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Ian Eagle: Calling NCAA Tournament Games Makes My Head Spin

“It’s impossible to be an expert on all eight teams. You’re parachuting in, and where a lot of the stress comes for me is there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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This time next week, the nation will once again be captivated by the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s one of the most exciting times of the year on the sports calendar.

For TV broadcasters who get to call those early-round games from one of the several neutral sites hosting contests, the lead-up is intense. CBS Sports play-by-play broadcaster Ian Eagle told Dan Bernstein of 670 The Score in Chicago that the big dance is an entirely different beast to prepare for.

“I can normally start on a chart a week or 10 days before a game and at least have the skeleton of it done,” Eagle said when it comes to prepping for an NFL game or a Brooklyn Nets game. “And because we don’t find out until Sunday night, Selection Sunday, usually about 8:30-8:45 we get a call, that’s the first inkling you have of where you’re going, and you just hit the ground running and try to immerse yourself.”

He added that more often than not he’s going to call games featuring teams he knows nothing about. Eagle said he gave up on trying to know everything about everyone.

“It’s impossible to be an expert on all eight teams,” he said. “You’re parachuting in, and where a lot of the stress comes for me is there’s nothing I can do about it.”

By the time he gets to wherever he’s going to be calling games from, the rush is on to soak up as much info about the teams playing as possible. Eagle added that it doesn’t help that teams will show up to practice in no particular order, adding another layer to prepping.

“By the end of it, your head is spinning,” he said. “You start to forget who even is playing one another after a while.”

Ultimately, Eagle recognizes that when his time to call a game comes up, he’s got a range of people tuning in from die-hard fans, to casual fans, to folks who have never watched a college hoops game before. But the goal is to make sure he does a good job for the student-athletes who made it to this stage of the season.

“We’re trying to serve and placate many different audiences when it comes to this tournament,” he said. “As a play-by-play announcer, my goal is to try to touch on all those things… You try to do right by the kids that are playing this tournament, and it’s the highest level of basketball that they’ll ever play in.”

Sports Radio News

Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA

“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”

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Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.

“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.

He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.

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Jason Fitz: Keyshawn Johnson Cannot Be Serious With Trevor Lawrence Take

“There is no way Trevor Lawrence is the eighth-best quarterback out of eight left in the playoffs after doing what he did after the first quarter of that last game.”

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Jason Fitz

When he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021, Trevor Lawrence was heralded as a once-in-a-lifetime type of prospect. While his career had a bit of a rocky start, he has shown a lot in year two, including leading one of the largest come-from-behind victories in playoff history Saturday night against the Chargers. Jason Fitz cannot believe that isn’t enough to impress Keyshawn Johnson.

The ESPN Radio morning man ranked the eight remaining starting quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs and put Lawrence dead last.

“Trevor Lawrence at eight? I know Keyshawn Johnson is out there in California, but I want to party with Key because obviously, he was doing a little partying before this show, Harry,” Jason Fitz told his partner on Tuesday’s edition of Fitz & Harry. “There is no way Trevor Lawrence is the eighth-best quarterback out of eight left in the playoffs after doing what he did after the first quarter of that last game.”

Fitz noted that during the season people started calling Lawrence “Trevor Tangerines” for the daringness he continued to show even after things looked bad for him and the Jaguars. He said that on Saturday night, he should have been called “Trevor Watermelons”.

Jason Fitz acknowledged that it would be hard to rank anyone ahead of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts, which made up Keyshawn Johnson’s top four. But Fitz doesn’t think this is a matter of Lawrence being disrespected for being number eight, behind Brock Purdy, who began the season as the 49ers’ third-string quarterback, instead of number seven.

“Considering the whole body of work and the way that Trevor Lawrence has played since week nine, you wouldn’t have to press hard to put Daniel Jones below Trevor Lawrence.”

He added that Keyshawn Johnson is also being influenced by the uniform Trevor Lawrence wears.

“I think there’s a little element that speaks to the fact that we have a perception on certain organizations. I’m just saying — four interceptions or not — this is the analogy I keep making this week: If Trevor Lawrence had the bounceback game with the star in his helmet as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, today the conversation would be like ‘Well, you can’t hold him down the whole game’.”

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Boomer Esiason: ManningCast Proves Peyton Manning Can Never Be a Coach

“He’s got no patience whatsoever.” 

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Don’t expect to see Peyton Manning on an NFL sideline. He may be one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but Manning isn’t cut out to be a coach according to Boomer Esiason.

On Tuesday morning, Esiason and the rest of the Boomer & Gio cast listened to highlights of the previous night’s ManningCast. They enjoyed the audio of Peyton Manning losing his temper after Cowboys kicker Brent Maher missed his third extra-point attempt of the night.

The clip, which has since gone viral, includes Manning asking if a kicker can be cut at halftime of a playoff game.

“This is why Peyton can’t coach,” Esiason said in response to the audio. “He’s got no patience whatsoever.” 

The chemistry and authenticity of Peyton and Eli is often cited as the appeal of the ManningCast. Esiason noted that was what is on display in moments the brothers cannot control.

Boomer Esiason was a guest on the week eight ManningCast, which featured his former team, — the Cincinnati Bengals — playing Cleveland Browns. Esiason said at the time that while it was a distracting way to try and follow a game, being a part of the show is a lot of fun. He echoed that praise Tuesday morning.

“Those things are really unbelievably done. I mean, they are funny.”

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