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Sports Talk, Barbershop Style

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Sighs of relief are sweeping the basketball fandom universe this week as NBA training camp begins.

This means LeBron James is surely readying his pregame chalk toss and Riley Curry, daughter of league MVP Stephen Curry is about prime for a new round of postgame press conference ubercuteness.

And somewhere in Manhattan, Gerald Brown and Howard “Howie Cee” Cowart are prepping for it all and plan to use their SiriusXM radio program, “The Bottom Line Sports Show” to fuse sports fans and their favorite athletes, giving them a chance to get to know the players behind the jerseys.

Each Saturday and Sunday morning, Brown and Coward bring their basketball fan listeners to their local barbershop-style broadcast sitdown chat, a diversion from the cable network sports fare many are used to.

It’s become a favorite stop for famous athletes who tend to mixup their sports chatter just like the rest of us. Those who have graced the satellite airwaves on Bottom Line Sports include Deion Sanders, Dwyane Wade, Damian Lillard, Nas, Cedric The Entertainer, Chris Paul, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen.

The show initially began in the basement of Brown’s northern New Jersey home in 2006 in response to the disconnect between athletes and journalists, it’s been a hit. “We started asking questions that we as fans wanted to know as opposed to the mundane questions from journalists,” Brown told Ebony.

A ballboy for the New York Knicks in his childhood, the rapport that he developed with athletes back then still translates years later. That said, the experience makes the show rich in content is by digging deep into conversations and debate. Topics range from whether Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James, to the tug-of-war over which film was best: “Friday” or “Next Friday,” to whether Frankie Beverly and Maze could still be relevant in 2015.

The show has an added punch. Orlando Magic legend Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and retired Knicks and Bulls bruiser Charles Oakley ride with Gerald and Howie as the show’s executive producers. The two deliver their own segments like “Penny For Your Thoughts” and “Café Oakley.”

“They’re very knowledgable and they speak the truth,” Hardaway told Ebony. “They don’t try to hammer anybody and gauge guys and make guys feel like less than what they are. It’s barbershop talk for real.”

‘Bottom Line’ recently got some love locally, where the dream all started: New York City. Brown and Cowart recently did some fill-in duty on ESPN Radio’s Hahn & Humpty Show. It’s not a permanent gig, but it is a bi-product of the hard work and diligence their team put in.

“We’re going to continue to keep striving and chasing our dreams,” said Brown. “To this point they have come true.” Dial in to the Bottom Line Sports Show every Saturday and Sunday mornings on Sirius/XM NBA Radio.

To read the rest of this article visit Ebony where this story was originally published

Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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