Sports Radio News
Petros & Money Still Going Strong After 9 Years
Wearing T-shirts and shorts, Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith are sitting in a booth at a brew pub on a Monday afternoon munching on flat-bread pizza and fish tacos. In about 30 minutes, they will add headsets to their ensembles and spend the next three hours talking about sports, pop culture, current events and whatever else pops into their brains. Dozens of devoted fans gathered at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse laugh along. So do thousands listening in their cars, on their computers and on their mobile devices.
Is it any wonder Papadakis and Smith love their jobs?
The smartest guys in sports radio are approaching the end of their ninth year together on “The Petros & Money Show,” or PMS, airing at 3 p.m. daily on KLAC/570. PMS remains as vibrant and entertaining as ever; there’s no other sports-talk radio show quite like it.
How have Papadakis and Smith managed to keep their show so fresh and interesting? I sat down with them before last week’s remote at the BJ’s in Orange to find out. Here’s how part of that conversation went:
Did you know each other before you started working together?
Papadakis: Matt was a sports guy at KROQ. He was friends with the PR guy at Fox, a guy named Dennis Johnson. I knew Matt as a person through D.J. He called me when USC got hot, and they asked me to come on the show, to “Kevin & Bean.”
Smith: They’re always looking for KROQ-style personalities instead of stiff sports guys. I was watching him on Fox, and I’m like, “This guy’s perfect. He’s the perfect KROQ guy to talk USC.”
Papadakis: That’s how we met each other. I would go there and do “Kevin & Bean.” And I had the little show on 1540 (AM). He came and hung out for like an hour (one) day. That’s how we started a friendship. We would text or talk. He was at 570 for a year. Then I came over, and we started working together.
Did you know it was going to work?
Smith: No. We hoped that it would.
Papadakis: We weren’t thrown together. We wanted to do the job. I think that says a lot. There’s a lot of situations in our business where people are like, “Hey, you work with him, make it work.”
Smith: That’s what happened to me there. “You work with Joe Grande, and it’s gonna work.” And that clearly was not happening. So yes, we wanted to work together.
What is it about you guys that makes the show work so well? Is it that you’re on the same intellectual plane? That you have the same sense of humor?
Smith: I just have fun doing the show. That’s really it for me. So many guys go into work, or girls go into work, and they’re just miserable. They watch for the next commercial break; they’re watching the clock to see when the show’s gonna end. I can’t speak for him, but that’s now how the show is. I enjoy doing the show.
Papadakis: When it comes down to it, once the show starts, it’s fun to do for us. It’s work, just like anything is work. (But) there’s a certain way that we put the show together and a certain way that the show works and the way we work off each other and the kind of roles we play, which change all the time.
Did you know you’d be on the same wavelength when it came to pop-culture references, etc.?
Papadakis: No, I don’t think so. But I think the interesting thing about it is, if you go into a show and say, “Well, you’re going to be this guy, and I’m going to be that guy,” I don’t think it necessarily works like that. You might get three years out of that. I think we’ve both changed a lot since the show started. I got married and had a family and moved three times. Matt had another kid right when we started. His kids are growing up. And he lost like 50 pounds. He’s a golfer. Different stuff happens. I think we can continue to relate to each other as that’s changed. We don’t always play the same role. I’m not always the goofiest guy on the show.
Smith: I think we get enough references. I certainly don’t get them all. I think the key is to get enough that you have sort of the same foundation, same sort of reference point, things that we’re interested in. There’s enough there. There’s enough differences too, which is important. That’s the other thing. There’s enough where we’re a lot different from one another.
Papadakis: It wouldn’t be very fun if we were the same.
Can you see doing this together for the foreseeable future?
Papadakis: I don’t want to not do the show.
Smith: I enjoy it. It’s a successful show. We’re compensated fairly. I love coming to work every day. I don’t know what else I’d rather do.
Papadakis: It’s a pretty big part of both of our lives. It’s like another person – the show.
