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.

CBS Sports Radio Will Gradually Take Over 66 WFAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

The likes of Tiki Barber and other CBS Sports Radio talent could very well be heard on 66 WFAN as soon as this year. New York’s premier sports radio station has been simulcasting on 101.9 FM since last fall, but “the long-term goal” is clearing more national content on AM 660.

Back in October, when New York’s 66 WFAN, the original 24-hour sports talk station, began simulcasting on 101.9 FM, it looked like the writing was on the wall. A full-fledged flip to all-national CBS Sports Radio on AM 660 was imminent, perhaps as soon as the network’s launch date last Wednesday.

But at the time, CBS Radio President Dan Mason was coy on confirming such details, saying: “We don’t see this as a 30- or 60-day deal. We think there is a long period of time before an audience gets acclimated to moving back and forth from AM to FM. That’s not to say the stations will remain identical forever. We’re taking it a day at a time.”

Now, not even two weeks into the new year, and the network, Mason appears to have a new plan.

“I think the company purchased a $75-million FM station to not only expand WFAN but also to expand our sports offerings. There’s a natural migration of listeners that will want to hear ‘FAN on FM and that’s in process,” he told Newsday’s Neil Best.

Mason added that the existence of WFAN and WFAN-FM “creates a bigger platform, so the long-term goal is to have a two-channel business. That’s the long-term goal. You hear the “CBS Sports Minutes” on ‘FAN now, but over time, especially as the audience migrates to FM, you will hear more involvement from the sports network, probably.”

In other words: Locals could indeed be able to hear WFAN personality Marc Malusis do his Saturday morning network show on 66 WFAN.

Heck, they may as well go ahead and plug in CBSSR’s morning show on 660 AM. You know what they say about train wrecks, and Tiki Barber is the epitome of a train wreck career.

UPDATE, 1.27.13: In his New York Daily News column today, Bob Raissman reports that the network’s eventual takeover on AM 660 could come as early as February 11. However, there’s word of a power struggle behind the scenes between the network and WFAN, the latter of which is allegedly spearheaded by their afternoon drive host. “Spies say Mike Francesa has been throwing his weight around,” Raissman writes. (Yeah, we already know how much he loathes the network after just a few days on the air.)

Radio experts say that a reason for the continuation of the WFAN-AM/FM simulcast, even during sporting events where a conflict would arise (e.g. if a Brooklyn Nets game was being played at the same time as a New York Mets game, rather than broadcast the Nets game on AM 660, both 660 and 101.9 would carry the Mets game, with the Nets game being bounced to another radio outlet in the area), is because CBS Radio management wants to make sure that the 101.9 FM signal on its own would be enough to outrate their rival, WEPN/”ESPN Radio 98.7″, on their lone FM signal. There could very well be a large faction of WFAN listeners who are still listening via AM 660.

Here’s an idea for CBS Radio, especially if the higher-ups are adamant on CBSSR eventually supplanting WFAN’s local programming on AM 660: Start positioning the station as “Sports Radio 101.9 FM WFAN.” No more of this “Sports Radio 66 and 101.9 FM” business. Remove the “AM 66” from Francesa’s mic flag so even viewers of his show on YES Network will get in the habit of tuning to 101.9 FM.

When WIP in Philadelphia began simulcasting on 94.1 FM in the fall of 2011, they started being known as “94 WIP.” No longer was their longtime positioner of “610 WIP” being stressed, even though the local programming would be heard on both signals for sixteen months. (WIP-AM is now “CBS Sports Radio 610,” which does carry some local sports broadcasts in the event of a conflict.) If Philadelphia got a sixteen-month notice for their sports radio station’s migration to FM, the least that the listeners of the very first all-sports station in the country (in a bigger market than Philly) is at least sixteen weeks. Meanwhile, it’s been just 12 1/2 weeks since the WFAN-AM simulcast began back on November 2 of last year. “If [WFAN] leaves 660, it could lose a significant number of listeners,” Raissman writes. “Is CBS ready to take that risk?”

