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This is What Howie Rose Lives For

“It was a very, very joyful experience for me just to get back behind the mic with a baseball field in front of me and the game going on.”

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Howie Rose has been a voice synonymous with New York Mets baseball for nearly a quarter-century, and for the first time in his career last season, he had to cut his season short to undergo a medical procedure. A fan of the team from their inception in 1962, Rose watched Tom Seaver and the 1969 “Miracle Mets” win a World Series championship, lived through the 1977 “Midnight Massacre” trade and watched the franchise rebuild and win another championship in 1986.

The Mets’ yearly campaigns, aside from the shortened 2020 season, have always begun at spring training, first in Tampa, Fla., and, since 1988, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. For Rose, being back at spring training among the players, coaches and management evinced feelings of nostalgia with the prescience that baseball would indeed be played in 2022, and he would once again be in the booth bringing fans the action.

“It was a very, very joyful experience for me just to get back behind the mic with a baseball field in front of me and the game going on,” said Rose. “You don’t get the same flow of adrenaline in a spring training game as you do for a regular season game, but I will say I had that adrenaline flowing a little bit more strongly.”

Howie Rose became infatuated by the possibility of becoming a broadcaster from the time he was 7 years old listening to Mel Allen call New York Yankee games. As a native New Yorker, he grew up following professional sports in the area and took note of the styles of various announcers, something that eventually helped him craft his own distinct sound. At the age of 13, Rose created and served as president of “The Marv Albert Fan Club,” dedicated to play-by-play announcer Marv Albert, a person who became a mentor to Rose and helped him as he made his way into the industry.

During his time as an undergraduate student at Queens College, Howie Rose was a credentialed media member for the NHL’s New York Islanders in their inaugural season. It was an experience that set him on a path to becoming a professional, positioning him for his first job working at Sports Phone as its weekend night announcer. By dialing 976-1313, sports fans had the ability to hear the latest game scores and news about their favorite teams. Shortly after in 1977, Rose worked at WHN, a country music station in New York City, as a morning sports anchor, and eventually served as its sports director before leaving in 1983. He continued working in radio when he became an update anchor for WCBS, and, on the side, served as a freelance broadcaster for the NBC Radio Network.

July 1, 1987 is one of the days that transformed sports media. It marked the official launch of WFAN, the first radio station dedicated to the sports talk format. Rose’s former station, WHN, officially flipped formats and became the first-ever 24/7 sports talk radio station, and he became one of its inaugural hosts.

Rose was behind the microphone as WFAN’s first-ever nighttime host on weekdays, while also hosting the Mets Extra show and working alongside his childhood idol Marv Albert as a backup radio play-by-play announcer for the NHL’s New York Rangers. Through countless hours of listening to Albert and other broadcasters combined with his vast experience up to that point in time, Rose had evolved as an announcer – all while remaining in his hometown.

“There comes a time for every young broadcaster when… you just begin to realize that you’ve got complete command of what you’re supposed to do between the language and your ability to condense what you’re seeing on the field; or on the ice; or on the court, to a point that makes it understandable to the listener,” said Rose. “When you get to that point, you’re, for lack of a better word, polished, but I don’t know if that’s a philosophical thing. It evolves over a period of time.”

Like Howie Rose, Albert grew up in New York City and was a fan of the local teams. Rose gravitated towards him was because of his ability to show fandom on the broadcast without it becoming subjective. It is a lesson he took with him throughout his career and one he continues to carry with him today.

“He seemed to be an unabashed rooter for those teams – the Knicks and Rangers – and then as his career grew, he, I think, tried to stress the importance, and properly so, of objectivity and being able to tell the story as it unfolded in front of you,” said Rose. “That doesn’t mean that you can’t have that emotional bond with whichever team you happen to be broadcasting – if it’s real.”

May 27, 1994. Eastern Conference Finals Game 7. The New York Rangers hosted the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line, and held a one goal advantage into the game’s final minute. Vying for their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1979, Rangers fans were on their feet in hopeful anticipation. As the clock ticked down below 20 seconds, the Devils pulled their goaltender and managed to sneak a shot past Rangers goaltender Mike Richter to tie the game at one, and keep their championship aspirations alive.

After a scoreless first overtime that kept the game tied, Rangers forward Stéphane Matteau intercepted the puck in the second frame for a scoring opportunity against the hall-of-fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. In what was shaping up to be an all-time dramatic conclusion, Rose told the listening audience of the thrilling finish in one of the most iconic calls in NHL history.

