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Toucher & Rich: Why Can’t Reporters Retaliate When Athletes Are Rude to Them?

“What gives them the right to being able to say what they want but as a reporter, you can’t say anything back?”

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98.5 The Sports Hub

Testy exchanges between reporters and athletes or coaches often make for compelling highlights. Fans generally don’t care if the media is being mistreated. It’s part of the job, in their view, and reporters should ask tough questions. Plus, people don’t seem to like the press much.

But there are occasions when someone responds to a question in an insulting fashion, intending to belittle or humiliate a reporter. Those incidents tend to stand out, and cast the person being hostile in a bad light.

Wednesday’s Toucher and Rich show discussed this dynamic, first with a local example of Celtics guard telling the Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn that he asked a stupid question.

“At some point, you’re a human being too,” said Rich Shertenlieb. “What gives them the right to being able to say what they want but as a reporter, you can’t say anything back?”

Toucher agreed, saying adults should talk to each other and such. And ultimately, being adults means moving past such exchanges and getting on with work. But there are occasions when a sports figure is acting particularly rude, and that’s when it can feel like a line has been crossed.

From there, Shertenlieb brought up Leon Draisaitl’s response to a question from Hockey Hall of Fame reporter Jim Matheson following the Edmonton Oilers’ Tuesday practice. The Oilers have been one of the NHL’s most disappointing teams, winning only three games since Dec. 1.

Draisaitl sarcastically told Matheson he knows everything when asked to expand on a “we have to get better at everything” answer. Matheson then asked Draisaitl, “Why are you so pissy?”

Fred Toucher then wondered if any Boston reporter would be that aggressive in questioning one of the city’s professional athletes or coaches. Imagine someone asking New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, “Why are you so pissy?”

But the Draisaitl-Matheson exchange highlighted a key difference in how athletes and the media deal with each other when they speak in press conference situations necessitated by COVID protocols rather than more private locker room conversations.

Tensions are now out in the open, when they might have previously happened in a corner, away from everyone’s attention. And when these dialogues become public, people feel the need to take sides with the reporter or the athlete. Which side you’re on as a fan likely depends on your perception of the media.

Sports Radio News

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.

Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.

Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.

“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”

Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.

“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”

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Sports Radio News

Stetson Bennett IV Fires Back at Steak Shapiro Over Parade Criticism

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Georgia walloped TCU last week to win their second straight national championship, and the Bulldog community came together toward the end of the week to celebrate with a parade.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took part in the parade, but 92.9 The Game host Steak Shapiro wasn’t thrilled with how Bennett acted during the celebration.

Shapiro on Tuesday took a shot at Bennett, who appeared to spend some time fiddling with a cell phone during the parade.

Tuesday night, Bennett responded first with a quote tweet.

Bennett followed that up with a longer statement he posted under his quote tweet explaining the situation.

“I appreciate your concern with my image/intentions/loyalties/obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them),” Bennett wrote. “You obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had.”

Bennett said ultimately he was trying to soak up the moment with his teammates, and he was just trying to make sure the celebratory mood was set with the right music on his phone.

“So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford,” he said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”

Bennett finished with a little dig of his own at Shapiro.

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro,” he said. “But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either.”

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Sports Radio News

Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA

“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”

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Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.

“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.

He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.

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