A rift has developed between NFL Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, and his former team the Los Angeles Rams. According to Dickerson, the incident stems from Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher telling him during a recent conversation that members of the team haven’t appreciated some of his commentary and as a result, his presence on the sidelines during games could make some people uncomfortable.
That led to Dickerson publicly revealing the conversation on his radio show on AM 570 in Los Angeles. His comments placed a ton of heat on the Rams, and the team has quickly responded by trying to put out the flames.
Rams COO Kevin Demoff said he tried to call Dickerson on Monday, but was unsuccessful in reaching him. Demoff did offer a public response on Twitter, adding: “Everything we’ve done since we returned, Eric has been part of the organization, and that’s what we want to make sure doesn’t change. He’s been part of our efforts to connect to the community. That’s what’s disappointing about any type of miscommunication, no matter how big or small. He’s somebody we want around. He’s somebody who sets a great example for our players, and I think anybody who’s in this business has to have a thick skin to understand that when you lose there’s going to be criticism.”
When told about Dickerson’s comments, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher claimed he was unsure where the miscommunication was coming from. He acknowledged that the two men had a ‘really good conversation’ a few weeks earlier, and said that the former Rams star was always welcome in the building, and he’d love to have him come in and attend practice and the team’s meetings.
Upon hearing Fisher and Demoff’s comments, Dickerson became even more upset. He felt the team’s upper management was providing a response to the public which was different from what they had told him privately. He made appearances on Fox Sports Radio, FS1 and ESPN, and gave interviews to the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News.
Dickerson said the Rams Head Coach told him “Players feel uncomfortable with you coming on the sidelines. Some of the stuff you said about the team, coaches and the players, as long as I’m head coach, we’re not going to have that. You’re not going to be saying stuff. You’re not going to be coming to the sidelines as long as I’m head coach here.”
After letting Fisher finish, Dickerson says he told him, “I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not a little kid, or the kids you’re coaching. You think I’ve been anxiously waiting on the sidelines for the Rams to come back to town? You have the wrong guy. I’m not here with my hand out. Do you feel like I owe y’all something? Send me a bill.”
He continued, “You can go anyplace else. You can go back to Tennessee, you can go to Cleveland, you can go to SC. Still, I’m going to be Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams. That’s why I wear that gold jacket. I have the right to say what I say. I’m not trying to hurt the players. I’m a frustrated player and a frustrated fan. I watch this every week. I love the players. I’m always a player first.”
And he wasn’t done there. Dickerson told media outlets that as as long as Fisher’s coaching the Rams, he won’t be present at the Coliseum.
With the Rams struggling on the field, and failing to attract local viewers to watch their games in the nation’s second largest media market, getting into a public spat with the franchise’s most popular former player isn’t going to help matters. It also doesn’t help Jeff Fisher’s job security.
Demoff says he understands the frustration but is also aware that winning over fans in the team’s new home city will take time and patience.
“When you lose football games, people are going to be outspoken. I think we all understand that. Everybody believes that Eric’s entitled to his opinion, as a former player, as a Hall of Famer and somebody who’s been part of our family. Certainly, you’re going to listen to what he has to say. But I think we’re all frustrated and disappointed, and I just think Eric’s viewpoints on his show is that. And he has every right to express himself. I don’t think we would ever attempt to silence him or warn him to feel as if he doesn’t have that platform.”
“This is a city that expects its teams to be champions, and to be in the playoffs, and to win consistently. That needs to be our standard, and if we fall short of that, we have to own up to it and go fix it. This was not going to be a ‘snap your fingers and have a change overnight. There’s a lot of work to be done to grow this fan base.”
Only time will tell if the Rams are up to that task on the field. But for now, they can help themselves by repairing the damage that’s been done with one of the team’s all-time greats.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
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.”