One of the major stories in sports this past week was NASCAR banning confederate flags at their racetrack as fans start to slowly be allowed back in (up to 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend the June 21 race at Talladega SuperSpeedway in Alabama). It is a strong subject that all three hours of the ESPN Radio show, Marty & McGee with Marty Smith and Ryan McGee, were devoted to this subject.
As McGee opened the show, he said that the subject that he didn’t think would ever happen, but the change became a reality.
“It’s been a week I was thankful to see. This week, you and I have covered something I didn’t believe we will ever see,” said McGee.
Smith added that it is a change in NASCAR to bring racial equality inside the garage that they hadn’t seen in a long time.
“It’s impossible to overstate what an historic moment it is. If you really want to be honest, NASCAR did more for racial equality in their own garage in a week than they did in 70 years,” said Smith.
Throughout the three-hour broadcast on Saturday Morning, Smith and McGee talked with numerous guests, including co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing, Brad Daugherty. Warrick Scott (grandson of Wendell Scott – first full-time African-American driver in NASCAR), and ESPN personality Clinton Yates. You will find the link to all three hours here:
In the final hour of the show, Smith shared a conversation with Rayfield Milton, one of his best friends in high school, that he had earlier in the week. Smith brought up the point that every word has to be the right word. Milton gave him a call after Smith’s segment on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and was crying.
“Because you just said the perfect sentence. You just said something that I can’t say. It took you to say that sentence. You have seen what I had to deal with our own lives and for you to say that on that platform is amazing,” said Milton to Smith about what Milton had to go through in high school.
Smith later mentioned one more story about Milton, who he played football with in high school. He talked about writing a chapter in his book Never Settle called Forever Friday where he talks about all the lines in the world being erased on a football field. But, as Smith was driving to the grocery store one day, he thought about the words and he wondered if he was seeing things only from his perspective. So, he called Milton.
“Have I ever made you feel lesser than a human being. Have I ever made you feel anything but my friend and equal,” said an emotional Smith to Milton.
“You know what I have seen, but you have never treated me like anything but a man, an equal, and your friend,” Milton answered according to Smith.
Smith and McGee were able to get candid insight from their guests and shared their own personal experiences and conversations in what was a monumental moment for the sport of NASCAR.
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.”