With the 2022 National Football League fast approaching, a major announcement was made Wednesday morning regarding the radio broadcast rights to Washington Commanders games in 2022 and beyond. As first announced on The Team 980’s The Kevin Sheehan Show in Washington, D.C., Commanders football games will no longer be broadcast over Audacy stations, including The Team 980 and sister station 106.7 The Fan, along with 910 The Fan in Richmond, Va.
In the announcement, Sheehan cited a disagreement between Audacy and the Commanders organization regarding “the value of the broadcasts” as one of the reasons for the split, along with ensuring that the stations can provide objective coverage of the team. While games will no longer be available to hear on Audacy, ESPN 630 The Sports Capitol, at the moment, will still be broadcasting games in 2022, although that could be subject to change.
After the news went public, The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan reacted to the news of Audacy dropping the Commanders from their programming lineup, and provided some telling insight regarding the relationship between the team and stations now formerly part of its radio network.
“It doesn’t change our show one bit or another,” said show host John-Paul Flaim. “Like, we’ve done our show with the rights and without the rights.”
Aside from the Commanders failing to win a Super Bowl championship since 1991, the team has had its fair share of issues off of the gridiron, including outrage at resisting to change the team’s name from “Redskins” and team owner Daniel Synder being investigated by the NFL for allowing a workplace culture of unchecked sexual harassment throughout the organization.
Snyder, who once owned the flagship station of the team, has been at the center of debate regarding his responsibility in the team losing various sponsorship deals, such as a multi-million dollar contract with Anheuser-Busch InBev. Additionally, attendance has been considerably lower over the past few seasons at the team’s home stadium, with the apparent lack of maintenance and repairs at FedEx Field making for less than ideal conditions for attendees and players alike.
Junkies host Eric Bickel stated that he did not believe 106.7 The Fan received any benefit from putting Commanders games on its airwaves, and in a particularly revealing remark, said that the station has had no relationship with the team for two decades.
Being able to cover the team in an objective manner while holding the radio rights was something that, purportedly, affiliates were struggling to do without complaints or fear of retaliation from the organization. This morning, co-host John “Cakes” Auville reaffirmed 106.7 The Fan’s commitment to bring its listeners thoughtful and honest commentary and analysis about the football team.
“Look, if the team does really well and then starts making the right moves, we’ll praise them – we’ll be the first to praise them,” Auville said. “If they continue to flail and be mediocre to bad, we’re [going to] spotlight that too. That’s just what we do. We’ve been doing that for 25-plus years, and this news doesn’t affect us.”
“No, it doesn’t affect us at all,” interjected Bickel into the conversation. “It should affect us… We should have probably gotten some better treatment [in the past]. It actually really didn’t help us.”
The Sports Junkies will not be changing the format of their show because of the station dropping the Commanders. Instead, the program will now be able to more comfortably provide objective coverage to its audience.
However, one thing the show hosts hope eliminating team broadcasts will do for them is to allow the station to allocate more money towards the show – something that the hosts believe provides more value to the station than the Washington Commanders.
“Let’s hope they’re assembling a war chest for the Junks instead of sending it on [to] the [Commanders],” quipped Auville.
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.
Jeremy White: Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Be Shirtless On Amazon Prime Video Tonight
“They start the broadcast, and Fitz is seated at the table, shirtless.”
Thursday Night Football will feature the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. Last year during the dead of winter, Amazon Prime Video analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick — then just a retired player — was seen in the Buffalo crowd shirtless. WGR morning host Jeremy White believes you’ll see that scene recreated during tonight’s broadcast.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they have Fitz on there talking about his experience in that game, being there shirtless,” White said. “Fitz is on the studio panel with Richard Sherman, Tony Gonzalez, and Andrew Whitworth. Best broadcast in the league. If you haven’t had the chance to see an Amazon Prime game, you get it on channel 7 tonight. I think it is the best broadcast in the league and it’s because the players are fresh out of the league. It’s not constant conversations about how you gotta be careful on fourth down and run the ball.”
“No one on there is afraid to say anything,” Joe DiBiase said, filling in for Howard Simon. “Al Michaels doesn’t feel afraid to say anything, by the way. He criticizes the game almost every week. He might be like ‘Oh thank god, the Bills. Just get me away from the Commanders and the Bears. I’m sick of 13-10.’ The happiest person might be Al Michaels.”
White later said he received a text asking what the odds were that Fitz would be shirtless on the studio set. “They start the broadcast, and Fitz is seated at the table, shirtless,” White said, adding if Adam Schefter was seen shirtless earlier this season during a pregame show then it’s almost a certainty Fitzpatrick will do the same.