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Mark Willard Signs Off At KNBR

“Fans can still see Mark Willard on the PAC-12 Networks, where he serves as a studio host.”

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Mark Willard is done at KNBR. Friday was his final show on the San Francisco sports station. While he didn’t mention his exit on air, he took to Twitter before the show to say it would be his swan song at the station.

It does not seem as though the news caught Willard by surprise. He was on Twitter again that evening to wish listeners well and tease that he does have news forthcoming.

Mark Willard has been heard all over California. He came to KNBR in 2019 after two and a half years with XTRA 1360 in San Deigo. Previous career stops include 710 ESPN LA and FOX Sports Radio. He is also the former co-host of The Tony Bruno Show.

Fans can still see Mark Willard on the PAC-12 Networks, where he serves as a studio host. As soon as he announces his future project, we will have it at Barrett Sports Media.

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Damon Amendolara: The NFL Is Giving Us Quantity, Not Quality

“Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league?”

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The NFL’s first “Super Wild Card Weekend” provided for more blowouts than competitive games. The Bengals/Raiders game Saturday afternoon, and the Cowboys/49ers contest came down to the wire and provided the drama playoff football usually delivers. But the rest of the games turned out to be duds according to CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara.

He pointed to the Bucs/Eagles game and the Chiefs/Steelers game during his show on Monday as two of the biggest flops of the weekend.

“They weren’t competitive,” he said. “Those were the two worst games of the weekend.”

You could throw in the Bills/Patriots game in the mix as well.

Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league? 

“The same way the NFL went to the 17th game for ‘More football’ and the same way they expanded the playoffs for ‘More playoff football’ was about more not quality,” he said. “Quantity not quality.”

One thinks about the NCAA basketball tournament where usually the opening round games are cake walks for teams seeded 1-4. That first weekend is awesome because there’s so many games on from noon to past midnight. But with the obvious exception of UMBC a few years ago, the top seeds in each region aren’t going to captivate audiences those first couple games because things will get out of hand quickly.

In the NFL’s case, Amendolara said opening up the playoffs to teams that probably shouldn’t have been there made for less entertaining contests at the expense of having an entire weekend of games to watch.

“The football wasn’t better,” he said. “It was just more.”

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Kay Adams Gives Pat McAfee Backhanded Compliment On Interviewing Aaron Rodgers

“There is nothing — literally nothing — that he hasn’t gone over with you.”

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@PatMcAfeeShow on Twitter

Besides ESPN’s “ManningCast” for Monday Night Football, a top candidate for best sports media story of the 2021 NFL season is The Pat McAfee Show.

The former NFL punter’s show on YouTube, SiriusXM, and podcasts has become a cultural sensation for its interviews with Aaron Rodgers that revealed the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s controversial stance on taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

McAfee has been criticized in media circles for letting Rodgers say whatever he wants in extended monologues without ever challenging his assertions or asking follow-up questions in response to a particular opinion. But the wide range of topics and in-depth answers have made McAfee’s Tuesday conversations with Rodgers must-watch video.

However, those interviews haven’t left much for other reporters and on-air personalities to cover when talking to Rodgers. Good Morning Football co-host Kay Adams raised this issue with McAfee during a Monday appearance on the show.

“You’ve ruined interviewing Aaron Rodgers,” said Adams. “Do you know that?”

McAfee understandably disagreed, saying he feels “it’s been good” because they have a conversation rather than question-and-answer, question-and-answer. Adams then explained that she had a seven-to-10-minute interview with Rodgers last week, but had nothing new to ask him because he already covered everything with McAfee.

“There is nothing — literally nothing — that he hasn’t gone over with you,” Adams complained, saying McAfee and his hour-long conversations has made it impossible for networks to interview Rodgers now.

Though Adams appeared to be annoyed, she did praise McAfee for getting Rodgers to reveal a side of himself that he previously kept private, something the public never saw before.

“He’s never been an open book, but you’ve really let us get to know his character,” said Adams, “and who he is as a human, his kindness, his vulnerabiity. It’s transcendental; seriously, it’s awesome.”

Thanks for doing such a good job that it’s difficult for everybody else, Pat McAfee? That seemed to be what Adams meant.

Yet despite that apparent frustration, she surely knows that the people who saw her interview with Rodgers may not watch McAfee’s show. And it’s entirely possible that someone may answer a question differently, depending on who’s asking and the outlet being represented. Of course, it always feels good as an interviewer to ask a question that hasn’t been posed before and get the subject to think about something he or she may not have previously considered.

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Colin Dunlap: ‘No One More Underqualified’ Than Jac Collinsworth

“How did they allow that level of nepotism to happen?”

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NBC Sports Pressbox

NBC had two NFL Wild Card playoff telecasts this past weekend, but the network’s pre- and post-game show did not impress 93.7 The Fan’s Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack. The hosts singled out Football Night in America co-host Jac Collinsworth as a big problem with NBC’s studio coverage.

“There is no one more underqualified or worse at their job than the young Collinsworth, who is stunningly bad on television,” said Dunlap.

What particularly irritates Dunlap is that Collinsworth holds such a high-profile job on Football Night in America, one that so many in the sports broadcasting industry covet.

“It is a premier job, NBC Sunday Night Football in America, he is one of the hosts there, he’s throwing it to Drew Brees, he’s doing all this stuff,” Dunlap added. “And I know he’s part of the jokey element, the non-serious sports guy on there.”

As Dunlap wondered how Jac Collinsworth got his job, Mack asked the question more directly.

“How did they allow that level of nepotism to happen?”

The two then went on to criticize the entire NBC studio crew, saying everyone is miscast in their current roles.

“Tony Dungy should be interviewing people about introspective life things,” said Dunlap. “He should be doing sit-downs. People will open up to Tony Dungy because they trust him, especially football coaches.”

In Dunlap’s view, NBC made a mistake by not hiring reporter Tom Rinaldi to do the features for which he’s known. (Rinaldi left ESPN for Fox Sports at the end of 2020.) Mack added that the network has an opportunity to remake its NFL coverage with sideline reporter Michele Tafoya moving on after this season and play-by-play announcer Al Michaels believed to be headed to Amazon’s Thursday Night Football.

Prospective names that the duo suggested adding to Football Night in America to freshen up up the mix include ESPN’s Robert Griffin III (who Dunlap says “could be the next big star”), NFL Network’s Joe Thomas, and Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt.

You can listen to the full segment at the 93.7 The Fan website or the Audacy app.

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