After spring training, 162 regular season games, and a mad dash through the playoffs, Major League Baseball crowns a champion after the World Series. At the conclusion of the journey, the winning team usually has a ticker-tape parade in their home city and celebrates the championship with the fans before moving on to try to do it all over again… and MLB Network is there every step of the way.
Since its launch in 2009, MLB Network has provided fans with year-round coverage from all levels of the game. MLB Tonight is the outlet’s signature program, winning seven national Sports Emmy awards for “Outstanding Daily Studio Show” through its commitment to delivering fans game highlights and analysis in unique and unparalleled ways. This includes the use of ballpark cams, live baseball demonstrations and the effective deployment of technology and implementation of presentation elements.
Along with other studio programming such as MLB Central, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk, MLB Network brings its viewers “our national pastime all the time,” and there is arguably no bigger moment for it to deliver on that commitment than during the “Fall Classic.”
MLB Network first covered the World Series in 2009 when the New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. While the Yankees have not made it past the American League Championship Series since that year, the Phillies are in the midst of an improbable postseason run as a wild card team that has, thus far, resulted in winning a National League pennant.
As a result, they are playing the Houston Astros in the 2022 World Series and 14 years later, coverage of baseball’s final games of the year have expanded and evolved with the game itself and media at large.
The network has a deep roster of personalities with varying experience playing and/or following baseball, including National Baseball Hall of Fame members Pedro Martínez and Jim Thome, along with Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken, Dan Plesac, Mark DeRosa, Kevin Millar, and Sean Casey.
Moreover, the network has added analysts closely removed from their playing careers, including Hunter Pence, Alex Avila, Anthony Recker, Yonder Alonso, and Xavier Scruggs to contribute across its programming MLB Network has offered them the platform to do so whether they be an active player or recently retired from the game.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve made a conscious effort to bring in new faces that are opinionated and passionate to keep our shows fresh,” said Marc Caiafa, senior vice president of production at MLB Network. “Having these players come right off the field and contribute when the stakes are this high makes our content that much more appointment viewing.”
In 2021, former Major League Baseball all-star outfielder Chris Young joined MLB Network as a studio analyst, just three years removed from playing the game professionally. Young spent the majority of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he became the first rookie to have 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a season. Since joining the network, he has appeared across its programming and is currently in Philadelphia, working on MLB Tonight broadcasts live from Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Starting in sports media was something that always intrigued Young and later in his career, he began working as a guest analyst on MLB Network to see if he would be a fit in the future. This aligns with a trend of current major league players appearing as guest analysts – which includes New York Yankees outfielder Harrison Bader and Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. stepping in the roles this postseason.
“After I retired, I ended up talking to some of the guys over at the network on getting the opportunity to kind of test the waters and see how they felt about me and see how I felt about the network and to see if it would be something that I really wanted to dig into,” Young said. “After jumping in, I’ve fallen in love with it and I love being a part of the network.”
At the conclusion of last season – Young’s first on the network – another major league outfielder retired and immediately found his way to working in sports media. Cameron Maybin finished his big league career playing for the New York Mets in the number one media market in the world.
Maybin had played in “The Big Apple” once before during a stint with the New York Yankees in 2019 where he posted an .858 OPS and brought a championship pedigree, as he had won the World Series in 2017 as a member of the Houston Astros. It was in the Bronx, when Maybin had his first thought of potentially working in sports media at the end of his career thanks to a conversation with YES Network and ESPN play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco.
Less than a decade later, he is back in Houston – this time covering the World Series with MLB Network from Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros.
“He came [up] to me after a game and he just said, ‘Hey man – after you’re done, I think you should really look into getting into some broadcasting or some type of media realm. When you’re done, I think you’d be great,’” Maybin recalled Ruocco telling him. “….At the time when he told me I said, ‘Hey, I’m good; I’m going to play for six more years. I’m good.’ And then you look up and that time flies by.
Young and Maybin played in markets large and small throughout their careers in the major leagues, but despite that still played the game well; they covered vast amounts of ground in the outfield, were intelligent hitters and caused havoc on the basepaths.