Absolutely not, for the reasons I stated above. Yes, the listeners are aware that they can find WFAN on 101.9 FM, but they just haven’t emphasized the 101.9 FM dial position. Their “66” spot on the AM has always got top billing for the duration of the simulcast. Before WFAN bids adieu to local programming on AM 660, they must rebrand themselves as “Sports Radio 101.9 FM WFAN.” I mean, the simulcast split is inevitable. How come CBS hasn’t been doing this since November 2?

Concussions, Linsanity And Tebowmania: Sports Media Journalists Look Back At 2012

In this scene from SNY’s “The Year In Review” of 2012, Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman takes the Post’s Phil Mushnick to school.

Christmas time means it’s almost the end of the year – and that means many year-end specials.

The regional sports network SNY has once again assembled a “Year In Sports” special for 2012, consisting in discussions of the biggest topics in the sports world not only in New York City, but nationally as well.

The local sports media panel consisted of Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, and Neil Best of New York Newsday, all of whom appeared on the 2011 edition of “The Year In Sports.” This year, the trio is joined by their counterpart from The New York Times, Ken Belson.

One of the topics discussed during the national window was the phenomenon that was Linsanity, when Jeremy Lin had led the Knicks for a remarkable stretch. He currently plays for the Houston Rockets – but the show’s moderator, Chris Carlin, asked if Linsanity would have even reached such heights if, say, Lin had never played in New York at all.

“Not one fan needed the media to tell you that that guy did something special to that team,” Mushnick contested. “No one had to read a paper, turn on the radio, watch TV, other than the [Knicks] game.”

“The beauty of the Linsanity story,” according to Best, “compared to Tebow, he actually did do something.”

In the same segment the brief Linsanity period in New York was discussed, the seemingly outgoing Tebowmania period in New York was also touched on.

“Jeremy Lin kind of came and went,” said Best. “The staying power of this Tebow story is amazing.”

“It’s driven by the media,” remarked Raissman on the media’s fixation with the Jets’ backup quarterback. “He’s not dressing, and they’re writing stories about him.”

Raissman also argued – as he has in past Daily News columns – that networks that covered Jets games this season showed more shots of Tebow on the sidelines than Jets players that are actually playing.

“We have to give this guy credit for the way he has handled this,” Best said, “because with this ridiculous spotlight on him, he has not wavered, not complained; he’s been accessible with the media.”

(By the way, not too long after the special was recorded, Tebow did kinda complain a bit.)

Also discussed by the New York sports media writers was the surreal year R.A. Dickey had for the New York Mets. “He’s a genuine character,” opined Belson. “He’ll stand at his locker and talk to you forever… You can’t help but like the guy.”

That did not seem to be the case when during the Mets’ Christmas party, he discussed his contract situation at length. “This guy was asked a question, and he gives what he always gives, an honest answer,” said Raissman. “It’s interesting to watch… the guy go from hero to bum.”

(Since the taping of the special, the Cy Young award winner has gone from New York to Toronto.)

The foursome also talked about the swift resolution of the Bernie Madoff situation involving the Mets; the future of the Yankees franchise if the team’s YES Network is sold to Fox magnate Rupert Murdoch (Raissman: “You look at everything Fox has gotten into and owns the majorityship: they’re not there to be sitting in the back of the bus; they’ll be driving the bus”); and the media’s role in the fate of the New York City Marathon after Hurricane Sandy crippled the city – and not one of them mentioned Mike Francesa – at least not in that discussion.

The locals were asked about the possibility of Francesa and his old WFAN on-air buddy, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, reuniting on the radio.

“I’m sure there’s a shot, but no,” answered Mushnick. “They’d be killing each other.”

Best affirmed that the two “do not hate each other,” they just “got sick of each other professionally.”