“Matteau behind the net, swings it in front, he scores! Matteau! Matteau! Matteau! Stéphane Matteau! And the Rangers have one more hill to climb, baby, but it’s Mount Vancouver! The Rangers are headed to the Finals!,” exclaimed Rose in a jubilant moment for Blueshirts fans within a city of 16 million.

In that moment, Rose’s passion for both the Rangers and New York sports as a whole shined through. All of his years of practicing with a tape recorder in the blue seats as a fan watching the Rangers had led to that quintessential moment he could, for so many years, only refer to as a verisimilitude. Yet he always remained ready for the opportunity to arrive, and when it did, he delivered a call that represented what had happened appropriately. Twenty-eight years later, the magnitude of that once-in-a-lifetime moment is still evident to Rose each time he steps behind a microphone.

“It’s what we work for – it’s what we live for,” said Rose when asked about the significance of calling memorable moments. “It was stuff that I dreamed about as a fan…. Just thinking about it still gives me goosebumps.”

Rose departed WFAN shortly thereafter as both a host and announcer, joining SportsChannel to replace Jiggs McDonald as the television play-by-play voice of the NHL’s New York Islanders. While he grew up a Rangers fan by virtue of their being in existence while he was young, Rose lived close to Nassau Coliseum and watched the team win four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980 to 1984. Up until that point though, Rose’s career had been largely concentrated in radio, and while he wound up calling hockey games on television for 20 years, radio always was and remains as his preferred medium of choice.

“There’s much more description on radio,” explained Rose, “and the thrill of taking a blank canvas and painting something verbally to create an image that’s sharp enough and clear enough for a listener to interpret so that he or she can see what’s going on even though they’re not actually watching it – That’s the greatest challenge in broadcasting to me. Because of that, I’ve got a huge preference, artistically, for radio.”

Calling Islanders games was not Rose’s only gig in 1995 though, as he also began broadcasting games for the Mets on the radio and, one year later, in the television booth along with Ralph Kiner on MSG Network. For fans of National League baseball in New York, Rose has served as the soundtrack of summer from that time on, and in just his second season in the medium, was nominated for a New York Emmy Award. Calling games on the radio, Rose affirms, prepared him extremely well in transitioning to television, but he did have an eye-opening moment on day one of his new job.

“I thought to myself at the end of the [first] game, ‘Man, that was easy,’” recollected Rose. “You’ve got so many different variables on television that conspire to make your job easier. You’ve got a producer who tells you what… to say in the open; you’ve got a director who’s showing you the pictures that you have to respond to, and you’ve got the game that you describe only in snippets as opposed to vividly [like] the way you have to on radio…. I think I could roll out of bed and stumble into a television booth and do a game and not embarrass myself. I couldn’t imagine myself doing that on radio.”

Indeed, Rose did return to radio – and WFAN for that matter – when legendary Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy retired in 2003. He worked with Gary Cohen for three years before Cohen joined the newly-launched SNY as the team’s television play-by-play announcer, along with analysts and 1986 World Series champions Keith Hernadez and Ron Darling. Since then, Rose has been the primary voice of the Mets Radio Network, and has continued to work in that role with various different partners over the years.

While some radio announcers have called games solo, such as former Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, Rose prefers having a partner to accompany him throughout the broadcast. For the last three seasons, that partner has been Wayne Randazzo, a radio broadcaster from Chicago, Ill. who had been hosting the Mets pregame and postgame shows on WCBS NewsRadio 880, the flagship radio home of New York Mets baseball. 

“You need someone to bounce things off with, and you need someone to provide a counterpoint to whatever it is that I might be saying or we might be opining about,” said Rose. “I’m also at a point in my career where I absolutely love mentoring younger broadcasters, and… I just love watching younger broadcasters evolve into real good, solid major leaguers.”

Rose acknowledges that he has been fortunate to work in his hometown for the entirety of his broadcasting career, working games for the teams with which he grew up. While his situation is not completely unique, he knows it is extremely rare, a primary reason as to why he tells prospective broadcasters pursuing a job an incommodious truth of the industry.

“As you go to college and start to think about doing this beyond school as a full-fledged professional, you need to be willing to relocate; you need to be willing to be lonely even as you perhaps marry and raise a family,” said Rose. “You have to be prepared to deal with the sometimes very deep depression of being away from them for days or weeks at a time. That’s not easy, and you have to know that that’s all part of the equation, and you have to, if not necessarily embrace it, accept it and be willing to deal with it.”