Off the diamond, they claim they had a positive relationship with media members, understanding journalists came to the ballpark with a job to do and bosses to whom they had to report.
As a result, they saw media members as people trying to help promote and spread the game of baseball, roles they themselves transitioned to when their time on the field concluded.
“Once I finished playing, I had created such good relationships with different members of the media that I was able to call them, speak directly, talk about the experience, talk about what to expect and really gain appreciation for what the media is trying to do,” Young said. “They’re trying to put the players on a pedestal and let the world hear their stories.”
“I always kind of took the mindset of being open, being transparent with them [and] trying to develop a good relationship,” Maybin added. “I also thought [that] if you develop a good relationship with the media, if you do something they might not kill you as much as they could.”
Playing professional sports has helped Young, Maybin and other athletes who have made the transition to being an analyst more relatable to the audience. When discussing sports that they have worked to perfect over a majority of their lives, they seek to share their esoteric knowledge and expertise with those interested in the game while surrounded by like-minded people.
“It’s a lot of baseball heads which is great because everybody speaks the language pretty much to where you can feel like you can be your authentic self and everybody can understand the lingo and what you’re talking about,” Young said. “….I think we put a really good product out there and give the fans something from the perspective of writers and broadcasters and players all collectively to really break the game down and show it from a lot of different lenses.”
Similar to aspiring professionals who look to work in sports media, those who undertake building a career playing sports professionally often look to others who have done it successfully for inspiration and motivation.
In baseball, many young players modeled their games based on the play of former Seattle Mariners outfielder and National Baseball Hall of Fame member Ken Griffey Jr. – nicknamed “The Kid” – who was known for his speed, power and versatility combined with his proclivity to flip his cap backwards. Griffey Jr. was also outgoing and friendly towards fans, influencing a countless number of people for more than his skills on the diamond.
Maybin affirms that he had an understanding of the responsibility of athletes that extends beyond the field both as a player and media member, which includes using their platforms to disseminate content beneficial to the team. This includes critiquing athletes – some of whom he recently called teammates and/or opponents – especially in larger markets with large amounts of attention devoted towards sports.
Working with Marquee Sports Network in Chicago as a studio analyst and with YES Network in the Bronx as a color commentator for New York Yankees live game broadcasts in addition to his role on MLB Network this past season, Maybin knew he would have to divulge genuinity in the opinions he expressed to viewers on the air.
“One thing I learned in this new broadcast realm is you have to be subjective if you want to gain credibility,” Maybin said. “….It’s just not being afraid to say what you have to say and also [showing] up where those guys can see you. My relationships outweigh any critique that I’ve had to make thus far.”
In remembering what it was like to be a professional baseball player, Young and Maybin are able to reminisce about both the good times and the bad times, recognizing the inherent volatility embedded in sports.
Becoming oblivious to the fact that making it as a professional and consistently succeeding is highly unlikely for most people threatens to diminish others’ willingness to listen to what they have to say and to consider their analyses tenable. Similarly, it contrives the possibility of media platforms to lose credibility, especially newer ones such as Apple TV+ where Young served as a color commentator on its presentation of Friday Night Baseball this past season.
“As a former player, the first thing you can never do is make the mistake of forgetting how hard the game is,” Young expressed, “and I feel like I make a valiant effort to never forget how difficult the game is.
“With that being said, yes, if there’s a play that happens or something that was done wrong and you have to be critical of it, we have to do that…. I try to stay away from placing judgment on a person’s character or something like that without fully knowing that person, which I think is the mistake that some people make at times.”
Both of the former major league outfielders have appeared in postseason action as players, but neither had covered postseason games on-site for MLB Network until this season. Being behind the desk for studio coverage on the best-of-seven series is a heralded opportunity and a chance for them to enhance the platform’s coverage by sharing modern perspectives and ideas.
“There’s only one game going on in baseball [and] that’s a huge deal for us because all the attention is on that one game,” Young said. “You just kind of enjoy the ride and react to the punches. We have no idea what’s going to happen in this World Series but…. being able to cover that is a really exciting opportunity for me.”
