In 2017, an Saturday Night Live sketch called “Sports Announcer” featured Chance the Rapper as a New York Knicks reporter for MSG Network named Lazlo Holmes. The conceit of the sketch is that Holmes, who knows nothing about hockey is forced to cover the New York Rangers for a night.
People all over the country started repeating Holmes’s catchphrase, “Let’s do that hockey” as the sketch went viral. It has garnered more than 5 million views on YouTube to date.
NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer was impressed and used the 2019 NHL player media tour as a chance to bring the character directly to hockey fans. The media tour was in Chance the Rapper’s hometown of Chicago. Mayer enlisted the help of SNL writers to bring the tone of the original sketch to interviews with real NHL players.
“‘Let’s Do That Hockey’ entered the hockey lexicon immediately,” Mayer told Front Office Sports. “We knew we had to try to capture some of the excitement that was built by that skit.”
Interviews with multiple players were recorded at the event. Six of them have been released so far, and again, Lazlo Holmes is a viral star. Combined the videos have generated 5.7 million views to date.
Some of the league’s biggest stars like Devils defenseman PK Subban and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist have participated in the videos. Reaction from fans has been mixed, but Mayer says the players enjoyed being a part of them and the league is happy with with the results to date because the videos “showcase how human our players are, and that they like to have fun.”
“These are the kind of things in the sports world that can cut through some of the tonnages in terms of content that is being put out and get people to talk about it and comment on it. Anyone can put out an interview with Auston Matthews, but how many can do it with Lazlo Holmes interviewing him?”
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Barrett Media Writers
Barrett Blogs5 days ago
Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit
BNM Writers5 days ago
Seth Leibsohn Expected to Move to Phoenix, Didn’t Expect Radio Show
Sports TV News5 days ago
Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz Announcing World Cup, NFL Thanksgiving Games For 18 Straight Hours Thursday