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Kay Adams is Working For a Seat at the Big Kids’ Table

“I’m not afraid to start something new; in fact, to me, it’s very rewarding to start something and have it grow.”

Derek Futterman



Kay Adams
Courtesy: FanDuel Group

Work ethic and persistence are at the center of who Kay Adams is as a broadcaster, and she has demonstrated both qualities from the beginning of her career in sports media. Always looking for a new challenge, Adams enters each day hosting her show, Up & Adams on FanDuel TV, focused on bringing fans engaging and entertaining content while improving as a personality. In moving away from NFL Network, she bet on herself to learn how to talk about sports on a network belonging to a sportsbook.

FanDuel is the sports betting leader in the U.S. market, garnering almost 46% of the total online market share, according to recent data from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Consulting and Market Research. Entering the role, Adams had minimal knowledge about the specifics of the growing sector and is learning as she goes. In the end, she made the choice to join FanDuel TV because of the company’s sterling reputation and the work of Amy Howe, its chief executive officer.

“It was becoming a bigger part of our content and a bigger part of our shows; our sponsorship; how we pay the bills, and it’s sort of where the industry’s going,” Adams said. “Everybody who’s going to be in those realms wants content because those people wanted real estate on the NFL slate that I was on, even on Good Morning Football within those three hours.”

Adams had not centered her conversations about sports around betting, but had familiarity on how to interact with football fans. When Adams attended college at the University of Missouri, she initially enrolled in a program centered on traditional journalism and reporting; however, she ended up gravitating towards editorializing and providing her opinion about sports. During those years, Adams took a job at a comedy club and worked to gain the opportunity to go on stage just so she could emcee and introduce the next act. 

At the start of her freshman year in college, Adams discovered that her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She frequently made the trip from Columbia, Mo. to Chicago, Ill. so she could spend time with her family and offer her support. 

Adams is the daughter of two Polish immigrants who assimilated to life in the United States and did everything they could to make ends meet. Her father worked at the same screw factory in Melrose Park, Ill. for 43 years, while her mother also performed factory work and eventually cleaned houses and hotel rooms. Sports consumption was limited in their household, occasionally watching football but never attending any games in person. 

“[They] did anything that they could, all the overtime hours just to make ends meet,” Adams said. “I think I just looked at them and got my work ethic from them to just not say ‘No,’ even if it was hard.”

Adams began working as a bartender at Willie’s Pub and Pool Bar, an established institution within Columbia. As time went on, she became familiar with some of the regular customers and would debate sports with them throughout her shift. Adams worked more than she attended class and applied for many internships, ultimately being brought on at The CW Network on the street team to hand out fliers about upcoming shows.

While she was there, Adams became friendly with her college classmate Carissa Culiner, who told her that she was being promoted at Clear 99, a country music radio station owned by Zimmer Radio Group. Eager for any potential opportunities, Adams applied to take over the midnight to 6 a.m. slot with minimal knowledge of the genre. While she exaggerated her knowledge of the category during the interview, she studied so she would be prepared to take the air. 

“I think I got a lot of confidence learning on the fly, and I’ve always been really good at chaos; at sort of live TV, live bullets [and] live action,” Adams said. “Nothing is more exciting to me, and there’s nothing that I think in thrive in more.”

As people within the building discerned Adams’ passion for sports, she was invited to appear on sister station KTGR, the local ESPN Radio affiliate. Soon thereafter, Adams found out that one of her customers at the bar worked at the same radio station as her, but was leaving to join SiriusXM. In their conversation, the customer implored her to appear on the outlet as a news anchor, reading social media posts from fans and talking about fantasy baseball. There was no hesitation on Adams’ part, especially since she had not outlined a backup plan should she not succeed in sports media.

Taking that swing for the fences landed Adams as one of the first members of the new fantasy sports channel at SiriusXM, appearing on The Fantasy Drive with Kyle Elfrink and Ray Flowers. With each repetition, she gradually became more confident.

