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Bob Wischusen Wasn’t Sure the NHL on ESPN Would Ever Be A Possibility For Him

“That was one of the happiest days I’ve had. I immediately went right into my boss’s office and said I want to be involved in this.”

Ricky Keeler

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Bob Wischusen

One of the busiest sports play-by-play announcers all year-round has to be Bob Wischusen for ESPN. Whether it is calling the New York Jets, or a hockey, college football, or college basketball game for ESPN, Wischusen is on your radio or TV all-year round. He also understands that no one wants to hear how busy his schedule is once they turn on a game he is calling.

Wischusen was a guest on The Adam Schein Podcast this week and he told Schein that with the crazy schedule he has, the key is having a short-term memory and understanding no one wants to hear him complain about what he does for a living.

“You obviously have to kind of have the ability to wipe your short-term memory and move on to the next game. You have to obviously delegate your time somewhat effectively as well to make sure you are not chasing the next game, but you are out ahead of it.

“If I’m someone that wants to listen to the Jets game, I’m going to turn the game on and listen to the game. If I happen to be calling a hockey game between your favorite team and someone else, you don’t care what bowl game I called two days ago or how I got there and how little sleep I had, you just want to watch the game. I get it. No one wants to hear you or me complain about our jobs.”

When it was known that the NHL TV rights were going to go back to ESPN, Wischusen knew he wanted to get involved even though he hadn’t called a hockey game since he was a substitute play-by-play voice of the New York Rangers for MSG Network. He appreciated that ESPN took a chance and gave him an opportunity to call NHL games for the network.

“It was not something I really dared to dream was possible. My first play-by-play experience at the pro level was actually with the Rangers. I left WFAN and went over to MSG when I was still the pre and postgame host for the Jets and hadn’t been elevated to the play-by-play role yet. I was given the opportunity to be the substitute , pinch-hitting play-by-play guy for MSG and the majority of that was Rangers and a lot of it was radio. I loved it.

“That was one of the happiest days I’ve had. I immediately went right into my boss’s office and said I want to be involved in this. Luckily enough, they kind of took a little bit of a leap of faith and let me do it because I had not called hockey for certainly more than 10 years, maybe less than 15. It had been a long time. They had the belief I can do it and put me on it without really ever having heard me do it. I will be forever grateful for them for having that faith in me to give me that chance to do it again because it is great.”

While Wischusen used to be a sports talk radio host in the early stages of his career and he told Schein he does miss that aspect of what he does, he mentioned how he enjoys being part of the event when he does play-by-play rather than waiting for the event to be over when he was at WFAN in New York or WQAM-AM in Miami.

“Yes, because I think that what is in my DNA, you’re passionate about sports for whatever reason. I know I am. I don’t know why when I was 8, or 9, or 10 years I would watch these games on TV and I would emotionally get wrapped up in them…None of us can specifically say why. Because in my nature of irrationally caring about sports and sports events, you always want to scratch that itch and get your opinion out there and debate as well.

“If you were to ask me when I was 21, 22 years old, what would you like to do for the rest of your life? At the time, I would have said I want to be like Mike and the Mad Dog. You want to host afternoon drive and watch all the games and yell and scream at people about them the next day. What can be more fun than that?

“It did tilt more towards play-by-play because in my world, I started to understand it’s a lot of fun to be at the event. It’s great to be on before and after the event and to be waiting for the event to be over so that you can then vent about it, but nothing beats being at the event for me because I think part of that DNA I’m talking about is you love the games, you love the crowd, you love the drama, you love the strategy, all of that lends itself towards wanting to be there and in a very small way, being part of it.” 

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FOX Sports, Amazon NFL Analyst Richard Sherman Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

The report states there was an “odor of intoxicants” and Sherman’s eyes were bloodshot.

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Richard Sherman
Courtesy: Prime Video and Amazon Studios

Amazon and FOX Sports NFL Analyst Richard Sherman was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Saturday morning. According to a report, Sherman was stopped by the Washington State Patrol for going 79 mph within a 60 mph zone around 2 a.m. local time in Bellevue.

Sherman was asked if he’d had any alcohol and reportedly told authoirities he had two margaritas. Sherman was also said to have agreed to a voluntary test. The report states there was an “odor of intoxicants” and Sherman’s eyes were bloodshot.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Sherman was expected to have a court hearing Monday.

In 2022, Sherman plead guilty in Seattle to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a drunken driving and domestic disturbance in 2021. He also admitted to a criminal infraction of speeding in a roadway construction zone.