“Why pay them both the kind of money they’re making,” asked Raissman. “You think Francesa’s gonna give Dog part of his salary? The Pope would never do that… He’s doing his own thing with his ratings; [WFAN] don’t have to pay two guys.”

Best pointed out that Francesa could be retiring in 2014; Raissman suspects it’s a contract negotiation.

Best: “I think he’s serious about maybe walking away in 2014.”

Raissman: “Yeah, right… You’ll have to carry him out of that studio.”

The national panel consisted of Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, both making return appearances this year; plus panel newcomers Rachel Cohen from the Associated Press, and the Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Futterman. The latter had a strong opinion on the impact of concussions in the NFL.

“It’s the old journalism adage, you have to follow the money. This is cigarettes, this is asbestos, this is another big liability case, and how do those cases end? Usually, they end in really big settlements. And at some point, the NFL is probably, I think, going to have to write a very large check to a lot of people, and I don’t think it’s gonna be five years. If you let this thing drag out for five years, it’s going to be a big mistake.”

Deitsch argued that only something “catastrophic” such as “deaths on the field” would negatively impact the league. “It is a violent game; I think people have accepted that.”

When the current NHL lockout and whether or not it could be a death knell to the hockey league was brought up, after Carlin pointed out “ratings have gone down continually” before the lockout, Deitsch chimed in with: “Chris, there’s nothing more I love than hunting and fishing shows on the NBC Sports Network.” (NBCSN would be airing NHL games right about now, had there been no lockout.) Deitsch believes that viewership and attendance levels will be retained, but at “a far lower base than the NFL and the NBA,” it will take between two and four years.”

“The fans might forgive once,” Cohen argued, “I don’t know if they’ll forgive twice.”

Ourand suggested that the league consider contration in order to survive. “There’s value to having teams… in Florida and… in Phoenix,” Futterman replied, “but if you’re going to do that, you have to figure out a way to support them, because those teams can’t seem to support themselves.”

As was the case with the New York sports media panel, the red meat that is Tim Tebow was also thrown out to the national sports media panel.

Ourand: “He is such a fascinating character nationally, and polarizing. People just want to know what’s happening with him.”

Carlin: “Why is he so fascinating, especially this year when he hasn’t been on the field?”

Deitsch: “Well, he’s fascinating for [ESPN boss] John Skipper because no network has ridden Tebow harder than ESPN.”

And with social media playing a huge role in the Olympics – for viewers as a complaining device, mostly – Twitter’s existence vis a vis sports events was also discussed.

“Twitter is a game changer,” Deitsch said. “It’s become the water cooler conversation for sports fans… The fact is, we now live in a universe where the second screen is how we watch TV: first screen, we look at TV; second screen, we want to be social with our friends and family, and Twitter is among the best social emdia services you can have for sports.”

“It feels like the event’s over, and you gotta keep looking at your computer, and looking at your iPhone,” Futterman said, adding that “it can be a little frustrating” and “distracting” to the sports fan.

It can also be distracting for athletes, in a way. “Every time you put an athlete on Twitter, you give him another excuse not to grant you an interview,” Futterman argued. “And that’s my real problem with it… I think we empower it sometimes too much, in the sense that — I don’t need to talk to you, just follow my Twitter feed.”

Warned Ourand: “You do have to worry much more about what you put out there and what you tweet… But it’s changed the way people watch sports, period.”

Ourand also commented on the changing landscape of college sports, predicting that there will be “more realignment” in college football to the tune of “four 16-team conferences.”

Quoth Deitsch: “Money is driving this ship.”

Cohen: “It’s very obvious, they’re following the money.”

Futterman joked that eventually in college football, there will be “two conferences: one would be ESPN, and the other is Fox.” Yet he added: “They [schools] need the money. They gotta get it from somewhere, and TV seems to be the place where they’re going to get it.”

