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Evan Roberts: MLB Network Dropped The Ball During Aaron Judge News

“B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends. They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”

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After a whirlwind 24 hours, Aaron Judge signed a contract to remain with the New York Yankees earlier this week. The news happened early in the morning, and WFAN afternoon co-host Evan Roberts said that was no excuse for how poor the coverage was from MLB Network.

“They didn’t go live with it,” co-host Craig Carton said. “He reported it on social media, and they didn’t put him on TV for more than an hour after he had broken the story.”

When told that MLB Network simply put a scroll along the bottom of the screen alerting viewers to the news, Roberts was flabbergasted.

“Are you kidding me?,” Roberts asked. “It’s bad enough that SNY bad-mouthed Jacob DeGrom at the end and then decided to play a…tribute video right before our show. I don’t like the badmouthing of Jake, but at least they gave you live coverage. SNY gave you something. You’re telling me MLB Network didn’t give you any coverage?”

When Chris McMonigle mentioned the news dropped at 5:15 AM PT, Roberts didn’t care.

“Wake someone up,” he countered. “You’re not a real network. If you are — and you can tell your friends at MLB Network — if you wanna be a real network — and see now I gotta throw bouquets at SNY. As much as I didn’t like their coverage, they gave you breaking news coverage. Great job, SNY.”

McMonigle countered by telling Roberts that MLB Network hit the air at 9:30 AM ET, which is 6:30 AM PT, when they were previously slated to start coverage at 11:00 AM ET. When he then compared the difference in circumstances to that of the DeGrom news happening at 7:00 PM ET, Roberts shouted “it doesn’t matter!”, saying MLB Network should have been on top of the Judge news.

“What were they playing? Major League? A League of Their Own? B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends,” continued Roberts. “They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”

Carton said the network put a scroll on the screen with the news of Judge’s signing, which Roberts concluded was not enough.

“Tell MLB Network to call our friends at SNY and they’ll give ’em a lesson on how you just break into whatever coverage you have, and you give live coverage. Even if the coverage is bad, at least they’re giving it to you.”

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Chris Curtis: It’s Obscene How Announcers Think Someone Else’s Achievement is About Them

“Allow the call to stand for what you are celebrating don’t make the call about you.”

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Screengrab of Chris Curtis of WEEI
Screengrab: WEEI

The city of Boston just went through a championship win with the Boston Celtics taking home the NBA Championship this year. But it was the championship won by the NHL’s Florida Panthers, their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, that had The Greg Hill Show on WEEI talking this morning. Hosts Greg Hill, Jermaine Wiggins, Courtney Cox and producer Chris Curtis had talked about the game earlier, but later got into the final call by the Panthers’ radio announcers and Chris Curtis was not a fan of it at all.

“Can we just get to this unbelievable sound?” Curtis asked. “…I really think we should rip someone that doesn’t work with us.”

Curtis then played the audio of the last ten seconds of the broadcast with Panthers broadcasters Doug Plagens and Bill Lindsay.

“Ten seconds left, 2-1 Panthers,” Plagens said. “A dream 30 years in the making is real. The Florida Panthers have won the Stanley Cup.” This was followed by Lindsay yelling, “Lord Stanley is coming hoooooome.”

“Stop it right there,” Curtis said. “First of all, Lord Stanley, if he was cryogenically frozen like Ted Williams, would never return to a place he never visited, which is Sunrise, Florida. There is more hockey in Sudan than there is in Southern Florida. It is obscene how these people all across radio, mostly Syracuse ‘johnnies’ that think someone else’s achievement is about them.

“You are the conduit to the audience to enjoy…Maybe there are a handful of people that grew up watching the Panthers. Yesterday meant a lot to them. Allow the call to stand for what you are celebrating don’t make the call about you.”

Then, Curtis really went in and started with a local announcer who does something similar to what he was describing the Panthers’ announcers did.

“Sean Grande does this all the effing time,” Curtis said. “He writes out soliloquies. Sean, you didn’t do anything, you’re just telling us what they did. It’s not about you, you dullards. Bill Lindsay screaming on Doug Plagens of course Syracuse master’s degree, that’s where you learn to talk like someone who sounds like someone you have never met in your life while they’re trying to be relatable.”

