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Under The Radar – May 30, 2017

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Holiday weekends have a tendency to keep the news cycle in sports radio a little lighter. Nonetheless there were still a few items of note to pass along. A reminder, if you have news about yourself, your station or your company to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

After Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported that tensions were high and the atmosphere around ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ had turned poisonous, Mike Golic has responded by taking aim at internal leaks. In an interview with the South Bend Tribune, Golic says things have been blown out of proportion and he and his longtime radio partner are fine. He is however frustrated that people working on his show have been talking anonymously about in-house issues. Golic says the biggest lingering issue is the expiration date for the show, which still hasn’t been decided on by ESPN executives.

When the 2017-2018 NBA season begins, the New York Knicks will have a new radio voice. The team has decided to part ways with Mike Crispino who had called the team’s games since 2013, in addition to a separate stint working for the franchie from 2009-2011. Analyst Brendan Brown (Hubie’s son) is expected to return. Knicks games can be heard in New York on 98.7FM ESPN New York.

Congratulations to Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle of ESPN 1000 in Chicago. The popular afternoon team known to local listeners as Waddle & Silvy are celebrating 10 years on the air together. To commemorate the joyous occasion, the duo are broadcasting live from El Dorado Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico for two days. Day 1 took place on Memorial Day. The final remote broadcast occurs Tuesday afternoon. As part of the on-air special, Waddle & Silvy will welcome visits from a few special guests and longtime friends of the show, plus reminisce and share audio moments from various milestones over the past 10 years.

ESPN 700 is making changes yet again to its weekday lineup. Popular local afternoon host Sean O’Connell, who doubles as a UFC fighter, was informed last week that his contract was not being renewed. He is now searching for his next opportunity. You can reach him by clicking here. Expect 700 to make a formal announcement about the future of its afternoon show soon.

In Miami, WQAM has adjusted its drive time shows. The afternoon program which featured Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz, is now a two-man affair with Hochman and Crowder. Krantz moves into mornings opposite longtime market veteran Joe Rose. With Krantz changing shows, Rose’s former on-air partner Curtis Stevenson has exited the radio station. Sensing an opportunity to strengthen its programming, local competitor 790 The Ticket brought in Stevenson for a few shifts this past weekend. No word yet on if the station is carving out a role for him.

92.9 The Game is taking a look at Doug Stewart for its vacant evening shift. The former member of the 2-Live Stews will host this Thursday and Friday night from 7p-11p ET.

A new weekday program is being added to SB Nation Radio‘s weekday schedule. Starting June 5th, “The Sports Bosses” will take over the 10a-12p timeslot. The program features Miami-based radio hosts Jim Rodriguez and Brad Johnson.

Henson Media is bringing ESPN Radio back to the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. The new station is expected to launch in June and will include ESPN Radio programming, Matt Jones‘ Kentucky based show, a 1-hour local afternoon show, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and more. The brand will be positioned on the air as “The Ref.”

Former University of Arkansas defensive lineman Geno Bell is returning to his alma mater to serve as the sideline reporter for Razorbacks football on the IMG Razorback Sports Network. Bell replaces Quinn Grovey who was elevated to the lead analyst spot on the broadcast opposite play-by-play voice Chuck Barrett.

NHL writer Craig Custance announced on social media that his final day working for ESPN was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He had worked for the network for the past 6 years. Custance says that the decision to leave was difficult but his next opportunity was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He expects to make an announcement in the near future.

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Bickley & Marotta: Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury Has to Go

As Bickley said on the air Tuesday morning, keeping Kingsbury is harder to justify with the coaches likely to be available.

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Arizona Sports 98.7 FM

The Arizona Cardinals finished a troubling late-season collapse by losing their NFL Wild Card playoff game Monday night to the Los Angeles Rams, 34-11.

As could be expected, the disappointing result is prompting plenty of questions and criticism among Arizona fans and media. Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta, hosts of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s morning show, led the charge Tuesday morning. In their view, it’s time for Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury to go.

Marotta called the playoff loss “a disgusting end to a promising season.” The Cardinals began the 2021 season with seven consecutive victories. By Week 13, they had a 10-2 record. But following its bye week, Arizona imploded, losing four of their final six games. Most troubling among them was a 30-12 loss to the Detroit Lions, who finished with the second-worst record (3-13-1) in the NFL.

Bickley was even more pointed with his criticism in a piece written for the Arizona Sports 98.7 FM website. The longtime columnist and host points out the pattern of late-season collapses in Kingsbury’s tenure with Arizona. In 2019, the Cardinals finished 2-7. The 2020 season ended with a 3-6 slide. Add this season’s 2-4 collapse and the pattern is apparent.

As Bickley said on the air Tuesday morning, keeping Kingsbury is harder to justify with the coaches likely to be available. He singled out Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as a good fit for the Cardinals, obviously favoring a coach with a different philosophy than Kingsbury.

Yet the Cardinals have shown improvement during Kingsbury’s three seasons, progressing from a 5-10-1 mark to 11-6 this season. That may be good enough for team owner Michael Bidwell and general manager Steve Keim. According to Bickley, it shouldn’t be. Management should be aggressive, rather than content.

You can listen to Bickley & Marotta each morning, Monday through Friday, on the Arizona Sports 98.7 FM website and app. The show is also available via podcast.

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Peyton Manning Swears Into Hot Mic On Manningcast

“Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.”

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Why do people love the Manningcast on ESPN2? It has a lot to do with Peyton and Eli being their authentic selves on screen. The same goes for their guests. That authenticity has included a few NSFW moments this season and we got another during the first ever Monday night playoff game.

Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.

Kudos to Eli for the simple, but truly funny response of “never mind”!

The Manningcast has made a few headlines for these moments this season. Marshawn Lynch swore multiple times during his Week 7 appearance. More famously, Eli shot the camera the double bird in Week 2.

It is a memorable way to close an undeniably successful first season for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football. Certainly everyone at the network would love to bring the Manningcast back for 2022. Whether or not Omaha Productions can make that happen will likely depend on just how serious rumors of Peyton Manning’s interest in being a part of owning the Denver Broncos are.

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Charles Davis Tells Jim Rome Titans Will Use Him As Motivation

“CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.”

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It’s kind of hard not to feel bad for Charles Davis. He was a guest on Monday’s edition of The Jim Rome Show. It was an interview that opened with The Pimp in the Box asking Davis about just how cold he was in Buffalo over the weekend.

Temperatures reached the single digits with wind chill in the negative numbers during the Bills’ blowout of the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round.

Davis said that there was no way not to think about his discomfort. He gave credit to the stage crew in the booth that helped to keep him an Ian Eagle warm.

Later in the interview, Rome asked Charles Davis if the Tennessee Titans were being unfairly overlooked. They are the top seed in the AFC afterall.

Davis said that was very likely. The team is getting both Derek Henry and Julio Jones back in time to face the Bengals in the divisional round.

That is the game assigned to Davis and Eagle. CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

“He’ll use this one. Jim and Tony are going to Kansas City/Buffalo. He’s getting Ian Eagle and myself,” Davis told Rome. “He may not disrespect us, but he’ll let his team know the number one team is not getting the number one broadcast team.”

Teams shouldn’t need extra motivation. Every game in the playoffs is your last if you don’t find a way to win. Charles Davis says that doesn’t mean Vrabel isn’t looking to add a little extra juice to his locker room and he and his partner’s presence may be the perfect catalyst.

“He’ll use that. Coaches use all of that stuff. He’ll use it to the Nth degree.”

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