Matt Mosley Is Excited About A New Lease On Life
“Wearing a helmet saved Mosley’s life on October 2nd, 2020, but the damage was still done.”
Eyewitnesses recall a bicycle furiously speeding around White Rock Lake in Dallas. Behind the handlebars was Matt Mosley, a local sports media star that had enjoyed multiple decades of success in the DFW Metroplex. Mosley was going around 20 mph when he realized he was in a bit of trouble. He made, what he thought at the time, was the smart decision of cutting off the bike trail into the meadow just to his right. He’d made this move before while dodging a child or a small animal during countless trips riding his bike around the lake.
He thought he would be approaching a grassy area that would allow for a smooth crash or even a place to help regain his balance. Instead, the horror of seeing an upcoming trench met Mosley. He had just a few moments to react. In an instance, his 10-year-old self took over. Mosley made the decision to try and jump the ditch. It was going to take an incredible maneuver to avoid almost certain disaster.
Just a few moments earlier, Mosley was marveling at the beautiful October afternoon he was enjoying. It was a picturesque day in North Texas, which meant a routine bike ride around the lake to get his juices flowing before his afternoon radio show at ESPN Central Texas. But the day was so beautiful it caused Mosley to lose track of time. When he looked at the time, he realized it was already past 2:00. His show began in less than an hour. He knew he had to book it home to make the opening of the show. So he peddled hard and fast.
A dry spell around White Rock Lake meant the grassy ditch felt more like hard dirt. Mosley can tell you that firsthand because as his front bicycle tire stuck, it threw him over the handlebars. Essentially, he supermanned, face first, into the opposite side of the ditch. It was a severe crash.
Wearing a helmet saved Mosley’s life on October 2nd, 2020, but the damage was still done. Luckily, an ER doctor was also riding his bike and was the first person on the scene. Mosley was quickly transported to a nearby hospital.
“It felt like it was a miracle, because the first person on the scene happened to be an ER doctor riding his bike,” said Mosley. “He took full control of the scene and got me stabilized.”
Doctors spent an hour in surgery just picking out all the dirt that was on him after the hard crash. Mosley had lost half his lip and the cut on his face was so severe, you could see his jaw.
“It was blunt force,” Mosley said.
The crash fractured his C2 and C7. It also broke his back. That night, a doctor basically put Mosley back together.
“Those OMFS folks are unbelievable,” Mosley said.
Though Mosley was in incredible pain at the time of the accident, he couldn’t stand the thought of his show starting without anyone knowing where he was. So he told the paramedic to call his producer, Stephen Simcox.
“It was almost show time and I felt weird about the fact he hadn’t reached out,” said Simcox. “I texted him and told him I sent him some notes and I got a text back from a Dallas paramedic. He said Matt was injured and wasn’t going to be able to do the show. It was jarring.”
The news then started to trickle down to others.
“I got a text from his wife Meredith telling me he had been involved in a serious bike accident, “ said Ed Werder, Mosley’s co-host on The Doomsday Podcast. “I immediately realized the severity of the whole thing, but as the situation evolved and more information became available, there were questions about how much he was going to recover and seemed like, ultimately, he was really fortunate an emergency doctor found him and was able to get him the necessary treatment almost immediately.”
“As only Ed could, he was highly, highly concerned about me, but also, highly concerned about how we were going to do a podcast,” laughed Mosley. “I think Ed thought I should do it from the hospital.”
“I did the podcast by myself for a few weeks, because he was physically unable to do it,” Werder said. “Finally we got him on for five minutes, and when I saw him sitting in his neck brace and awkwardly in his recliner, and could only speak for a short period of time, it was only then when I realized how seriously injured he was and that it could have been so much worse. It was kind of shocking when I saw him on the video for the first time.”
“I was laughing, because I was like, I bet Ed doesn’t want me to come back, because he had Sal Paolantonio filled in for me one week,” laughed Mosley.
“Right after it happened, Ed Werder told me Mosley had been in a bike wreck,” said Randy Galloway, former radio partner at KESN 103.3 ESPN in Dallas. “I’m going, oh, hell. I was keeping up with how things were going, but it was a really scary situation. No joking at all, he was lucky to be alive.”
“When I first heard about it, my first concern was, thank God he’s alive,” said Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew. “The next question was, what does recovery look like? I knew it was going to be a daunting recovery and something that was going to require a great deal of toughness. He showed a lot of toughness and diligence in his recovery.”
