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Jim Rome’s 23rd “Smack Off” Includes Sonnen and Passan

Jason Barrett

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23 years ago, Jim Rome launched the “Smack Off”, an opportunity for sports talk radio listeners to rant, rave and display their passion, knowledge and personality while sounding off on players, coaches, teams and regulations. Since then, the annual tradition has increased in popularity, even serving as a launching pad for a number of on-air sports radio personalities including Jay Mohr, JT The Brick and Sean Pendergast.

This year’s highly anticipated event will take place on Friday July 28th on CBS Sports Radio between 12p-3p ET. The contest will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000.

In years past, high profile celebrities such as University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, and retired NBA player and KNBR afternoon host Tom Tolbert have participated. MMA legend Chael Sonnen actually won the event in 2012, and has agreed to re-enter the jungle this year in search of a second victory. Yahoo MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan has also announced he’ll take the plunge this year, hoping to impress Rome and his legion of ‘Clones’.

“The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best,” said Rome. “At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades. Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.”

“Jim Rome’s ‘Smack Off’ is a sports event like no other,” added Eric Spitz, Director, Programming, CBS Sports Radio. “The ‘Clones’ represent the most passionate, knowledgeable and creative sports fans around; the preparation and ingenuity they put into making their ‘Smack Off’ truly original is just amazing. This year’s contestants have their work cut out for them and I’m sure they’ll deliver just as always.”

Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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