Big sports broadcasting news broke Wednesday night with the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand reporting that Troy Aikman is on the verge of signing with ESPN to be their Monday Night Football analyst.
Many may have signed off for the night or stopped checking email and social media when the Aikman news broke. So it was a good topic for Boomer & Gio to begin WFAN’s morning show with Thursday morning.
The NFL broadcasting shuffle and the exorbitant salaries being paid are pertinent topics for Boomer Esiason, who’s part of CBS’s The NFL Today studio show and was the analyst on Monday Night Football for two seasons (1998 through 1999) with Al Michaels.
Did Boomer miss out on the pools of cash Tony Romo and Aikman are now swimming in by doing MNF at the wrong time? Gregg Giannotti teased him about that to begin Thursday’s show.
“That’s gotta make you sick,” said Giannotti. “This is now happening twice. Your playing career and then your broadcasting career, where you just missed the beaucoup bucks.”
Esiason tried to avoid his co-host’s bait.
“It’s really not about me; it’s more about Troy Aikman,” said Esiason. “I stopped doing games.”
“I know; I just like to put myself in your shoes occasionally,” Giannotti responded. “I was doing that yesterday and I said, ‘Listen, Boomer’s done very well for himself. But oh, my goodness! Just missed it, twice now!”
“Well, good for him, man, and good for Tony Romo,” Esiason said graciously. “Like I told you when he got his deal, I’m always happy for guys who get paid. I have no animosity towards any of it. I don’t have any animosity towards the quarterbacks getting paid in today’s game.”
Boomer and Gio went on to question ESPN reportedly preparing to pay Aikman so much money when the alternate “ManningCast” is so popular and drawing viewers away from the traditional MNF telecast. (Although that may be an overblown aspect of paying attention to social media. The “ManningCast” averaged 1.58 million viewers, while the regular MNF broadcast drew 13.5 million. Not to mention that Peyton and Eli do 10 games per season.)
The NFL broadcasting carousel also gave Esiason the opportunity to repeat a rumor he heard about San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch being interested in returning to TV. Lynch denied Esiason’s speculation, saying he’s committed to the 49ers. (Though his use of “right now” left an opening that many will point to.)
But there’s still plenty more to come from Aikman’s reported jump to ESPN. Monday Night Football has the big-name analyst it’s lacked since Jon Gruden returned to NFL coaching. Fox needs to replace Aikman on its No. 1 NFL broadcast team with Joe Buck. And who will Amazon pursue for its Thursday Night Football broadcast now after losing Aikman? What if this means losing Al Michaels too?
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 email@example.com.
BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week
“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”
BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.
The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.
Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston
“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.
Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.
“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.
Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.
“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.
“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”
Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’
“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.
That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.
“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.
He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.
With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.
“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”