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Michael Kay, Don La Greca Talk Dangers Of Hot Mics

“Now, you’re altering everyone to the fact that the Yankees are on right now and [that] it’s a close game. You might be losing some viewers because the Met game – I wouldn’t say it was a blowout – but it seemed like it was at hand.”

Derek Futterman

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A customary feature of the SNY broadcast is the “game break,” a brief 15 to 20 second pause in the action where Gary Cohen throws to a studio anchor who gives the latest out-of-town scores and news. During Thursday’s Mets game against the San Francisco Giants, Cohen threw to Sal Licata, who proceeded to show highlights of the Yankees game against the Detroit Tigers. Unbeknownst to Cohen, his microphone remained on through the game feed being presented on the new SNY mobile app, and about ten seconds in the “game break,” viewers heard Cohen say: “Why are we showing Yankee highlights?”

On Thursday, The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York spoke about Cohen’s remark, and rather than simply assuming the statement came out of his fandom for the Mets, a team he grew up rooting for, co-host Michael Kay believed the statement came more out of a cognizance towards the business of live television.

“The Yankees are on opposite you,” said Kay, who serves as the play-by-play voice of the Yankees on the YES Network. “Now, you’re altering everyone to the fact that the Yankees are on right now and [that] it’s a close game. You might be losing some viewers because the Met game – I wouldn’t say it was a blowout – but it seemed like it was at hand.”

Don La Greca disagreed.

“I’m a big fan of Gary. He’s terrific,” said La Greca. “He was Met Boy. If I had to guess, that’s Gary saying, ‘I’m a Met guy. Met broadcast. Why are we showing Yankee highlights?’”

While La Greca believes part of the blame for Cohen’s remark going over-the-air was a lapse by the producers at SNY, mistakes are expected to happen especially with the nature of a live broadcast. Hot mic incidents have cost broadcasters their jobs and future broadcasting opportunities, including former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman, who was cited by Kay as someone who may never recover from his incident.

With the potential for these incidents to occur to anyone not remaining aware of the power the microphone yields to the person behind it, Kay offered a salient piece of advice for aspiring broadcasters looking to make a career in sports media.

“If you have a mic near your face, you have to believe that it’s on, even if it’s not, even if it’s not,” said Kay. “Number one: There could be somebody in the truck that hates your guts and would like nothing better than to expose you. Number two: There are technical sanfus when they think they’ve turned down the mic and it’s not. Don’t say anything when you have a mic near your face!”

La Greca knows that if Kay was heard on a Yankees broadcast questioning why his network was showing highlights from a Mets game, he would receive much negative publicity and draw the chagrin of Mets fans – likely to an extreme degree.

“Oh my goodness,” said Kay in response to La Greca’s assertion. “Met fans would be waiting to lynch me…. They might start another paper just to write about me.”

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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