Around that time, she started canvassing media outlets for job openings, one of which was KSDK-TV in St. Louis, Mo. The network had a partnership with lifestyle website Metromix, which eventually allowed her to make content. Adams vividly remembers her boyfriend at the time following her at restaurants making pieces and trying to earn space on the website. What she really coveted was the St. Louis Cardinals’ in-stadium hosting job and had the tenacity to continue pressing those within the organization for an opportunity. 

“I really wanted to be on camera [and] wanted to be talking to the 80,000 people – that was my goal,” Adams said. “I just sort of relentlessly forced my vision onto people and got it.”

Adams offered to work the job for free while bartending at Nick’s Pub until 5 a.m. and driving to Columbia on weekends to host her country music show. In her first season with the team, the Cardinals ended up winning the World Series in a dramatic seven-game series against the Texas Rangers, resulting in a lengthy fall schedule.

Once baseball entered its offseason, she worked for the St. Louis Rams as a stage manager, coordinating elements of the game presentation at the Edward Jones Dome. When the teams were not playing, she was managing a pizza shop in the area and sought to execute all of her roles to perfection with little to no sleep.

As Adams continued to improve, she began to be considered for other hosting roles and ultimately landed with NBC Sports Network to lead Fantasy Football Live. Additionally, she hosted Fantasy Zone with DIRECTV on the NFL RedZone Channel and a bi-weekly gambling fantasy show with Rotoworld on NBC Sports Radio. Outside of sports media, Adams worked as a special correspondent for pop culture programs including Extra and Entertainment Tonight.

After years of demonstrating an indefatigable willingness to succeed, Adams was hired by NFL Media to host a new morning show, Good Morning Football, on NFL Network. The cast of the show did not meet each other until 48 hours before their first episode.

“We were, ‘Let’s come in – rage against the sports media machine a little bit,’” Adams described. “It was something that we built from, in our opinion, nothing. Now granted, super supportive people [at the] NFL – nice to have 32 billionaires being supportive of you – but you kind of had to win them over too.”

Adams remained with Good Morning Football through its first six years on the air. At the same time, she continued working in the entertainment space as the host of The TV Show! through People Magazine alongside Lawrence K. Jackson, while also hosting virtual games on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire app. Once her contract with NFL Media was nearing its expiration, Adams decided that she wanted to move in a different direction.

“I’m not afraid to take a risk,” Adams said. “I’m not afraid to start something new; in fact, to me, it’s very rewarding to start something and have it grow.”

Just where that opportunity would be was unbeknownst to her, but she was aware that there was interest from FanDuel. Adams had previously worked with the sports betting company and heard of their plans to launch a full TV lineup. After hearing the vision of Amy Howe, the company’s chief executive officer, she inked a deal and was announced as a headliner of FanDuel TV – which also included content from Pat McAfee and Bill Simmons.

“I take a lot of responsibility in being the person who’s on the forefront of that,” Adams said. “It’s like building an airplane as you fly; that’s sort of what we’re doing and so I’ve embraced it. The biggest challenge is you sort of feel like you’re the first one to a party and you’re early and you’re like, ‘They’re still setting up the music.’”

Adams brings legitimate enthusiasm and energy to the show each day. She wants her hour on the network to be worthwhile for viewers. The spotlight, however, is always placed on the guests who join the show, with Adams functioning as both a catalyst for conversation and ebullient participant.

Throughout the 2023 National Football League regular season, Adams will welcome several active and former players to the show as weekly guests. Some of the stars set to join her include San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, free agent wide receiver Jarvis Landry, former safety Darius Butler and four-time Super Bowl champion tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Out of all the people announced as part of the new lineup though, Adams feels a certain enigma around New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Even though he plays in the largest media market in the country, the fourth-year professional comes off as a private, reserved individual to her. 

“I think he’s a huge challenge for me because he doesn’t like to say a lot,” Adams explained, “but there’s this thing about scarcity that was really important to me…. To just sort of anticipate him week in, week out will be so, so fun, and that adds tremendous value because I think I am so naturally curious about these players and these pieces for the NFL.”

Everything Adams does as a host is predicated on authenticity. While there is planning and research conducted before each new episode, she embraces a degree of entropy and has the proficiency and wherewithal to adapt in real time.