“You talk about what you see; you talk about your experience; you talk about what you’ve been through when you see different moments and you try to explain that and try to convey that to the crowd and the fans watching,” Maybin added. “That’s really it – it’s not too difficult; not really too in-depth. It’s about doing your homework and trying to be as prepared as possible.”
Amid a dynamic media environment where the emphasis on studio coverage is being threatened due to consumers’ desire to have complete control over their experience – made possible by over-the-top and video on demand content distribution platforms – companies have had to adapt to survive.
Yet some studio shows such as MLB Tonight have actively made adjustments from the very beginning to ensure it stays at the forefront of innovation and continues to provide viewers a stellar, appealing product. That comes not only with knowledgeable people and supportive management, but also through constant communication with all team members.
“Year after year nothing really stays the same,” Maybin said. “They’re trying to add more [and] trying to become better and I think that’s what separates the network from so many others… They’re constantly reaching out to people who work there and asking opinions [on] what they see [and] what they think we could do to make this thing be as dominant and prominent as it is.”
Young says the program reminds him of whiparound shows such as NFL RedZone and NBA CrunchTime where fans go to see the latest action around the league and get caught up on the action. In essence, it is a way for people to keep a pulse on the entirety of Major League Baseball through both live look-ins and analysis among other segments.
“I think MLB Tonight is a great show,” Young said. “I think they make adjustments on the fly just as well as anybody out there, and I feel like that’s a show that’s always going to be needed no matter where the rest of broadcasting goes or anything.”
In a 2019 study by Social Media Today, it was found that nine out of every 10 consumers value authenticity in their decision whether or not to support a brand, an ostensible reason BeReal has seen a 2245% jump in active monthly users from 921,000 to 21.6 million.
The social media platform, which has been installed over 53 million times globally, sends a notification once per day at a random time that opens a two-minute window for users to take and post live, in-the-moment photos from their front and back phone cameras.
Any posts made outside the timed window are considered to be late and subsequently time-stamped.
Surely, evolution is the matrix of sports media but even as the industry becomes more nuanced, the foundation of sports broadcasting and mission to serve the fan remains imbued in new platforms and innovations.
Today, media personalities are active on social media and engage with their audience beyond their set air time while athletes seek to shape their own narratives acting as “new media.” Through it all, authenticity represents a factor of differentiation suggesting a positive correlation between ethos and media consumption – all derived through an understanding of the audience.
“You’re getting a lot of new fans, and you want to find a way to appeal to everybody,” Young said. “I think that’s what’s happening right now…. You see different services trying to find a way to appeal to the masses while still keeping the integrity of what a broadcast booth should be and how you still want to respect the game and still call what’s going on in the game.”
“You see a lot of younger faces; a lot of guys who just recently got out of the game who bring a different perspective than some of the older guys,” added Maybin. “We’re still learning so much from those guys but I think when you look at the game you’re trying to get different viewers. I think baseball’s done a really good job of going a little bit younger right now and getting guys to give their perspectives that just got off the field.”
Chris Young and Cameron Maybin look to continue to grow working in sports media and have set goals for themselves in the future. Young recently completed his business administration degree at Arizona State University, a goal he had set when he was drafted, and will take advantage of opportunities to boost his skills as a broadcaster.
While Maybin will look to continue to work in sports media, he is not afraid to branch out to host different types of shows outside of his comfort zone similar to Nick Burleson and Michael Strahan.
As an athlete, it can be a perplexing time once the reality of retirement begins to set in and some believe working in sports media is quite tantalizing. By quickly getting started though, Young and Maybin garner fresh perspectives and relevant insight that accurately depict the mindset of players, fostering a strong connection to “our national pastime, all the time.”
“Throw yourself in it and see how you feel about it because [there’s] so much knowledge out there from players in my opinion from their experiences on the field,” Young advised. “Once they get themselves around the environment, they’ll figure out very quickly if they love it or hate it.”
