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Steve Raible: I Channel Excitement Into Play-by-Play Calls

“I have the opportunity to kind of let it loose because I’m the guy who does all the yelling and carrying on.”

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Steve Raible
Courtesy: Jesse Beals, Icon SMI, Corbis, Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the Seattle Seahawks look to make a playoff push in the final four games of the 2023 NFL season, fans continue to listen to the action on the air with Steve Raible and Dave Wyman on the broadcast. Wyman also hosts an afternoon drive radio program on Seattle Sports 710 where he welcomed his broadcast partner to the air on Wednesday to discuss the Holiday Magic fundraiser. The 35th year of the event benefits Treehouse, a nonprofit organization that focuses on addressing education and enrichment needs of children and youth in foster care around Washington state.

Raible explained the history of the fundraising event, which started on the 12 p.m. news at KIRO-7 alongside Susan Hutchinson. The on-air anchors and staff would compel people to donate either something that a child wanted or needed. People would write letters into the station to make their donations before the advent of technology, and the event has steadily grown over the years. The fundraiser closed auction packages throughout the day on Wednesday with on-air hosts revealing the winners.

“It is such a wonderful event and a great opportunity,” Steve Raible said on Seattle Sports 710, “and to see what it’s become after all these years [is great.]”

Both Raible and Wyman are former NFL football players who have esoteric knowledge from their days on the field that they are able to equip within the broadcast booth. Every week, they prepare and cover the team and have been working together on the call for games since 2018. The anticipation leading up to a game is energizing, preparing them to watch the team and make the calls, but there are different ways in which they are able to express themselves over the course of a broadcast.

“I don’t know if you saw this the other day, [but] I was this close to throwing my binoculars out the window,” Wyman said. “The binoculars probably weigh, what a pound-and-a-half?…. I was so excited or pissed – I can’t remember which one – and I went, ‘Oh!,’ like that and [it] kind of came out of my hands and I grabbed it and I went, ‘Oh my gosh.’”

Wyman was a linebacker and frequently brought additional zeal and intensity onto the field, but he finds himself in a different role serving as an analyst. Conversely, Raible is able to indicate his sentiments based on his calls over the course of a game.

“I have the opportunity to kind of let it loose,” Steve Raible said, “because I’m the guy who does all the yelling and carrying on.”

The location of the press box at Lumen Field in Seattle, Wash. is slightly above fan seating, permitting spectators to yell towards the broadcasters over the course of the game. Although Raible does not hear as much of what is said because he is frequently announcing throughout the game, Wyman is more privy to the comments. There have been times where Wyman has wanted to go into the stands after the game, something that Raible has to restrain him from doing.

“That energy [and] that nastiness and all that stuff, that just sort of stays built up in him,” Raible said of Wyman. “I admire that he can control himself like that.”

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ESPN 97.5 in Houston Announces New Lineup

“The station had to make some very tough & unfortunate economic decisions last week.”

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ESPN Houston

ESPN 97.5 in Houston announced they will have a new lineup starting Monday Feb. 26. The drive time slots will continue to feature John Granato and Lance Zierlein in mornings and The Killer B’s, Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank, in the afternoon.

In between the two shows will now have The Del Olaleye Show airing from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by Gallant and George with Paul Gallant, who had been hosting the early midday slot previously and Joe George, the station’s Assistant Program Director.

Earlier this week, Josh Beard and Michael Connor confirmed they had been let go from the station after being in the midday slot for just six months. George posted on X at the time, “So here’s the deal. The station had to make some very tough & unfortunate economic decisions last week. It has nothing to do with the quality of their show and work they did. Programming on the station will be weird this week, then back to fully local from 7 am – 6 pm on 2/26.”

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Former Toronto Blue Jays Announcer Ben Wagner Named to Baltimore Orioles Broadcast Team

A release from the Blue Jays says Wagner will appear on radio and select television broadcasts throughout the year.

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Ben Wagner
Courtesy: Ben Wagner on Instagram

The Baltimore Orioles announced the club’s broadcast talent lineup for the 2024 season, which includes former Toronto Blue Jays announcer Ben Wagner. Wagner had served as the radio voice of the Blue Jays for the last six seasons before Sportsnet announced it decided not to renew his contract. Prior to joining the Blue Jays broadcast team, Wagner spent 11 seasons with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. A release from the Orioles says Wagner will appear on radio and select television broadcasts throughout the year.

