Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Radio News

Mike Valenti: ‘Jason Benetti Might Be the Best Announcer in Baseball’

“I can actually unmute the broadcast and I can watch the games.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Mike Valenti
Courtesy: Detroit Free Press

On Thursday morning, the Detroit Tigers and Bally Sports Detroit announced the addition of Jason Benetti as the team’s new television play-by-play contracts. Benetti, who signed a multi-year contract with the team to enter the position, will replace Matt Shepard and work on a minimum of 127 live game broadcasts for the team throughout the season. With the deal, he is able to continue his national broadcasting responsibilities with FOX Sports as an announcer for college basketball, college football and Major League Baseball.

In his introductory press conference with the team, Benetti explained to reporters how he often receives reactions from others that do not align with who he is as a person since he has cerebral palsy and an eye that drifts. Additionally, he conveyed how there are times where he has been underestimated, not to imply that he has a metaphorical chip on his shoulder per se, but rather just how life in general works out. Evidently, there have been times where people say he cannot do stuff and proves them wrong.

The Tigers have not had a winning season since 2016, nor has the franchise qualified for the playoffs since 2014, but last year demonstrated marked improvement with dynamic, young talent that has energized the fanbase and drawn augmented scrutiny towards the team. Some baseball fans believe that the team can potentially contend within the American League Central in 2024, providing an opportunity for Benetti to step into the role and grow with the organization.

“I think quite often, Detroit is not known for its passionate fans or what it’s done for the music industry,” Benetti said. “I think people reduce Detroit to a couple of statistics, and I don’t like seeing people or a whole city get reduced to anything.”

On Thursday afternoon’s edition of The Valenti Show with Rico, co-host Mike Valenti dedicated part of the program to explaining why the signing of Benetti was a significant moment for Tigers fans. Within his remarks, he elucidated how Benetti has quickly become one of the most proficient and skilled play-by-play announcers in the sport and provides an incentive for the fans to watch the games on television.

“I know you guys are going to be like, ‘Wait dude, it’s an announcer.’ You don’t get it,” Valenti said on 97.1 The Ticket. “Jason Benetti might be the best announcer in baseball. Jason Benetti’s awesome. You know what the mark of a good broadcaster is? He doesn’t just do that – he can do college hoops, which he has; he does football. Jason Benetti does it all.”

The White Sox granted Benetti permission to explore the opportunity with the Tigers and ultimately watched him leave the organization’s television broadcasts. Benetti outlined how the Tigers organization demonstrated an interest in bringing him on to the television broadcasts, and he ended up wanting to join them just as much.

“The White Sox are a brain-dead organization for allowing this guy to walk away, which is basically what happened mind you,” Valenti said. “The Tigers had to step up and pay him because… Bally, like other places, can’t rub two nickels together. The point is you just went from having the worst broadcast on television to maybe the best.”

Ever since reports of a physical altercation between former team announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen in 2018, the team has utilized Matt Shephard as the primary play-by-play announcer with Kirk Gibson as a color commentator. Jack Morris was part of the television broadcasts as well until this past season, which also included a rotation of color commentators including Craig Monroe, Todd Jones, Cameron Maybin and Austin Jackson.

“I can actually unmute the broadcast and I can watch the games,” Valenti said. “Now we always want you to listen to them on 97.1 [The Ticket] – shameless plug – but the point is that Benetti’s awesome.”

Valenti feels that Benetti is adept enough to bring his skills to any baseball market in the country, evinced through his appeal on various different sports. Many baseball fans, including Valenti, view him as one of the game’s preeminent voices and someone who will be part of the sports media landscape for years to come.

“If Joe Davis disappeared and was abducted by martians, Benetti would be on the list to replace him,” Valenti hypothesized. “You’re getting an absolute A-list baseball play-by-play man.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports Radio News

Dan Patrick: ESPN Was an ‘Echo Chamber’

“When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Screengrab from OutLick.com's Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich and guest Dan Patrick
Screengrab: Don't @ Me/OutKick.com

Dan Patrick was a guest of Dan Dakich on his OutKick.com show Don’t @ Me and the two talked about several topics including Patrick’s plan to retire at the end of 2027. Patrick shared a story with Dakich about the day he first realized he didn’t want to continue at ESPN.

“There was one day when I was doing the 6 o’clock SportsCenter and I remember I threw it out to Sal Paolantonio with the Eagles. He’s doing his report and I’m not listening to anything he is saying because in my mind I am thinking, ‘I am going through the motions here, I am not getting any better.’ I remember coming home that night and I said to my wife, ‘ I don’t think I want to stay at ESPN…I don’t know, I think I might want to leave after this contract’s up, because I wasn’t getting any better.

