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Norm And D Invasion Mourn End Of Newspaper Box Scores

“I used to pour over box scores, and unless I’m missing something, I haven’t seen box scores of other games since the season opened.”

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Major League Baseball is officially back under a new collective bargaining agreement for another full 162-game season that began last week. The game itself, while at its core is still “America’s Pastime,” has fundamentally shifted in terms of how it reaches and appeals to consumers – one shift being the placement of box scores.

One of the media distributors that has published the league’s box scores is the newspaper, a place where consumers have learned of the previous day’s news and happenings in various areas of society. While most newspapers have focused their content on the digital domain amid a decline in daily physical circulation, there remains a fraction of people who prefer to get their news by receiving the traditional, physical copy of the paper.

Veteran host Norm Hitzges has openly acknowledged that he falls into that category, which he refers to as the “‘I need a paper in my hands’ group,” as he continues to receive the physical newspaper each morning. Amid the medium’s gradual transition to digital content though, Hitzges expressed to his co-host Donovan Lewis on Norm and D Invasion on The Ticket in Dallas that he is mourning an omission from the newspapers that he just noticed this week.

“I’m mourning the fact that The Dallas Morning News no longer publishes box scores of other [baseball] games,” said Hitzges. “I used to pour over box scores, and unless I’m missing something, I haven’t seen box scores of other games since the season opened.”

Hitzges started as the industry’s first full-time morning drive host in Dallas, and has been on-the-air for over 30 years, including a non-sequential stint as a cable television announcer for MLB’s Texas Rangers. In that time, he has frequently had to look at box scores to follow games around the league, something he did in the newspaper – until 2022.

“That was a childhood ritual of mine,” recollected Lewis, “to grab the newspaper in the summer and pour over all the box scores from the other games…I would run out in the morning, get the paper, and I think at first my dad was a little upset because he wanted to read the paper first, and he’s a sports guy also. But he gave up that fight a long time ago after I would run out.” 

As he was assimilating into the broadcasting space, Lewis worked a paper route in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a year-and-a-half. His connection to newspapers, while it has remained strong through the evolution of media, has, like many others, wavered to the degree that he only receives a physical newspaper on Wednesdays and Sundays. Yet his co-host seemed unaware as to how Lewis would receive information about something that happens on a day in which he does not receive the physical newspaper.

“Once you get it a couple days a week, you can always check it out online,” explained Lewis. “I’m just talking about the physical copy of the paper. My parents got it every single day, and I don’t even think they get the paper every day now.”

Hitzges, a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, knows that media outlets in today’s society are evolving with changing technologies and consumer trends – both of which are concentrating in the digital space. Convergence has led to the extinction of newspapers and the amalgamation of content, and it is something that is forcing those reluctant – including Hitzges –  to adapt.

“I think we’re getting older and getting smaller,” Hitzges said regarding those who continue to read physical copies of newspapers. “Obviously, some cities have totally lost newspapers… That seems to be the trend – that newspapers are slowly, especially in rural areas, slowly but surely disappearing.”

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Damon Amendolara: Why Does Tom Brady Want To Call Games?

“I was just always convinced Tom Brady had bigger fish to fry than calling Cowboys, Commanders on Thanksgiving.”

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady is headed to FOX. According to Damon Amendolara, there is no question who is getting the better end of that deal.

The network’s interest in Brady has been well-known for months. Still, CBS Sports Radio’s morning man cannot believe it is actually happening. He said Tuesday morning that he can’t understand why Brady would want to pursue a media career after his playign days end.

“I was just always convinced Tom Brady had bigger fish to fry than calling Cowboys, Commanders on Thanksgiving,” Amendolara said. “I just always felt like Brady’s post-playing career was going to be pushing nutrition, pushing TB12 brand, pushing his apparel brand and doing kind of elite media work.”

A media career for Tom Brady is something Amendolara said he assumed would happen off-camera. He pointed to the Religion of Sport production studio Brady co-owns as an example of what he would expect Brady to want to be involved in.