The Orioles will continue to use guest analysts throughout the season, including Orioles Hall of Famers Mike Devereaux and Brian Roberts, as well as former Orioles Brad Brach and Dave Johnson.

Geoff Arnold will return for his fifth season with the Orioles broadcast team and will be the primary play-by-play announcer. Kevin Brown will be in his third season as the primary television play-by-play announcer for MASN.

Other team members for the 2024 season include Scott Garceau, Brett Hollander, Rob Long, Ben McDonald, Melanie Newman and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who will be in his 32nd season as an analyst and 61st year as a member of the Orioles organization.

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Fred Toucher: ‘I Would Feel Weird’ if Rich Shertenlieb Reached Out to Me

“Even if it was nice, I wouldn’t like it, so if he’s listening, don’t reach out to me.”

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Fred Toucher
Courtesy: Beasley Media Group

Fred Toucher is in the midst of co-hosting a new morning program on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Rob “Hardy” Poole. The Toucher & Hardy show made its premiere in January following the end of a 17-year run in which he worked alongside Rich Shertenlieb. Last November, Shertenlieb parted ways with the outlet that elicited questions and nostalgia from listeners, some of which continue to persist on the new program.

On Friday’s edition of the program, a caller asked Toucher about the last time he spoke to Shertenlieb and if there was still communication between them. The duo started hosting their radio program together at rock radio station WBCN-FM before making the move to the sports talk format with 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM) for its launch in the summer of 2009. The caller wanted to specifically hear a “juicy story” and apologized if his broaching the topic was “a forbidden path.”

“I have not talked to Rich,” Toucher said. “I told you I got the text message the Saturday after they didn’t put him on the air anymore, and I haven’t talked to him.”

Toucher wondered who among former members of the Toucher & Rich program had heard from Shertenlieb, leading him to go around the studio and ask. Update anchor Jon Wallach revealed that Shertenlieb texted him on Thanksgiving Day to discuss how the music group Bell Biv DeVoe was performing, but he has not heard from him since. None of the others in the studio had heard from Shertenlieb in a considerable amount of time either.

“None of us were really friends with him so I don’t know what to tell you,” Toucher replied to the caller. “I wasn’t friends with him; I didn’t talk to him, so it’s not odd that I don’t talk to him.”

Toucher then began to hypothesize what would happen if Shertenlieb were to reach out to him. As he thought over such a potential occurrence, he realized that he would have a feeling in his stomach and get anxiety. He did concede, however, that if someone paid him a large sum of money to appear somewhere with Shertenlieb, he would do the 10 seconds.

“I would feel weird; I wouldn’t enjoy the process,” Toucher said. “Even if it was nice, I wouldn’t like it, so if he’s listening, don’t reach out to me. You’d make me incredibly uncomfortable. Just don’t do it.”

In thinking about the potential nostalgia from Toucher & Rich, the program briefly mentioned Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and his relationship with former co-host Mike Francesa. Toucher believes that Russo is doing fine without Francesa, a sentiment Wallach concurred. Wallach also shared that he feels Russo is doing better after Mike and the Mad Dog than Francesa.

Russo hosts a SiriusXM program on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel named after him, in addition to High Heat on MLB Network and a weekly appearance on ESPN’s First Take. The split between both shows elicited interest from the listening public, something Toucher completely understands because of the unique facets of radio.

“People consume you 20 hours a week or they conceivably could, so when there’s any change, your immediate reaction to it, even though it hasn’t been bad, a lot of people if you listen to an old thing all the time it’s going to be strange to you, a new thing, or when a component of it is missing,” Toucher explained, “even if it’s better than it was, which I contend Toucher & Hardy over the last three weeks is better than Toucher & Rich was in 2023 and 2022 certainly.”

The segment concluded with Toucher proclaiming that he had answered the question and now will not have to entertain it again. “I have no idea what he’s doing and no one I know does, and no one I know has seen him,” Toucher said. “I haven’t even had a listener email me and go, ‘I saw him.’”

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