“The fourth wall is broken; the jig is up,” Adams said. “It’s 2023; we all have to roll on. I’ve almost shot my eye out with a bottle of champagne, [and] we drink on Fridays on my show at 8 in the morning here in LA, so it is definitely a fun look at sports.”

Adams’ show predominantly focuses on the NFL, but has implemented coverage of the National Basketball Association as well with the presence of FanDuel partner and NBA insider Shams Charania. There are also plenty of conversations about other sports too, including golf and horse racing.

“Being in a place where it’s not just the NFL that I’m talking about has been really refreshing and something that I’m really hoping to advance this season,” Adams said. “The balance is a gift; the content is a gift.”

Sports betting is legal in more than 30 states across the country, albeit in different capacities, but the content itself extends beyond those municipalities and imbues fans to take a vested interest in various outcomes. ESPN reached a deal to launch its own sportsbook in partnership with PENN Entertainment later in the fall, equipping its vast content portfolio to market the product. The parties have the goal of reaching at least 20% market share of total revenue by 2027 as part of the 10-year agreement.

“The ESPN-PENN deal sort of reinforces that I’m on the right path with Up & Adams, and I feel really good about where that sits,” Adams said. “It’s about growing that show. I’m an executive producer of that show, which is amazing. It’s a really nice partnership with FanDuel where the sky’s the limit.

Fans are able to watch Up & Adams on FanDuel TV through a linear provider or over-the-top (OTT) platform, and can also listen as a podcast across multiple platforms. The show recently started airing live on YouTube as well, providing Adams an open line of communication with viewers wherein she continuously exhibits her congenial personality. There are more distribution partnerships to be announced in the future, and Adams is excited about the possibilities to make the program even more accessible to consumers.

Adams considers herself fortunate to have the program renewed for a second season within a volatile content ecosystem where there is a plethora of turnover. Most importantly though, she has an inherent gratitude for FanDuel TV and the fact that she has an outlet on which to broadcast.

“I don’t even know what the goal would be with the show other than it being a place where I can express myself,” Adams said. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be so much fun.”

While she enjoys hosting her daily program from the studio, Adams is looking to attend more games and interact with the teams in-person. It was an impetus for her seven-team training camp tour throughout August, during which she interviewed Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton and New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Some of these guys and these vibes from these teams you can sort of learn and pick up by just being there a couple of minutes,” Adams said. “It’s why the value of beat reporters is so big because they’re in there every day. Another big thing that we’re trying to do more of, and we did a lot last year, is pulling the people that are there; pulling in the best of the beats to come and give us their glimpses.”

As the turn pages on a new season of Up & Adams, she is satisfied with the state of the overall state of the program and is focused on helping it grow. Even though Adams has been on many other networks, the show is hardly derivative and instead wholly organic in the methods by which it propounds talking points and produces content. For Adams herself, she has had conversations about future endeavors and has a goal of appearing on a prime-time live game broadcast.

Adams references an expression from Hockey Hall of Fame forward and current NHL on TNT studio analyst Wayne Gretzky to describe her mindset: “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” As a result, she does not rule out the potential of hosting an alternate game presentation in the future and is always willing to experiment to stay ahead of the curve.

“Until I get it, my goal is going to be the big-kid table,” Adams said. “I would like the live game [and] love the energy of being live…. For me to be able to have the opportunity on the grand stage of the broadcast for the game, that would be my goal; the pregame or something like that. That has evaded me, but it just sort of makes sense.”

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Tricia Whitaker Will Find The Story That Matters

“My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

Derek Futterman



Tricia Whitaker FNB
Courtesy: Apple

When St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run in his final season in the majors last September, the baseball world erupted in mass jubilation. Although the milestone achievement occurred during a road game, the fans still showered one of the sport’s quintessential athletes with praise as they witnessed the fourth player enter this exclusive pinnacle of power hitters. For fans watching from afar, they were treated with crisp, vivid footage of the moment since the matchup was exclusive to Apple TV+ as a part of its Friday Night Baseball slate of games.

