Sean Payton is probably the biggest story in sports media after stepping down as New Orleans Saints head coach on Tuesday. Earlier this week, reports circulated that Fox is showing interest in Payton but there’s some uncertainty as to whether or not that would be as a game analyst (possibly replacing Troy Aikman in the booth) or part of the Fox NFL Sunday studio crew.
But Payton will also be in major demand as a coach following his success with the Saints and may prefer to stay in that profession. If that’s the case, former WFAN host Mike Francesa believes the New York Giants have to pursue him for their head coach opening.
The “healthy respect” Francesa mentions is a reference to Payton being an assistant coach with the Giants. As NJ.com’s Mike Rosenstein explains, Payton was the team’s quarterback coach in 1999 before moving up to offensive coordinator on Jim Fassel’s staff from 2000 through 2002.
Francesa felt strongly about the Giants getting Payton before he announced his departure from the Saints, tweeting that the team should make a trade to get him.
As Francesa noted, NFL teams will be competing to hire Payton. Many link him to the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he was the quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach under Bill Parcells from 2003 through 2005. Mike McCarthy is still the Cowboys coach but after losing in the NFL Wild Card playoff round, it’s easy to imagine team owner Jerry Jones looking at an upgrade.
So if the Giants are interested in hiring Payton, they probably need to move with urgency.
However, it might be a moot point right now. Payton said he preferred not to use the word “retirement,” but admitted that his heart isn’t with a return to coaching next season. That would appear to indicate that Payton’s next move will be to broadcasting. During his press conference, he said he’d like to try television work.
“I’ve had some opportunities,” Payton said. “I talked to Drew [Brees] a little bit about it last night, I don’t know that part of it that well. But that would be something that would interest me.”
As mentioned previously, Fox is reportedly interested in Payton and previously reached out to him about broadcasting while he was serving a season-long suspension in 2012 for his involvement in the “Bountygate” scandal.
But ESPN could be a possibility as well, either as a studio analyst for its variety of NFL programming or as a commentator in the network’s Monday Night Football booth (and maybe with Al Michaels).
But if Mike Francesa gets his way, Payton won’t go into broadcasting and will be the man to restore the Giants to glory.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DNVR Sports Files Injunction Against Bonneville Over Denver Sports Brand
“We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community.”
After Bonneville International unveiled new branding for its Denver Sports properties, digital outlet DNVR Sports has filed an injunction to stop the radio company from utilizing the brand and logos.
In a Twitter thread, ALLCITY Network CEO Brandon Spano claimed DNVR Sports has already seen listeners, viewers, and readers confuse the two brands. “We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community,” Spano tweeted.
“Our branding was created purposefully, to be different from the way sports networks traditionally looked,” he said in another tweet. “To represent the city of Denver in a simple way while removing us from the gloss and pretentiousness of sports media. To create something that brings people together.”
Spano added that ALLCITY sent Bonneville a cease-and-desist letter last week, but claims the company failed to respond, so an injunction has been filed.
The Denver Sports branding utilized by Bonneville — which encompasses 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver — features a black and white city skyline as well as the Rocky Mountains inside a hexagon with block lettering. The DNVR Sports logo is a rectangle, similar to the city of Denver flag, with the sun centered between the mountain peaks and a block “DNVR” below the rectangle.
The complaint filed by StudioIP LLC — the law firm representing ALLCITY — claims the branding used by Bonneville constitutes “trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, dilution by tarnishment, and tortious interference arising out of Bonneville’s trademark infringement of Plaintiff’s trademarks,” according to Westword.
Ray Didinger Returning to 94WIP
“Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.”
Longtime Philadelphia sports personality Ray Didinger stepped away from his media roles at NBC Sports Philadelphia and 94WIP in 2022, but he couldn’t stay away forever.
Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.
The 75-year-old returned to NBC Sports Philadelphia late in 2022 as a member of the Eagles Postgame show and decided to return to the venerable Philadelphia sports radio station as well.
Didinger will work on an as-needed basis for DeCamara and Ritchie, contributing to news surrounding the Eagles. Known for his yellow notepad, Didinger has covered the franchise for more than 50 years.
After his retirement, Didinger was the subject of an episode of NFL Films Presents… in December, at the time telling Cataldi he had stayed busy in retirement.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run.
“Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.
Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.
Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.
“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”
“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”
Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.
“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.