ESPN New York Radio Host Convinced Rangers Played Penguins In NHL Playoffs (Audio)







What game was Robin Lundberg watching? The early-morning host on ESPN Radio 98.7, the New York Rangers' flagship station, said several times on the air that they had played the Penguins in the playoffs, when they were actually playing the Capitals.

What game was Robin Lundberg watching? The early-morning host on ESPN Radio 98.7, the New York Rangers’ flagship station, said several times on the air that they had played the Penguins in the playoffs, when they were actually playing the Capitals.

The National Hockey League has seen more than its share of disrespect in the media. We’ve already experienced the botching of team players and the botching of team logos.

But what was heard early Thursday morning on New York’s ESPN Radio 98.7 really takes the cake.

Robin Lundberg, who hosts a daily, one-hour show at 3 AM – I’ll give them credit for putting on live, local talent in overnight hours, but just one hour? Come on – had asked listeners several times to comment on the previous night’s playoff game between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. (They’re actually playing the Washington Capitals.)

Mind you, ESPN 98.7 is only the flagship station of the Rangers.

So for Lundberg to make this mistake not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in twenty minutes probably won’t sit well with hockey purists, much less Rangers fans.

Click here to listen to an audio montage – the slip-ups are at 2:10, 3:15, 4:48 and 5:15.

The most baffling of these gaffes has to be the third one, which follows a minute-long conversation with his producer who provided insight on Game 4 of the Rangers/Capitals series. At two points (4:15 and 4:35) during the chat, Chris Mitchell mentions “the Capitals.” Seconds later, Lundberg takes a call and asks him, “What were you watching? Heat/Bulls or Rangers/Penguins?”

It took a tweet halfway through Lundberg’s one-hour show informing him of his repeated mistake. Then and only then did he acknowledge, “I know that. I misspoke because the Islanders play the Penguins” on Thursday night, in a playoff game that will actually air on ESPN 98.7 (the Islanders’ usual radio home is Hofstra University’s 88.7 WRHU).

If you “misspeak” one time, fine. But to do so four times in 50% of your radio show (did I mention it’s only an hour long?), all while assuring listeners, “I’m not trying to insult any hockey fans” (2:55), is downright mind-boggling.

You saw the Rangers game, Robin Lundberg. You said so several times on your program. But it looks like you weren’t paying enough attention to the Rangers’ opponent in that game.

I wonder if he’s going to Habib “Islanders/Capitals” on his next show.

Net Worth: Boomer And Carton Shine Working Brooklyn Nets Radio Broadcast On WFAN







Boomer Esiason might have been following his beloved New York Rangers, but he and his WFAN colleague Craig Carton gave it their all during their radio broadcast of the Brooklyn Nets/Washington Wizards game.

Boomer Esiason might have been following his beloved New York Rangers, but he and his WFAN colleague Craig Carton gave it their all during their radio broadcast of the Brooklyn Nets/Washington Wizards game.

Boomer Esiason has worked alongside notable announcers during his decade and counting working the radio broadcasts of “Monday Night Football”: Howard David, Marv Albert, and currently, Kevin Harlan.

On Friday night, Boomer would add another name to that list: Craig Carton.

That’s right: The top-rated (and should-be-syndicated, IMHO) morning duo on New York’s WFAN were working the radio broadcast of the Brooklyn Nets/Washington Wizards game. It was clearly an experiment that the station agreed to do with the Nets, who produce their own radiocasts and purchase airtime for clearance on WFAN. Before Friday night, Carton has had no play-by-play experience on his resume that we know of (late in the game, Esiason noted that Carton called a game “once every five years”). (Update: I’m told the two also worked a Nets/Celtics radio broadcast for WFAN last year. So this apparently was not their first rodeo – well, it was in Brooklyn; last year was the Nets’ last in New Jersey.)

But the Nets certainly knew what they were getting.

Who knows if that was also the case for their foe for the evening, the Wizards, who own one of the worst records in the league. In fact, they’re third in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division, if you can believe it, and that’s by virtue of two other teams, the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats, owning even worse records than the Wizards (in fact, with the Miami Heat winning their seventeenth straight game on Friday night, they’ve already clinched the first berth for this year’s playoffs – and there’s still another month or so of regular season games to be played).

But with the Wizards trailing by upwards of twenty points in the very first quarter, as Nets point guard Deron Williams converted on seven three-pointers en route to a record nine treys in a half, and falling one shy of the single-game record of twelve, it predictably provided fodder for Carton’s work at Barclays Center. After Wizards point guard A.J. Price got his first points of the game, pulling his team to within 19 points of the Nets, it was an opportune time for a “TV timeout” with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the quarter. Or, as Carton saw it, “All you have to do is score a basket, and [Nets head coach] P.J. Carlesimo says, ‘I’ve seen enough’.”

