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Gregg Giannotti Zings Boomer Esiason About Troy Aikman’s Likely ESPN Salary

“That’s gotta make you sick. This is now happening twice. Your playing career and then your broadcasting career, where you just missed the beaucoup bucks.”

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Boomer and Gio

Big sports broadcasting news broke Wednesday night with the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand reporting that Troy Aikman is on the verge of signing with ESPN to be their Monday Night Football analyst.

Many may have signed off for the night or stopped checking email and social media when the Aikman news broke. So it was a good topic for Boomer & Gio to begin WFAN’s morning show with Thursday morning.

The NFL broadcasting shuffle and the exorbitant salaries being paid are pertinent topics for Boomer Esiason, who’s part of CBS’s The NFL Today studio show and was the analyst on Monday Night Football for two seasons (1998 through 1999) with Al Michaels.

Did Boomer miss out on the pools of cash Tony Romo and Aikman are now swimming in by doing MNF at the wrong time? Gregg Giannotti teased him about that to begin Thursday’s show.

“That’s gotta make you sick,” said Giannotti. “This is now happening twice. Your playing career and then your broadcasting career, where you just missed the beaucoup bucks.”

Esiason tried to avoid his co-host’s bait.

“It’s really not about me; it’s more about Troy Aikman,” said Esiason. “I stopped doing games.”

“I know; I just like to put myself in your shoes occasionally,” Giannotti responded. “I was doing that yesterday and I said, ‘Listen, Boomer’s done very well for himself. But oh, my goodness! Just missed it, twice now!”

“Well, good for him, man, and good for Tony Romo,” Esiason said graciously. “Like I told you when he got his deal, I’m always happy for guys who get paid. I have no animosity towards any of it. I don’t have any animosity towards the quarterbacks getting paid in today’s game.”

Boomer and Gio went on to question ESPN reportedly preparing to pay Aikman so much money when the alternate “ManningCast” is so popular and drawing viewers away from the traditional MNF telecast. (Although that may be an overblown aspect of paying attention to social media. The “ManningCast” averaged 1.58 million viewers, while the regular MNF broadcast drew 13.5 million. Not to mention that Peyton and Eli do 10 games per season.)

The NFL broadcasting carousel also gave Esiason the opportunity to repeat a rumor he heard about San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch being interested in returning to TV. Lynch denied Esiason’s speculation, saying he’s committed to the 49ers. (Though his use of “right now” left an opening that many will point to.)

But there’s still plenty more to come from Aikman’s reported jump to ESPN. Monday Night Football has the big-name analyst it’s lacked since Jon Gruden returned to NFL coaching. Fox needs to replace Aikman on its No. 1 NFL broadcast team with Joe Buck. And who will Amazon pursue for its Thursday Night Football broadcast now after losing Aikman? What if this means losing Al Michaels too?

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Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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Craig Carton: AppleTV+ Shouldn’t Have Answered The Phone For YES Network Trade

“This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week.”

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Craig Carton

A report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post claimed YES Network, owned in-part by the New York Yankees, made several offers to AppleTV+ in regards to its scheduled broadcast of the Yankees and Boston Red Sox as Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. WFAN host Craig Carton was dumbfounded by the proposals.

Carton originally blamed the Yankees greed for the game airing on AppleTV+, before co-host Evan Roberts set him straight.

“Because the New York Yankees sold their rights to everybody with a blank check in front of them, they are now faced with the reality that their greed is gonna result in a momentous, historical moment not being broadcast by their broadcast team,” Carton said.

“If you wanna blame every owner, and say ‘Hey, you all signed off on it’, I understand where you’re coming from on this. But Major League Baseball made the decision to cut a deal with AppleTV+,” Roberts countered.

Carton then pointed out how preposterous the idea was for YES Network to either air the game in conjunction with AppleTV+, or for Yankees television play-by-play announcer — and New York afternoon radio competitor — Michael Kay to call the game for the streaming platform.

“Memo to YES, and the New York Yankees, who own a piece of the YES Network: If I’m AppleTV+ — and whatever that check was that I wrote, it was big — this is the moment for me,” Carton said. “This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week. If you’re AppleTV+, why would you even answer the phone if the YES Network calls?”

“Sometimes a guy calls you in Fantasy sports and says ‘I want your best player’, and you don’t even make a counter offer because you’re like ‘There’s literally nothing on your roster that would make me agree to this trade’,” Roberts hypothesized. “If I’m AppleTV+ — let’s play the negotiation game — is there anything that could be offered to you that would make you give up the exclusivity?”

“No! That’s what you paid for!”, Carton exclaimed. “Great luck! It worked out where you’re most likely gonna have a game on AppleTV+ where something historical is might happen!”

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