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Shapiro To Judge On Food Network

Jason Barrett

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As anyone who has listened to Steak Shapiro on sports talk radio over the years knows, he loves food. He would wax romantic about the Palm and even opened a restaurant Stats while with 790/The Zone.

He has also started a food-oriented media franchise “Atlanta Eats,” which includes TV, radio and on-line features about local eateries. And he is now going national as a judge on Food Network’s latest competition show “Food Truck Face Off,” which debuts Thursday at 8 p.m.

“I’m very grateful,” he said.

His life has rebounded nicely since he was ousted last year from the 790/The Zone morning show after that now infamous Steve Gleason ALS bit that went viral in a very bad way  and got him,Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini fired. He has been building his food credentials and nabbed a gig at his old enemy sports talk station 680/The Fan late last year.

Food Network was fishing around for new personalities and found a video of Shapiro doing a pre-Falcons show with local chef Kevin Rathbun. They then found his “Atlanta Eats “show. Last year, they shot a pilot for “Food Truck Face Off” for Food Network’s sister station the Cooking Channel.

The reaction was so positive, they moved the show to the Food Network and shot 13 more episodes from four cities: Austin, Miami, Toronto and Los Angeles. Shapiro spent a lot of time on the road while hosting his Front Row sports talks how remotely.

The concept is a bit like “Shark Tank,” Shapiro said. He and two judges take food truck pitches from four teams who want to break into the business. He, Chicago restaurateur Alpana Singh and a rotating third judge pick the best two. They then fly to the city where the teams are from and have them compete for use of a food truck for an entire year. The judges at that point do a lot of coaching.

Shapiro said he is comfortable expressing his opinion after decades of doing so on the radio. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s where Jason Heyward should bat or what the best dumplings are in town. I could talk about Neapolitan pizza, then Matt Ryan.

He and Singh, he said, are very much opposites. “She has a more sophisticated palate than I do,” he said. She owns restaurants in Chicago and has hosted her own TV show there for many years.

Singh, in a separate interview, said their dynamic is a bit like the old “American Idol” combo of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

“We became fast and easy friends,” she said. “There’s a natural chemistry between us. He sort of looks at me and says, ‘Why are you so harsh?’ ‘I’m not being harsh!’ “

She calls him very intense, very direct, yet “very personable, very curious.” Yet deep down, “he’s a big softie.” She also noticed that he types on his keyboard really really hard. When she made this observation, he said, “There’s nothing soft about me.”

During an episode where an Austin duo were selling food in an edible bowl, Shapiro was skeptical. “What do I care about eating a bowl? I want to eat what’s’ in the bowl and I want it to be tasty!”

Singh also found him to be a great coach for the would-be food truck owners. “He gets out there and pushes them,” she said, “because that’s what he does in his own life.”

The timing of the show is great for Steak, whose fifth season of “Atlanta Eats” debuts this weekend Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree TV. He is also promoting the first Atlanta Eats Live event Sunday, October 5 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre featuring an all-you-can-eat deal with one ticket from places such as Kimball House, Muss & Turners and Iberian Pig.

Credit to the Atlanta Journal Constitution who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee Announces Partnership With NFL Films

“You’re going to make our show better and hopefully we make NFL Films a little bit better as well.”

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Pat McAfee Show

The Pat McAfee Show is breaking another barrier with his program. Today he revealed that his show will be teaming up with NFL Films to feature league footage on the show. They will also team up for at least one feature element between the two.

On the show, McAfee was discussing the debut of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions with two of the coordinating producers of the show, Keith Cossrow and Ken Rodgers. After talking about the first episode, McAfee made the announcement.

“We will have NFL footage rights for the show every single day,” McAfee began. “We will also be creating, probably an Emmy-winning Mic’d Up type thing on the side with NFL Films. I don’t think this has ever happened before. I think this is one of the first times that something like we run has teamed up with NFL Films and the NFL.”

McAfee then told the two how happy he was to be partners with the group. “You’re going to make our show better and hopefully we make NFL Films a little bit better as well. We are very lucky and pumped to be a part of it, Keith.”

“Seeing you guys work, seeing how committed you are it reminded me of the way we are back here,” said Keith Cossrow. “What you guys have all built together is really special. What you’ve built Pat, is special. We could not be more excited at NFL Films to help build your show into something bigger. We are going to produce a weekly feature every week all season with you about the brilliance of our players in the NFL.”

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Sports Radio News

Dave LaGreca: WWE Will Improve Without Vince McMahon

“I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”

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Wrestling fans have connected with SiriusXM’s Busted Open, because they trust host Dave LaGreca to be honest with them about what is good and bad in the sport. One target that he has never been afraid to go after is former WWE boss Vince McMahon.

“You can’t think about it,” he said on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast when asked how the company has responded to his criticism in the past. “You kinda have to block it.”

One of LaGreca’s most famous rants is about the appearance of zombies at a WWE pay-per-view event last year. During that rant, Dave LaGreca shouted over and over that Vince McMahon hates pro wrestling.

He told Barrett that he doesn’t regret the rant and still believes every word of it.

“I stand by that statement. I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”

Dave LaGreca is a wrestling fan. He said he and people like him have plenty of reason for optimism with McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H taking creative control of the company’s storylines.

“Triple H looks at pro wrestling as an art form. He’s said it before. He appreciates it. He respects it. He grew up an NWA fan. I am very high on the next 3-6 months with Triple H at the helm of creative.”

Barrett followed that up by asking what could come next for Vince McMahon. Dave LaGreca had a simple answer.

“Watches!”

New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast drop every Tuesday morning.

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Sports Radio News

97.1 The Ticket Creates ‘Hard Knocks’ Drinking Game

“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”

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Detroit

The Detroit Lions are the featured team on this year’s Hard Knocks series on HBO, and 97.1 The Ticket created an interactive game for listeners to participate in as they watch.

The Valenti Show, guest hosted by Jim Costa Tuesday, created a drinking game for listeners to play at home while watching the first episode of the season, which premiered

“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”

There were rules for one sip, two sips, three sips, or finish your beverage entirely.

“One sip if you hear ‘Blue collar people. Hard working people’ describing the people of metro-Detroit, or any other Detroitisms,” Kott began. “If there’s a reference to Motown, the music, that’s a sip, for sure. Now if you see these fixtures of Detroit: The Spirit of Detroit, the Joe Louis fist, the Ren Cen (GM Renaissance Center), Henry Ford Museum, the QLine, the Ford plant, any assembly line workers. That’s also at the end of the one sip category.

Costa and the producers began to chuckle, adding they might be drunk by the end of the opening montage.

“Two sips if any former player is brought up,” Kott continued. Barry (Sanders), Calvin (Johnson), (Matthew) Stafford. Any of these guys that you see. Just cliche guys. Last year’s three-win season or record is brought up in any way. If any coach or player does the pep talk, hype up speech, that’s two sips.”

“Two sips for Jamaal Williams and any Jamaal Williams-like presentations,” Costa said, referencing a speech Williams gave that Hard Knocks had already shared on social media.

“Which would have been four sips, because he brought up the three win record last year,” Kott interrupted.

“Let’s go!”, Costa shouted.

“An additional sip if that pep talk/hype up gets you actually a little bit ‘run through a brick wall’ fired up,” Kott added. “And finally, finish your drink if the 0-16 season is brought up? You finish your drink.”

Kott also concluded if any Detroit musical artists were featured, if any 97.1 The Ticket signage or personalities were seen, you were to finish you drink. And also, you were required to finish your drink after Aidan Hutchinson completed his rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit “Billie Jean”.

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