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Washington’s Quincy Pondexter Calls Out KJR’s Dave Mahler For Lack of Support

“If he’s more positive and has our back more than anything, I think we’ll have more fans in the crowd; we’ll have more support, and our guys will feed off of that and play even better.”

Derek Futterman

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The University of Washington Huskies have arrived in Las Vegas for the start of the Pac-12 Tournament and despite a difficult season filled with injuries, a COVID-19 disruption, and inconsistent play, the team is finding its chemistry just at the right time to make a run for a championship.

Head Coach Mike Hopkins is reportedly on the hot seat as his team, seeded sixth in the tournament, is set to take on the No. 11 Utah Utes from T-Mobile Arena. Joining Hopkins on the coaching staff for his first season is former NBA forward and All-Pac-10 selection at Washington, Quincy Pondexter. The former first-round pick played in the Association from 2010 to 2019 and had stints with five different teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls.

Now, though, he is focused on helping elevate the program to be “respectable” on a consistent basis, and that starts with confronting members of the media who speak negatively about the team.

On Tuesday morning, Pondexter was a guest with Chuck and Buck on Seattle Sports Radio 950 KJR, and called out another on-air host on the station for hurting the development of the team and the culture around it.

“I preach positivity, especially from the people in media powers like your guy over there who could really change things around for us,” Pondexter said referring to on-air host Dave “Softy” Mahler, who very much has a love-hate relationship with the team. “If he’s more positive and has our back more than anything, I think we’ll have more fans in the crowd; we’ll have more support, and our guys will feed off of that and play even better.”

Both Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen were able to figure out prior to Pondexter speaking about him who the on-air host was by asking him if the accused’s name rhymed with “Lofty Faller.” Pondexter confirmed that is who he was talking about, leading to Powell declaring that “the word is out now.”

Pondexter addressed Mahler on Twitter before coming on the air after Mahler sent out a Tweet saying, “Before the Pac 12 Tournament starts, how would you grade Mike Hopkins performance this year?” In reply, Pondexter said, “It’s ok for you to show us some love Softy.” He elaborated on his answer on the air when asked by Jacobsen what it was like to turn the season around.

“It’s all about building things, and I think Mike Hopkins is an extremely great coach, and you have two… former [Huskie] players on your staff, and so there is no way to go besides up,” said Pondexter. “Me and Will Conry – we leave it all out there because we love this school; this university; the city more than anything. It’s only going to go up.”

Optimism is surrounding the University of Washington Huskies as they enter the tournament, and Pondexter knows that his experience from both the perspective of a player and a coach will help him be a leader among his players in the quest for a championship. Additionally, it affords him the unique perspective of looking at media criticism in a different scope, seeing what it will do to the entire team rather than how it may affect one player; that is, a part of the whole.

“I’ve been on both sides of this,” said Pondexter. “I’ve won this conference tournament and lasted until the end. The other side is you get eliminated early. You have to have intense focus, take care of business one possession at a time, and leave it all out there on the floor to give yourself the best opportunity… The guys are loving each other, and we don’t want this dance to end.”

Powell encouraged Pondexter, who had evidently perceived a lack of support for his team from certain members of the media, not to take the criticism too seriously ahead of the tournament.

“That guy loves Huskies more than anything,” said Powell in reference to Mahler. “I think more than life itself. Maybe you just caught him [in] a sour mood there.”

Sports Radio News

WEEI Producer Begins Campaign To Get Greg Hill into Radio Hall of Fame

“He has been around for a long time in the Boston radio scene and raised a lot of money for charity and done a lot of good things and a lot of good radio.”

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Greg Hill already has a Marconi, but that honor isn’t enough according to one of his producers.

Jackson, who hosts The Greg Hill Show’s after-show podcast, revealed on Monday that he is ready to make the case to the Radio Hall of Fame for the WEEI morning man to be included in next year’s induction ceremony.

He said that Hill treats the Marconi Award he won for Major Market Personality of the Year like it belongs to everyone. Hill credits not just the current cast he works with on WEEI, but partners from his days at active rocker WAAF as well, with helping him take home that award. Jackson wants to see Hill get an honor that is just for him.

“The Radio Hall of Fame would be very much Greg only, and I think he needs that solo recognition. Not for his ego, but for posterity and for his legend because he is legendary,” Jackson said. “He has been around for a long time in the Boston radio scene and raised a lot of money for charity and done a lot of good things and a lot of good radio.”

This year, the Radio Hall of Fame included a trio of WFAN legends in its induction class with found Jeff Smulyan, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and Suzyn Waldman all being honored.

Jackson says he is taking it upon himself to make the case for Greg Hill getting in, but he encouraged listeners to find out what they can do and then do it. While he made it clear that Hill deserves the honor, Jackson acknowledged that the recognition would make him feel pretty good too.

“That would be cool because then I would be working for a Radio Hall-of-Famer and in the circle of trust of a Radio Hall-of-Famer perhaps.”

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Jason Barrett Podcast

Jason Barrett Podcast: Jeff Smulyan, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down

Jason Barrett

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There would be no sports radio if not for Jeff Smulyan. He takes JB through the triumphs and disappointments of his career and explains why he is sharing so many stories in a new book, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down. To pick up your copy, click here.

iTunes: https://buff.ly/3nTJC5K 

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3z9hErM

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3oyi0U0

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Amazon: https://buff.ly/3w9hqAh

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Sports Radio News

Zolak & Bertrand: Kirk Herbstreit’s Comments A Wake Up Call For Patriots Fans

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Zolak and Bertrand

Things appeared to come to a head for the New England Patriots and their fans last week as the team fell to the Buffalo Bills 24-10.

Many fans of the Patriots with the loss seem to have accepted the fact that the glory days of the franchise are officially over. Thursday Night Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit even noted that it was off-putting that fans near his broadcast vantage point were fine with the Pats coming out on the losing end.

“I just felt the sense of acceptance of where they are,” Herbstreit said during a Friday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “It really shocked me. I’m just so used to the Patriots’ 20 years of excellence, and not just the NFL in all of professional sports. And to see their fan base just like, we suck, whatever, game’s over, like early they were like that.”

On Zolak & Bertrand Monday, co-host Scott Zolak disagreed with Herbstreit’s take.

“I don’t know what you want from a fan base to do after that when the game’s over, and the place starts to dump out,” he said. “The game was well in hand.”

Zolak’s cohort Marc Bertrand felt differently, praising Herbstreit for offering that sort of perspective.

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough,” Bertrand said. “They let ’em off the hook.”

Bertrand felt like Patriots fans had every right to be pissed off with the product the team put on the field last week and have done so far this season. Especially when people are paying top dollar for admission to games.

“That product doesn’t match those prices last Thursday night,” he said, continuing to agree with what Herbstreit said. “You don’t hear that a lot around here. So I thought it was a nice change up.”

Zolak and Bertrand both seemed to determine that perhaps it was a case of fans being too nice and being willing to accept failure from head coach Bill Belichick and his staff.

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