As Howie Rose continues to recover from his medical procedure, he is making lifestyle changes to ensure he can remain behind the microphone for many seasons to come as the Mets pursue their first World Series championship since 1986. Rose will still be calling 130 of the team’s 162 games; however, he will not be traveling with the team past the Mississippi River on trips to the West Coast to cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver among others. Jake Eisenberg, the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the Omaha Storm Chasers, has been hired by the Mets and WCBS to fill in for Rose during the games he misses, serving as the booth’s third voice.

“The baseball schedule is unforgiving and as you get older – it’s like a player – if you want to stay sharp, you need a blow here and there,” stated Rose. I don’t know if I would have done it right now, but certainly in a year or two.”

Rose has called a no-hitter, various cycles and a pennant-clinching game. He has watched the careers of all-time great players unfold, including Mike Piazza, David Wright and Jacob deGrom. He has and continues to serve as the Mets Opening Day master of ceremonies, possesses a near-encyclopedic knowledge about the franchise and is a fixture around the ballpark. But the one thing he has yet to do is call a World Series championship, and it is something he and every other Mets fan has and continues to patiently wait for. That is why, if the Mets qualify for postseason play, but happen to be in one of the locations Rose is refraining from traveling to during the regular season, all bets will be off.

“Once they get to the postseason, assuming they do, I don’t care where they’re playing,” exclaimed Rose. “I don’t care if they’re playing on Guam; I’m making that trip.”

Come this Friday, April 15, Howie Rose will be calling a game from the Bob Murphy Radio Booth at Citi Field for the first time since August 31 of last year, and you can unequivocally “put it in the books” that he is ready to be back in the fold.

“We’ve got the Tom Seaver statue unveiling and the Jackie Robinson [Day] ceremonies, and obviously our pregame introductions and all that,” said Rose. “To be back in that saddle is going to be very, very exciting for me.”

BSM Writers

Kevin Burkhardt Is Broadcasting’s Most Unlikely Success Story

“To go from a car lot to the main NFL on FOX booth in less than 20 years is about as likely as one quarterback leading his team to seven Super Bowl wins.”

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There is always something appealing about the 50-75% off rack in a clothing store. It is the hope against hope I can find a shirt in my size that doesn’t look like a 1980’s Bill Cosby sweater and a velour tracksuit had a baby. That is not where FOX went shopping for Tom Brady.

Nope, FOX paid top dollar for their newest NFL analyst. Though the actual number first reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post (ten years, $375 million) hasn’t been confirmed by FOX, it is safe to say Brady will be the highest paid sports analyst in television history. “Will be” because he has that pesky little roadblock of finishing the greatest NFL career we’ve ever seen first.

I’m glad Brady could finally catch a break, looks like things are turning around for the poor guy.

The reason Brady is even being hired is that FOX is in the relatively unique position of having an entire booth opening for their top NFL game telecast with the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ABC/ESPN. The closest thing we’ve seen to this situation was the 2006 move from ABC to NBC of Al Michaels and John Madden. Of course, ABC was moving Monday Night Football to ESPN at that time and the break felt a little more natural.

As another side note, that was the Al Michaels/Oswald the Lucky Rabbit trade. Yes, one of the greatest play-by-play voices in television history was traded from ABC to NBC for some Ryder Cup rights, an Olympic highlights agreement and the rights to a cartoon rabbit. Oswald, of course, was the forerunner to Mickey Mouse. That must be the cartoon equivalent of what it was like being the opener for The Rolling Stones. The house lights are up, the single guys are hitting on the single ladies and everyone is coming back from the concession stands ready for Oswald to shut up so Mickey can take the stage.

What this has created for FOX is the search for the play-by-play partner for Brady, the role 46-year-old Kevin Burkhardt has earned. You’ll notice I said “earned” instead of “was given”. No, Burkhardt has absolutely worked his way to the top of the FOX ladder, starting by covering local high school football in New Jersey. In fact, my favorite part of this story is Burkhardt, not Brady. 