Members of both panels were asked to choose what they thought was their biggest stories or personalities of 2012, and what they think will be the biggest story in 2013 – but I won’t spoil it for you. (Okay, I’ll share one: Ourand says he’s looking forward to the launch of the new Fox Sports One cable network. “It’s the latest potential competitor to ESPN, and I’m dying to see what it looks like.”)

Catch the “Geico SportsNite: 2012: The Year In Sports” special when it re-airs for the remainder of the year on SNY. The special will be rebroadcast on SNY at the following dates and times: Thursday, December 20, 2 PM; Sunday, December 23, 3 PM; Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 PM; Saturday, December 29, 9 PM; and Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (New Year’s Day) at 12 Noon (all times Eastern).

Video: Ian Eagle Pays Homage To Jerry Seinfeld As Brooklyn Nets Win In Overtime

YES Network announcer Ian Eagle gave a veiled shout-out to Nets fan Jerry Seinfeld after Brooklyn defeated the Detroit Pistons in overtime at Barclays Center.

During Friday night’s Brooklyn Nets home game against the Detroit Pistons, cameras showed comedian Jerry Seinfeld in the crowd.

So after Nets guard Joe Johnson hit a game-winning three-pointer to seal the victory for the team, 108-105, YES Network cameras once again showed Seinfeld, along with his wife, Jessica, in jubilation. And make no mistake, it was not a shot about nothing.

Can you catch the reference that Seinfeld fan Ian Eagle makes at 31 seconds into this video?

If the NHL lockout is ever resolved, I’d like to see YES Network pay another tribute to Seinfeld if he attends a New Jersey Devils game.

(Oh, that’s right, he’s a Kings fan, now.)

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.

http://www.1027wnew.com/WRXP_Becomes_WFANFM.mp3

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:

http://www.1027wnew.com/WRXP_Becomes_WFANFM.mp3

WFAN-FM – Starts Friday On A Radio Near You

Save the date: Friday, November 2 will be when WFAN will begin simulcasting on 101.9 FM, with the callsign of WFAN-FM. There is no end date set for the termination of the simulcast of 101.9 FM and the station’s original dial position at AM 660.

We know that CBS Radio purchased 101.9 FM with the intention to simulcast WFAN, where sports radio had lived at AM 660 for a quarter century.

But we did not know when the simulcast will be in effect.

Until now – and it was their big kahuna that broke the big news.

On Monday, a day when Mike Francesa was conducting his top-rated radio show via ISDN line from his home on Long Island (sans YES Network simulcast), he announced at the top of the show that the effective date for the simulcast will be Friday, November 2.

Additionally, the WFAN Twitter account (which I would imagine needs a new handle by week’s end) tweeted the news that the simulcast would start “at 12:01 AM.”

Many speculated that the local marketing agreement (LMA) with Merlin Media, current owners of 101.9 FM, would start on Thursday, November 1, as the Brooklyn Nets – whose games were heard on WFAN since the turn of the century when they were based in New Jersey – play their home opener (basically their “Brooklyn opener”) at Barclays Center against the New York Knicks – whose radio flagship is ESPN New York 98.7, which itself had migrated to the FM dial earlier this year from AM 1050, which is now carrying “ESPN Deportes” programming (though for the next several hours, both AM 1050 and FM 98.7 are carrying audio from ABC O&O WABC-TV as Hurricane Sandy threatens the area; incidentally, WFAN is asking listeners to tune to 92.3 FM “if WFAN loses transmission today on 660 AM” – not too confusing, right?).

When the AM/FM simulcast takes effect, the call letters on 101.9 will go from WRXP to WFAN-FM. CBS brass had not set a timetable for the simulcast to end, with AM 660 switching to different programming – specifically, the new CBS Sports Radio Network, which launches January 2, though there is a good chance it could pop up on 94.7 FM in New York, which was recently purchased by Cumulus, who, with CBS, will be heavily involved with the new network.