The game broadcast featured field reporter Tricia Whitaker, who had just joined the Apple TV+ presentations to begin the second half of the season. Being there as one of the voices tasked with keeping viewers informed and captivated by the action was a special experience that she will never forget. 

“You’re talking about the best cameras in the entire world capturing one of the most iconic players ever,” Whitaker said. “I thought the call was amazing; I thought the quality of the shots was amazing [and] I’l never forget that broadcast, ever, because it was so cool.”

Whitaker grew up in Bloomington, Ind. and would journey to Wrigley Field with her father once per summer to watch the Chicago Cubs. Through those games, she realized that a ballpark was her ideal future workplace.

“We just didn’t have a ton of money, [so] I would sit in the nosebleeds with him once a summer and that was the biggest treat in the world,” Whitaker said. “I just realized that I loved telling stories and I loved sports, so I decided to do that.”

Whitaker’s journey in the industry genuinely began as an undergraduate student at Indiana University Bloomington where she adopted a mindset to seize any opportunities offered to her. Despite having no knowledge or previous reporting experience, she accepted a role to cover a tennis match and quickly started preparing. After one of her professors saw her nascent media acumen, they recommended she audition for the university’s student television station to hone her skills. Whitaker earned a spot and began covering Indiana Hoosiers basketball and football for the show Hoosier Sports Night. From there, she simply kept on accepting anything in her purview.

“Your best asset is your availability, so I basically just said ‘Yes’ to everything,” Whitaker articulated.

Once it became time to search for a full-time position, her experience and tenacity helped her land a role at WBAY-TV in Green Bay as a sports reporter and anchor. After two football seasons working there, Whitaker relocated closer to home to report for WTTV-TV Channel 4 in Indianapolis. The time was valuable for her to cultivate new relationships with those around the industry while strengthening existing ones, serving as a foundational aspect of her reporting. 

“If they don’t trust you to tell their stories, they’re not going to talk to you,” Whitaker said. “You have to be able to have a good relationship with the players; with the coaches and everybody involved.”

At the same time, Whitaker felt compelled to make a lasting contribution to Indiana University through teaching and inspiring the next generation of journalists. She is now an adjunct professor for the IU Media School and wants her students to know how integral it is to make themselves available while being open and willing to try new things to make inroads into the profession. 

“There’s always a story to be told, so even if it’s a random event that you don’t think anyone’s paying attention to, there’s people there; there’s human stories and their stories matter,” Whitaker said. “That’s what I always try to tell my students is [to] just find that story that makes people interested in it and find that story that matters.”

Over the years working in these dual roles, Whitaker became more skilled in her position and proceeded to audition to join the Tampa Bay Rays’ broadcast crew on Bally Sports Sun as a field reporter. When she received news that she had landed the coveted job, she remembers starting to cry in her closet while trying to organize her clothes. After all, Whitaker had just learned that she would get to perform the role she idolized when she was young. The access her role gives her to the players and coaches on the field is not taken for granted.

“I’ll interview hitting coaches about a guy’s hands and where they’ve moved and about his stance,” Whitaker said. “….In the next hit, I’ll tell a story about a guy who drinks a smoothie every day before the game and he feels [that] putting spinach in it has really made a difference or something like that. My reporting style is pretty much all of it, but I do like to do the human interest stories more than I like to do anything else because I think that’s unique.”

After each Rays win, Whitaker takes the field and interviews one of the players on the team. Earlier in the season, she remembers speaking with Rays outfielder Jose Siri after he drove in three runs against the Detroit Tigers; however, the broadcast was not on Bally Sports Sun. Instead, she was doing the interview for Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+, a national broadcast property the company pays MLB an estimated $85 million annually to carry. Going into the interview, Whitaker knew that she would need to appeal to more than just Rays fans and appropriately started the conversation by asking about the game.

Yet she also knew that it was “Salsa Night” at Comerica Park in Detroit and thanks to her work with the regional network, was cognizant of the fact that Siri likes to dance in the dugout. As a result, she concluded the interview with a request for Siri to demonstrate his salsa dancing skills, something that made an ordinary conversation stand out.

