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Appreciating SVP & Russillo

Jason Barrett

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Scott Van Pelt often asks “How good’s your good?” when discussing athletes and teams. If you apply this trademark question to SVP & Russillo (1-4 p.m. ET), his ESPN Radio show hasn’t just been good – it’s been great.

For the past six years, Van Pelt and co-host Ryen Russillo have created a smart and entertaining show that reflects the kind of conversations you’d have about sports with close friends. Van Pelt and Russillo have brought strong opinions, humor, wit and always an appreciation for the games that are played and the athletes who play them. There’s been plenty of good-natured ribbing among the show staff too – and even some tales of bad beats along the way.

SVP & Russillo’s final show airs Friday before Van Pelt moves onto his new host role on the midnight ET SportsCenter and Russillo kicks off The Russillo Show in the same time slot Monday, June 22. Before the duo signs off Friday, here’s “10 Great Things about ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo“:

1) Rejoin music: The show’s catalog is legendary – Beastie Boys, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Del the Funky Homosapien and more. Playlists are published on Slacker Radio.

2) Pulse of the Nation: Long before Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s “Locker Room Guy” video onJimmy Kimmel Live!, Van Pelt and Russillo channeled wicked Boston accents for Pulse of the Nation set to the Dropkick Murphys.

3) Show staff: From Van Pelt and Russillo to producer Stanford Steve (Coughlin) and board operator Outsider Mike (Constantinou), the show has always featured a close-knit and likeable group.

4) Who’s the Jerk?: An offshoot of Who’s the Nerd?, a segment Russillo devised on a road trip to College Station, Texas, last fall, Who’s the Jerk? was a no-holds-barred airing of grievances between Van Pelt, Russillo, Stanford Steve and former show producer Ray Necci (who now produces Mike & Mike) that shed light on each of their personalities and brought big laughs.

5) One Big Thing: Van Pelt’s signature daily commentary discussed the biggest story of the day, an off-the-radar topic, or even something more personal (i.e., when he announced the end of the radio show). No matter the subject, it’s often the hosts at their thoughtful and introspective best.

6) Chris Long: The St. Louis Rams defensive end has joined the show Fridays this offseason. Whether he’s sharing stories from his NFL Draft experience or talking about plans to attend music festivals, Long is always entertaining.

7) Winners: A staple on Football Fridays, Van Pelt, Russillo and Stanford Steve share their weekend college and NFL game picks (purely for entertainment purposes). The segment concludes with “Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week” pick from Cartoon Network Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

8) Tim Kurkjian’s laugh: ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian makes a weekly appearance in-season. After talking baseball, Van Pelt always tried to make his fellow Marylander laugh using a Baltimore accent.

9) The “Third Hour”: During the final (3 p.m.) hour – when there’s no TV simulcast on ESPNEWS, the show can get a little loose, but that often produces some of the best segments. Listeners ask questions during What? and there’s also story time when Van Pelt and Russillo talk about their friends, parenting, weekend plans and anything else on their minds.

10) “The Duke” Raps: Dan “The Duke” Davis is an ESPN Radio original who joined the network in 1992. While his official job was to anchor update segments through the years, the radio legend has a cult following for lending his voice to rap lyrics for SVP & Russillo.

Credit to ESPN Front Row who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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