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Spence Checketts Returns To Afternoons On ESPN 700

“This is Checketts’ second tenure with ESPN 700, having previously hosted the Bill and Spence Show, before moving to 1280 The Zone.”

Brandon Contes

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After 18 months away from the airwaves in Salt Lake City, Spence Checketts returned to Utah’s ESPN 700 as their afternoon drive host on Monday.

For well over a decade, Checketts was a sports radio fixture in Salt Lake City, but in February 2018, the broadcaster was forced to resign from his show on 1280 The Zone following his arrest for speeding with an open container of alcohol in the car.  It wasn’t the first time Checketts had an alcohol related issue, he was arrested three times between 2003 – 2008 before remaining sober for almost a decade.  Following last year’s bout with alcohol, nearly a week of jail time and almost 18 months without a daily radio show, Checketts returned to the airwaves on Monday by asking for a chance.

“If you think I’ve wasted all my opportunities, here’s all I’m asking, all I’m asking for is a chance.  I can say I’m sorry until I’m blue in the face and believe me, I am and I have been,” Checketts told the audience on his first day back.

“I have been apologetic because I truly am, it’s a horrible, horrible situation and I’m trying to make the best of it every single day, all I do is wake up and say to myself, do the next right thing.”

The son of Dave Checketts, business mogul and former president of the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks, Spence has worked to make a name for himself in the world of sports as a popular radio host.  This is Checketts’ second tenure with ESPN 700, having previously hosted the Bill and Spence Show, before moving to 1280 The Zone.  

After Checketts lost his show with 1280 The Zone, he returned with a long-form interview podcast last year, titled Reality Check.  As he looked to break back into the industry, Checketts also made multiple appearances on ESPN 700 with his former co-host Bill Riley who hosts the station’s midday show.  Now, the radio host makes his full-time return to ESPN 700, launching The Drive with Spence Checketts weekdays from 2 – 6pm.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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