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Peter King: Every Baseball Writer I Knew Was Divorced, So I Went to Football

“I just decided that even though my sporting preference was baseball, I decided to go into a more sane lifestyle job and they had an opening to cover the Bengals in 1984.”

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Plenty of sports radio shows and podcasts have been wrapping up the 2021-22 NFL season since Super Bowl LVI ended with the Los Angeles Rams winning.

There may be no better guest to look back at the past season and look ahead to both the offseason and next season than NBC’s Peter King. The Football Night in America columnist was a guest on Sports Talk Chicago/WCKG with host Jon Zaghloul this week.

Naturally, since the show is based in Chicago, the two discussed the Bears hiring new coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. But the Rams’ Super Bowl win and the Hall of Fame chances for Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford were also part of the conversation.

But from a sports media standpoint, Zaghloul also asked King about his long career covering the NFL and how his sportswriting career began. It may surprise some to know that King didn’t intend to cover sports when he studied journalism and preferred to cover baseball as a sportswriter.

How King eventually took the football beat, rather than baseball, made for an amusing and enlightening story. As he explained to Zaghloul, football — in this case, covering the Bengals for the Cincinnati Enquirer — came down to what he could see was a better work/life balance situation.

“When I started at the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1980, I was the back-up beat writer on the Cincinnati Reds,” King explained. “And at the time, they had four daily writers — the Dayton Daily News, the Dayton Journal-Herald, the Cincinnati Post, and the Cincinnati Enquirer.”

“So I became friends with all those guys, and every one of them was divorced,” he continued. “I was married, we were planning a family, we were thinking about it, and I just said, OK, it’s one thing to be the back-up guy on a team and you go for one 10-day road trip a year. It’s another to be gone for half of seven months every year. So I just decided that even though my sporting preference was baseball, I decided to go into a more sane lifestyle job and they had an opening to cover the Bengals in 1984.”

No one would dispute that King made the correct decision, considering where his career has gone covering the NFL. Yet it’s sobering to hear that quality of life and the ability to build a family factored in so early on for him. Work/life balance is something so many struggle with to this day, regardless of profession. Several baseball writers may hear King’s remarks and nod knowingly, even if they love covering the sport.

The entire conversation between King and Zaghloul is worth listening to. King has so much to say on both the NFL, covering the sport (including some insight into the Hall of Fame voting process), and the journalism profession overall.

You can listen to the Sports Talk Chicago podcast at the show’s website or on apps including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Bomani Jones: I’m Better At Talking About Political, Social Issues Than Most In Sports Media

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry. Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James found himself in a few headlines last week when he questioned reporters for not asking him about the recent Washington Post story and photo surrounding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and ESPN commentator Bomani Jones took the opportunity to discuss the revelation.

Jones was pictured as a 14 year old among a crowd during an early stage of integration of public schools in Arkansas during the civil rights movement.

LeBron pointed out that he would field questions when there’s a controversy surrounding a Black person and spoke about the situation with former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, but he found it curious that no one had asked his opinion on the Jerry Jones story. LeBron had long considered himself a Cowboys fan, but in recent years he’s stopped supporting the team over Jones’ mandate that Dallas players stand for the National Anthem.

On his ESPN podcast The Right Time, host Bomani Jones talked about LeBron and circled it around to how he and other ESPN personalities caught a ton of flack for speaking about political or societal issues that often don’t fall within the confines of sports.

Jones said that being able to talk about political and societal issues comes easier to him than it does to most members of the sports media.

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry,” Jones said. “Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

Jones said it comes down to the fact that there’s a bias at play. Are people going to take offense to what you’re saying because they disagree, or are they going to like what you’re going to say because they agree?

“They’re reinforcing the fact that you’re reinforcing what it is that you want to hear,” Jones said. “But the truth is that most people are not qualified to talk about these things before the world, because talking about these things before the world is very, very difficult.”

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John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism

“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

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Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.

During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.

“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.

“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.

“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.

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The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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