The outpouring of support Mosley received in the hospital was incredible. Colin Cowherd and The Volume sent flowers. Fox Sports Radio was incredibly supportive. It seemed like everyone he cared about in his life was sending their thoughts and prayers.
“So many people were unbelievable,” Mosley said.
But it was his wife Meredith that was the most supportive. An incredibly talented interior designer, she shut everything down for two months to take care of her husband. Along with his wife stepping aside from her job, Mosley’s independent contract situation meant no money was coming into the household. The couple had to become extremely resourceful.
“She stopped working to take care of me,” Mosley said. “She was at my every beck and call. She had to lay down the law early on when she heard me searching for pills in the middle of the night.”
Mosley was also extremely thankful for his younger sister, Mandy Logsdon, who went out and bought two recliners for his recovery. That made podcasting with Werder much more manageable. It was a tough time, but his parents, daughter Parker, and in-laws, as well as others, were incredibly supportive.
Mosley was in the hospital for a week and left with a neck brace. The doctors thought his injuries might heal on their own. Three weeks later he went in for a follow-up at UT Southwestern in Dallas.
“They said it was unstable and we elected to have surgery,” Mosley said.
Call it fate, but Mosley met Dr. Carlos Bagley. He was a surgeon that played linebacker at Duke. He knew right away this was the guy he wanted to do his surgery.
“He was an unbelievable guy, that, from the minute I met him, I was like, yeah, that’s who I want,” said Mosley. “They had to fuse my C1 and C2. It was a scary surgery but he had done it quite a bit.”
The recovery process was a journey, but in January of 2021, he was back on the air at ESPN Central Texas. Around four weeks after the accident, he was back on The Doomsday Podcast and soon was getting back to fill-in opportunities from Scott Shapiro on Fox Sports Radio.
It was a horrific accident, but with the support of so many, he had overcome the scariest situation of his life.
“Kudos to Kevin Jackson of FoxSports.com where I used to write,” Mosley said. “Before the accident, he and I were talking about me coming back to be a Cowboys and NFL columnist. Around Christmas, he wanted to do a four-part Cowboys series. I was in bed and wrote the story on my phone, because writing at a coffee shop was too painful. It made me feel good and made me realize everything was going to be ok.”
Today, Mosley is a full-go and back to his busy lifestyle. He hosts every weekday at ESPN Central Texas from 4-6 p.m. He’s also involved with The Volume, a fill-in on Fox Sports Radio and of course, a co-host on The Doomsday Podcast.
“He’s done everything as far as producing, sponsors and investors,” said Werder. “He handles the entire business aspect of it. I think there have been times where he’s had to pay out of pocket to keep us going.”
“Colin Cowherd has stuck with me through the peaks and valleys of my career,” Mosley said. “Folks like him, Scott Van Pelt, Ryen Russillo and Doug Gottlieb gave me some unbelievable opportunities. But the guy who believed in me the most is a retired editor from the Dallas Morning News named Bob Yates. That is my guy.”
“It’s a great example of someone that persevered,” said Drew. “It took a lot of courage to overcome and get through rehab, but I know he’s excited about his new lease on life.”
Tyler McComas is a columnist for BSM and a sports radio talk show host in Norman, OK where he hosts afternoon drive for SportsTalk 1400. You can find him on Twitter @Tyler_McComas or you can email him at TylerMcComas08@yahoo.com.
Is There Still a Place for Baseball Talk on National Sports Shows?
“Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance.”
Last week at the BSM Summit, I hosted a panel focused on air checks. I wish I could say we covered the topic thoroughly, but we got derailed a lot, and you know what? That is okay. It felt like real air checks that I have been on both sides of in my career.
Rob Parker of The Odd Couple on FOX Sports Radio was the talent. He heard thoughts on his show from his boss, Scott Shapiro, and from his former boss, legendary WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff.
Baseball was the topic that caused one of our derailments on the panel. If you know Rob, you know he is passionate about Major League Baseball. He cited download numbers that show The Odd Couple’s time-shifted audience responds to baseball talk. To him, that proves there is not just room for it on nationally syndicated shows, but that there is a sizable audience that wants it.
