The future of New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick seems to be in question concurrent with the team’s struggles on the field. Currently holding a 3-10 record, the Patriots are outside of the playoff picture and have utilized various quarterbacks since Tom Brady left the organization to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Belichick has been a significant talking point in the Boston marketplace and beyond, serving as a driving topic throughout Friday’s edition of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI with Greg Hill, Jermaine Wiggins, Courtney Cox and Chris Curtis.
Show hosts, producers, contributors, and callers have all voiced their opinions during the year about Belichick and whether or not he should be fired by the team. Over the weekend, NBC Sports Boston insider Tom E. Curran reported that following the team’s 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany, team owner Robert Kraft had decided to relieve Belichick of his duties at the end of the season.
On the most recent edition of ESPN College GameDay outside of Gillette Stadium, analyst Pat McAfee questioned Kraft about Belichick, to which he gave an ambiguous response related to winning. McAfee then said that he would not want to be in Kraft’s position and that everyone knew what was about to happen. After backlash towards his comments, McAfee clarified what he said on his eponymous program, The Pat McAfee Show, on Monday afternoon. Curran apparently knew this information after the Frankfurt game and did not divulge it to the public until after McAfee’s line of questioning.
Interacting with a caller on the program who began his comments by saying that the WEEI morning show is better than its predecessor, Dennis and Callahan, during its prime, he expressed that he thinks the sentiment of Patriots players is that Belichick is losing his mind. In fact, he went on to say that they could be questioning how he was ever able to win six Super Bowl championships. The caller then asked why Curran ostensibly chose to refrain from reporting information that the football world on which the football world was awaiting clarity.
“Do you honestly think that Curran is not getting this information from a reliable source?,” the caller asked the program.
“That’s not what I said,” replied Curtis. “I said I questioned sitting on the biggest story you’ll ever have, especially when the vultures are all circling the Patriots waiting to get that scoop.”
The caller was not sure if Curran perhaps was working to gain additional information from his source to make sure. Curtis presumed that there is no more information to obtain in this case since it centers around whether or not Belichick is going to be fired from the job. As an example, he brought up how when the Patriots cut quarterback Cam Newton, there was no additional story surrounding it because the roster move itself encompassed the pertinent information.
“If the news is that they’re going to fire Bill Belichick, then they’re going to fire Bill Belichick and Bill Belichick knows about it,” Curtis said. “There’s no way that Robert Kraft told Tom Curran and not Bill Belichick.”
Hosting in sports talk radio, Jermaine Wiggins knows that some of the on-air personalities are privy to information from inside sources; however, they do not choose to publicize all of what they know because of uncertainty regarding its veracity. Jermaine Wiggins expressed that reporters always go with the information when they have their sources and explained his perspective further.
“You know how much stuff I bet all of us have that we heard through the grapevine about certain things and we just sit on it?,” Jermaine Wiggins said. “I’m not talking about from social media; I’m talking about people we know and we’re like, ‘You know what – I’m not going to say that because I’m not 100% sure and let somebody else break it.’”
“For a long time, we sat on the individual who plays professional sports in this city who had an unfortunate breakup with his significant other and then had a party,” co-host Greg Hill added, “and then he served a signature summer drink at that party which was called, ‘Single [Boy] Swag.’”
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.