Members of the media, when working or living within a specific locality, are implicitly expected by fans to vote for guys on their local team rather than looking at the complete landscape of the league to determine who is most deserving of each regular season NBA honor. It isn’t fair, but it is a reality. There was a significant backlash to Arizona Cardinals play-by-play announcer and NBA reporter Dave Pasch, after he revealed on Twitter that he voted for Marcus Smart to win defensive player of the year over Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges.
Not all voting members of the media choose to publicize their ballots. On Tuesday, Pasch joined Wolf & Luke on Arizona Sports 98.7 to explain why he continues to publicize his awards votes each year, even if it has meant vociferously hearing the opinions of fans.
“I like to do that… every time they announce an award winner,” said Pasch. “I usually say, ‘Here’s how I voted,’ to be transparent. Had I listed all of my votes for each ballot yesterday, I don’t think there would have been as much vitriol from Suns fans.”
Pasch did not leave Bridges off of the ballot entirely, selecting him as the runner-up to win defensive player of the year honors. While he voted for various other players and personnel from the Phoenix Suns organization in other awards categories, including Monty Williams as the winner of coach of the year. He says that none of the decisions he makes are based on factors solely outside of their qualifications pertaining to the award(s) for which they are nominated.
“None of us that are among the 100 voters take this lightly,” said Pasch. “All of us do our homework. I watch a lot of games and call a lot of games – and again, I’m not trying to defend myself. I’m just stating here that I think all of us make our decisions based on who we think should win – not on where we live or what team we root for.”
These awards are not bereft in their impact, as they carry significant financial implications, especially for players who are consistently nominated. Indeed, the voting members of the media know that their decisions could make a significant impact as to whether an individual player receives bonuses stipulated in their contract, or whether a player can become eligible to receive more lucrative contracts earlier in their careers.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, for example, was left off of the three All-NBA teams in last year’s voting, and in so doing, was unable to take advantage of a rule allowing him to be paid a higher percentage of the salary cap. The rule, colloquially known as the “Derrick Rose Rule,” was added to the collective bargaining agreement following the 2010-11 lockout, and it cost Tatum $6.5 million in the average annual value of his salary under his new five-year extension, a total of $32.6 million through the life of the deal.
Despite the Phoenix Suns having the best record in the NBA during the 2021-22 regular season and winning the Western Conference last season, show co-host Ron Wolfey believes the team does not receive enough respect from the national media. In turn, he surmises that this inherent “lack of respect” has led to the organization being overlooked and neglected in league coverage. Nonetheless, Wolfey respects the vote and opinion of Pasch, a member of the media he affirms possesses substantial integrity.
“The one thing I know about you, my brother, is [that] you vote with your heart in your mind,” said Wolfey. “And not only that – you have more integrity in your pinky than I’ll ever have in my entire life. I know the guy you are, and because of that, I respect you greatly.”
Wolfley’s co-host agreed.
“I wish everybody would be transparent like that and put their votes up there because yours are pretty much in line,” he said to Pasch. “Whether people agree with your first or second choice, there was nothing crazy there, but [in] some years you clearly have somebody out there vote just completely off the wall and then they’re not ever held accountable for it.”
Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football
“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”
The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.
“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about:
As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.
“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”
Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan
“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”
John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.
Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.
“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”
Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.
The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.
“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”
Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’
“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.
On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.
“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.
“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”
Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.
The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.
“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”