Chernoff disagrees. He says baseball is a regional sport. Sure, there are regions that love it and local sports talk stations will dedicate full hours to discussing their home team’s games and roster. National shows need to cast a wide net though, and baseball doesn’t do that.
Personally, I agree with Chernoff. I told Parker on stage that “I hear baseball talk and I am f***ing gone.” The reason for that, I think, is exactly what Chernoff said. I grew up in Alabama (no baseball team). I live in North Carolina (no baseball team). Where baseball is big, it is huge, but it isn’t big in most of the country.
Now, I will add this. I used to LOVE baseball. It is the sport I played in high school. The Yankees’ logo was on the groom’s cake at my wedding. Then I had kids.
Forget 162 games. Even five games didn’t fit into my lifestyle. Maybe somewhere deep down, I still have feelings for the sport, but they are buried by years of neglect and active shunning.
Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance.
Me, and millions of sports talk listeners like me, look at baseball like a toddler looks at broccoli. You probably aren’t lying when you tell us how much you love it, but damn it! WE WANT CHICKEN FINGERS!
A new Major League Baseball season starts Thursday and I thought this topic was worth exploring. I asked three nationally syndicated hosts to weigh in. When is baseball right for their show and how do they use those conversations? Here is what they had to say.
FREDDIE COLEMAN (Freddie & Fitzsimmons on ESPN Radio) – “MLB can still be talked nationally IF there’s that one player like Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani can attract the casual fan. MLB has definitely become more local because of the absence of that SUPER player and/or villainous team. I wonder if the pace of play will help bring in the younger fans that they need, but the sport NEEDS that defining star that is must-see TV.”
JONAS KNOX (2 Pros & a Cup of Joe on FOX Sports Radio) – “While football is king for me in sports radio, I look at baseball like most other sports. I’m not opposed to talking about it, as long as I have an angle or opinion that I am confident I can deliver in an entertaining manner. A couple of times of any given year, there are stories in baseball that are big picture topics that are obvious national discussions.
“I think it’s my job to never close the door on any topic/discussion (except politics because I don’t know anything about it).
“But also, if I’m going to discuss a localized story in baseball or any other sport for that matter – I better have an entertaining/informed angle on it. Otherwise, I’ve let down the listener and that is unacceptable. If they give you their time, you better not waste it.”
MAGGIE GRAY (Maggie & Perloff on CBS Sports Radio) – “While I was on WFAN there was almost no amount of minutia that was too small when it came to the Mets and Yankees. On Maggie and Perloff, our baseball topics have to be more centered around issues that can be universal. For example, ’Is Shohei Ohtani the face of the sport? Is Ohtani pitching and hitting more impressive than two sport athletes like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders? Do you consider Aaron Judge the single-season homerun king or Barry Bonds?’ Any baseball fan or sports fan can have an opinion about those topics, so we find they get great engagement from our audience.”
Demetri Ravanos is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media. He hosts the Chewing Clock and Media Noise podcasts. He occasionally fills in on stations across the Carolinas. Previous stops include WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL, WBPT in Birmingham, AL and WBBB, WPTK and WDNC in Raleigh, NC. You can find him on Twitter @DemetriRavanos and reach him by email at DemetriTheGreek@gmail.com.
Who Can Sports Fans Trust Once Twitter Ditches Legacy Verified Blue Checks?
The potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.
As of April 1, Twitter will finally make a dreaded change that many will view as an April Fools’ prank. Unfortunately, it won’t be a joke to any user who cares about legitimacy and truth.
Last week, Twitter officially announced that verified blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that have not signed up for a Twitter Blue subscription. Previously, accounts whose identity had been verified were allowed to keep their blue checks when Twitter Blue was implemented.
But shortly after Elon Musk purchased Twitter and became the social media company’s CEO, he stated his intention to use verification as a revenue source. Users would have to pay $8 per month (or $84 annually) for a Twitter Blue subscription and blue checkmark verification. Paying for blue checks immediately set off red flags among users who learned to depend on verified accounts for accredited identities and trusted information.
The entire concept of verification and blue checks was simple and effective. Users and accounts bearing the blue checkmark were legitimate. These people and organizations were who they said they were.
As an example, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has faced criticism for how he framed domestic violence and sexual misconduct involving star NFL players, and deservedly so. But fans and media know Schefter’s tweets are really coming from him because his account is verified.