Sherman had an 11-year NFL career, 7 of those with the Seattle Seahawks. He has been working as a member of FS1’s Undisputed and appears on Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football as a pregame, halftime and postgame analyst. He also hosts a podcast, The Richard Sherman Podcast, in partnership with Colin Cowherd’s The Volume. There has been no word yet on if any of Sherman’s employers or partners will take action as a result of the DUI arrest.

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Matt Hutchings Resigns as COO and EVP of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment

“I am grateful for the professional opportunities and thrilling experiences that have come with my time at KSE.”

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A big change is taking place in the mile high city. Kroenke Sports and Entertainment‘s top executive Matt Hutchings is moving on. KSE, which owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth, Altitude TV and Altitude Sports Radio will now turn to a new voice to move the company forward.

Hutchings has been a key figure for the company since 2013. He was also involved in management from 2004-2012, taking a one-year detour in between to Houston to serve as president of Comcast Sportsnet Houston.

During his tenure, KSE has been involved in an ongoing battle with Colorado’s largest cable provider, Comcast. The two sides remain in a dispute over carriage fees to air Nuggets and Avalanche games. As a result, local Comcast customers have been unable to watch both teams since 2019. Both the Nuggets and Avalanche have won championships during that period.

In a press release, Hutchings said, “I am grateful for the professional opportunities and thrilling experiences that have come with my time at KSE. We have realized tremendous growth as a company and seen unprecedented success among our teams. I will be watching and cheering KSE on as they continue to lead the way in sports, broadcasting, and entertainment in Colorado and beyond.”

Hutchings was an advocate for moving the company into the local sports radio space. Altitude 950 launched in April 2016, moving to the FM dial at 92.5FM in September 2018. After a slow start, Altitude Sports Radio took the sports radio ratings lead locally in 2023. The company has since utilized 950AM to feature sports betting content from VSiN.

Losing Huchings is a big loss for KSE. How it affects the future in local radio and television remains to be seen. The top priority for the next executive is to make sure the Comcast battle gets handled so Colorado sports fans can regain the ability to watch their favorite teams.

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NESN Bruins Announcer Jack Edwards Addresses Speech Slowdown Issues For First Time

“The way I see it, two things work to my disadvantage. The game is speeding up all the time. And I’m slowing down all the time.”

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Jack Edwards of NESN
Courtesy: NESN

Longtime NESN Boston Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards recently spoke to The Boston Globe and addressed an ongoing health issue. While Edwards says he’s been cleared of cancer, dementia, and a stroke, he is still slurring and slowing his words at an increasing rate. Edwards credits it to two primary factors:

“The way I see it, two things work to my disadvantage,” Edwards said to the Boston Globe. “The game is speeding up all the time. And I’m slowing down all the time.”

According to The Globe, this is the first time Edwards has spoken about his struggles publicly, mostly because of the mysticism surrounding his condition. It’s not related to any sort of accident, or serious disease or condition — and doctors have no formal diagnosis or medical term to give him. Edwards says he is in “robust” health and receives “superior” grades on intellect tests. But Edwards still struggles with his speech slowing down.

“It doesn’t fit in any slot,” Edwards said. “There have been a couple of guesses, but they haven’t made a definitive diagnosis and they’ve been working on me for a year and a half. It’s very frustrating, as you can imagine, for me to have this slowdown in my speech.”

At the behest of his daughter, Edwards began speech therapy following his struggle with reading the Declaration of Independence on July 4, something Edwards and his father have done each year. “The Declaration of Independence has quite a few unusual words,” says Edwards, “and a year and a half ago, I couldn’t process the words, and it’s not like it was unfamiliar. I’ve read it for, like, 20 years, 25 years.”

Edwards goes through 40-60 minutes of what he calls “exhaustive and exhausting” speech therapy exercises on non-game days but still finds time to freshen up on game days for about 10 minutes. He’s appreciative of the work his speech therapy team does with him every day.

“I thank all the people who are working on this problem and helping me, and they seem to feel and I anecdotally feel that I’m making incremental progress,” he says. “The brain is a funny thing, especially mine. It is still possible to train a 66½-year-old brain to do the same things you used to do in a different way. And that’s what we’re working on through speech therapy.”

While Edwards is optimistic, he is a realist and is treating his speech issues as an in-season injury. If it gets better, he will continue to serve as the Bruins’ play-by-play voice. If not, he offers the stark reality of his situation. “If I, or NESN, decide that I’m hurting the product or costing the fans an enjoyable experience, I will say goodbye. But we haven’t had any discussions like that.”

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