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Petros & Money Still Going Strong After 9 Years

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Wearing T-shirts and shorts, Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith are sitting in a booth at a brew pub on a Monday afternoon munching on flat-bread pizza and fish tacos. In about 30 minutes, they will add headsets to their ensembles and spend the next three hours talking about sports, pop culture, current events and whatever else pops into their brains. Dozens of devoted fans gathered at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse laugh along. So do thousands listening in their cars, on their computers and on their mobile devices.

Is it any wonder Papadakis and Smith love their jobs?

The smartest guys in sports radio are approaching the end of their ninth year together on “The Petros & Money Show,” or PMS, airing at 3 p.m. daily on KLAC/570. PMS remains as vibrant and entertaining as ever; there’s no other sports-talk radio show quite like it.

How have Papadakis and Smith managed to keep their show so fresh and interesting? I sat down with them before last week’s remote at the BJ’s in Orange to find out. Here’s how part of that conversation went:

Did you know each other before you started working together?

Papadakis: Matt was a sports guy at KROQ. He was friends with the PR guy at Fox, a guy named Dennis Johnson. I knew Matt as a person through D.J. He called me when USC got hot, and they asked me to come on the show, to “Kevin & Bean.”

Smith: They’re always looking for KROQ-style personalities instead of stiff sports guys. I was watching him on Fox, and I’m like, “This guy’s perfect. He’s the perfect KROQ guy to talk USC.”

Papadakis: That’s how we met each other. I would go there and do “Kevin & Bean.” And I had the little show on 1540 (AM). He came and hung out for like an hour (one) day. That’s how we started a friendship. We would text or talk. He was at 570 for a year. Then I came over, and we started working together.

Did you know it was going to work?

Smith: No. We hoped that it would.

Papadakis: We weren’t thrown together. We wanted to do the job. I think that says a lot. There’s a lot of situations in our business where people are like, “Hey, you work with him, make it work.”

Smith: That’s what happened to me there. “You work with Joe Grande, and it’s gonna work.” And that clearly was not happening. So yes, we wanted to work together.

What is it about you guys that makes the show work so well? Is it that you’re on the same intellectual plane? That you have the same sense of humor?

Smith: I just have fun doing the show. That’s really it for me. So many guys go into work, or girls go into work, and they’re just miserable. They watch for the next commercial break; they’re watching the clock to see when the show’s gonna end. I can’t speak for him, but that’s now how the show is. I enjoy doing the show.

Papadakis: When it comes down to it, once the show starts, it’s fun to do for us. It’s work, just like anything is work. (But) there’s a certain way that we put the show together and a certain way that the show works and the way we work off each other and the kind of roles we play, which change all the time.

Did you know you’d be on the same wavelength when it came to pop-culture references, etc.?

Papadakis: No, I don’t think so. But I think the interesting thing about it is, if you go into a show and say, “Well, you’re going to be this guy, and I’m going to be that guy,” I don’t think it necessarily works like that. You might get three years out of that. I think we’ve both changed a lot since the show started. I got married and had a family and moved three times. Matt had another kid right when we started. His kids are growing up. And he lost like 50 pounds. He’s a golfer. Different stuff happens. I think we can continue to relate to each other as that’s changed. We don’t always play the same role. I’m not always the goofiest guy on the show.

Smith: I think we get enough references. I certainly don’t get them all. I think the key is to get enough that you have sort of the same foundation, same sort of reference point, things that we’re interested in. There’s enough there. There’s enough differences too, which is important. That’s the other thing. There’s enough where we’re a lot different from one another.

Papadakis: It wouldn’t be very fun if we were the same.

Can you see doing this together for the foreseeable future?

Papadakis: I don’t want to not do the show.

Smith: I enjoy it. It’s a successful show. We’re compensated fairly. I love coming to work every day. I don’t know what else I’d rather do.

Papadakis: It’s a pretty big part of both of our lives. It’s like another person – the show.