“I think it’s extremely important to pass on the knowledge,” Maybin added. “You play for so many years and you develop a rapport; you learn a lot of things. You gain a lot of knowledge and I think it’s almost a disservice not to give that back.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Colorado Hiring Deion Sanders Will Be Constant Gift for College Football Media
“If Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers, he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor.”
Deion Sanders quickly made it clear why the University of Colorado chose him to be its next head football coach.
Coming off a weekend in which the four College Football Playoff teams were announced and all of the other bowl-eligible teams accepted their invitations, Colorado — which went 1-11 this past season — made news for hiring Sanders, the former NFL star who was phenomenally successful at Jackson State.
The media that covers college football and sports as a whole should be thrilled that the Buffaloes program decided to take a big leap for attention and notoriety. Sanders is a bold, risky hire. But he’s also been successful in virtually every venture he’s taken. “Primetime” had a Hall of Fame NFL career and also played Major League Baseball. And he’s a master at drawing attention to himself.
During his first meeting with his new team, Sanders made sure to mention that he has Louis Vuitton luggage to make the point that some of his Jackson State players are coming with him to Boulder — including his son, quarterback Shadeur Sanders. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart probably don’t cite luxury fashion when explaining to their players that they’ll have to compete for starting positions.
Coach Prime will not be boring to cover. (That self-appointed “Coach Prime” title, which was on his name plate at his introductory press conference, is a big clue there.) He never has been. This is a man who said during the 1989 NFL Draft, after being selected No. 5 overall by the Atlanta Falcons, that if the Detroit Lions had selected him at No. 3, he “would’ve asked for so much money, they’d have had to put me on layaway.”
Even if he doesn’t win as much as Colorado hopes, Sanders will pursue top talent — players who want to perform on a larger stage than the FCS-level Jackson State allows — and impact athletes will be attracted to him. He got the No. 1 recruit in the nation, cornerback and wide receiver Travis Hunter, to play for him. (Hunter is following his coach to Boulder.) Now that Sanders is at an FBS school in a Power 5 conference, more stars will surely come.
But if Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers — going 27-5 in three seasons, including a 12-0 campaign in 2022 — he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor. And he’ll get the attention that such figures typically draw from media and fans. According to the Denver Post‘s Sean Keeler, at least 400 people attended what felt more like a celebration than a press conference.
Coach Prime wasn’t going to just win the press conference, which is what any school and fanbase want when a new coach is introduced.
If Colorado wanted someone to sit at a podium, and give platitudes like “We want to win the Pac-12 and get to the College Football Playoff,” “We’re going to build a program with young men you’ll be proud of,” or “It’s time to restore Colorado to the football glory we remember,” Sanders isn’t the guy for that.
“Do I look like a man that worries about anything? Did you see the way I walked in here? Did you see the swagger that was with me?” Sanders said during his introductory presser. “Worry? Baby, I am too blessed to be stressed. I have never been one for peer pressure. I put pressure on peers. I never wanted to worry, I make people worry. I don’t get down like that. I am too darn confident. That is my natural odor.”
To no surprise, Sanders announced his presence in Boulder with authority. He had cameras following him as he met with Colorado players for the first time. How many other coaches would have recorded what many would see as a private moment for posterity and post it online?
Sanders caused a stir by putting his players on notice. He warned them he was coming, telling them they’ll be pushed so hard they might quit. He told them to enter the transfer portal and go someplace else if they don’t like what he and his staff are going to do.
That candor, that brutal honesty surprised many fans and media when they saw it Monday morning. For some, that message might have felt too familiar. How many in media — or many other industries — have worried about their job status when a new boss takes over? What may have seemed secure days earlier is now uncertain.
But how do we know other coaches haven’t said something similar when taking over at a new job and addressing their team? We just hadn’t seen it before. But Sanders has been in the media. He knows social media. He understands controlling his own message and telling his story.
Sanders also knows what kind of value he brings to any venture he takes on. How many people would have left an NFL Network gig for Barstool Sports? But Sanders went to where his star would shine, where he was the main show, where he could be Deion Sanders. Maybe he’ll have to turn that down just a bit at Colorado. But athletic director Rick George knows who he hired.
