Sure, the 2022 NCAA Tournament is down to the Final Four. And what a quartet it is with Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke deciding the national championship in New Orleans. Normally, that would surely be the sports radio topic of the day.
But not after the 2022 Academy Awards, which provided a moment that dominated social media Sunday night. Will Smith walking up to the stage to slap presenter Chris Rock, after the comedian made fun of the actor’s wife will be referenced in video clips, memes, and best Oscars moments for quite possibly the rest of our lifetimes.
Every TV morning news show and radio show — sports or otherwise — covered the story on Monday. What else was there to talk about, really? And if the job is to react and give opinions on a subject, well, Smith slapping Rock is exactly the kind of story for that.
Monday morning’s Boomer & Gio on WFAN was no exception. The two already cover sports and culture, along with personal stories and behind-the-scenes happenings in the studio, as any good morning show should. So naturally, the Smith-Rock incident came up.
Beyond recapping the slap itself and the moments that led up to it, Gregg Giannotti broke down where the incident could have gone afterwards. As he points out, Rock initially seemed as if he wanted to retaliate with more jokes at Smith’s expense. And there’s a lot of material to mine, especially in regards to Smith’s open marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock also briefly looked backstage at producers, presumably wondering if the show was going to continue or go to a commercial break. When it became apparent that the show would go on, Rock maintained his composure (though was briefly flustered, as anyone likely would be) to present the award for Best Documentary Feature.
And the show did indeed go on. As Boomer Esiason pointed out, that included Smith winning the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard, leading to a bizarre speech in which the star talked about protecting family. Then he apologized to the Academy and those in attendance, but not to Rock.
Giannotti wrapped up the segment by saying he thought that “the Oscars are now back.” Is Hollywood’s self-congratulatory night a must-see event again?
If not for The Slap, most of the talk about the Oscars would have been about what a terrible, disjointed show it was, with features and performances filling up space instead of awards being presented. Not to mention that nearly all of the 10 Best Picture nominees — including the eventual winner CODA — were films that a majority of people didn’t see, whether because they weren’t popular in mainstream culture or because audiences still haven’t fully embraced going back to theaters.
Certainly, bringing an “anything can happen” anticipation and suspense to the proceedings could lead to more people paying attention. But people tuning in to see somebody else rush the stage or another incident of violence can’t be what the Academy or ABC wants.
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.
Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution
“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”
Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.
“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.
A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.
“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.
The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”
Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.
“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”
Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed
There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.
“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”
Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.
Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.
“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”
When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.
“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”
Evan Roberts: Tony Romo Is Trying To Make Every Game Historically Significant
“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan.”
CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo drew some criticism on social media on Sunday during coverage of the AFC championship game.
Romo caught heat for the second straight week trying to make comparisons of the quarterbacks in the NFL games he’s covering to the likes of Michael Jordan.
On Carton & Roberts on WFAN on Monday, host Craig Carton said he thought it was interesting how the perception of Romo has shifted a little bit recently.
“People are really down on him now,” Carton said. “Like he was all hot to trot, and now people think he’s not.”
Roberts said trying to compare Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow to Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler was quite a stretch.
“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan,” Roberts said. “I didn’t think the timing of that made any sense. It’s like what are we doing?”
That was precisely the reaction many had to Romo’s third quarter comments. Evan went on to say even with the comparison not really making sense, it was just the completely wrong point in the broadcast to bring something like that up.
“In the middle of a game – that doesn’t end the game – it’s a touchdown to put them up seven mid-third quarter – should not be moment where Tony Romo is pontificating about where this ranks in sports history. It was out of place,” Roberts said.
“Can we find an NFL reference? Is that possible?” Carton responded.
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.