He even did the Madden NFL video game deal on the bus in a few days. He reminded us to enjoy the ride. And he wasn’t in it for the luxury. He gave a bus tour here in 1991. It wasn’t glamorous. He had to love it! 


The All Madden documentary on Fox aired at the perfect time considering the news that followed. The build-up and promotion to this one-hour special was tremendous, and the special delivered on the hype.

I sat down and watched the first 15 or 20 minutes on Christmas Day when it originally aired, but amid all the NFL, NBA, and family obligations, I was forced to finish it on another night. As fate would have it, that night would be Tuesday, and I received the notification about John’s passing during the final 10 minutes of the documentary. What started as a beautiful detail of this legend’s life/career, became this picture-perfect eulogy. I’m just so glad John was able to sit there and witness all the great things people had to say about him and the impact that he had just prior to his passing, very rarely are we fortunate enough to honor living legends that way.

He was an icon as a coach, an all-time great broadcaster, a Hall of Fame father, and he taught us all how to love and appreciate the game of football. John Madden was truly one of a kind and this documentary could not have aired at a better time. How fitting that the special would end with the screen fading to black and a reflective and emotional John Madden saying “whoa, that was something. When I hear that stuff, it makes me realize what I didn’t realize.”


The game itself is unlikely to change as it is popular and the main goal of the game is to win with current players, but tribute will continue to be given to John Madden and his family for the quintessential role he played in the growth of American football and living a graceful life. Maybe Madden will introduce in-game cheat codes on a play, to increase player rating, or possible Coach Madden advice on whether to use certain plays or defensive schemes.  That would indeed be a great highlight and memory for the man in the game.  Madden’s legacy lives on.  


With improvements in technology and design, video games across all sports have become more realistic, giving users the ability to authentically simulate matchups of their choosing at any time.  The Madden NFL video game series truly set the standard for authenticity, as it always was – and remains – highly detailed by featuring accurate player portrayals, stadium renderings and parcels of in-game strategies, including team-specific playbooks and artificial intelligence to bolster the CPU.

Evidently, Madden NFL changed the way football is disseminated to an audience, especially through the medium of television. Today, watching a football game encompasses much more than seeing the action on the field; it is about having an understanding of the teams, the strategy and the implications of each matchup, just as Madden himself did every week. Additionally, graphics and presentation aspects from video games, including the vertical view of the field and detailed voice tracking by play-by-play and color commentators, have lent their part into modern-day television broadcasts.

Madden 20 first official gameplay – 2K Online Franchise
Courtesy: EA Sports

John Madden’s intuitiveness for the game as a player, coach, broadcaster and video game connoisseur has required existing personnel at all levels of the game to make sure they are prepared and able to perform their role to the highest of their ability, no matter what it may be – one of many reasons why his legacy will live on in perpetuity in the world of sports.

BSM Writers

In Defense Of Colin Cowherd

“How did we get to this place where there are sites and Twitter accounts going through The Herd with a fine-toothed comb to create content out of ‘oh my god, look at this!’?”

Demetri Ravanos



I don’t understand what it is about Colin Cowherd that gets under some people’s skin to the point that they feel everything the guy says is worth being mocked. I don’t always agree with a lot of his opinions myself, but rarely do I hear one of his takes and think I need to build content around how stupid the guy is.

Cowherd has certainly had his share of misses. There were some highlights to his constant harping on Baker Mayfield but personally, I thought the bit got boring quickly and that the host was only shooting about 25% on those segments.

Cowherd has said some objectionable things. I thought Danny O’Neil was dead on in pointing out that the FOX Sports Radio host sounded like LIV Golf’s PR department last month. It doesn’t matter if he claims he used the wrong words or if his language was clunky, he deserved all of the criticism he got in 2015 when he said that baseball couldn’t be that hard of a sport to understand because a third of the league is from the Dominican Republic.

Those missteps and eyebrow-raising moments have never been the majority of his content though. How did we get to this place where there are sites and Twitter accounts going through The Herd with a fine-toothed comb to create content out of “oh my god, look at this!”?

A few years ago, Dan Le Batard said something to the effect of the best thing he can say about Colin Cowherd is that he is never boring and if you are not in this business, you do not get what a compliment that is.

That’s the truth, man. It is so hard to talk into the ether for three hours and keep people engaged, but Cowherd finds a way to do it with consistency.

The creativity that requires is what has created a really strange environment where you have sites trying to pass off pointing and laughing at Cowherd as content. This jumped out to me with a piece that Awful Announcing published on Thursday about Cowherd’s take that Aaron Rodgers needs a wife.

Look, I don’t think every single one of Cowherd’s analogies or societal observations is dead on, but to point this one out as absurd is, frankly, absurd!

This isn’t Cowherd saying that John Wall coming out and doing the Dougie is proof that he is a loser. This isn’t him saying that adults in backward hats look like doofuses (although, to be fair to Colin, where is the lie in that one?).

“Behind every successful man is a strong woman” is a take as old as success itself. It may not be a particularly original observation, but it hardly deserves the scrutiny of a 450-word think piece.

On top of that, he is right about Aaron Rodgers. The guy has zero personality and is merely trying on quirks to hold our attention. Saying that the league MVP would benefit from someone in his life holding a mirror up to him and pointing that out is hardly controversial.

Colin Cowherd is brash. He has strong opinions. He will acknowledge when there is a scoreboard or a record to show that he got a game or record pick wrong, but he will rarely say his opinion about a person or situation is wrong. That can piss people off. I get it.

You know that Twitter account Funhouse? The handle is @BackAftaThis?

It was created to spotlight the truly insane moments Mike Francesa delivered on air. There was a time when the standard was ‘The Sports Pop’e giving the proverbial finger to a recently deceased Stan Lee, falling asleep on air, or vehemently denying that a microphone captured his fart.

Now the feed is turning to “Hey Colin Cowherd doesn’t take phone calls!”. Whatever the motivation is for turning on Cowherd like that, it really shows a dip in the ability to entertain. How is it even content to point out that Colin Cowherd doesn’t indulge in the single most boring part of sports radio?

I will be the first to admit that I am not the world’s biggest fan of The Herd. Solo hosts will almost never be my thing. No matter their energy level, a single person talking for a 10-12 minute stretch feels more like a lecture than entertainment to me. I got scolded enough as a kid by parents and teachers.

School is a good analogy here because that is sort of what this feels like. The self-appointed cool kids identified their target long ago and are going to mock him for anything he does. It doesn’t matter if they carry lunch boxes too, Colin looks like a baby because he has a lunch box.

Colin Cowherd doesn’t need me to defend him. He can point to his FOX paycheck, his followers, or the backing for The Volume as evidence that he is doing something right. I am merely doing what these sites think they are doing when Colin is in their crosshairs – pointing out a lame excuse for content that has no real value.

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BSM Writers

Even After Radio Hall of Fame Honor, Suzyn Waldman Looks Forward

WFAN recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, but that’s not something that Waldman spends too much time reflecting on.



Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman was at Citi Field on July 26th getting ready to broadcast a Subway Series game between the Yankees and Mets. A day earlier, Waldman was elected to the Radio Hall of Fame and sometimes that type of attention can, admittedly, make her feel a bit uncomfortable.

“At first, I was really embarrassed because I’m not good at this,” said Waldman. “I don’t take compliments well and I don’t take awards well. I just don’t. The first time it got to me…that I actually thought it was pretty cool, there were two little boys at Citi Field…

Those two little boys, with photos of Waldman in hand, saw her on the field and asked her a question.

“They asked me to sign “Suzyn Waldman Radio Hall of Fame 2022” and I did,” said Waldman.  “I just smiled and then more little boys asked me to do that.”  

Waldman, along with “Broadway” Bill Lee, Carol Miller, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Ellen K, Jeff Smulyan, Lon Helton, Marv Dyson, and Walt “Baby” Love, make up the Class of 2022 for the Radio Hall of Fame and will be inducted at a ceremony on November 1st at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago.

Waldman, born in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, was the first voice heard on WFAN in New York when the station launched on July 1st, 1987. She started as an update anchor before becoming a beat reporter for the Yankees and Knicks and the co-host of WFAN’s
mid-day talk show. In the mid 1990s, Waldman did some television play-by-play for Yankees games on WPIX and in 2002 she became the clubhouse reporter for Yankees telecasts when the YES Network launched.

This is Waldman’s 36th season covering the Yankees and her 18th in the radio booth, a run that started in 2005 when she became the first female full-time Major League Baseball broadcaster.

She decided to take a look at the names that are currently in the Hall of Fame, specifically individuals that she will forever be listed next to.

“Some of the W’s are Orson Wells and Walter Winchell…people that changed the industry,” said Waldman. “I get a little embarrassed…I’m not good at this but I’m really happy.”

Waldman has also changed the industry.

She may have smiled when those two little boys asked her to sign those photos, but Waldman can also take a lot of pride in the fact that she has been a trailblazer in the broadcasting business and an inspiration to a lot of young girls who aspire, not only to be sportscasters but those who want to have a career in broadcasting.

Like the young woman who just started working at a New York television station who approached Waldman at the Subway Series and just wanted to meet her.

“She stopped me and was shaking,” said Waldman. “The greatest thing is that all of these young women that are out there.”

Waldman pointed out that there are seven women that she can think of off the top of her head that are currently doing minor league baseball play-by-play and that there have been young female sports writers that have come up to her to share their stories about how she inspired them.

For many years, young boys were inspired to be sportscasters by watching and listening to the likes of Marv Albert, Al Michaels, Vin Scully, Bob Costas, and Joe Buck but now there are female sportscasters, like Waldman, who have broken down barriers and are giving young girls a good reason to follow their dreams.

“When I’ve met them, they’ve said to me I was in my car with my Mom and Dad when I was a very little girl and they were listening to Yankee games and there you were,” said Waldman. “These young women never knew this was something that they couldn’t do because I was there and we’re in the third generation of that now. It’s taken longer than I thought.”

There have certainly been some challenges along the way in terms of women getting opportunities in sports broadcasting.

Waldman thinks back to 1994 when she became the first woman to do a national television baseball broadcast when she did a game for The Baseball Network. With that milestone came a ton of interviews that she had to do with media outlets around the country including Philadelphia.

It was during an interview with a former Philadelphia Eagle on a radio talk show when Waldman received a unique backhanded compliment that she will always remember.

“I’ve listened to you a lot and I don’t like you,” Waldman recalls the former Eagle said. “I don’t like women in sports…I don’t like to listen to you but I was watching the game with my 8-year-old daughter and she was watching and I looked at her and thought this is something she’s never going to know that she cannot do because there you are.”

Throughout her career, Waldman has experienced the highest of highs in broadcasting but has also been on the receiving end of insults and cruel intentions from people who then tend to have a short memory.

And many of these people were co-workers.

“First people laugh at you, then they make your life miserable and then they go ‘oh yeah that’s the way it is’ like it’s always been like that but it’s not always been like this,” said Waldman. 

It hasn’t always been easy for women in broadcasting and as Waldman — along with many others — can attest to nothing is perfect today. But it’s mind-boggling to think about what Waldman had to endure when WFAN went on the air in 1987.

She remembers how badly she was treated by some of her colleagues.

“I think about those first terrible days at ‘FAN,” said Waldman. “I had been in theatre all my life and it was either you get the part or you don’t. They either like you or they don’t.  You don’t have people at your own station backstabbing you and people at your own station changing your tapes to make you look like an idiot.”

There was also this feeling that some players were not all that comfortable with Waldman being in the clubhouse and locker room. That was nothing compared to some of the other nonsense that Waldman had to endure.

“The stuff with players is very overblown,” said Waldman. “It’s much worse when you know that somebody out there is trying to kill you because you have a Boston accent and you’re trying to talk about the New York Yankees. That’s worse and it’s also worse when the people
that you work with don’t talk to you and think that you’re a joke and the people at your own station put you down for years and years and years.”

While all of this was happening, Waldman had one very important person in her corner: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who passed away in 2010.

The two had a special relationship and he certainly would have relished the moment when Suzyn was elected to the Hall of Fame.

“I think about George Steinbrenner a lot,” said Waldman. “This is something that when I heard that…I remember thinking George would be so proud because he wanted this since ’88.  I just wish he were here.” 

Waldman certainly endeared herself to “The Boss” with her reporting but she also was the driving force behind the reconciliation of Steinbrenner and Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra. George had fired Yogi as Yankees manager 16 games into the 1985 season and the news was delivered to Berra, not by George, but by Steinbrenner advisor Clyde King.

Yogi vowed never to step foot into Yankee Stadium again, but a grudge that lasted almost 14 years ended in 1999 when Waldman facilitated a reunion between the two at the Yogi Berra Museum in New Jersey.

“I’m hoping that my thank you to him was the George and Yogi thing because I know he wanted that very badly,” said Waldman.

“Whatever I did to prove to him that I was serious about this…this is in ’87 and ’88…In 1988, I remember him saying to me ‘Waldman, one of these days I’m going to make a statement about women in sports.  You’re it and I hope you can take it’ (the criticism). He knew what was coming.  I didn’t know. But there was always George who said ‘if you can take it, you’re going to make it’.”

And made it she did.

And she has outlasted every single person on the original WFAN roster.

“I’m keenly aware that I was the first person they tried to fire and I’m the only one left which I think is hysterical actually that I outlived everybody,” said Waldman.

WFAN recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, but that’s not something that Waldman spends too much time reflecting on.

“I don’t think about it at all because once you start looking back, you’re not going forward,” said Waldman. 

Waldman does think about covering the 1989 World Series between the A’s and Giants and her reporting on the earthquake that was a defining moment in her career. She has always been a great reporter and a storyteller, but that’s not how her WFAN career began. She started as an update anchor and she knew that if she was going to have an impact on how WFAN was going to evolve, it was not going to be reading the news…it was going to be going out in the field and reporting the news.

“I was doing updates which I despised and wasn’t very good at,” said Waldman.

She went to the program director at the time and talked about how WFAN had newspaper writers covering the local teams for the station and that it would be a better idea for her to go out and cover games and press conferences.

“Give me a tape recorder and let me go,” is what Waldman told the program director. “I was the first electronic beat writer.  That’s how that started and they said ‘oh, this works’. The writers knew all of a sudden ‘uh oh she can put something on the air at 2 o’clock in the morning and I can’t’.”  

And the rest is history. Radio Hall of Fame history.

But along the way, there was never that moment where she felt that everything was going to be okay.

Because it can all disappear in a New York minute.

“I’ve never had that moment,” said Waldman. “I see things going backward in a lot of ways for women.  I’m very driven and I’m very aware that it can all be taken away in two seconds if some guy says that’s enough.” 

During her storied career, Waldman has covered five Yankees World Series championships and there’s certainly the hope that they can contend for another title this year. She loves her job and the impact that she continues to make on young girls who now have that dream to be the next Suzyn Waldman.

But, is there something in the business that she still hopes to accomplish?

“This is a big world,” said Waldman. “There’s always something to do. Right now I like this a lot and there’s still more to do. There are more little girls…somewhere there’s a little girl out there who is talking into a tape recorder or whatever they use now and her father is telling her or someone is telling her you can’t do that you’re a little girl. That hasn’t stopped. Somewhere out there there’s somebody that needs to hear a female voice on Yankees radio.”

To steal the spirit of a line from Yankees play-by-play voice John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman’s longtime friend, and broadcast partner…“that’s a Radio Hall of Fame career, Suzyn!”

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BSM Writers

No Winners in Pittsburgh vs Cleveland Radio War of Words

“As talk radio hosts, we often try to hold the moral high ground and if you’re going to hold that position, I can’t help but feel integrity has to outweigh popularity. “



For nearly 18 months, we’ve known the NFL would eventually have to confront the Deshaun Watson saga in an on-the-field manner, and that day came Monday. After his March trade to the Browns, we also could more than likely deduce another item: Cleveland radio hosts would feel one way, and Pittsburgh hosts would feel another.

If you’re not in tune to the “rivalry” between the two cities, that’s understandable. Both are former industrial cities looking for an identity in a post-industrial Midwest. Each thinks the other is a horrible place to live, with no real reasoning other than “at least we’re not them”. Of course, the folks in Pittsburgh point to six Super Bowl victories as reason for superiority.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when news started to leak that a Watson decision would come down Monday. I was sure, however, that anyone who decided to focus on what the NFL’s decision would mean for Watson and the Browns on the field was in a no-win situation. As a former host on a Cleveland Browns radio affiliate, I always found the situation difficult to talk about. Balancing the very serious allegations with what it means for Watson, the Browns, and the NFL always felt like a tight-rope walk destined for failure.

So I felt for 92.3 The Fan’s Ken Carman and Anthony Lima Monday morning, knowing they were in a delicate spot. They seemed to allude to similar feelings. “You’re putting me in an awkward situation here,” Carman told a caller after that caller chanted “Super Bowl! Super Browns!” moments after the suspension length was announced.

Naturally, 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi happened to turn on the radio just as that call happened. A nearly week-long war of words ensued between the two Audacy-owned stations.

Fillipponi used the opportunity to slam Cleveland callers and used it as justification to say the NFL was clearly in the wrong. Carman and Lima pointed out Fillipponi had tweeted three days earlier about how much love the city of Pittsburgh had for Ben Roethlisberger, a player with past sexual assault allegations in his own right.

Later in the week, the Cleveland duo defended fans from criticism they viewed as unfair from the national media. In response, Dorin Dickerson and Adam Crowley of the Pittsburgh morning show criticized Carman and Lima for taking that stance.

Keeping up?

As an impartial observer, there’s one main takeaway I couldn’t shake. Both sides are wrong. Both sides are right. No one left the week looking good.

Let’s pretend the Pittsburgh Steelers had traded for Deshaun Watson on March 19th, and not the Browns. Can you envision a scenario where Cleveland radio hosts would defend the NFL for the “fairness” of the investigation and disciplinary process if he was only suspended for six games? Of course, you can’t, because that would be preposterous. At the same time, would Fillipponi, Dickerson, and other Pittsburgh hosts be criticizing their fans for wanting Watson’s autograph? Of course, you can’t, because that would be preposterous.

When you’re discussing “my team versus your team” or “my coach versus your coach” etc…, it’s ok to throw ration and logic to the side for the sake of entertaining radio. But when you’re dealing with an incredibly serious matter, in this case, an investigation into whether an NFL quarterback is a serial sexual predator, I don’t believe there’s room to throw ration and logic to the wind. The criticism of Carman and Lima from the Pittsburgh station is fair and frankly warranted. They tried their best, in my opinion, to be sensitive to a topic that warranted it, but fell short.

On the flip side, Carman and Lima are correct. Ben Roethlisberger was credibly accused of sexual assault. Twice. And their criticism of Fillipponi and Steelers fans is valid and frankly warranted.

You will often hear me say “it can be both” because so often today people try to make every situation black and white. In reality, there’s an awful lot of gray in our world. But, in this case, it can’t be both. It can’t be Deshaun Watson, and Browns fans by proxy, are horrible, awful, no good, downright rotten people, and Ben Roethlisberger is a beloved figure.

Pot, meet kettle.

I don’t know what Andrew Fillipponi said about Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault allegations in 2010. And if I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it, but I’m guessing he sounded much more like Carman and Lima did this week, rather than the person criticizing hosts in another market for their lack of moral fiber. Judging by the tweet Carman and Lima used to point out Fillipponi’s hypocrisy, I have a hard time believing the Pittsburgh host had strong outrage about the Steelers bringing back the franchise QB.

Real courage comes from saying things your listeners might find unpopular. It’s also where real connections with your listeners are built. At the current time in our hyper-polarized climate, having the ability to say something someone might disagree with is a lost art. But it’s also the key to keeping credibility and building a reputation that you’ll say whatever you truly believe that endears you to your audience.

And in this case, on a day the NFL announced they now employ a player who — in the league’s view — is a serial sexual assaulter, to hear hosts describe a six-game suspension as “reasonable” felt unreasonable. As talk radio hosts, we often try to hold the moral high ground and if you’re going to hold that position, I can’t help but feel integrity has to outweigh popularity.

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Barrett Media Writers

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