Colorado could have made a safer choice, including previous head coaches Tom Herman, Bronco Mendenhall, or Gary Patterson. A top assistant from one of this year’s Playoff contenders — such as Georgia’s Todd Monken, USC’s Alex Grinch, Alabama’s Bill O’Brien, or Michigan’s Sherrone Moore — could also have been an option.
But what fun would that have been? What kind of tremor would Colorado have created in the college football news cycle? How much attention would a more conventional hire have received? Yes, Sanders has to recruit and win. However, if the objective was to make Colorado football a talking point again, that’s been accomplished.
There could be some friction too. Sanders has already been criticized for being a champion of HBCUs, only to bolt for a mainstream Power 5 program when the opportunity opened. (To be fair, other columnists have defended the move.)
At Jackson State, Sanders tried to control local media when he didn’t like how reporters were addressing him or covering a story. Last year during Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day, he balked at a Clarion-Ledger reporter addressing him as “Deion,” not “Coach,” insisting that Nick Saban would’ve been shown that respect. Earlier this season, Sanders admonished a school broadcaster (and assistant athletic director) for speaking to him more formally on camera than he did off-camera.
Will that fly among Boulder and Denver media, or the national college football press? It’s difficult to imagine. Maybe Sanders will ease back on his efforts to control reporters within a larger university environment, metropolitan area, and media market. But we’re also talking about Deion Sanders here. He doesn’t bend to outside forces. He makes them bend to him.
Sanders’ stint in Boulder — whether it lasts the five years of his contract and beyond, or less than that — will not be dull. There could be no better gift for the media covering Colorado football. Or college football, a sport already full of bold personalities, eccentric to unhinged fanbases, and outsized expectations. Coach Prime will fit right in.
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.
The Media Is Finally Strong Enough To Take On The Rose Bowl
“The whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.”
I am a sucker for packaging. Take me to a grocery store and show me a uniquely packaged sauce or condiment or waffle syrup and I’ll give it a try just based on bottle size or design. The one packaging ploy that has vexed me is the “biggie size” at the local drive through. I’m always interested in the largest drink possible but don’t necessarily want a grain silo full of fries passed through my window. The College Football Playoff is going “biggie sized” in 2024 and I’ll take all of that I can get.
The College Football Playoff Committee made official last week what had long been speculated, that the four-team playoff field would increase to 12 teams starting with the 2024 season. This was an inevitable move for money and access reasons. The power conferences and Notre Dame stand to gain significantly in TV revenue and the “non-power” conferences finally get the consistent access they have long craved.
What may have finally pushed the new playoff over the finish line was the end of an ultimate game of chicken between college football powers and the Rose Bowl.
There is a scene from the movie The Hunt for Red October when the rogue Russian nuclear submarine is trying to avoid a torpedo from another Russian submarine. The American captain, aptly played by Scott Glenn, tells Jack Ryan; “The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch.”
The Rose Bowl finally flinched.
The only thing that delayed an earlier move to this new world was the insistence of the Rose Bowl Game to cling to the bygone era of the antiquated bowl system. Only in college football could an organization that runs a parade hold such outsized influence but, until recently, the Big Ten and PAC 12 gladly enabled their addiction to a specific television time slot.
Dan Wetzel is a Yahoo! Sports National Columnist, he also wrote the book Death to the BCS which laid out a very early argument for dumping the bowl system for a Playoff.
“The single hardest thing to explain to people is that the Rose Bowl and its obsession of having the sunset in the third quarter of its game was a serious impediment to a billion dollar playoff,” Wetzel wrote.
Wetzel makes the point that simply moving the game up one hour would’ve helped the playoff TV schedule immensely, “They were adamant that they get to have an exclusive window on New Year’s Day, the best time of all, not only would they not give that up but they wouldn’t even move it an hour earlier (to help Playoff television scheduling) because then the sun would set at halftime. It was so absurd but for a lot of years they got so much protection.”