Burkhardt is as good an example of perseverance paying off as you will find in sports broadcasting. As Richard Deitsch once profiled for Sports Illustrated, just 15 years ago, seemingly having given up on hitting it big, Burkhardt was selling cars for Pine Belt Chevrolet in New Jersey. His silky smooth voice has been one of the reasons Burkhardt has climbed the FOX ladder but can you imagine him describing what is under the hood of a 2005 Chevy Suburban? Or him saying, “We have cars for every price range starting as low as $10,000. From ten to 15 to 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50…”

To go from a car lot to the main NFL on FOX booth in less than 20 years is about as likely as one quarterback leading his team to seven Super Bowl wins. Maybe that is why this pair will work. Brady, himself, was fairly close to using that business degree from Michigan. If not for a fortuitous draft pick and a Drew Bledsoe injury, the car salesman-sixth round pick broadcast team may have never happened.

Burkhardt’s climb is a lesson for young people looking to break into the sports broadcasting field. I’d be writing this from my summer home in Santorini, Greece if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to get on the air in sports radio or TV. My answer is the same every time: go to your local radio or TV station that carries high school sports and tell them you’ll volunteer to be part of the production. Trust me on this, local stations make good revenue on high school sports and are looking to produce it as cheaply as possible.

I did that when I was in college at Jacksonville State University and worked my first football season, 14 weeks, for a free game of bowling and a free meal for two at a local bar-b-que joint. I can’t calculate now how much that bowling and bar-b-que has been worth to me since. I was able to get on the air, learn the craft and make all my early mistakes in a very forgiving environment.

The local high school broadcast teaches you how to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. You will, at some point, call a game from a booth shared with a member of the home team’s quarterback club, a man who lives for the free pizza and cookies in the Friday night press box. He’s certain the game officials are either blind or on the opposing team’s payroll and doesn’t care if your crowd mic hears him yelling it.

That’s if you are fortunate enough to have a spot in the actual press box. When I was in college, doing high school play-by-play on WHMA-FM in Anniston, Alabama, we once were told there was no room in the home team’s press box for a state playoffs semifinal game. We convinced the station’s sales team to go to the local equipment rental store and negotiate for us to use a scissor lift at the stadium. They delivered it for us and it became our perilous mobile broadcast booth for one Friday night. 

The lessons learned in those years shaped my career. Those same types of lessons were also the building blocks for the man who is now slated to call the biggest games on FOX, including the Super Bowl, for the foreseeable future.

It is crazy to think a man drafted 199th is now paired in one of the biggest jobs in sports TV with a man who once tried to convince people to add on things like the Platinum Level Pine Belt Chevy Service Agreement. Those are the stories we love in sports. Now, those two will tell us those types of stories for years to come.

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BSM Writers

Patrick Beverley Announced Himself As the Next Sports Broadcasting Star

ESPN shouldn’t have let Beverley leave its studios without signing him to a contract that put him in an analyst role as soon as his playing career is over.

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Last week, Fox Sports announced the signing of what the network hopes is the next sports broadcasting star in Tom Brady. More dazzling headlines came from Brady’s mega-deal with Fox, though the network disputes the 10-year, $375 million figure reported by the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand.

This week, however, viewers may have seen the emergence of another future sports broadcasting star. And unlike Fox, ESPN didn’t tell us NBA player Patrick Beverley would be an impactful commentator based on name recognition and contract size. The network showed us Beverley’s talents and capabilities with sharp, biting opinions on its Monday daytime studio shows.

Beverley, who played this season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, has long been known as one of the NBA’s most provocative and irritating defenders. Coaches regularly task him with checking the opposing team’s best player.

He obstructs opponents physically with quick footwork and hands that result in steals, blocks, and rebounds of missed shots. But he also throws players off their game verbally and mentally, getting in their heads and forcing them to think about matters other than the game at hand.

That talent for highlighting weaknesses and insecurities in opponents serves him well as an analyst, which Beverley demonstrated by skewering Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during appearances on Get Up and First Take. On the Monday morning after the Suns’ shocking 123-90 Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Playoffs, the NBA guard went beyond stating that Paul had played badly.

Appearing with JJ Redick, Beverley could’ve said something obvious and safe like the Suns needed their leader to score more than 10 points with their season on the line. Paul needed to elevate the rest of the team and make them better. But given a national platform, Beverley pushed harder than that.

“They benched the wrong person,” Beverley said, referring to center Deandre Ayton playing only 17 minutes (and less than four minutes during the second half) in what Suns coach Monty Williams called an “internal” matter.

“They should’ve benched Chris… Once you see they started attacking Chris early and that might become a problem later on, you need to see how my team works without Chris in the game.”

On First Take, Beverley continued his criticism of Paul, especially his defense.