No word if the YES simulcast for Francesa’s show will resume by the time the FM simulcast begins. On Monday morning, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did their WFAN morning show without the assistance of their television simulcast via MSG Network; also, WFAN’s midday show hosted by Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, which does not have a TV simulcast (yet) went on as scheduled, though with Roberts in studio and Benigno contributing via telephone.

For more information about WFAN’s new dial position, click here.

ESPN's Top 5 Plagiarism Scandals

 

In the wake of Chris Broussard's recent plagiarism controversy, Media Rantz has compiled a list of the top 5 plagiarism incidents at ESPN. Woody Paige (photo credit: BrandonSneed.com) is on the list. Where does he rank? Read on and find out.

By now, you’re probably aware of a controversy involving ESPN’s NBA insider Chris Broussard. Tuesday evening was not a very good one for him. First, moments after Nets point guard Deron Williams tweeted that he has decided to remain with the franchise as it prepares to embark on its first season in Brooklyn, Broussard tweeted that per a “source: Deron Williams tells Nets he’s staying in Brooklyn.”

But wait, there’s more. Hours later, shooting guard Eric Gordon agreed to leave the Hornets and join the Suns. And in a trio of tweets announcing this, he appeared to have lifted quotes from an article posted by the Arizona Republic moments earlier. And to top it off, he prefaces Gordon’s quote, given to the Republic’s Paul Coro, with, “Gordon told me this.”

It was obvious that Broussard was more preoccupied on Tuesday night with packing for his Caribbean vacation than keeping his finger on the pulse of the NBA wire. And he was clearly befuddled by all of the negative feedback he received over the two-fer-Tuesday debacle that he sent a lovely message to any of the “haters” that happen to coexist amongst his nearly half-million Twitter follower total. “I got a life beyond the NBA,” he tweeted early this morning, adding: “While [you] wasting energy hating on me, I’m enjoying time with me family. [Me: An Irish family?] If I can’t relate to that, I feel sorry for [you].”

U mad, Chris?

Apparently, his flight must have been delayed because he parroted a scoop from ESPN colleague Marc Stein (with credit given) that guard Kyle Lowry would be traded from the Rockets to the Raptors.

As the Chris Broussard fiasco awaits its epilogue, now would be a great time to look back – in true ESPN fashion – at the top five plagiarism controversies involving the Worldwide Leader:

5. Sarah Phillips. This is the “pretty” and “quick witted” lady that ESPN hired and eventually appointed her as a featured writer at ESPN.com’s now-defunct “Page 2” section. ESPN would fire her within ninety minutes of this Deadspin expose being posted, with vivid details about several conspiracy theories regarding her – one of which was her hijacking the “NBA Memes” Facebook page. The creator of the page had invited Phillips to be a contributor, and eventually after concerns about content posted on it, added her as an administrator of the page – only to find out a few days later that he himself was removed as an administrator of his own page, which would serve as a precursor to a new page Phillips would be involved with. (You’ll be happy to know that, upon Phillips’ termination, the creator of the NBA Memes Facebook page has retained control of it once again.) While not necessarily an instance of lifting something from another journalist, Phillips’ takeover of a popular Facebook page with content similar to one she was maintaining is an extreme example of “lifting from a source.”

4. John Carroll. Just weeks after ESPN gave Phillips the boot, the Worldwide Leader experienced another credibility issue earlier this year, involving the former NCAA hoops head coach and NBA assistant head coach, who currently provides scouting reports for the NBA via the premium “Insider” section on ESPN.com. One day, when one die-hard Spurs fan perused a San Antonio Spurs message board (of which local sports radio host Mike Taylor is a member – actually, he had to sign up to tell somebody off) and then pulled up Carroll’s “Insider” column and experienced deja vu, he or she tipped someone off. It led to ESPN yanking Carroll’s allegedly-lifted “Insider” post “while we review the situation.” No word if Carroll had received any suspension, and I’d confirm if he was still writing for ESPN.com – but alas, I am not an “Insider.”

