The key to Curtis Conway’s rise in the broadcasting business is that he never assumed he knew everything.
Of course Conway knew the sport of football, having played it since he was 7 years old and then at the highest levels, at USC and in the NFL. He also knew he had a lot to learn about calling a game, or providing studio analysis, or even the parts of the sport in which he never was involved as a high school quarterback and college and pro receiver.
So Conway committed himself to learning, leaning on broadcast veterans and former teammates to further his education. He enters the 2015 football season with two plum gigs: studio analyst for Pac-12 Networks and radio analyst for the San Diego Chargers. He earned those jobs through hard work.
“Too often former athletes think because they played, or because they’re famous, listeners or viewers are interested in what they have to say,” said Matt “Money” Smith, who did games with Conway for Compass Media Networks. “Then they open their mouth, have nothing to offer and never think twice about it.
“From the first game we called together (USC vs. San Jose State in 2009), he was always looking to get better, to be better, knowing it wasn’t going to happen overnight. Years later, he’s still asking those same questions, and that’s why he continues to build an impressive résumé in his post-playing career.”
After his final NFL season in 2004, Conway got involved in real estate and other business ventures. He started doing part-time radio and TV work, and he discovered he liked it.
Conway initially resisted the idea of getting back into football because he wanted to show kids in his native Los Angeles that the sport isn’t the only way out. But the work drew him back in, and he set about becoming good at it. Conway sought advice from Charles Davis, James Brown and other pros.
“These are guys who gave me their number and told me to reach out anytime I wanted to,” Conway said while watching a recent USC practice. “They would sit there on the phone with me and break stuff down. The confidence came from those guys.”
Conway considers Davis his biggest mentor. Conway first approached Davis at a game, and they later worked together on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft.” One day Conway told Davis and fellow NFLN analyst Daniel Jeremiah how much he admired their work. Davis stopped him mid-sentence. The compliments no longer were necessary; Conway had arrived.
Davis recalled the conversation in a phone call Monday.
“Dude, we’re done with that,” Davis remembered saying. “You’re out here for a reason. You’re a full partner.
“If it were a law firm, you’re no longer an associate, you’re fully invested with us.”
That was the moment Conway truly knew he could succeed in the business.
“Hearing praise from a guy like Charles Davis – oh my God,” Conway said. “It’s just like football. It’s just like when I got to the (Chicago) Bears, and Richard Dent and Steve McMichael basically gave me their stamp of approval … 12 weeks into the season.”
Although he is an established analyst now, Conway isn’t finished seeking advice and asking questions. He still quizzes former college teammate and current NFLN colleague Willie McGinest about defensive line play – and new Chargers colleague Nick Hardwick about the offensive line. Conway refuses to rely on his fame and past on-the-field accomplishments.
“Those people don’t last,” Davis said. “What Curtis did was build a base and foundation that would last. I admire him for that. He’s willing to put in the time.”
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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.