NFL Wild Card weekend had a variety of ups and downs for various teams around the league. Whether it was the Dallas Cowboys’ unexpected loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cincinnati Bengals’ first playoff win in 31 years, or the Arizona Cardinals’ collapse against the Los Angeles Rams, the weekend was full of unexpected surprises – both good and bad.
Another significant area of fluctuation over the weekend was in the kickoff temperatures which, from a statistical perspective, possessed an immense standard deviation from the mean. The Los Angeles Rams kicked off against Arizona at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California at approximately 63 degrees Fahrenheit, albeit in a partially-enclosed stadium. But for the Buffalo Bills, at the open-air Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, their game versus the New England Patriots began at 7 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there was a wind chill making it feel as if it was negative five.
Barrett Sports Media’s Andy Masur recently wrote an article on broadcasting in the cold, something that Nashville’s JMart and Ramon took notice of and asked their guest, CBS Sports play-by-play Announcer Ian Eagle about at the top of their interview Thursday on 104.5 The Zone.
Jason Martin, co-host of the morning drive program, first reminisced with Eagle about his time calling games in cold temperatures.
“You were wearing the Kurt Warner jiffy-pop jacket on Saturday, and it reminded me of calling a high school game and standing on the roof in an ice storm and my mouth locking up in the second half,” said Martin. “There were words I wanted to say that my mouth would not allow me to utter, so it seems like that’s what you and [Charles Davis] experienced in Buffalo.”
Eagle concurred with Martin’s view of the situation and spoke about how he had to change his announcing style in order to ensure that he would be able to complete the game, which ended in a 47-17 “beatdown” victory for the hometown Bills.
“In the third quarter, I started shivering and I thought to myself, ‘All right. I can handle this.’ But once it made its way to my face, I had no other options,” explained Eagle. “There were a couple of times [where] I just cut my call off quicker and earlier than I normally would because I didn’t think I would get the words out. So instead of giving the tackler on a specific play, I was like: ‘You know what. I’m out. I’m good. He made the catch. That’s all I need to say. Let me live to see another play.'”
Upon returning home to New Jersey following the game, Eagle detailed his continuing struggle with cold temperatures, despite temperatures in “The Garden State” not being nearly as cold as those in upstate New York.
“You get… PTSD after the fact,” said Eagle. “I walked out yesterday to grab lunch and I’m like ‘Oh my goodness! I’ll go back in. Let me get another layer.'”
Eagle and Davis will both be on the call once again for Saturday’s divisional round matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans from Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Temperatures will hit a high of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 24 degrees, with kickoff at 4:30 p.m. expected to be at around 34 degrees. Normally, that would be a disappointment for Eagle in traveling to a location partially known for its warmer temperatures. But this time…
“I’m psyched!” exclaimed Eagle. “I am pumped up for Nashville, trust me.”
Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610
Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.
“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”
Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.
In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.
“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”
Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.
“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”
Dave Rothenberg Can’t Stand Hearing Kenny Albert Mispronounce ‘Raleigh’
“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it.”
Dave Rothenberg has a tiny bone to pick with Kenny Albert, and it’s over the way Kenny pronounces the Carolina Hurricanes’ home city.
Talking on his show on ESPN New York on Tuesday, Rothenberg, who spent three years working in Raleigh on 99.9 The Fan, said he wished someone would get in Albert’s ear and correct the way he’s been saying it adding that it has made him wish one of the top play-by-play voices in hockey wouldn’t be on the call for the playoff series between the Canes and New York Rangers.
“I would think a true professional, like somebody that cares about their craft, would get that kind of feedback and welcome it,” Rothenberg said.
Albert has been pronouncing the city’s name as “RAW-lee”. It is properly pronounced “RAH-lee”.
Co-host Rick DiPietro and the rest of the show crew thought Albert would take offense to the correction, especially since it’s such a minor thing, but Rothenberg thought that was ridiculous.
“See, no one can deal with tough love anymore,” Rothenberg said.
The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes series shifts back to Raleigh on Thursday for Game 5. The series is tied 2-2.
NBC Sports Names Al Michaels To Emeritus Role
The partnership will keep Michaels on for the Olympics and NBC’s NFL playoff coverage.
NBC Sports, which had been the home of Al Michaels since 2006, will still feature the veteran broadcaster despite Michaels’ moving to Amazon for Thursday Night Football.
The network announced that Michaels will still be a part of NBC Sports’ high-profile broadcasting properties including the Olympics and NFL Playoffs. Michaels’ last broadcast with the network had been Super Bowl LVI in February, his eleventh Super Bowl.
NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement, “Revered by viewers and colleagues, Al has been the soundtrack for many of the greatest moments in sports television history. We are thrilled that he’s staying in the family and raising the stature of our events for years to come.”
“I’m looking forward to continuing my longtime NBC relationship while also launching the Thursday Night Football package on Amazon this fall. A special thanks to NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua and the folks at NBCUniversal for their help in making this happen,” Michaels said.
Michaels moved to Amazon Prime Video this season for their Thursday Night Football package. He will be paired with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. This season will mark his 37th NFL play-by-play campaign in primetime.
Following another historic broadcasting moment in which Michaels deftly demonstrated his expertise and versatility, he became just the second sportscaster in history to receive a News Emmy nomination for his coverage of the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series.
In addition to the 11 Super Bowls, Michaels has worked nine Olympics and called eight World Series.
In December 2020, Michaels was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels is one of only five distinguished broadcasters to be recognized with the baseball honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award (Dick Enberg, Lindsey Nelson, Jack Buck, and Curt Gowdy).
One of television’s most respected journalists, Michaels has covered more major sports events than any sportscaster, including 20 years as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football. He is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television. In addition, Michaels called the classic 1985 championship boxing match between Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.
Among his many accolades, Michaels has captured eight Emmy Awards – seven for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play and one in 2011 for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has three times (1980, 1983 and 1986) received the NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association; he was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998. Michaels was named Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the American Sportscasters Association, and, in 1991, he was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.