Your show is different than a lot of standard sports-talk fare. You have specific segments geared to “not-sports.” Did you set out to do that, or was it, let’s do the show we want to do?

Papadakis: I think it was natural given both of our backgrounds. It was a natural kind of thing for both of us to do. He had come from KROQ, where the sports were one minute an hour and he had to do that and whatever else they were asking him to do. I came from a sports background, but I’ve always been interested in a lot more than that. It was just a natural thing for us to do. Some sports shows try to force that stuff in, and it doesn’t sound natural.

Smith: There’s a “Not-Sports Report,” but most of that is organic. I’m just thinking about last week when he just lobbed out, “Last time you beer-bonged?” That’s a four-minute conversation that became the highlight of a four-hour show. You get more tweets and more emails and more conversation, because it was just natural; it was in the moment. And when those things happen …

You didn’t know he was going to ask that?

Smith: No. It just came up.

Papadakis: We try not to manufacture (material). We’re pretty comfortable with each other. Like, there’s a bunch of stuff that happened over the weekend that I’m sure he’s going to want to talk about. And vice versa. He doesn’t want to tell me too much about it before the show because we really want an honest reaction.

Smith: In the moment.

I’ve heard that before – that sometimes co-hosts won’t talk to each other much off the air so everything is fresh on the air.

Papadakis: And when you spend four hours a day on the air with somebody, you kind of let your relationship play out on the radio.

Smith: I think the shows that go, “I’ll say this, then you go here and” … we don’t do that.

I’m going to watch the first half-hour just to make sure you actually follow through on that.

Papadakis: Cool. You’ll love it. We promise. Best half-hour ever.

How has Petros changed? As you mentioned, he’s gotten married, had two kids.

Smith: His whole life has changed. When I first met him he was going out to 3-4 shows a week, staying out late, watching concerts. We’d drink after work a little bit, hang out a lot more.

Papadakis: I still eat late at night. But now alone.

Smith: Now, we’re probably a lot more similar. We have similar schedules. We have children to take care of.

Papadakis: I understand a lot more of what Matt was like. He’d have to get all this work done right when he got to work. I’d want to talk about everything and gossip about people. He’d want to type. He couldn’t work at home like I could because he had kids hanging (on him). When you’re a bachelor, it’s hard to realize that. I recognize it now.

Smith: But professionally, I don’t think much has changed.

Papadakis: We’re still excited about what’s happening, the show and what’s going on. He just got skinny. He got so skinny that his wedding ring flew off at the Bicycle Casino. We were (crawling) under poker tables to find it. He got so skinny that it made me feel fat. Fatter.

It’s always good when one guy is …

Papadakis: To have a fat guy and a skinny guy? I’m so happy to be the fat guy.

Read more of this article at the OC Register where this was originally published

Sports Radio News

KNBR’s ‘Murph and Mac’ Examine Barry Bonds’ Baseball Hall of Fame Exclusion

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly joined the show to explain Hall of Fame balloting in baseball’s steroid era.

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KNBR

Amid the current team owners’ lockout, now the longest in Major League Baseball history, the sport is still generating publicity. But the headlines have nothing to do with the labor dispute between the owners and players.

Generating debate is the controversial omission of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in their final year of eligibility.

This year, 394 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted in the election, with former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz being the only player on the ballot to surprass the required 75 percent threshold. Ortiz received 77.9 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility.

Bonds and Clemens both allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, significantly impacting their candidacies for baseball immortality. There was outrage in many corners of the baseball world Tuesday night following the announcement, and widespread disappointment from fans of the game who feel that an apparent “blemish” on baseball history is trying to be forcibly erased rather than remembered.

On Wednesday morning, Murph & Mac on San Francisco’s KNBR welcomed The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly to their program to discuss the exclusion of Bonds from Cooperstown and the negative perception the voting process is receiving by members of the media and fans alike.

“In 2014, the Hall of Fame sort of unilaterally changed its rules and reduced the time you can be on the writers’ ballot from 15 years to 10,” Baggarly explained. “There’s no doubt that was intentional to clear the way for steroid-era players that would otherwise linger on the ballot forever.”