“I tried to personalize it a little bit to help people get to know Jose Siri a little bit better because I think that’s important,” Whitaker said. “….You make sure you talk about baseball, but then you add a little flair to it; add a little personality to it. Everybody loves salsa, right?”

The Apple broadcasts require Whitaker to prepare as she executes her role with the Rays, keeping her wholly invested and consumed by baseball. There are occasions where she is afforded the luxury of reporting on Rays games for her Friday night assignment, but they are rare. Therefore, she needs to become familiar with two teams by reviewing statistics, reading local reporting and conversing with those involved. She keeps her notes on her cell phone and makes lists of what she is going to do during the day to keep herself organized and focused.

Throughout the week, Whitaker actively prepares for the Friday night matchup and meets with her producer to contribute her ideas and learn about the macro vision of the broadcast. The Apple broadcast, aside from using high-caliber technology, also regularly equips microphones to place on players that allow viewers to hear what is transpiring on the field. Whitaker, along with play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and color commentator Ryan Spilborghs, coordinate with the production team throughout the game to present an insightful and compelling final product.

There was criticism of the Apple TV+ live game baseball broadcasts during its inaugural season, but the noise continues to diminish in its sophomore campaign. Whitaker views her role as accruing a confluence of stories about the game and more insightful looks at the personalities on the field. Before each contest, she interviews a player in the dugout and asks questions that put the season in context, granting a comprehensive understanding about a subset of their journey.

“We try to get their thoughts on the season so far at the plate, but also try to get to know them on a personal level,” Whitaker said. “My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

It is considerably more facile to execute such a task before the game than it is during gameplay because of the introduction of the pitch clock. While it has undoubtedly sped up the game and made the product more appealing for fans of all ages, its actualization threatened the viability of unique aspects of baseball broadcasts. The Apple TV+ crew may work together once per week, but over a 162-game season spanning parts of seven months, there is a perdurable bond and unyielding chemistry evident therein.

“Everybody on that crew – and I seriously mean this – is so supportive no matter who you are as long as you do your job well,” Whitaker said. “They don’t even think about the fact that I’m a female in sports [and] they just support me. They help me take constructive criticism because they care and because they truly see me as an equal.”

Whitaker has had the chance to report from Wrigley Field with Apple TV+ and vividly remembers her experience of stepping inside as a media member for the first time. It was a surreal full-circle moment that has been the result of years of determination and persistence to make it to the major leagues.

“I walked into Wrigley and I started to tear up because I remember when my dad and I used to go there and I was 12 years old,” Whitaker stated. “If you would have told me at 12 years old [that] I would be doing a national game at Wrigley, I would have told you [that] you were lying because I just wouldn’t have thought that was a possibility.”

Although Whitaker is receptive to potentially hosting regular sports programming in the future, she has found the joy in her roles with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Apple TV+. Being able to experience historic moments, including Pujols’ milestone home run, and then diving deeper into the situation makes the countless flights, hotel stays and lack of a genuine respite worthwhile. She hopes to continue seamlessly fulfilling her responsibility this Friday night when the New York Mets face the Philadelphia Phillies at 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST, exclusively on Apple TV+.

“There’s always a story to be told, and if you’re good at your job, you’re going to find that story even on a day where you’re like, ‘Oh gosh, there’s nothing going on,’” Whitaker said. “I take that pretty seriously.”

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Radio Advertising Can be the Secret Weapon For In-House Digital Marketers

“The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU.”

Jeff Caves



Courtesy: ETSY

Remember when in-house marketers were primarily focused on traditional media and needed help navigating the digital and social media landscape? Well, the tables are turning! 

The rise of digital-savvy in-house marketers is opening up exciting opportunities for radio ad salespeople. As local businesses increasingly invest in digital marketing, some are finding they need your expertise in radio advertising.

Borrell Associates has released their latest Business Barometer, and included in the findings was a slight but noticeable shift favoring traditional forms of broadcast media. Let’s dive into how sports and news radio ad salespeople can leverage this shift to target businesses with proficient digital marketing people on board who may need to know more about the potential of radio advertising.