Broadcasters work more Sundays during the NFL season than players do. No matter how good the games are, Damon Amendolara said that it is a grind he could not believe Tom Brady was willing to sign up for.

“They’ll get the number one games, but you still gotta do 17 or 18 of them before you get to the playoffs and not every one of them is a sizzler.”

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Ike Reese: ‘It’s Up To Us To Let Ray Didinger Stay Retired’

“I would imagine he’ll still watch a game still jotting down notes. There’s no way he’s gonna watch a game without doing his Ray Diddy thing.”

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Ray Didinger is feeling a lot of love from his WIP colleagues after announcing his retirement on Sunday. He will still be on the station through the end of the month, but on Monday, nearly the entire full-time air staff of the radio station was paying tribute to him.

Jon Marks and Ike Reese took time out of their afternoon drive show on Monday to replay Didinger’s announcement. Marks said that it was “as thoughtful as everything that he does.” He doesn’t doubt that Didinger is at peace with the decision.

Reese joked that it was good to hear PD Rod Lakin was not responsible for this. He also said that he was happy to hear that this was not a health-related retirement. According to the former Eagles linebacker though, that means it would be really easy for Didinger to want to abandon his plans if given the chance.

“We obviously know how much Ray Didinger means to us. And this WIP family, just like the Comcast Sports family I’m sure, is important to him,” Ike Reese said. “I’d imagine he would have a tough time saying no. That is why you leave it up to us to don’t bother him. Don’t put him in that position. Let him enjoy retirement.”

He knows that it will be hard for Didinger to not stay ready for a media appearance diuring the football season.

“I would imagine he’ll still watch a game still jotting down notes. There’s no way he’s gonna watch a game without doing his Ray Diddy thing.”

Both Marks and Reese said they hope that they would not hear from Didinger until at least the 2023 Eagles season and that Ray and his wife use that time to fully enjoy their new freedom.

Jon Marks reminded everyone that Ray Didinger is still an author with products to sell. If they really miss him, they can always go to a book signing.

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Mat Smith and Nate Jackson: ESPN Anger Over Nikola Jokic MVP ‘Is Garbage’

“He’s not as sexy as these other guys. But he does deserve the MVP, and shame on these guys to make it about them and their choices and their votes.”

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Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has won the NBA MVP award for the second consecutive season. Jokic secured the award ahead of Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid.

ESPN NBA analysts Brian Windhorst and Tim Legler got the attention of Mat Smith and Nate Jackson on 104.3 The Fan in Denver Monday. Both Legler and Windhorst felt like Embiid was the MVP and sounded downright offended that he was not named the winner.

Legler said Embiid carried the Sixers and had a firm grip on the award from early February through the end of the regular season.

But Smith, who was filling in for Chad Brown on Monday, argued that the same things could be said for Jokic, adding that Jokic did more with less star power on the Nuggets roster. He didn’t understand how Embiid was Legler’s clear choice over Jokic.

“There’s so many different reasons why that specifically is garbage from Legler,” Smith said.

Jackson said Jokic is the Rodney Dangerfield of NBA players and made the point that it’s a continuation of a trend. For what ever reason, the national media overlooks the 27-year-old Serbian superstar.

“They don’t pay attention to it, they’re quick to write off this guy because they don’t appreciate his style of play,” he said. “He’s not as sexy as these other guys. But he does deserve the MVP, and shame on these guys to make it about them and their choices and their votes.”

Windhorst explained he went with Embiid based on what advanced statistics were saying. Smith said Windhorst basically laid out why Jokic was most deserving of MVP.

“He just gave every reason why Jokic should win and said, ‘Well I voted for Embiid, and I’m not taking it back,'” Smith said. He added that it was puzzling why so many voters were against Jokic. “These guys don’t like Joker. He’s not likable nationally, and why that is I’m not sure.”

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