“He went to Newhouse, Curtis,” Hill chimed in.

“If you need to go to Newhouse to get a job, you’re not that good,” Curtis said.

Wiggins disagreed a bit with Curtis’ take saying, “I like a homer broadcaster who feels the emotion of getting into it. The color guy who played for the team who gets emotional when you win.”

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Boomer Esiason: People Watch Stephen A. Smith ‘Because of Him and What He’s Going to Say’

“What other alternative or where else can he go?”

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Graphic for the Boomer & Gio Show and a photo of Stephen A. Smith

With reports coming out that ESPN had made an initial contract offer of 5 years and $90 million dollars to Stephen A. Smith, various sports show hosts have weighed in and given their opinions. Such was the case during Boomer & Gio this morning on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti.

“Have you seen any of this Stephen A. Smith contract stuff that’s going on?” Giannotti asked.

“I have seen it, yes,” Esiason said. “Listen, the guy works his ass off, he is definitely a firestarter for that network and quite frankly he has built himself into a one man show.”

Giannotti replied, “He’s had success. He’s one of the bigger voices in sports if not the biggest voice in sports.”

Esiason added, “What’s different about him compared to Troy [Aikman] or Tony [Romo] or somebody else – people are going to tune in to watch the football game no matter who is doing it. People are watching him because of him and what he’s going to say.”

Giannotti reviewed the report of how much was offered and mentioned the other reports that say Smtih is looking for closer to $25 million per year. He also mentioned Dan Le Batard saying he thought ESPN had lowballed Smith with the offer.

Giannotti said, “This is one of those things that is just hard to calculate. I don’t know how much money they would lose if he wasn’t there. This is something I’d love to know…how many advertising dollars, how many things that they sell because he is there equates to a loss if he leaves?”

Esiason then said, “Here’s what I would ask. What other alternative or where else can he go?” He then later added, “In our medium on a national basis…both he and Pat McAfee have brought eyeballs or attention to ESPN for different reasons, and I think that if they can extract that kind of money out of those companies, good for them. I have no problem with any of it.”

Giannotti continued to ask about the ad dollars, but Esiason explained there were a lot of other factors that come into play.

“I don’t know about the advertising,” he said. “I think it’s more about the subscription services. I think it’s more about the fact that they use him in every single aspect they possibly can…He’s on that morning show…but then he’s all over the NBA playoffs, he’s all over the NFL playoffs. He’s all over everything. I couldn’t even imagine. I know what it was like for me when I was doing NFL Today, Monday Night Football and this radio program. It was exhausting…I know that he has complained about how much he is asked to do over there.”

All of this led to a discussion about a weekly Smith guest on First Take, Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo. “I tell you what, when he is on there, I find him to be extremely entertaining,” Esiason said. “The interaction between the two of them is about as entertaining as it can get on television…If I was ‘Dog’ I would quit [SiriusXM] cuz nobody hears you and go over [to ESPN] and take a full-time spot over there and get paid.”

“I don’t know if they’re offering a full-time spot for him over there, he’s like a novelty,” Giannotti replied.

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ESPN Chicago Announces 2024 Football Fest with Adam Schefter and Field Yates

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned.”

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Graphic for ESPN Chicago's Football Fan Fest
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN Chicago on Facebook

ESPN Chicago announced the return of Football Fest, an event they started in 2022. The 2024 edition will take place at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana on Sunday, August 25. ESPN NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Field Yates are back as guests and will share insights and engage with fans throughout the event.

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned,” said Danny Zederman, director of content for ESPN Chicago in a release. “We listened to fan feedback, and we’ve added new ways for fans to interact with their favorite ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities, as well as a live onstage version of our fan-favorite, unfiltered podcast Crosstalk Unhinged with Carm, Jurko, Waddle, and Silvy.”

ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities will be available for meet & greets with fans taking photos and signing autographs. The Good Karma Brands owned station says the event “will consist of live programming from local and national experts on the upcoming football season, fantasy football, as well as games, vendors, and more.”

$10 tickets for the event are on sale through Ticketmaster.com.

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