Furthermore, Twitter took the additional step of clarifying that accounts such as Schefter’s were verified before Twitter Blue was implemented. He didn’t pay eight dollars for that blue checkmark.
The need for verification is never more vital than when fake accounts are created to deceive users. Such accounts will put “Adam Schefter” as their Twitter name, even if their handle is something like “@TuaNeedsHelp.” Or worse, some fake accounts will create a handle with letters that look similar. So “@AdarnSchefter” with an “rn” in place of the “m,” fools some people, especially at a quick glance when people are trying to push news out as fast as possible.
Plenty of baseball fans have been duped over the years by fake accounts using a zero instead of an “o” or a capital “I” instead of a lowercase “l” to resemble Fox Sports and The Athletic reporter Ken Rosenthal. That trick didn’t get me. But when I covered Major League Baseball for Bleacher Report 10 years ago, I did fall for a fake Jim Salisbury account that reported the Philadelphia Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. Capital “I,” not lowercase “l” in “Salisbury.” Pence was, in fact, traded to the Giants two days later, but that didn’t make my goof any less embarrassing. I should’ve looked for the blue checkmark!
But after April 1, that signifier won’t matter. Legacy blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that haven’t paid for Twitter Blue. Some accounts that were previously verified might purchase a subscription to maintain that blue check. But those that were deemed legitimate prior to Musk taking over Twitter likely won’t. (There are also rumors that Twitter is considering a feature that would allow Twitter Blue subscribers to hide their blue check and avoid revealing that purchase.)
That could be even more true for media organizations, which are being told to pay $1000 per month for verification. Do you think ESPN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post will pay $12,000 for a blue check?
We’ve already seen the problems that paying for verification can cause. Shortly after Twitter Blue launched, accounts pretending to be legacy verified users could be created. A fake Adam Schefter account tweeted that the Las Vegas Raiders had fired head coach Josh McDaniels. Users who saw the “Adam Schefter” Twitter name went with the news without looking more closely at the “@AdamSchefterNOT” handle. But there was a blue checkmark next to the name this time!
The same thing occurred with a fake LeBron James account tweeting that the NBA superstar had requested a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. There was a “@KINGJamez” handle, but a “LeBron James” Twitter name with a blue check next to it.
Whether it’s because fans and media have become more discerning or Twitter has done good work cracking down on such fake accounts, there haven’t been many outrageous examples of deliberate deception since last November. But the potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.
If that seems like an overstatement, it’s a very real possibility that there will be an erosion of trust among Twitter users. Media and fans may have to take a breath before quickly tweeting and retweeting news from accounts that may or may not be credible. False news and phony statements could spread quickly and go viral across social media.
Even worse, Musk has announced that only verified Twitter Blue accounts will be seen in your “For You” timeline as of April 15. (He can’t claim it’s an April Fools’ Day joke on that date.)
Obviously, that carries far more serious real-world implications beyond sports. Forget about a fake Shams Charania account tweeting that Luka Dončić wants to be traded to the Lakers. It’s not difficult to imagine a fake Joe Biden account declaring war on Russia and some people believing it’s true because of the blue checkmark.
We may be nearing the end of Twitter being a reliable news-gathering tool. If the accounts tweeting out news can’t be trusted, where’s the value? Reporters and newsmakers may end up going to other social media platforms to break stories and carry the viability of verification.
When Fox Sports’ website infamously pivoted to video in 2017, Ken Rosenthal posted his MLB reporting on Facebook prior to joining The Athletic. Hello, Instagram. Will someone take their following and reputation to a fledgling platform like Mastodon, Post, Spoutible, or BlueSky, even if it means a lesser outlet?
If and when that happens, Twitter could still be a community but not nearly as much fun. Not when it becomes a matter of trust that breaks up the party.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a Lesson For Us All in Florida Atlantic’s Elite 8 Broadcast Struggle
“It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.”
Ken LaVicka and Kevin Harlan probably don’t have a ton in common. Both of them were announcing an Elite Eight game over the weekend, that is one thing tying them together, but their experiences were wildly different. Harlan is on CBS with a production crew numbering in the dozens making certain all goes smoothly. LaVicka, the voice of the Florida Atlantic Owls, is a production crew himself, making certain those listening in South Florida heard the Owls punch their Final Four ticket. At least, that was LaVicka’s plan.
The Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Men’s Final Four. Even while typing that sentence, it still seems odd to say. Do you know how many college basketball teams are thinking “how can Florida Atlantic make the Final Four and we can’t?” These are the types of stories that make the NCAA Tournament what it is. There is, literally, no barrier stopping any team from this tournament going on the run of their life and making it all the way.
Everyone listening in South Florida almost missed the moment it all became real for the Owls. With :18.6 to go in Florida Atlantic’s Elite Eight game against Kansas State, the Madison Square Garden Ethernet service to the front row of media seating went completely dark.
It was on that row that Ken LaVicka was painting the picture back to South Florida. Well, he was until the internet died on him.
Nobody does a single show away from their home studio anymore without trying to avoid the nightmare of Ethernet failure. Gone are the days of phone lines and ISDN connections, all the audio and video is now sent back to the studio over the technological miracle that is the internet. It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.
Take that anxiety and multiply it by 1,000 when that Ethernet line is connected to a Comrex unit for the most important moment of your career. LaVicka had the great fortune of a Kansas State timeout to try something, anything, to save the day. In his quick thinking, he spun around and grabbed an ethernet cable from row two which, as it turns out, still had internet access flowing through it’s cables. That cable, though, was the equivalent of an iPhone charging cord; never as long as you need it to be.
One of LaVicka’s co-workers from ESPN West Palm held the Comrex unit close enough to the second row for the cable to make a connection and the day was saved. LaVicka was able to call the last :15 of the Florida Atlantic win and, presumably, get in all the necessary sponsorship mentions.
It was an exciting end to the FAU v. Kansas State game, a great defensive stop by the Owls to seal the victory. LaVicka told the NCAA’s Andy Katz he tried to channel his inner Jim Nantz to relay that excitement. The NCAA Tournament excitement started early this year. In the very first TV window 13 Seed Furman upset 4 Seed Virginia with a late three pointer by JP Pegues, who had been 0-for-15 from beyond the arc leading up to that shot. It is the type of play the NCAA Tournament is built upon.
It was called in the manner Kevin Harlan’s career was built upon. Harlan, alongside Stan Van Gundy and Dan Bonner, called the Virginia turnover leading to the made Furman basket with his trademark excitement before laying out for the crowd reaction. After a few seconds of crowd excitement he asked his analysts, and the world, “Did we just see what I think we saw? Wow!” Vintage Kevin Harlan.
One reason we are so aware of what Harlan said, and that he signaled his analysts to lay out for the crowd reaction, was a CBS Sports tweet with video of Harlan, Van Gundy and Bonner in a split screen over the play. It gave us a rare look at a pro in the middle of his craft. We got to see that Harlan reacts just like he sounds. The video has more than six million views and has been retweeted more than 6,000 times, a lot of people seem to like it.
Kevin Harlan is not in that group. Harlan appeared on Richard Deitsch’s Sports Media podcast after the video went public and said he was embarrassed by it. Harlan added he “begged” CBS not send the tweet out but to no avail. Harlan told Deitsch “I don’t know that I’m glad that they caught our expression, but I’m glad the game was on the air. I think I join a chorus of other announcers who do not like the camera.”
There’s a valuable announcer lesson from Harlan there; the audience is almost always there for the game, not you. Harlan went on to describe the broadcast booth to Deitsch as somewhat of a sacred place. He would prefer to let his words accompany the video of the action to tell the story. Kevin Harlan is as good as they come at his craft, if he thinks that way, there’s probably great value in that line of thought.
We can learn from LaVicka, as well. You work in this business long enough and you come to accept technical difficulties are as much a part of it as anything. They always seem to strike at the worst times, it is just in their nature. Those who can find a way to deal with them without everything melting down are those who can give their audience what they showed up for. Those who lose their mind and spend time complaining about them during the production simply give the audience information they don’t really care about.
The Final Four is an unlikely collection of teams; Miami, San Diego State, Connecticut and Florida Atlantic. You all had that in your brackets, right? Yep, the Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Final Four and Ken LaVicka will be there for it. Now, if the internet will just hold out.
Ryan Brown is a columnist for Barrett Sports Media, and a co-host of the popular sports audio/video show ‘The Next Round’ formerly known as JOX Roundtable, which previously aired on WJOX in Birmingham. You can find him on Twitter @RyanBrownLive and follow his show @NextRoundLive.