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Bill Michaels Struck by Lightening On Air

Brandon Contes

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Popular sports radio host on 105.7 The Fan in Milwaukee, Bill Michaels, was struck by lightning while broadcasting his midday show last Thursday.

Michaels took his show to Wild Ridge & Mill Run Golf Course in Eau Claire, broadcasting outside for the day when a thunderstorm began to roll in.  During the show’s first hour the signal dropped while Michaels was mid-sentence.  It was then that the radio host defied the one in 700,000 odds and was indeed struck by lightning, having to leave his Thursday program to get to a hospital.

Michaels returned to the airwaves the very next day, where according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he detailed the incident for listeners.

“We chose to go on the patio because it was supposed to clear up, the fog was supposed to lift,” Michaels said on his Friday show. “The patio has metal tables, kind of a meshy type of patio table. We had a couple together, had some chairs with us. We were under cover, well away from what we believed to be the elements.

“I was sitting at the table … as Joe and I were having this conversation. A lightning strike had taken place. It wasn’t directly to me, but it had taken place in the area. There was enough energy – I don’t know how to put it – but it hit me. It jolted me, I guess, is the best way to put it. It burned my arms, burned my fingers and found out later it had blown out through my shoe.”

“I casually got up, told a few people we’re off the air, I can’t do the show,” he said. “We’re probably going to head back to the studio. I just need to know the location of the nearest hospital, because I think I’ve just been hit by lightning.”

The show’s producer, Joe Zenzola took over after the lightning strike, CBS 58 sports director, Kevin Holden joined the show soon after.

Not only did Michaels return to his radio show and broadcast outside from Eau Claire again the very next day, but after the host was released from the hospital Thursday, he was on Twitter during the Packers preseason game and writing a blog post detailing the team’s need to acquire Khalil Mack from the Raiders.

Michaels broadcasts his show weekdays from 10am-2pm on 105.7 The Fan in Milwaukee and on other stations in Wisconsin through regional syndication, the state where he has been a radio mainstay since 1999.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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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Sports Radio News

Big Cat Regrets Question To Aaron Rodgers About Grandmothers Dying From Covid

“If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Jordan Bondurant

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Big Cat, Aaron Rodgers

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently appeared on the Barstool Sports podcast, Pardon My Take, and the interview seemed to go well.

Podcast co-host, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, who is a die-hard Bears fan and well-documented Aaron Rodgers hater, relished in the fact that Rodgers agreed to take trash talk from him.

But there was one moment where things almost derailed.

Big Cat, in his weekly appearance on ESPN Chicago with Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman, talked about asking Rodgers how many grandmothers he had killed (A reference to Rodgers not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and his beliefs on vaccine mandates).

“That was a good lesson that PFT and I sometimes have to learn,” Big Cat said, before saying he saved the interview by finding a way out of the subject. “If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s to reroute a conversation when a guest is like, ‘Oooh, I don’t like you guys.'”

Katz said it was a moment where they had to pause and understand what they were actually asking and insinuating with Rodgers.

“That was one of those ones we really don’t live in the real world, so when we go out into the real world and we say something that we’ve been joking about within the confines of our studio on ears that haven’t heard those jokes before, it’s kind of like, ‘Wait what did you guys just say? Are you really joking about grandmothers that died from COVID?'” he said. “And then when you get it repeated back to you, you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, yeah that is kind of messed up. Right, good point.”

Katz mentioned Rodgers went with the whole bit for the interview the entire time. So while there was a brief second where things could’ve gone south, everyone just let it go.

“Score one for Aaron, but he was smiling,” Big Cat said. “It was all in good fun.”

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Sports Radio News

Fescoe in the Morning: ESPN Has a History of Ignoring Non-Partner Leagues

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

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Fescoe in the Morning

ESPN is out of the running for the Big Ten football and basketball media rights. Those will be awarded to a combination of other networks and likely a streaming service. ESPN appears to be focusing on NCAA Championships next.

Josh Klingler, co-host of Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, took time on their show on Tuesday to break down what that might mean for the Big Ten in terms of coverage.

“You’re (Big Ten) going to network television, which is better; more eyeballs and what have you,” noted Klingler. “But also, let’s not forget ESPN has a history of ignoring you when you’re not on their air. That’s the risk they are going to run.”

Klingler would add, “They are going to take the money. They are going to get network viewers, which is good. I guess the highlight and the hype and all those things that we are accustomed to doing that ESPN provides. We’ve already seen they ignore you if you’re not on their network.”

Bob Fescoe chimed in a reminder about another prominent league that chose not to partner with ESPN.

“Ask the National Hockey League what happened when they took the money from NBC and ran,” said Fescoe.

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

“Right, but I think they are willing to do that for a billion dollars per year,” Fescoe responded.

Fescoe then said that the Big Ten might make up for the perceived shortcomings of not being on ESPN by being on network television.

“If you’re going to be on network TV in all three windows, Josh, quite honestly all your marquee games are going to be free,” said Fescoe.

“That’s exposure,” said Klingler.

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