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9 Sports Movie Ideas From 8 Sports Radio Professionals

“Hollywood has always had a love of sports. Whether it is Oscar bait like Rocky and Chariots of Fire, feel good schmaltz like Rudy, or slapstick bafoonery like Caddy Shack and Slap Shot, competition just makes for a great plot device.”

Demetri Ravanos

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For the second consecutive summer, movie theaters will struggle. Sure, there is reason to celebrate in 2021. At least this summer most theaters, the ones that survived through the deepest throws of COVID anyway, get to be open. But studios are still wary of the public’s desire to go out.

That means most big budget popcorn movies are going to be available on demand while also being in theaters. There isn’t a big event movie that forces you to grab a date or round up the family and head to the theater.

Hollywood has always had a love of sports. Whether it is Oscar bait like Rocky and Chariots of Fire, feel good schmaltz like Rudy, or slapstick bafoonery like Caddy Shack and Slap Shot, competition just makes for a great plot device.

It makes sense to me to turn to the sports media industry to solve theater owners’ problem. So, I asked hosts from across the country a simple question. What sports story do you want to see turned into a movie?

I also asked them to cast their leading man. Here’s what they had to say.

STEVE CZABAN – 97.3 THE GAME, MILWAUKEE

“Deflategate! And Tommy Lee Jones has to be somewhere in it!”

LANCE TAYLOR – JOX 94.5, BIRMINGHAM

“Random AF but Bison Dele (Brian Williams). The Rock could pull it off. Fascinating and dark. Complete opposite of a Disney film.”

PHIL MACKEY – SKOR NORTH, MINNEAPOLIS

“My answer is more of a look into the future — a story I’d LIKE to see play out… 

“I love me a Kevin Costner sports movie, and I feel like he needs to keep branching out into other sports to complete his sports movie portfolio. He’s done baseball, football, golf, etc. How about Kevin Costner as the renegade new head coach of U.S. soccer, as they make a miraculous push deep into the World Cup for the first time ever (say, 2026)?

“He takes a program besieged in embarrassment and turns it all the way around in his Costner way — fighting with his bosses, fighting a rotten culture, a broken system… 

“They get beat in the finals. By Brazil. But they gain world respect for the first time. 

“Oh, and Jennifer Garner is still his capologist. If there is such a thing in soccer.”

ALLEN SLIWA – ESPN LOS ANGELES

“The sports story turned into a movie for me would be Kobe’s final game. I think that would be amazing story. I don’t know of another finale for a career like that. Michal B Jordan would be the individual who can play his role.”

JAY RECHER – 95.3 WDAE, TAMPA

“It’s gotta be Tom Brady and this 2020-2021 Bucs season right? 

“From the decision to come to Tampa, to Gronk and AB coming to town, to the Super Bowl win & Lombardi toss at the boat parade, what an awesome story to tell! Matt Damon plays Brady. Take my money and give them the Oscars.”

FRED FAOUR – 97.5 ESPN, HOUSTON

“Thought I would go a little off the beaten path….The 1993 Oilers, the team that played the year after the collapse in Buffalo. They had brought in Buddy Ryan as defensive coordinator, and the owner Bud Adams said it was Super Bowl or bust. They then promptly started the season 1-4. However, they  reeled off 11 in a row to finish 12-4. Along the way, they had a defensive lineman (Jeff Alm) die in a car crash under suspicious circumstances, had openly gay players in the locker room long before it was acceptable, had an offensive lineman skip a game to be there for the birth of his first child (babygate), and of course the famous sideline fight between Kevin Gilbride and Ryan. They would lose their first playoff game at home to Joe Montana and the Chiefs  28-20, a team they had beat 30-0 in Week 2.

Michael B. Jordan as Warren Moon

J.K. Simmons as Jack Pardee

Kevin James as Buddy Ryan

Josh Brolin as Kevin Gilbride”

AARON GOLDHAMMER – ESPN CLEVELAND

“Now that the Browns are Super Bowl contenders, I’d embrace a comedy about the 1-31 seasons in 2016 and 2017. In a remarkable two year span, the Browns drafted countless busts and traded the rights to multiple franchise quarterbacks. They tanked for draft picks and wasted the final playing years of hall-of-fame lineman Joe Thomas. They unfurled a banner in the Dawgpound that said “GPODAWUND.” Somehow, they also set the stage for where the team is today.

“Dennis Haysbert stars as Browns coach Hue Jackson in…No Win Situation. Definitely not suitable for children.”


Seven interesting films for sure. And man, did we run the gamut? We heard everything from a murder mystery to prestige cinema to what could be one of the dumbest comedies ever written.

Personally, as a lover of film, I tend to gravitate more to Aaron Goldhammert’s way of thinking. I love absurd comedies, and nowhere is their more absurdity than in the world of college sports. It is where the richest guy in the room and the dumbest guy in the room get to run the show and they are both the same guy!

So, let’s go to the world of college football. I want to see a movie adaptation of the University of Tennessee’s 2017 coaching search. This is the one that began with a verbal agreement with Greg Schiano and ended with six different coaches saying no and an athletic director getting fired before former Vols coach Phil Fulmer orchestrated a coup to make himself AD and Jeremy Pruitt became the head coach.

If you are not a college football fan, trust me. It was wild. Have you ever seen the movie The Death of Stalin? I have to imagine that is what it was like in Knoxville during that time.

Jeff Bridges plays Phil Fulmer. Kyle Chandler has experience playing a beloved football coach as Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights. Let’s see how he does playing a man that doesn’t know what asparagus is. We’ll cast him as Jeremy Pruitt.

You want a drama suggestion? It is a lot less fun, but fine. Let’s go with the 2008 US Open. A virtual nobody, knocking on the door of 50 goes head-to-head with the greatest golfer to ever walk the planet, mere months before his downfall. Anthony Mackie plays Tiger Woods. Adam Sandler plays Rocco Mediate.

Boom! Hollywood, sports radio has solved your problems!

If you would like to turn any of these treatments into a movie, you can reach me at the email address and Twitter handle below. I will act as everyone’s agent and take 20% off the backend.

BSM Writers

Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing

…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.

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WRONG BAD

In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.

“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.

“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”

Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.

The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?

That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.

You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.

“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”

Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.

Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”

Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”

Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”

Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”

It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.

My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.

My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.

After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.

Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.

Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”

My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.

My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.

Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.

And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.

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BSM Writers

Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.

Jeff Caves

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Radio Sales

A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours. 

But is that why you sell sports radio?

In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.

A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family. 

Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.  

I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.

Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important. 

So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.  

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table

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Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.

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