Bonds is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to ever take the field, and is baseball’s current record holder for both the most career home runs (762) and the most single-season home runs (73). He also won the National League Most Valuable Player award a record seven times, also receiving 14 All-Star Game selections and 12 Silver Slugger awards.

“When I hear guys like Chris Russo tsk-tsk… Bonds for using steroids, [I say] ‘What, are you kidding me?’” said Brian Murphy, co-host of the Bay Area morning drive program. “How widespread it was in the game, how owners and GMs and team presidents never told players that they would be facing penalties and kept giving them money, and everyone collectively participated? Now, [it’s] ‘No, Mr. Bonds, you can’t do that.’”

For those who are not members of the BBWAA, the perception of the Hall of Fame announcement has generated negative publicity for Major League Baseball during an already-contentious negotiation towards a new collective bargaining agreement. Baseball’s all-time home run leader in Bonds and a seven-time Cy Young Award winner are barred from Cooperstown – for now.

There is another way in, but it is sure to cause even more public controversy, according to Baggarly.

 “Now [Bonds] goes to the committees,” outlined Baggarly. “All of [these] committees meet twice every five-year period. It just so happens that the Today’s Game Committee will meet at the Winter Meetings in December… and they can consider as many as 10 individuals [for the Hall of Fame]… Can you imagine if the panel who elected Commissioner Bud Selig will be the same people who don’t elect Bonds? If you think the writers are getting blasted, just wait.”

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Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Upped To APD At 104.3 The Fan

“Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019.”

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All on-air talent at 104.3 the Fan in Denver now reports to Parker Hillis. He has been promoted to become the assistant program director of that station and ESPN Denver 1600.

“Parker has been critical to the success of our Bonneville Denver sports properties,” 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver 1600 Program Director Raj Sharan said in a press release. “He’s absolutely earned this opportunity to take on increased responsibilities managing our sports stations on a daily basis.” 

Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019. He came from Dallas, where he worked for Audacy’s 105.3 The Fan.

With the promotion, the station is now looking for a new executive producer. Parker Hillis will oversee that search.

“I’m excited to work with our hosts in a greater capacity on a day-to-day basis,” Hillis said. “The opportunity to lead collaborative efforts among our amazingly talented team is truly an honor.” 

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Sports Radio News

Doug Gottlieb Calls Out Jeff Passan, Others Arguing For Barry Bonds in Hall of Fame

“Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

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The Baseball Hall of Fame election results were announced Tuesday evening with some big names up for induction. Most notably, David Ortiz was elected while longtime nominees Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were once again snubbed.

Many fans and media personalities believe Bonds specifically should have been inducted because of his on-the-field accolades and achievements. They seem to believe his alleged steroid usage is irrelevant. or at least not worth the snub.

Doug Gottlieb, on his Fox Sports Radio show, took the Hall of Fame’s side and called out ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who advocated for Bonds on television. The host used several analogies to explain why society does not honor those who have cheated in their respective fields. 

“The core of what you are as an athlete is how hard you work,” said Gottlieb. “You’ve got natural ability, how can you get better, and at some point you come to that end. Clemens and Bonds robbed Father Time, and they robbed baseball. Shame on you, Jeff Passan, calling it a museum. Tell me a museum that puts an artist in it who cheated, who takes credit for what someone else did. Do you think it would hang in the Louvre?”

Gottlieb makes a strong argument. As he mentioned, Bonds not only broke the rules but was also caught. While other players who used steroids may have snuck in somehow, Gottlieb compared it to being pulled over for speeding.

“It’s like you get caught speeding,” he said, “somebody else was going 90 and zips past you five minutes before you were speeding, and you’re sitting there going like ‘Yeah, I was speeding but that guy was going faster.’ That doesn’t actually work in real life.”

You can listen to the rest of Gottlieb’s thoughts at the Fox Sports Radio website.

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