We may never know what it was that finally forced the Rose Bowl to play ball with the rest of the college football world. There are many possibilities, not the least of which was the presence of SoFi Stadium just down the road. The College Football Playoff committee could have always taken the bold step of scheduling games at SoFi, in the Los Angeles market, opposite the Rose Bowl TV window to try to squeeze them out.
It is also possible the Rose Bowl scanned the landscape and realized that, if a 12-team playoff already existed, their 2023 game would’ve been Washington (10-2) versus Purdue (8-5). That shock of reality came with the understanding Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Utah and USC would enthusiastically choose a 12 team playoff bid over a Rose Bowl invite. That was the future the Rose Bowl faced with the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten and the 12 team playoff gobbling up the top remaining PAC 12 teams.
I have proposed that theory to many people in the college football world and have received some version of this response from many of them: “They really wouldn’t care who is playing as long as they can still have their parade.”
That is one of the issues at play here; in many ways, the whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.
One other possibility is that the television executives of the major networks, primarily FOX, may have put the pressure on the Big Ten and Pac 12 to have a little less interest in keeping college football stuck in the late 1970’s. It makes sense, FOX has nothing to gain by the Rose Bowl keeping influence. Fox may have everything to gain by getting a media rights cut of the future playoff. Many believe FOX was a driving force behind USC and UCLA bolting to the Big Ten. If that much is true, pressing for less Rose Bowl influence is child’s play.
No matter what was the catalyst to the expanded playoff, it worked and the fans benefited. College football is moving into a brave new world all because the college football powers finally stood up to the old man yelling at the clouds.
Turns out, it was all a game of chicken. And the Rose Bowl flinched.
Ryan Brown is a columnist for Barrett Sports Media, and a co-host of the popular sports audio/video show ‘The Next Round’ formerly known as JOX Roundtable, which previously aired on WJOX in Birmingham. You can find him on Twitter @RyanBrownLive and follow his show @NextRoundLive.
Andrew Perloff Learned From The Master of Sports Radio on Television
“I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy.”
It’s a fact of life that not everybody loves their job. To have a job that you love and have fun at is pretty special. For Andrew Perloff, life is good.
“I’m just watching so much sports during the week,” said Perloff. “I don’t come up for air watching sports and I love that. And the fact that we get paid to sit on the couch for 72 hours…oh my God…it really is the best job in the world.”
That job is being the co-host of Maggie & Perloff weekdays from 3pm to 6pm eastern time on CBS Sports Radio and simulcast on CBS Sports Network. Perloff was an on-air personality on The Dan Patrick Show beginning in 2009 before making the switch to CBS Sports Radio for the new show with Maggie Gray that launched this past January.
And so far, the move has worked out.
“I’m really happy,” said Perloff. “I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy. I miss the DP Show but I love my new co-workers. (Vice President of Programming) Spike Eskin and (New York Market President) Chris Oliviero have been great. We get a lot of support and a lot of help from those guys and they’ve made the transition so much easier.”
When a new radio program begins, chemistry between the hosts is vital to the success of the growth and success of the show. In the case of Maggie & Perloff, they had an existing friendship from their time working together at Sports Illustrated.
And that relationship is certainly evident to the listeners.
“I’m having a great time with Maggie,” said Perloff who was an editor and contributing writer at Sports Illustrated and SI.com. “We knew each other pretty well at Sports Illustrated. We’ve been friends for a while now. I have gotten to know her a lot better through the show. It took a couple of months to really find our rhythm and get the show to where we wanted to get it.”
There has been a fun and evolving dynamic to the on and off-air chemistry between the hosts. Perloff is from Philadelphia and a die-hard Eagles fan while Gray is a fan of the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles have the best record in the NFC at 11-1 while the Bills are among the best teams in the AFC at 9-3.
Perloff has come to understand just how much Gray loves the Bills and there is a chance that their two teams could meet come February 12th in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII.
“She’s a very passionate Buffalo Bills fan,” said Perloff. “I always knew that, but to actually sit there on a daily basis and see her sweat out every detail about the Buffalo Bills has been a lot of fun. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re on a collision course for the Super Bowl and we’re already trying to figure out a Super Bowl bet.”