“There ain’t nobody worried about Chris Paul when you play the Phoenix Suns, nobody in the NBA,” Beverley said to Stephen A. Smith. “He’s finessed the game to a point where he gets all the petty calls, all the swipe-throughs at the end.

“We wanna be really honest? He should’ve fouled out. The last game, too. You see the replay against [Jalen] Brunson, hit him on the shoulder, hit him on the mouth, ref don’t call anything. If that’s me, ‘Oh, review it! Flagrant 1!’ If that’s him, they don’t call it.”

Beverley went on to say Paul can’t guard anyone and called him “a cone” that stays still while opponents run around him. That is scathing commentary coming from a current NBA player, criticism not typically heard on a studio show.

Yet if Beverley sounded bitter and resentful toward Paul, it’s because he is. The 10-year veteran holds an intense grudge against the Suns guard going back to when they faced each other in high school and college, which he explained to Redick earlier this year on his podcast, Old Man and the Three (via Awful Announcing).

“Chris, he does slick s**t,” Beverley told Redick. “People don’t know, that’s a little dirty motherf***er, man. Chris know that too, man. I know you don’t want to say it, but I’ll say it for you, though. I know he was your teammate.”

Paul wasn’t the only Suns player targeted by the guest analyst, however. Besides saying the entire Phoenix team was “scared,” especially of Mavericks star guard Luka Dončić, Beverley had plenty of criticism for Ayton, saying he was “OK” after Redick called him “fantastic” on First Take.

“I’m all about greatness,” Beverley said (via the Arizona Republic‘s Duane Rankin). “What would Wilt Chamberlain do? What would Shaquille O’Neal do? Get it off the rim. Y’all don’t have him in the pick-and-roll, I’m going to get it off the rim. I’m going to go get it. I’m going to go get it.”

Ayton only scored five points in Phoenix’s Game 7 loss. By “get it off the rim,” Beverley meant that there were plenty of opportunities for offensive rebounds and putbacks with all of the shots that Paul and Devin Booker missed. (The two shot a combined 7-for-22.)

ESPN shouldn’t have let Beverley leave its South Street Seaport studios in New York City without signing him to a contract that put him in an analyst role as soon as his playing career is over, as Fox did with Tom Brady. Actually, the network should make sure Beverley appears across its daytime schedule while he’s still an active player, as Turner Sports does with Draymond Green. And why not on NBA Countdown as well?

Fox drew the headlines last week for signing Tom Brady to its top NFL broadcast team without having any idea if he will be good at calling football games. He received a reportedly massive contract to prevent him from going anywhere else after he retires, and Fox is banking that casual fans will tune in out of familiarity and curiosity.

Patrick Beverley doesn’t have that kind of mainstream recognition. The NBA isn’t as nationally popular as the NFL. And studio analysts aren’t typically as well-known as game commentators. But maybe that’s more true of football. Who is the most famous basketball analyst? It’s Charles Barkley, by far.

Barkley is known for his candor and pointed opinions, which stand out in a studio setting far more than they would during a game broadcast as the action keeps moving. His jokes and jabs can be easily captured in video clips that play well on social media and have a shelf life on YouTube. ESPN has never had that kind of personality for its NBA coverage. No matter how hard it’s tried, the network has never produced anything close to Turner’s Inside the NBA.

But ESPN, whether realizing it or not, may have found its guy in Beverley. Put him on NBA Countdown and it instantly becomes a better program. Let PatBev argue with Stephen A., as he did on Monday’s First Take, and the pregame show is something that generates buzz and conversation.

Maybe Beverley, Redick, and Stephen A. would make for a good post-game show, something ESPN has never done while Inside the NBA shines in breaking down what just happened. Yes, there’s SportsCenter and Beverley could appear with Scott Van Pelt afterward. But a strong NBA postgame show could become a key part of the overall package. What if SVP played moderator as Ernie Johnson does with Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal?

Doesn’t that already sound better than what ESPN is doing now? Don’t let PatBev get away! He could be the network’s next big, must-watch star. Especially if he has grudges against more NBA players besides Chris Paul.

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BSM Writers

Mike Raffensperger Examines The Business of Sports Betting

“McAfee asked some outstanding questions, as he often does, while Raffensperger pulled back the curtain on a lot of things listeners and customers of the book were wanting to know.”

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Pat McAfee has built quite a following since the end of his playing days. Last December, the former Indianapolis Colts punter signed a four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel to make it the exclusive sportsbook of The Pat McAfee Show, where he seamlessly blends gambling talk with football talk every weekday. 

