Those who follow movies or pop culture online are likely aware that 2022 is the 50th anniversary of The Godfather. Diehard fans and film buffs might have purchased the new 4K Blu-Ray or seen a restored version of the film in limited theatrical release.
To be more exact, Thursday (March 24) was the 50th anniversary of the classic film’s release. And to commemorate the occasion, Chris Russo had a special guest on his Mad Dog Unleashed SiriusXM show. As he teased it, many listeners anticipated one of the movie’s big stars talking to Russo. Al Pacino! Maybe James Caan or Robert Duvall.
As Jimmy Traina pointed out, Russo was very excited about his guest, who turned out to be… Gianni Russo. Russo played Carlo Rizzi, the husband of Connie Corleone.
(If you’re unfamiliar with The Godfather — which would make most sports radio hosts shake their collective heads — Connie, played by Talia Shire, is the daughter of mob boss Don Corleone and younger sister to Sonny, Michael and Fredo… You know what? Just watch the movie if you haven’t seen it.)
The point is that Carlo Rizzi wasn’t exactly a big role. But if The Godfather was a sci-fi or fantasy movie, Russo could sign autographs and pose for pictures at comic book conventions for the rest of his life.
On Friday, WFAN’s Gregg Giannotti and Jerry Recco had some fun with Russo’s underwhelming Godfather guest. That gave Gio the opportunity to break out his pretty solid Russo impersonation.
“Teddy Scarpacci is our guest. He was the key grip on Godfather III,” joked Giannotti with appropriate volume and accent. “Saw all the behind-the-scenes. Caton Jones, who brought out the bowl of spaghetti to Sonny in Godfather I, is with us for the next three hours. You remember that scene.”
What was intriguing about the reaction is how many directions it took. Traina took issue with Russo talking to an obscure actor from The Godfather when every other sports radio show was on topics of the day, like the NCAA Tournament, NFL transactions, or even Major League Baseball. Giannotti made fun of Russo’s obscure, trivial choice of guest, just to talk about The Godfather.
But passion and interests are what make a radio host compelling, right? Otherwise, every show could sound the same. Maybe Russo missed the mark here. But at least we got an entertaining impersonation and jokes out of it.
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.
Boomer Esiason: ManningCast Proves Peyton Manning Can Never Be a Coach
“He’s got no patience whatsoever.”
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.”
NHL All-Star Game Airing Exclusively on SiriusXM After Contract Extension
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter.
SiriusXM and the NHL have reached an extension that will see the satellite service continue to carry every league contest. The new multi-year deal will run through the 2028-2029 season.
Part of the deal includes the NHL All-Star Game airing exclusively on SiriusXM. The game had previously been distributed by Westwood One before Sports USA Media took over the rights in 2021.
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter. All three are regulars on NHL Network Radio. Stellick and Laughlin serve as hosts of NHL Morning Skate, while Kouleas hosts the station’s afternoon show, The Power Play.
NHL Network Radio will also provide live coverage of the league’s All-Star Media Day on Thursday, February 2nd and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, February 3rd.
The deal includes SiriusXM continuing to produce and distribute SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the platform for the duration of the contract.
“Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans, and our long-term relationship with the NHL enables us to deliver those fans across North America comprehensive access to the league, offering them live broadcasts of every game and the only 24/7 NHL channel in audio,” said SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Live sports, coupled with great, in-depth sports talk, is one of the key elements of our programming and we are very pleased to be extending our content agreement with the NHL for many more years.”
Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.
The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.
Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.
Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.
The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.
While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.
“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”
Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”