The easy wager to set up would involve food.
If the Bills win, Perloff would have to give Gray some Philly cheesesteaks.
If the Eagles win, Gray would have to furnish Perloff with some Buffalo Wings.
But it appears as if management wants there to be more at stake for the potential bet.
“Our boss wants us to do something more severe,” said Perloff. “The truth is I’m an Eagles fan so I’ve already won my Super Bowl. Maggie, on the other hand, has no idea what that feels like. I almost feel sorry for her because it’s tough being a Bills fan.
“We have a pretty big rivalry with our team because she’s a Mets fan and I’m a Phillies fan. We get along great expect for those areas.”
The Maggie & Perloff chemistry extends throughout the show and that includes producer Michael Samtur who has his own rooting interests.
Samtur is a fan of the New York Jets who are having a better-than-expected season.
“When the Jets win, I don’t want to see Mike on Monday mornings because he’s smiling so much,” said Perloff. “He’s an unbelievably cynical Jets fan…it’s hysterically funny.
“Mike is doing a great job. It’s really an all-hands-on deck show. I think we all sort of kind of wear each other’s hats at certain times.”
An added element to the show is that it is also simulcast on CBS Sports Network. If there’s one thing that Perloff learned from working with Dan Patrick — who also has a simulcast on television — is that the program is a radio show that just happens to have cameras in the studio. At the end of the day, it’s a radio show on television and not a television show on the radio.
“That’s also my philosophy,” said Perloff. “From a logistical standpoint, to do a good radio show you can’t really focus on the TV side of it. For us, the foundation of the base is to really focus on the radio show and the TV and video comes naturally after that.”
Perloff’s resume also includes writing and co-writing an assortment of magazine stories, books, and television shows while also hosting his own weekend show on NBC Sports Radio from 2016 to 2019. But it was working on The Dan Patrick Show where he learned an important aspect of being a talk show host that he continues to live by at CBS Sports Radio.
What he learned was that you just have to be yourself.
“Dan always wanted us to be authentic in the sense that don’t try to be someone you’re not,” said Perloff. “Don’t try to come up with hot takes just for the sake of hot takes. When you listen to Dan Patrick on the radio, you’re really hearing Dan. He’s not a radically different person off air.”
This is a huge time of the year for sports radio.
The NFL’s regular season is winding down and college football is heading towards bowl season and the College Football Playoff. Throw in the NBA, college basketball, NHL, and the World Cup and there’s so much going on in the sports world to talk about.
Perloff can’t get enough of it.
“I love it so much,” said Perloff. “College football is just huge right now. When we bring up a college football story, the phone lines just light up which I think is a reflection of the growing interest in that sport. This is the best time of the year. It’s incredible.”
As Maggie & Perloff head towards their first anniversary on the air, there are goals and expectations heading into 2023. The show has grown tremendously over the course of the first year and while that may have occurred faster than expected, the hope is that the trend continues.
“I’ve been a little surprised by how fast the audience has grown and our connection with the audience,” said Perloff. “One of the great things about The Dan Patrick Show was the community feel with the show and all of the listeners. That’s definitely growing with us and I’d like to see that really take off next year. It makes it so much more fun when you’re doing the show and everybody is along for the ride.”
It’s been a great ride so far and it should be interesting to see what happens if that ride includes an Andrew Perloff vs Maggie Gray Super Bowl matchup in February. It’s not even because the breakdown of Eagles vs Bills would be fascinating but the audience wants more.
That Super Bowl bet would certainly be intriguing.
Peter Schwartz has been involved in New York sports media for over three decades. Along the way he has worked for notable brands such as WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, WCBS 880, ESPN New York, and FOX News Radio. He has also worked as a play by play announcer for the New Yok Riptide, New York Dragons, New York Hitmen, Varsity Media and the Long Island Sports Network. You can find him on Twitter @SchwartzSports or email him at DragonsRadio@aol.com.