When the first quarter was completed, Carton took radio listeners to break by alerting them, “this is not a typo,” and after announcing the score after a dozen minutes of play was Nets 38, Wizards 14, he joked, “You can go home now.”

And while the Wizards would ultimately lose to the Nets, 95-78, they almost served up a little humble pie to Carton, who likened the Wizards to “a D-League team” that the Nets had “better beat… by forty points”: Washington outscored Brooklyn 25-15 in the third quarter, much to the chagrin of Carton, who midway through the third quarter feared the Wizards would actually go on a run and turn this into a competitive game.

With the Wizards trailing the Nets by just sixteen points as the final quarter started, Carton admitted: “I can’t believe they made it a game… but they made it a game.”

There are some that thought Carton, in particular, was a bit too harsh on the 19-41 Wizards, with ten of those wins coming over their last nineteen contests. “I thought Craig Carton was beyond unprofessional in calling the Nets game,” tweeted noted WFAN listener Leslie after the game. “It was disgusting to even hear what he had to say about the Wizards… He was a jerk.”

Some could easily share that opinion. But really, what else do you expect from a team that ranks dead last in the league in scoring? And with all due respect to Washington, what New Yorker didn’t enjoy this one-liner from Carton as WFAN returned from a Wizards timeout, after the team was trailing 22-2, which included a six-pack of three-pointers by Williams: “If your subway was late getting to the building, you missed everything!”

Esiason also showed some of that color analyst luster that he exhibits on “Monday Night Football.” As the third quarter winded down, a quarter in which Williams went just 1-6 with a turnover, he acknowledged: “I think Williams is getting a little tired.”

That one shot Williams did convert during that quarter, naturally, was a trey – and it was at that point that Carton finally decided to work the familiar “Hello! La la la” phrase from his radio show into the call.

Williams would make his final three with 1:39 to go. But he would get the opportunity to take another outside shot. Carton: “They’re trying to get him the record. Frankly, that’s a bit offensive.”

And of course, the duo would display that same chemistry that they normally do for four hours every morning. “Deron Williams is feeling it right now,” Esiason said after the player made his seventh trey in the first eight minutes of the game. Countered Carton: “I’ve never had a night like this.”

The low points, in my opinion, were when each of them went off the beaten path during live reads – Boomer, after assessing the Applebee’s slogan “See you tomorrow” vowing, “Well, I won’t be there”; Carton struggling through the pronunciation of the name of a Brooklyn hospital, Maimonides. While even I will admit that, at first look, “Maimonides” could be a bit of a pronunciation challenge, keep in mind that sports, and radio, is a business, and keeping the sponsors happy is vital. I would have practiced how to pronounce “Maimonides” on the side during a timeout, but that’s just me. Also, Carton pronounced the first name of Deron Williams as “Darren” way too often throughout the game (and when Williams claimed the three-pointers-in-a-half record as his own, the Barclays Center crowd chanted, “De-ron,” which led Carton to debate out loud whether or not they were chanting “De-ron” or “Darren”).

While I won’t stop short of saying Esiason and Carton put the lotion in the basket (to borrow an idiom the latter of the duo used a few times during the broadcast), I must say they were certainly a stimulating listen. As someone who has not seen or heard a Nets game from start to finish since the 1990’s, this was more of an event for me than a casual sports event. And regardless of the opinion that the two are Knicks fans – and there was even a running bet that Boomer would be watching the Rangers game during his Nets assignment – I don’t think Nets fans would mind them returning to the radio booth again – perhaps against a more formidable opponent than the Wizards.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the regular Nets radio announcing duo of Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw were both in the building: Carrino was working the play-by-play on YES Network alongside Greg Anthony (YES’ usual Nets announcer Ryan Ruocco, who moonlights as a radio host on ESPN New York/98.7 FM alongside Stephen A. Smith, was at Barclays Center as well, tweeting updates throughout the game). After the game, Carrino and Capstraw reverted to the radio booth for the Nets postgame show on WFAN, and hearing Boomer and Carton assume their roles, according to Capstraw, was “a whole lot of fun,” adding that Carton in general was “really talented and entertaining.”

After the game, both Carton and Esiason thanked the Nets organization on-air. And Boomer thought his WFAN morning mate “did one hell of a job” calling the contest. “It just kind of came out naturally, and you did a good job.”

And for someone who exclusively works NFL radio broadcasts, Esiason did a commendable job analyzing this basketball game.

Even Al “Dukes” Hughes, who produces the WFAN morning program, was involved in this broadcast, providing “fun facts” about the year-old Barclays Center during the game. “This is pretty good,” he said. “I might start watching basketball games.”

If Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason made this a semi-regular thing, it might just make people start listening to basketball games.

Here’s a small sample of the game – including Dukes’ appreciation for the state-of-the-art urinals at Barclays Center.

Also, click here to listen to a composite of Carton calling all eleven Deron Williams three-pointers.

St. Louis University Radio Announcer Denies Access To Referee Following "Cheap Foul" Call (Audio, Transcript)







SLU Billikens radio announcers Bob Ramsey and Earl Austin, Jr. responded to an official's immediate response to Ramsey describing a "cheap foul" on a player to listeners of the broadcast.

SLU Billikens radio announcers Bob Ramsey and Earl Austin, Jr. responded to an official’s immediate response to Ramsey describing a “cheap foul” on a player to listeners of the broadcast.

I tell you, college athletics is weird. No less than 24 hours after reporting that a basketball announcer was suspended a couple of games for depicting his team’s loss as a “choke job” directly to the team’s head coach, another hoops announcer’s depiction of a foul leads a referee to get a little out of bounds.

On Tuesday night, during the closing moments of the Saint Louis University Billikens’ home matchup against the 24th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, forward Dwayne Evans knocked the ball away from a player on the visiting team, which led to Evans drawing a foul.

Or, as Billikens radio announcer Bob Ramsey called it, “a cheap foul.”

The size of Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis must be about 1/20th of Edward Jones Dome, because the area was so tight, the official who called the foul on Evans was well within earshot of Ramsey’s painting it as “a cheap foul.” Said official made a beeline for Ramsey, who informed the ref (and listeners to the game on the radio flagship, WXOS-FM 101.1) that he had no business interfering with the broadcast.

It’s unclear which official it was, but assigned to work the Rams/Billikens game were the trio of Bo Boroski, D.J. Carstensen, and John Gaffney.

No word if the ref in question, or, of course, Ramsey, will be suspended or reprimanded for the altercation.

Here’s the audio; below is the transcript of the call by Ramsey, with comments from his boothmate, color analyst Earl Austin, Jr., in yellow text and brackets:

“[VCU Rams guard Treveon] Graham hands it off, tipped away; [Rams guard Troy] Daniels goes into the backcourt and saves it, and swings it, knocked away by [SLU Billikens forward Dwayne] Evans; Daniels gets it back, they call — they’re gonna call a cheap foul on Evans, and, I tell you what — [unintelligible] I’m on the air right now, stay away from me… Official tried to get into our broadcast, we won’t have it. [Nope.] We’re not gonna have it. We’re not gonna have it here. [No, no, no.] This is [WXOS-FM] 101’s broadcast. Daniels hits. [Do your own job… You’re not doing it very well, but do it anyway.] Just improve a little. 74-55, 1:54 left…”

So Sioux Me: UND Suspends Radio Announcer For Using The Phrase "Choke Job"







University of North Dakota radio announcer Paul Ralston will not be working the men's basketball team's next two contests, as the school suspended him for referring to an overtime loss by the team as a "choke job."

University of North Dakota radio announcer Paul Ralston will not be working the men’s basketball team’s next two contests, as the school has suspended him for referring to an overtime loss by the team as a “choke job.”

There is a list of taboo words that are deemed indecent in broadcasting. You might know them as what George Carlin calls “the seven dirty words.”

When it comes to college athletics broadcasts, the list tends to get quite lengthy.

For instance, last September, Allen Pinkett, the color analyst for radio broadcasts of his alma mater, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, had an interesting take on coach Brian Kelly benching star players due to misconduct during the offseason: “I’ve always felt like to have a successful team, you’ve got to have a few bad citizens on the team,” he said on the August 29, 2012 edition of the Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel midday program on WSCR-AM/”670 The Score” in Chicago. “Look at the teams that have won in the past. They always have a couple of criminals… You can’t have a football team full of choirboys.”

As a result of his comments, Pinkett was suspended for three games, including the season opener against the Navy Midshipmen in Dublin, Ireland.

With that, we bring you to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where the team formerly known as the Fighting Siouxs (Prince should have whipped up a new team logo for them) was chopped down in overtime by the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. (What exactly do lumberjacks chop in Arizona? Cacti?)

Anyway, following the game, Sioux, er, UND radio play-by-play man Paul Ralston interviewed head coach Brian Jones on the postgame show. There’s no audio available, but according to the school, Ralston referred to the team’s OT loss as a “choke job.”

And for that, he’s been sidelined from working the next two UND games, both of which are on the road, and both of which possess potential playoff implications.

Ralston will be back in the radio booth for the team’s next two games, which are also road games. The regular season concludes on March 9 with a home game against Southern Utah.

Maybe Ralston could spend his newfound free time in New York, where a high-profile news anchor just quit his job after allegedly choking his wife.

