Sports Radio News
Al Michaels: I Thought I Would Work With John Madden For 20 Years
“When you’re working with somebody like that, you have all the confidence in the world. You can go anywhere, and he’ll be right with you.”
The National Football League recently lost an icon both on- and off-the-field with the passing of John Madden. After leading the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl championship in 1976, Madden embarked on a nearly 30-year broadcasting career, commentating football games on Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC Sports and remaining a fixture in the world of football. In 1988, Madden released his eponymous video game series, “John Madden Football,” which brought realism to fans seeking to learn and play the game of football. Of course, the video game series would eventually evolve into being called “Madden NFL,” and remains one of the most popular video games on the market each year.
For current Sunday Night Football commentator Al Michaels, having the opportunity to work with John Madden was something he had hoped would come to fruition when Fox Sports acquired the rights to NFC games in 1994. After a recruitment period akin to free agency as a player, Fox Corporation owner and media mogul Rupert Murdoch made him an offer of $8 million per year to call games on the network – a figure higher than any NFL player’s annual salary. Thus, Madden made the decision to pivot from signing a deal with ABC to join Michaels in 1994, to instead join Pat Summerall on-the-call for NFL coverage on Fox Sports.
Michaels appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Fox Sports Radio Wednesday morning, and discussed the elation he felt when ABC was able to secure the broadcasting services of Madden in 2002. Reflecting on the seven-year stretch they called games together, Michaels affirmed that what you saw was indeed what you got in terms of working with John Madden.
“He was full of life; full of energy; a great conversationalist [and] a great teacher but a terrific listener that wanted to learn,” Michaels said. “He loved traveling around the country [and] being with people… There wasn’t anything about John that said ‘Hey look, I’m a big celebrity.’ No – it was none of that. He was more interested in absorbing things than playing any sort of a role.”
On whatever network he broadcast games, John Madden’s personality shined through, and communicated the importance of the game being played to all parties involved. Having never worked together prior to 2002, Michaels knew that he would not need a dry run before the duo made their debut at 2002 Hall of Fame Game.
“I had heard him for over 20 years. He was always on the bus after Sunday Night Football, and he heard me do hundreds of games,” said Michaels. “John and I understood each other’s rhythms [and] by the second commercial [of our first game], I thought I’d be working with him for 20 years.”
As Al Michaels’ contract for Sunday Night Football on NBC is set to expire following the conclusion of Super Bowl LVI, rumors suggest he will start calling games on Amazon Prime next year as a part of its Thursday Night Football slate of games. He will undoubtedly continue to honor the legacy of John Madden by bringing fans unique perspectives and stellar commentary as his broadcasting career continues, and, just like Madden, be on the road again.
“The great thing about John is that he was so well-versed in not just football, but [in just] everything,” said Michaels. “When you’re working with somebody like that, you have all the confidence in the world. You can go anywhere, and he’ll be right with you.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he interns in video production with the New York Islanders and formerly worked as production manager for the team’s radio broadcasts. 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.
Sports Radio News
Phoenix Suns Radio Voice Al McCoy Retiring At Season’s End
“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously.”
Longtime Phoenix Suns radio play-by-play announcer Al McCoy has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the current NBA season.
The 89-year-old McCoy has been the voice of the Suns for the past 51 years.
After joining the team in 1972, McCoy called games on both television and radio for the franchise until the NBA outlawed the practice in the early 2000s.
He scaled back his schedule in 2010, and called road games from a remote studio in Phoenix during the 2020-2021 season. The club’s road contests are currently broadcast by Jon Bloom.
“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously,” McCoy told KTAR News’ Gaydos & Chad on Friday.
McCoy was honored with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2007.
Sports Radio News
Adam Schein Signs Extension at SiriusXM
“I truly appreciate the platform, power and prestige of hosting Schein On Sports every weekday on Mad Dog Sports Radio.“
SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio Host Adam Schein has inked a four-year extension to remain with the satellite provider.
“I am so incredibly elated and fired up to re-sign another long-term deal with SiriusXM, my radio home for the last 18 years,” said Schein. “I love working with the amazing people at SiriusXM. I truly appreciate the platform, power and prestige of hosting Schein On Sports every weekday on Mad Dog Sports Radio. It’s my passion.
“And I am thrilled to host our rebranded Rise and Scheinpodcast, a show to remind people why they love sports while interviewing the people in sports and entertainment that fascinate me the most and share that excitement and joy.”
Schein joined SiriusXM in 2004 and was the first voice ever heard on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He moved to SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio in 2019.
“Adam is an exceptional talent with a passion for sports that is obvious every time he cracks open the mic,” said Eric Spitz, VP of Sports Programming, SiriusXM. “SiriusXM has been his home since 2004 and it has been a thrill to see his star rise over these last two decades. We’re thrilled to extend our great relationship with Adam, keep him as a mainstay on our Mad Dog Sports Radio channel, and ensure our listeners continue to get his one-of-a-kind brand of sports talk on a daily basis.”
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb: I Would Give Up Radio For Coaching Job
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.