Last Thursday, McAfee welcomed Mike Raffensperger to the show for a very insightful and informative segment. The Chief Marketing Officer for FanDuel touched on numerous topics during the interview, ranging from how likely it is that each state will eventually have online gambling, to which show member was having the worst gambling run per their account history.

While some questioned the decision to give McAfee such a high amount of money in the deal, it appears to have paid off handsomely for FanDuel. In a report put out last week by their parent company, Flutter Entertainment, the book signed up 1.3 million active new customers in the first quarter of 2022. In addition, their 1.5 million active customers on Super Bowl Sunday was the highest single-day total ever, and the 19 million bets they processed during the NCAA Tournament signaled the most popular betting period in the book’s history. 

Raffensperger discussed some of the challenges that have been overcome with getting the FanDuel online service up and running in states as they slowly begin to legalize it. He stated that 15 states currently offer online services, but that getting all 50 will never happen.

He cited Utah as an example, as their state constitution clearly outlaws gambling, but stated that many states have legalized it because it is “pretty common sense legalization.” He does believe we will see many more states, including California, legalize sports wagering in the coming years, however. “You will see a continued, steady pace for the next few years, and then you will get close to a critical mass, but you will never get to 50.” 

McAfee asked how much of a role COVID-19 played in the legalization of sports gambling, and Raffensperger said many states were forced to explore new ways to recoup tax revenues lost during shutdowns. “From a state, municipal budgets, they needed tax revenue,” he said, while also discussing how it went from being something done in the shadows to commonplace. “It is taking a black market that is unregulated and unsafe, into a safe and regulated environment, and creates tax revenue for the state. It’s very common sense.”

One of the more informative discussions came when McAfee asked what Raffensperger would say to listeners that complained they were unable to take advantage of odds boosts or promos that FanDuel offered through his show, yet were not available to listeners in every state. This is a common issue for radio stations throughout the country that have gambling ads in multi-state markets.

“It tends to be a little more restrictive,” Raffensperger said regarding how states tend to regulate what can be offered in the months following legalization. “Then over time, as states get comfortable, we build a good relationship with our regulating partners.” He added, “it does tend to open up a bit more over time” as they build that rapport within a state, but fully understands the frustration for customers and listeners. “At the end of the day, we gotta own what the customer experience is, and it’s FanDuel’s job to work through those regulatory challenges to make it as easy on customers as possible.”

When McAfee asked him about whether more brick-and-mortar book sites might be coming in the future at professional stadiums, Raffensperger was quick to point out it was also impacted by state regulations. Stating that 90% of all their bets were made online, he also questioned to what end a physical site would be a prudent investment.

“Beyond a physical teller and placing a bet, what is a super premium or luxury experience that would make being at a sportsbook different than what you have in your mind of a Vegas sportsbook,” he asked theoretically, “but being at a retail stadium?”

He also said that physical sites, like online apps, are tied to regulation on a state-by-state basis. “You’re either allowed to take a physical bet in a sports facility or not. Most of the time, and in most of the laws, you have to have already been a gambling establishment, either a race track or a casino, to have a physical book.” 

They also touched on the McAfee same game parlay for Super Bowl LVI, which Raffensperger confirmed was tailed by more than 200,000 of his listeners. Paying out nearly eight-to-one, the wager was for Cooper Kupp to score a touchdown and to have more than 60 yards receiving, in addition to Odell Beckham Jr scoring a touchdown, and Joe Burrow rushing for 12 or more yards. Raffensperger said the parlay, which needed just nine rushing yards from Burrow to hit, may have been “the biggest parlay liability in the history of gambling,” and would have cost the book nearly $50 million had it come through. 

One final interesting fact was the rise of women in the sports gambling space. A report over the weekend from Global Wireless Solutions stated that the growth rate of women signing up with sportsbooks is 63% higher than the rate of men during the same time frame. They also reported that in 2021 FanDuel added almost 1.7 million new female customers, with DraftKings adding close to 900,000 in the same span. As sportsbooks look to bring in higher market share and look to find new ways to advertise their services, women are likely the next major demographic the books fight over. 

All in all, it was a terrific interview from all sides. Entertaining and enlightening, McAfee asked some outstanding questions, as he often does, while Raffensperger pulled back the curtain on a lot of things listeners and customers of the book were wanting to know. The partnership appears to be greatly beneficial for all parties involved, and hopefully the positive reception to the McAfee interview will lead to more transparency and open dialogue from sports book executives to their consumers.

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