I still can’t believe a sports announcer in any level of broadcasting was suspended for uttering the term “choke job.”

That just blows me away.

Right, George?

Die Hard Houston Chronicle Columnist Dead Tired On Nashville Radio







John McClain snored for several minutes at the start of an appearance on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. The longtime Houston Chronicle columnist was sleep-deprived due to working overtime on the Texans the night before.

For over three decades, John McClain has been covering the Texans and football in general for the Houston Chronicle.

John McClain is not to be confused with Bruce Willis’ character from the movie “Die Hard,” John McClane.

Anyway, every so often, McClain dials into the Texans’ flagship station, KILT-AM/”Sports Radio 610″. But he also has a following in Nashville, where Houston’s old NFL franchise, the Oilers, had relocated fifteen years ago. He regularly phones into WGFX/”104.5 The Zone” in Nashville; these days, you can find him checking in on The Zone’s midday show, “The Midday 180.”

That is, if he’s awake.

See, on this particular Tuesday, when he was given the cue by the hosts of “The Midday 180,” McClain was in deep REM sleep.

Snoring, in fact.

A stark contrast to the other John McClane making his entrance known.

McClain finally woke up after seven minutes of sleeping, and didn’t even hide the fact that he dozed off. He blamed his lack of shuteye on finishing paperwork with the end of the Texans’ season in New England over the weekend.

So if you’re looking for somebody to blame for a longtime sports columnist falling asleep on the air, blame the Texans.

The audio of McClain’s forty winks on “The Midday 180” is presented by Clay Travis, who only co-hosts the show that follows “180” on “104.5 The Zone,” “The 3-Hour Lunch” (Travis also appears solo weekends on NBC Sports Radio). (Download the audio by right-clicking here.)

This is proof that John McClain is one of the hardest-working people in sports media. And he never denied the fact that he was sleeping – unlike a big-time sports radio host that nodded off during an interview.

Yippie ki yay, Mike Francesa.

Jay Cutler Found Out Live On The Air That Lovie Smith Was Fired

This was the scene as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler learned that head coach Lovie Smith will not be returning to the team.

With as many as a dozen head coaches potentially losing their jobs on the “Black Monday” following the 2012-13 season, it’s obvious that nobody’s job was safe.

Especially Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

Despite finishing with a 10-6 record, one that started 7-1, merely missing the playoffs claimed to be the dagger for Smith’s nine-year tenure on the Bears’ sidelines.

The timing of the announcement of the Bears parting ways with Smith couldn’t have come at a worse time for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. He learned of his coach’s fate right as he was on the air during a live appearance with WMVP/”ESPN 1000″ midday hosts Marc Silverman and former Bears wideout Tom Waddle, who also appears on NFL Network as well as the “Pro Football Weekly” TV series, which is filmed in Chicago.

Cutler was described as being “choked up a little” at the moment one of the hosts received a tweet from Adam Schefter announcing Smith’s dismissal. The reaction of the crowd that turned out at the live event at 115 Bourbon Street in Southside Chicago was anything but.

Listen as the awkwardness unfolds for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, live on the air:

Audio: 66 WFAN Starts On 101.9 FM

This aircheck consists of the end of the alternative music format on WRXP (“New Rock 101.9”) – the final song being Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye” – and the start of the simulcast of Sports Radio 66 WFAN, via a CBS Radio local marketing agreement with Merlin Media.

Trivia: The first voice heard on WFAN on FM was… Steve Somers, at three minutes to midnight, bringing Suzyn Waldman on the phone, so that she can be the first official voice of the station on the FM dial. “Didn’t we do this once before?”, she joked. After a drumroll, she gave the first ID of the simulcasting stations (the legal ID would follow later). Afterward, Somers asked Waldman, the color commentator of New York Yankees radio broadcasts: “I haven’t heard you on the radio since October; I wonder what happened.” Waldman says that she, like many others in Westchester, have no power as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which the two went on to talk about for a few minutes. So the first topic discussed on the new 101.9 FM WFAN was – not the Yankees, not the Giants, but Hurricane Sandy – which forced the postponement of what would have been the first-ever game played by the Nets in Brooklyn. It does not, however, appear to deter the running of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Waldman called the thought of people “celebrating… with little numbers on your chest” during the race “appalling.” By the way, “Mo from Brooklyn” was the first WFAN caller in frequency modulation. (As you’ll hear, two out of the first five calls taken on FM are dropped calls.) And toward the end, you’ll hear the first new WFAN jingle.

More trivia: The songs preceding “Last Goodbye” on the old format were Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”, Semisonic’s “Closing Time” and the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (which may have been a good song to enter the new format with, had the Nets won their home opener – had it been played on Thursday night).

Download here: