Sure, the 2022 NCAA Tournament is down to the Final Four. And what a quartet it is with Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke deciding the national championship in New Orleans. Normally, that would surely be the sports radio topic of the day.
But not after the 2022 Academy Awards, which provided a moment that dominated social media Sunday night. Will Smith walking up to the stage to slap presenter Chris Rock, after the comedian made fun of the actor’s wife will be referenced in video clips, memes, and best Oscars moments for quite possibly the rest of our lifetimes.
Every TV morning news show and radio show — sports or otherwise — covered the story on Monday. What else was there to talk about, really? And if the job is to react and give opinions on a subject, well, Smith slapping Rock is exactly the kind of story for that.
Monday morning’s Boomer & Gio on WFAN was no exception. The two already cover sports and culture, along with personal stories and behind-the-scenes happenings in the studio, as any good morning show should. So naturally, the Smith-Rock incident came up.
Beyond recapping the slap itself and the moments that led up to it, Gregg Giannotti broke down where the incident could have gone afterwards. As he points out, Rock initially seemed as if he wanted to retaliate with more jokes at Smith’s expense. And there’s a lot of material to mine, especially in regards to Smith’s open marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock also briefly looked backstage at producers, presumably wondering if the show was going to continue or go to a commercial break. When it became apparent that the show would go on, Rock maintained his composure (though was briefly flustered, as anyone likely would be) to present the award for Best Documentary Feature.
And the show did indeed go on. As Boomer Esiason pointed out, that included Smith winning the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard, leading to a bizarre speech in which the star talked about protecting family. Then he apologized to the Academy and those in attendance, but not to Rock.
Giannotti wrapped up the segment by saying he thought that “the Oscars are now back.” Is Hollywood’s self-congratulatory night a must-see event again?
If not for The Slap, most of the talk about the Oscars would have been about what a terrible, disjointed show it was, with features and performances filling up space instead of awards being presented. Not to mention that nearly all of the 10 Best Picture nominees — including the eventual winner CODA — were films that a majority of people didn’t see, whether because they weren’t popular in mainstream culture or because audiences still haven’t fully embraced going back to theaters.
Certainly, bringing an “anything can happen” anticipation and suspense to the proceedings could lead to more people paying attention. But people tuning in to see somebody else rush the stage or another incident of violence can’t be what the Academy or ABC wants.
Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”