“And that’s why I went on my own, because I needed to get my ass kicked. And we did the show for three years in my attic at my house, it wasn’t anything glamorous that I was leaving for, but I needed to jump start that again. And I accomplished it. I’m the first person to get out of Alcatraz and swim safely to the shore and live to tell about it and I’m good. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and it’s time for somebody else to come in and do this, somebody younger.”

Dakich replied, “You’re great man, you’re not good, you’re great. And what you did was be a trailblazer…People don’t leave ESPN unless they ask you to leave. You know why I left? Other than the fact that I maybe was too controversial. I got bored. I get bored easy, and I got tired of ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that’ …so I go to OutKick where they let me say whatever the hell I want, and I don’t get in trouble.”

Patrick agreed with Dakich about the way ESPN dictates most of the topics and decides who can or cannot come on for analysis. “When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on,” he said. “It’s an echo chamber. And I just kept thinking that we needed to have people from outside instead of just our analysts on and that was not met well. It just felt like when Disney took over, the walls kind of got tighter, things shrunk, it wasn’t as much fun there…I felt like I didn’t graduate, I didn’t progress, I didn’t get any better.

“Berman left, Bob Ley left, Olbermann left, Kilborn left, Tirico left, Chris Myers left, Rich Eisen left. They all left, and I was just there going, ‘ Oh my god, I don’t want to be laughed at, I want to be laughed with. I gotta get out.’

Patrick said he turned down a five-year contract extension and that his boss “couldn’t believe it.”

Patrick said he believed he had been selfish long enough and that it was time to be able to spend more time with his family.

“You have to be selfish to be good at just about anything it feels like, and I thought I had been selfish to get to this point and I didn’t want to continue to be selfish to my family,” he said.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Merrill Reese, Voice of the Eagles Since 1977, to Receive 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

“For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a photo of Merrill Reese
Photo Courtesy: Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced that longtime Philadelphia Eagles radio play-by-play voice Merrill Reese has been chosen to receive the 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Reese is currently the longest-serving play-by-play announcer in the league, having called Eagles games since 1977.

“Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to improving radio and television in professional football, and this year’s recipient, Merrill Reese, represents exactly what we look for when we talk about who’s made a big impact in broadcasting,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

In a release announcing the award, the Hall of Fame said when they called Reese to tell him the news his response was, “Oh, my god. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

This year will be Reese’s 48th consecutive season as a team announcer. His first year he served as the color analyst before team play-by-play announcer Charlie Swift passed away and Reese moved over to call the action.

Reese has won numerous awards including Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year and the Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Sportscasting. He has also been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Temple University Communications Hall of Fame and the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.

Reese will be honored during the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio coming up in early August.

Past Winners of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award:

2023 – Fred Gaudelli 
2022 – Howard Katz 
2021 – John Facenda
2020 – Joe Buck 
2019 – Dick Ebersol 
2018 – Andrea Kremer
2017 – David Hill 
2016 – James Brown
2015 – Tom Jackson
2014 – Bob Trumpy 
2013 – Al Michaels
2012 – Len Dawson 
2011 – Jim Nantz 
2010 – Chris Berman 
2009 – Irv Cross 
2008 – Dan Dierdorf 
2007 – Don Meredith 
2006 – Lesley Visser
2005 – Myron Cope 
2004 – Van Miller 
2003 – Don Criqui 
2002 – John Madden
2001 – Roone Arledge 
2000 – Ray Scott
1999 – Dick Enberg
1998 – Val Pinchbeck
1997 – Charlie Jones
1996 – Jack Buck
1995 – Frank Gifford
1994 – Pat Summerall
1993 – Curt Gowdy
1992 – Chris Schenkel
1991 – Ed Sabol
1990 – Lindsey Nelson
1989 – Bill McPhail

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Matt Chazanow Named Radio Play-by-Play Voice of NC State Wolfpack

“The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Graphic announcing Matt Chazanow as the new voice of the NC State Wolfpack
Graphic Courtesy: NC State Athletics

NC State and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties have announced Matt Chazanow as the new Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball. According to a release from the school, Chazanow was one of more than 150 applicants for the position.

Chazanow, who had been in a similar role at Washington State since 2015, will take over for Gary Hahn who called Wolfpack games for 34 years. Chazanow is from New Jersey but worked in Winston-Salem, NC and his wife is a North Carolina native.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,'” said NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan in a release. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A graduate of Syracuse, Chazanow has been with Learfield since 2008 and has also done national play-by-play for Westwood One.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.