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Ben Maller: ‘It’s Our Job to Go Crazy’ Over Comments by Aaron Rodgers

“He can’t talk enough about Aaron Rodgers and give us the runaround.”

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Ben Maller
Courtesy: FOX Sports Radio

During his appearance this week on The Pat McAfee Show, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers stated that it is unrealistic to think that he will be 100% on the field if he were to suit up for the team again this season. Rodgers is in the midst of recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered on the fourth play of the season during the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Ben Maller spoke about the incident while hosting his program on FOX Sports Radio.

There was much fanfare surrounding the arrival of Rodgers and potential emergence of the Jets this season; however, his injury and other deficiencies on the field have secured a losing season and the 13th consecutive year without a playoff berth. The team currently holds the longest playoff drought in the National Football League and has not won a Super Bowl championship in 54 years, matching the longest stretch between championships in New York sports history.

Throughout the year, a subject of Rodgers’ interview appearances on The Pat McAfee Show discussed the possibility of returning to the field. McAfee often broached the topic by asking questions that elicited Rodgers to reveal information, which led to subsequent reaction from reporters and fans. Rodgers’ return would have marked the fastest return to play from an Achilles injury in the history of the league, a feat currently held by former Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers who did it in five-and-a-half months.

“I think we found out this week we all collectively, the collective ‘we,’ we all wasted a ton of time with Aaron Rodgers,” Josh Klingler said Thursday morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, Ks. Although the local Fescoe in the Morning program largely focuses its football coverage on the Kansas City Chiefs, the show also talks about the league at large. Because of Rodgers’ openness and ability to generate interest, his interviews became difficult to ignore and something that football fans anticipated every week.

“His favorite topic is Aaron Rodgers,” FOX Sports Radio host Ben Maller said, joining the program as a guest. “He can’t talk enough about Aaron Rodgers and give us the runaround. And I love even after he pretty much announced, ‘Hey, I’m not playing; I’m not going to play,’ the Jets still went out and put him on the roster and got rid of a guy. The hutzpah of Rodgers.”

Rodgers reportedly receives $1 million for his appearances on the show, according to intel from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Since he is compensated for his guest spots, something he has done with the program for the last five years, Ben Maller figures he has to say something interesting while he is on the air. Morning co-host Bob Fescoe, however, would not allow Rodgers’ injury to be used as a mulligan for coaches and team personnel to keep their jobs after a year that fell short of most expectations.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody that is just so narcissistic like Aaron Rodgers,” Fescoe said. “I mean every week we’re subjected to this kind of stuff, and I know we can avoid it, but it gets to pretty hard to avoid some stuff like this. He led these guys along the entire time and the Jets continued to buy into this.”

Maller shared that someone who used to work at FOX Sports Radio and played for the Packers spoke about how Rodgers used to give quotes and then watch the reaction in the media. It seemed as if he enjoyed hearing what media members thought, taking pleasure in overreactions in things he said. Based on this account, Maller assumes that he still probably does that in playing within the largest media market in the country and ostensibly having a larger megaphone.

“All of us go crazy, of course, because it’s our job to go crazy about things that he does,” Ben Maller said. “….How do you hang out with other people if you’re wired that way? Who wants to be around someone like that? I don’t.”

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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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