1. Digital-Marketing Trending UP!

Borrell Associates’ recent findings indicate that businesses are increasingly proficient in digital marketing. They are adeptly managing their websites and social media channels, driving results through online campaigns. However, this digital surge doesn’t necessarily translate to expertise in traditional media, such as radio. Hey, do you know a business like that? And make sure you know of an outsourced digital agency you can refer who can handle your clients’ digital and social media for very few dollars. You can help manage the rest of the budget! 

2. Target In-House Buyers

Make a list of businesses you know that have in-house people who are digital-oriented or younger owners who handle mostly digital advertising independently. Or, how about the in-house marketing person who only takes on marketing initiatives like events or sales promotion and knows nothing about advertising? Get ’em! 

3. We create demand

One of the unique selling points of radio is its ability to generate demand and send more customers to Google or your client’s website. Digital marketing can often direct buyers seeking a specific purchase but can’t create lasting impressions and build demand and loyalty like your station. Use this advantage to demonstrate how radio can reinforce the brand story and enhance the effectiveness of digital campaigns.

4. Surround the listener

Recognize that businesses with digital marketing expertise may want holistic solutions. Sell packages that combine digital and radio advertising. Include your streaming endorsements with social media and geo-fencing. They get it and will be impressed with reaching their target audience across multiple touchpoints.

5. Be the Teacher

Your prospects may be experts in digital marketing, but they might not fully understand the potential of radio advertising. Take on the role of an educator. Provide resources, case studies, and success stories that showcase how your station and radio have boosted digital-savvy businesses’ results.

6. 1+1=3 for Creativity

Collaboration is key when working with clients with a digital marketing team. Involve them in the creative process of writing and producing radio ads. Creativity could be their strength, and they will bring fresh perspectives to your production.

The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU. Maybe your client is struggling with their digital strategy. Imagine that now they may be seeking you out to help them understand what they have already read about buying radio advertising. It’s time to adapt your approach and position radio as a complementary and powerful tool in the digital marketing person toolkit.

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Bill Parcells Shaped The Media By Giving Them Hell

“Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter.”

John Molori



Bill Parcells
Courtesy: AP Photo

Two of the most talked about media stories of the past couple of weeks intersect in the form of one legendary NFL head coach – Bill Parcells. 

In the wake of Aaron Rodgers’ potentially season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1 of the NFL season, many media pundits harkened back to 1999 when then-Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde suffered a similar injury in the first game of the season. Like Rodgers, Testaverde was a veteran signal-caller looking to bring the long-suffering Jets to a Super Bowl. 

One week after Rodgers’ injury, Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley was in the media mechanism for an exchange with a reporter after his club fell to 0-2. Staley took issue with a query about whether the team’s monumental playoff collapse last season versus Jacksonville has carried over to their slow start this season. 

ESPN’s First Take included video of Staley’s comment on their September 19 show building it up as some rash, heated interaction between coach and press. It was not. In fact, Staley merely directly answered the question asserting this season has nothing to do with last season. 

Both of these headlines find common ground in the person of Bill Parcells. Parcells was the head coach of the Jets in 1999 when Testaverde’s season ended in that fateful game vs. New England. In addition, he was notorious for some truly vitriolic run-ins with post-game reporters. 

Forget about Staley or even the infamous press conference rants of Jim Mora (“Playoffs!?”), Herm Edwards (“You play to win the game!”), and Dennis Green (“Crown ‘em!”). To the media, Parcells was Armageddon, Three Mile Island, and Hurricane Katrina rolled into one. Never has there been a football character so inexplicably loved and despised. 

In New England, Parcells’s arrival as head coach of the Patriots in 1993 signaled the turnaround of the franchise, but fans refuse to vote him into the team’s Hall of Fame because of his unceremonious jump from to the Jets after the 1996 season. 

When that happened, Parcells again grasped the media spotlight stating, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.” He was referring to new owner Bob Kraft taking final say personnel decisions away from Parcells.

Like him or not, Parcells, known as The Tuna, rejuvenated five NFL franchises. The New York Giants were a mishmash of Joe Pisarciks and Earnest Grays before Parcells turned them into two-time champions.

Patriot fans actually cheered for the likes of Hugh Millen and Eugene Chung until Parcells came to town and brought in players like Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri, and Tedy Bruschi, laying the foundation for a dynasty.

And the Jets? They were living off the fumes of Joe Namath’s Brut 33 until Bill Parcells constructed a team that went from 1-15 in 1996 under Rich Kotite to 9-7 and 12-4 in 1997 and 1998 respectively with Parcells. 

The Cowboys were 5-11 under Dave Campo in 2002. The next year, they went 10-6 with Parcells. Miami was 1-15 in 2007. The next year, with Parcells as executive VP of Football ops, they won the AFC East with an 11-5 record.

The Catholic church has its Apostle’s Creed. Those who follow the gospel of The Tuna have A Parcells Creed, and it goes as follows: I believe if a reporter asks Parcells if he outcoached a colleague, that reporter will be called a “dumb ass.” I believe that the media are “commies” and “subversive from within” as Parcells once labeled them.

I believe in using the media to denigrate young players to keep their egos in check. After Jets QB Glenn Foley had a solid preseason performance a few years back, the New York media surrounded the redheaded QB as if he had won the Super Bowl. 

Parcells walked right in front of Foley and sarcastically asked, “Do you mind if I get past Sonny Jurgensen over here,” referring to the similarly redheaded Redskin quarterbacking legend.

In 1995, when all of New England was agog over a rookie running back named Curtis Martin, Parcells slyly commented to the press, “Well, we’re not carving his bust for Canton just yet.” And of course, there was the late Terry Glenn. When asked how the former Patriot wideout was recovering from an injury, the Tuna spouted, “She’s doing just fine.”

Parcells’ stints as a studio analyst on ESPN, although insightful, seemed out of place. He would sit there, dressed in a dark blue suit talking strategy with fellow ESPN gabber Steve Young. Honestly, he looked like a rotund funeral director searching for someone to embalm.

Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter. 

I interviewed Boston media personality Steve DeOssie about Parcells. DeOssie was the defensive signal caller for the New York Giants (1989-93) when Parcells was the team’s head coach. He again played for Parcells in New England in 1994.

He told me, “Parcells realizes that the media is the enemy. Let’s face it, the media cannot do anything positive for a team, but they can put stuff out there that could lose a game. The bottom line with Parcells is whether it helps his team win.”

“He loves the camera and the camera loves him. He enjoys that part of the business. The media can spin it any way they want. Parcells does not suffer fools gladly and a lot of media types don’t like being called out in press conferences.”

Another Boston media legend also gave me his reflections of Parcells. Bob Lobel is the most revered sports anchor of all-time in New England. He stated, “I did a one-on-one interview with Parcells awhile back. He is so down to earth yet has this aura. It’s easy to be in awe of him.”

The national perspective is similar. When Troy Aikman was an analyst for FOX Sports, the current Monday Night Football color commentator credited Parcells with restacking the Cowboys’ roster and bringing winning back to Dallas.

When asked about playing for Parcells with the Jets, FS1’s Keyshawn Johnson offered, “He taught me how to do things, how to pay attention.” 

Even people whom Parcells fired maintain a respect for him. Sirius NFL Radio’s Pat Kirwan was the director of player administration for the Jets when Parcells arrived in 1997. 

Kirwan told me, “Parcells rebuilds a franchise from top to bottom. He evaluates everyone from the trainers to the doctors to the equipment guys. In 1997 when Bill came to the Jets, I knew I was qualified, but I also knew that Bill would let me go.”

In a September 12, 2023 story, New York Post reporter Brian Costello interviewed Parcells about the Rodgers injury. 

This master of media mind games famous for the quote, “You don’t get any medal for trying,” revealed his visceral core telling Costello, “You are charged with winning games under any circumstances … They’re not canceling the games. They’re not canceling them. You’re coaching them. It’s your job to get your team ready to play to the best of their ability.”

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