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Mike Stone: ‘Monday Night Football’ Was ‘Must-See TV’

“The place was fricking electric.”

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Mike Stone
Courtesy: 97.1 The Ticket

As ESPN’s Monday Night Football took the air for its regular-season debut, excitement was abound as the time for speculation concluded with Aaron Rodgers debut as the quarterback for the New York Jets. The game took place in prime-time 22 years after the devastating September 11 attacks, and the team held a moment of silence and a special performance of the National Anthem to mark the somber occasion. During the team’s player introductions, the stadium had a viridescent hue with flashing lights and fireworks as Jets players ran out holding American flags and wearing hats emblazoned with the logos of New York City’s emergency response divisions.

When Rodgers emerged from the tunnel and ran onto the field, the crowd at MetLife Stadium cheered and eagerly anticipated his opening snap with the team’s young, dynamic offense. Four plays later, he was being helped off of the field by trainers and suffering a season-ending complete tear of his left Achilles tendon. The injury put a damper on what was an enthralling football game that ended in a dramatic Jets win, but still made for a captivating product for viewers all around the world.

“No matter what you think of Aaron Rodgers, it was kind of must-see TV,” Mike Stone said Tuesday on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Mich. “The place was fricking electric.”

Jon Jansen, who co-hosts the morning drive program with Stone, ruptured his left Achilles during the Detroit Lions’ preseason opener in 2004 and ended up missing the entire season. Having the perspective of someone who has endured such an injury before, he understands that it will be a protracted recovery once Rodgers undergoes the surgery. Jets fans around the country are heartbroken with the situation and the far-reaching effects this will have on the remainder of the season.

For national media networks who poured their resources into covering Rodgers and the Jets, there is a chance that some difficult decisions may need to be made down the stretch. The Jets are televised in prime time for five more games throughout the 2023 regular season and are now without their headline star in Rodgers. According to the National Football League’s flexible scheduling guidelines, only two of those games have the potential to be changed out – the Week 10 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football; and the Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. All other matchups throughout the regular season, outside of Week 18, are set in place as currently constructed.

“You just lose the story for the year,” producer Greg Hargrave said. “They’ve got all these prime-time games.”

The next time the Jets are scheduled to be in prime time will be on Sunday Night Football on October 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs from MetLife Stadium. The team was also the focus of the HBO Sports and NFL Films all-access series, Hard Knocks, and was being marketed around the acquisition of Rodgers. Many football fans were regaling the four-time most valuable player as a savior for “Gang Green” in its efforts to snap a 12-year playoff drought.

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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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ESPN 103.7/104.1 Unveils New Lineup; Dawson Eiserloh Gets Solo Midday Show

“Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

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Logo for ESPN SWLA and a photo of Dawson Eiserloh
Photo Courtesy: Dawson Eiserloh X Account

ESPN 103.7 in Lafayette, Louisiana and 104.1 in Lake Charles have announced a new, all live and local weekday lineup. Local programming will now be heard from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Starting on Monday, July 15 former LSU basketball player Jordy Hultberg will move The Jordy Hultberg Show to morning drive and go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. He will be followed by Footenotes with Kevin Foote from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The lunchtime show will still feature RP3 and Meche, hosted by Raymond Partsch III and James Meche and it will air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That show had also previously featured Dawson Eiserloh, however, he will now move to the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. slot to host his own show which will be called The Lohdown with D-Loh.

Eiserloh posted on his X account, “Really excited to announce I’ll be getting a solo show weekdays from 1-3 pm on ESPN Southwest Louisiana. Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

After Further Review with Matt Moscona will follow in afternoon drive and airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The station also carries play-by-play for LSU athletics and the Houston Astros.

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Howie Rose to Host on WFAN Monday to Commemorate 50 Years in Broadcasting

Rose will be in the studio with Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber for their afternoon drive program on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m.

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Howie Rose
Courtesy: New York Mets

New York Mets radio play-by-play announcer Howie Rose, who served as an original radio host at WFAN when the sports radio station launched in 1987, will make his return to the station airwaves on Monday. Rose will be in the studio with Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber for their afternoon drive program on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., he will host solo for the ensuing hour-and-a-half, welcoming special guests such as broadcaster Marv Albert and former Mets all-star third baseman David Wright.

Rose has called Mets games since 1995, originally starting his time with the organization in the television booth. When Bob Murphy retired from broadcasting games on the radio in 2003, Rose started to work with Gary Cohen on the broadcasts on WFAN. Cohen moved to television upon the launch of the SportsNet New York regional sports network in 2006, while Rose remained on the radio broadcasts. Over the years, he has worked with a variety of partners, including Tom McCarthy, Wayne Hagin, Josh Lewin, Wayne Randazzo and Keith Raad. The Mets are currently broadcast on Audacy-owned WCBS Newsradio 880, which has been the flagship station for the team starting with the 2019 season.

Over the last several years, Rose has cut back on his workload with the Mets, calling approximately 101 games this season. He began to limit his travel during the 2022 season after being diagnosed and treated for bladder cancer. Rose entered the season planning to call all home games, the two Subway Series road games at Yankee Stadium, select National League East road games and a road trip in St. Petersburg, Fla. and St. Louis, Mo. If the team makes the postseason, Rose would call all games, according to Neil Best of Newsday.

Outside of his work with the Mets, Rose formerly called hockey games for the New York Islanders on MSG Networks. Before that time, he was a radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers and famously called the Game 7 clinching goal by Stéphane Matteau in double overtime to send the team to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.

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