Earlier this week, Boomer & Gio were named as the number two major market sports radio morning show in the country on the BSM Top 20. For someone like Boomer Esiason, he appreciates the journey that the morning team at WFAN has taken together and doesn’t want to leave that.
Esiason was a guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina this week. During their conversation, he mentioned having a chance to move to the afternoon when Mike Francesa decided to leave and WFAN thought about putting him back together with Craig Carton. Ultimately, he turned it down:
“If I didn’t love what I do, I wouldn’t do it. They did ask me to move to the afternoons when Mike left and they were thinking about reuniting me with Craig and all that other stuff,” said Esiason. “I was like, man, I don’t want to leave the morning. Look what we’ve built here. When I was saying ‘we,’ I mean also Eddie Scozzare, Al Dukes, Jerry Recco, Bobby Dwyer. I mean we all built it together. I wanted to stay there and I know those guys wanted to stay there.
“I could’ve easily went to the afternoons, but then I was like then my whole life is going to change again. I’ve got this routine, I’ve got it all down. I understand what’s going on, I know what my responsibilities are. There’s nothing like being the first behind the mic after a big game.”
Being on the air to talk about the Super Bowl Monday morning was one of the reasons, according to the former Bengals QB, that he did not make the trip to Los Angeles this weekend to watch Cincinnati try to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history:
“It’s one of the reasons why I think I decided not to go out to the Super Bowl this year is because I want to be able to watch it and then talk about it the next day coherently and not be drunk or hungover from being at the game and watching the game with my former teammates,” Esiason explained. “It’s a labor of love for sure, but I think both Gio (Gregg Giannotti) and I and the rest of our crew don’t mind getting up and getting our day started.”
This year, Boomer & Gio were not at Radio Row for the Super Bowl unlike some of the other shows on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network. However, Esiason didn’t mind that because it allows the show to continue as normally as possible:
“I’m not big on Super Bowl shows. I hate the interviews. Everyone is pushing a product,” he said. “Hell, I was pushing a product for a lot of those years, so I understand all that. At the end of the day, being back in our studio, being able to have a normal type of show and a normal conversation depending on what’s going on around here to me is more entertaining to the listener anyway.”
While Esiason gives a lot of credit to Gio and Carton for the way they handle those interviews on Radio Row and thinks those interviews are entertaining for the hosts, he knows they don’t exactly fare well with the audience the show is trying to appeal to:
“Both Gio and Craig Carton are really good interviewers. They have a unique way of bringing personality into the subjects that we’re talking to,” said Esiason.
“The fact that I am a former NFL player and some guys feel a little bit more comfortable maybe with me up there and those guys asking ridiculous questions. It actually was entertaining at least for us individually. But we know back home it doesn’t sound right, there’s a lot of background noise. It gets a little awkward at times… Those things sometimes lend to funny interviews and awkward moments, but I don’t think overall the entertainment value is there.”
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.”