3. Woody Paige. The resident “Around The Horn” contributor has seen his own share of criticism – he and colleague Jay Crawford were named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a makeup artist which was eventually dismissed – but he was put under scrutiny last June when Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand called out Paige for alleged plagiarism at his day job with The Denver Post, accusing him of writing musings about the early history of ESPN “identical” to those that appeared in a piece on the same subject penned by Ourand in SBJ. “Hey [Woody], did you really talk to [broadcasting journalist] Paul Maxwell? Or did you lift that quote from SBJ,” asked Ourand in a public tweet. “Bad form not to list source.” The Post post was eventually updated to include attribution to SBJ as the source of a Maxwell quote. Paige was never reprimanded for initially stiffing Ourand in his piece, and remains on the ESPN payroll.

2. “ESPN.com Staff.” The victim this time around: ProFootballTalk.com. This incident happened in the fall of 2009, just months after PFT became a part of NBC Sports Group. In anticipation of an upcoming matchup between AFC East rivals New England and Miami, Joey Porter, who was a linebacker with the Dolphins at the time, had told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he thinks Patriots quarterback Tom Brady goes by his own set of rules. PFT staffer Michael David Smith had posted an item about the exchange, which was retweeted by Eisen himself. “Several hours later,” recounted Gregg Rosenthal – who, ironically, is now a colleague of Eisen’s at NFL Network – “someone from ‘ESPN.com staff’ posted the first five paragraphs of the MDS story – word for freaking word.” In as much time as it took for ESPN to dismiss Sarah Phillips, the Worldwide Leader once again acted swiftly, replacing virtually the entire item, which had appeared on the ESPNBoston.com website, with a message “from the editors of ESPNBoston.com” informing of text previously existing in that space that “should have been attributed to ProFootballTalk.com.” (And if you access the link today, the post has been deleted altogether.) And while the offender was never identified, we can only wonder if he or she is currently toiling at another sports website, perhaps having learned their lesson and no longer reproducing another peer’s work. “Word. For freaking word.”

1. Will Selva. It’s quite ironic that the culprit at the top of our list of the worst ESPN plagiarists has shown having a hard time not to depend exclusively on him-“selva” for content. On December 26, 2010 – one day after the Heat torched the Lakers in their annual Christmas Day game – Orange County Register sports columnist Kevin Ding started his thoughts like this: “Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans. The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game Of The Year. In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.” Fast-forward to that very Tuesday night, December 28, 2010, when Selva, anchoring the 11 PM edition of ESPNews’ “Highlight Express,” led off with a recap of the Spurs’ home matchup with the Lakers, starting his thoughts like this: “Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans. The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game Of The Year. In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.” Mind you, at this point, we were three full days away from the Christmas holiday. Usually, after December 26, the next time the public breaks out mass Christmas cliches is Thanksgiving, if not earlier. This certainly was no coincidence. Ding, who attended the Lakers/Spurs game in San Antonio – which the Lakers also lost, by the way – recalled heading back to his hotel room and experiencing a serious case of deja vu upon turning on ESPNews. “Imagine my shock when anchor Will Selva proceeded to use the first several paragraphs of my column looking forward to the game as his lead-in to the highlights,” wrote an obviously incensed Ding, after learning that he had become a victim of plagiarism, at the hands of an ESPN anchor who had previously worked at CNN – not to mention a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School Of Journalism, per his resume. According to the Register’s own account of this kerfuffel: “Selva said in a statement… that he copied some of what Ding wrote as he prepared his script but planned to write his own introduction to a highlights package. Instead, he read Ding’s words nearly verbatim.” Selva used an apology as a guise to explain himself: “In this case, I cut and pasted the story with every intention of writing my own. I simply forgot and I completely understand why this is a major problem. I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues.” He added in his statement: “I made a horrible mistake and I’m deeply sorry. I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN’s.” Selva was subsequently suspended from ESPN indefinitely. He remains at the Worldwide Leader – at least for now.