Seattle Sports host Brock Huard will be blazing a trail in the Pacific Northwest this weekend with his FOX college football obligations, something he told NBC’s Mike Tirico he feels is incredibly unique.
Huard will begin in Eugene, Oregon on Friday evening on the call for the annual “Civil War” game between No. 6 Oregon and No. 16 Oregon State. When that game is finished, he’ll get on a bus and make the nearly 300-mile trip north home to Seattle to call the Apple Cup game between Washington State and No. 4 Washington on Saturday afternoon.
“Our producer said, and you’ve got a history. You know these things,” Huard said to Tirico, who was a guest on Brock & Salk on Tuesday. “You (Syracuse) Orange guys just have the answers to this. But he said on our production meeting call yesterday we’re gonna do something that he doesn’t think has ever been done in TV history.”
Huard explained doing the two games in less than 24 hours, in two different states before Tirico praised him for taking on such a daunting task.
Co-host Mike Salk wondered if that wasn’t something Tirico had already done considering his experience in calling multiple sports. Mike, who will be calling three games in eight days between Vikings/Broncos this past Sunday night, Seahawks/49ers on Thanksgiving night, and Ravens/Chargers this Sunday night, joked that he had done something similar to what Huard is doing and didn’t want to rain on Brock’s parade right then.
“I just wanted to let Brock have his moment,” Tirico said to laughs from both Huard and Salk.
Mike recalled a particularly busy stretch of work he did when he was still at ESPN, first calling a West Virginia football game one night before ending up in Colorado the next day.
“I went from Morgantown, West Virginia and did a 2:30 PM Nebraska/Colorado game where the quarterbacks in the Nebraska/Colorado game in Boulder were Joel Klatt and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor,” he said. “So I had my two in about the exact same time window as Brock, although Brock’s performance will be better, and then I did The Skins Game golf that weekend — Saturday/Sunday in the desert in California. And then Monday Night Countdown. That was my hardest weekend of work in my life by far.”
“I’ll never do that again,” Tirico added. “It was completely stupid.”
But how soon Tirico forgets. Just last year, he took on the incredibly difficult task of hosting the first few days of NBC primetime Winter Olympic coverage in Beijing, then flew across the globe to Stamford, Connecticut to continue Olympic obligations before landing in Los Angeles where he hosted NBC’s pre-game coverage of Super Bowl LVI.
Tirico hosted primetime Olympic coverage later that same night in LA. He was supposed to return to China after the Super Bowl to finish Olympic coverage on location, but the network decided against it.
Still, Tirico found it impressive that Huard will be grinding like he will this weekend. Huard credited the production folks who will work virtually 48 hours straight to grind even harder.
“Our crew are the heroes,” Huard said. “As difficult as it is for us on the air, those men and women behind the scenes make the whole thing go.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
KFC on WFAN: What Makes Barstool Sports Successful is the “Reality TV Aspect”
“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly.”
Kevin Clancy, better known as ‘KFC’ from Barstool Sports, filled in for Boomer Esiason on WFAN this morning with Gregg Giannatti. The two hosts discussed the feuding going on between members of the 1990’s Chicago Bulls as some players, most notably Scottie Pippen, are disputing some of what was said in The Last Dance back in 2020.
They compared the situation to some of what they face at their offices, noting they spend a lot of time with their co-workers, who aren’t members of their family or in most cases their best friends and drama can sometimes ensue. “Barstool has taken that office drama to a level that no one else has achieved,” Giannotti said to KFC. “When we do stuff like that here [at WFAN], it’s very rarely serious. The drama that you guys have, it’s real and it’s out there and that’s got to be a really difficult thing to deal with if you’re not prepared for it.”
“We usually refer to it as “being in the mud,” Clancy responded. “And there’s only certain people that can really live in the mud…It’s part of what made Barstool successful, is that reality TV aspect of it in that it is kind of like a team, and there is internal drama like clubhouse drama, locker room drama and the way we usually handle that is let’s do it out there and on the air.”
KFC talked about being a fan of WFAN and seeing it from the outside looking in. He said as a listener you could sense who was not a fan of certain people. He used the example of the feuds which would take place between Mike Francesa and Craig Carton and then the subsequent feuds Giannotti found himself in with “The Pope” when he took over for Carton.
“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly,” KFC said about Barstool Sports. “We will probably fight each other more than anything, but then when there’s an outside problem, we close ranks and we are like, let’s handle business.”
Gow Media Parts Ways With Sports Map Radio Program Director Craig Larson
“With Larson exiting, Gow Media will make another change, tapping into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations.”
It’s been a tough week in Houston for Gow Media. First, the company made cuts to ESPN 97.5, parting ways with the midday team of Joshua Beard, Michael Connor and Andrew Carlson. Then yesterday, the company informed longtime network program director Craig Larson that he too was unfortunately a budget cut casualty.
Larson had been with Gow Media since the company acquired the Sporting News Radio network in 2010. He started with Sporting News Radio as a producer in Illinois, moving next to Los Angeles to take on programming duties for the network before relocating to Houston to lead the outlet following David Gow’s acquisition of the brand.
During the fourteen years that Larson managed the network, it’s gone through a few changes. Gow elected to change the identity from Sporting News Radio to Yahoo Sports Radio in 2011. That was followed by rebrands to SB Nation Radio and its current name, Sports Map Radio.
With Larson exiting, Gow Media will tap into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations. The two groups have already been working together. This just gives the sports betting network an even bigger push. It also helps Gow stand out better in a crowded national sports radio marketplace.
As for Larson, this is his first trip to free agency in nearly a quarter century. When reached by BSM, he acknowledged that his time with the company had come to an end. He added, ‘It was an amazing 14 years in Houston. I’m proud of the work we put in, and there’s no better person in the world to work for than David Gow.’
Those interested in chatting with Larson about future possibilities can reach him at [email protected].
Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run
“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”
The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”
The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.
“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”
Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.