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Washington’s Quincy Pondexter Calls Out KJR’s Dave Mahler For Lack of Support

“If he’s more positive and has our back more than anything, I think we’ll have more fans in the crowd; we’ll have more support, and our guys will feed off of that and play even better.”

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The University of Washington Huskies have arrived in Las Vegas for the start of the Pac-12 Tournament and despite a difficult season filled with injuries, a COVID-19 disruption, and inconsistent play, the team is finding its chemistry just at the right time to make a run for a championship.

Head Coach Mike Hopkins is reportedly on the hot seat as his team, seeded sixth in the tournament, is set to take on the No. 11 Utah Utes from T-Mobile Arena. Joining Hopkins on the coaching staff for his first season is former NBA forward and All-Pac-10 selection at Washington, Quincy Pondexter. The former first-round pick played in the Association from 2010 to 2019 and had stints with five different teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls.

Now, though, he is focused on helping elevate the program to be “respectable” on a consistent basis, and that starts with confronting members of the media who speak negatively about the team.

On Tuesday morning, Pondexter was a guest with Chuck and Buck on Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR, and called out another on-air host on the station for hurting the development of the team and the culture around it.

“I preach positivity, especially from the people in media powers like your guy over there who could really change things around for us,” Pondexter said referring to on-air host Dave “Softy” Mahler, who very much has a love-hate relationship with the team. “If he’s more positive and has our back more than anything, I think we’ll have more fans in the crowd; we’ll have more support, and our guys will feed off of that and play even better.”

Both Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen were able to figure out prior to Pondexter speaking about him who the on-air host was by asking him if the accused’s name rhymed with “Lofty Faller.” Pondexter confirmed that is who he was talking about, leading to Powell declaring that “the word is out now.”

Pondexter addressed Mahler on Twitter before coming on the air after Mahler sent out a Tweet saying, “Before the Pac 12 Tournament starts, how would you grade Mike Hopkins performance this year?” In reply, Pondexter said, “It’s ok for you to show us some love Softy.” He elaborated on his answer on the air when asked by Jacobsen what it was like to turn the season around.

“It’s all about building things, and I think Mike Hopkins is an extremely great coach, and you have two… former [Huskie] players on your staff, and so there is no way to go besides up,” said Pondexter. “Me and Will Conry – we leave it all out there because we love this school; this university; the city more than anything. It’s only going to go up.”

Optimism is surrounding the University of Washington Huskies as they enter the tournament, and Pondexter knows that his experience from both the perspective of a player and a coach will help him be a leader among his players in the quest for a championship. Additionally, it affords him the unique perspective of looking at media criticism in a different scope, seeing what it will do to the entire team rather than how it may affect one player; that is, a part of the whole.

“I’ve been on both sides of this,” said Pondexter. “I’ve won this conference tournament and lasted until the end. The other side is you get eliminated early. You have to have intense focus, take care of business one possession at a time, and leave it all out there on the floor to give yourself the best opportunity… The guys are loving each other, and we don’t want this dance to end.”

Powell encouraged Pondexter, who had evidently perceived a lack of support for his team from certain members of the media, not to take the criticism too seriously ahead of the tournament.

“That guy loves Huskies more than anything,” said Powell in reference to Mahler. “I think more than life itself. Maybe you just caught him [in] a sour mood there.”

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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.”

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

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.”

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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.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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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.”

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