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Sean Salisbury on John Clayton: ‘Our Relationship Was Always Special’

“They don’t want to know if I threw a touchdown, they don’t want to know who I think the first pick of the draft is. It’s ‘How’s your relationship with John Clayton?'”

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The Sean Salisbury Show

Since John Clayton passed away, many colleagues and fans have expressed surprise and condolences at what appeared to most to be an unexpected death.

One of the most outspoken with his sympathies has been Sean Salisbury, who’s forever linked to Clayton due to their regular “4 Downs” NFL debate segments they regularly recorded on SportsCenter. The two went at each other hard in those arguments, trading quips and insults, which may have created the impression that they didn’t like each other.

But Salisbury and Clayton were actually great friends — no kayfabe there — a bond that continued long after both had left ESPN. With his own radio show on Houston’s Sports Talk 790 and being a regular guest on programs throughout the country to provide NFL analysis, Salisbury has had opportunities to share his love and memories of Clayton.

On Tuesday, he was on The Dan Patrick Show to talk about his friend and recount how they were paired together for those “4 Downs” segments. (That part of the conversation begins at the 7:15 mark in the video below.)

“How it started with ‘4 Downs’ was I was in the newsroom with our guy, Mark Preisler, and Mark Shapiro wanted to do something different,” Salisbury recalled. “And they came up to me in the newsroom at ESPN, and John was doing a remote somewhere. They said, ‘We want to do something different, like the nerd or the smart guy versus the jock. I was like, ‘Wait, am I the smart guy or the jock?’

As Salisbury pointed out, he and Clayton were “the original sports debate thing,” before Pardon the Interruption, First Take, Undisputed, Speak For Yourself, and other programs that now dominate daytime sports TV. And it was all unscripted.

“I didn’t know it was going to catch on like this. I still to this day — you and I have talked about it over the years — get more questions about John Clayton and I, however you want to ask them, than any question I’ve ever received in my playing time,” Salisbury said. “They don’t want to know if I threw a touchdown, they don’t want to know who I think the first pick of the draft is. It’s ‘How’s your relationship with John Clayton?’

“Our relationship was always special. I’ve known him since 1986, before that. But it became even more tight-knit and close over the years. We weren’t sensitive, we got after it. What you saw was real intensity. But the second the camera went off, John and I were back to being great friends.”

We should all be so fortunate to have a friend who speaks so well of us after passing away. But that’s the impression and impact that Clayton left on his friends and the people who worked with him. He’s deeply missed and love by those who knew him well.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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