Your show is different than a lot of standard sports-talk fare. You have specific segments geared to “not-sports.” Did you set out to do that, or was it, let’s do the show we want to do?
Papadakis: I think it was natural given both of our backgrounds. It was a natural kind of thing for both of us to do. He had come from KROQ, where the sports were one minute an hour and he had to do that and whatever else they were asking him to do. I came from a sports background, but I’ve always been interested in a lot more than that. It was just a natural thing for us to do. Some sports shows try to force that stuff in, and it doesn’t sound natural.
Smith: There’s a “Not-Sports Report,” but most of that is organic. I’m just thinking about last week when he just lobbed out, “Last time you beer-bonged?” That’s a four-minute conversation that became the highlight of a four-hour show. You get more tweets and more emails and more conversation, because it was just natural; it was in the moment. And when those things happen …
You didn’t know he was going to ask that?
Smith: No. It just came up.
Papadakis: We try not to manufacture (material). We’re pretty comfortable with each other. Like, there’s a bunch of stuff that happened over the weekend that I’m sure he’s going to want to talk about. And vice versa. He doesn’t want to tell me too much about it before the show because we really want an honest reaction.
Smith: In the moment.
I’ve heard that before – that sometimes co-hosts won’t talk to each other much off the air so everything is fresh on the air.
Papadakis: And when you spend four hours a day on the air with somebody, you kind of let your relationship play out on the radio.
Smith: I think the shows that go, “I’ll say this, then you go here and” … we don’t do that.
I’m going to watch the first half-hour just to make sure you actually follow through on that.
Papadakis: Cool. You’ll love it. We promise. Best half-hour ever.
How has Petros changed? As you mentioned, he’s gotten married, had two kids.
Smith: His whole life has changed. When I first met him he was going out to 3-4 shows a week, staying out late, watching concerts. We’d drink after work a little bit, hang out a lot more.
Papadakis: I still eat late at night. But now alone.
Smith: Now, we’re probably a lot more similar. We have similar schedules. We have children to take care of.
Papadakis: I understand a lot more of what Matt was like. He’d have to get all this work done right when he got to work. I’d want to talk about everything and gossip about people. He’d want to type. He couldn’t work at home like I could because he had kids hanging (on him). When you’re a bachelor, it’s hard to realize that. I recognize it now.
Smith: But professionally, I don’t think much has changed.
Papadakis: We’re still excited about what’s happening, the show and what’s going on. He just got skinny. He got so skinny that his wedding ring flew off at the Bicycle Casino. We were (crawling) under poker tables to find it. He got so skinny that it made me feel fat. Fatter.
It’s always good when one guy is …
Papadakis: To have a fat guy and a skinny guy? I’m so happy to be the fat guy.
Read more of this article at the OC Register where this was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Jay Williams Calls Listener, Forces Him To Pay Their $1000 Lakers Bet
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
If you owe Jay Williams money, he is going to find you. Just ask Rob, a listener in Orlando who bet the ESPN Radio morning man that the Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals.
Last week, Rob called Keyshawn, JWill and Max and bet Williams $1000 the Lakers would eliminate the Denver Nuggets. Williams said if that happened, he would pay Rob $1500.
Obviously, that is not the way things played out. On Tuesday morning, Jay Williams called Rob demanding payment.
“He owes me my money,” he said. “So you know what we do? We got Detective Pat on the call today. Pat, let’s give this man a call. See if this guy picks up, trying to run away from giving me my money.”
The show’s associate producer Patrick Costello called the number Rob left last week. On the first attempt, the listener did not pick up. Williams vowed to keep up the pressure on social media and national radio and television until he got paid.
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
“You know, getting that money is a wrap, Jay,” Keyshawn Johnson said through laughter. “I told you that.”
The show made one more attempt to connect with Rob before having to turn things over to Greeny. This time, the Lakers fan picked up and acknowledged that he had to pay. He offered to make a donation in Williams’s name.
“I’ll send you my bank account here privately, and then I will send it to the charity of my choice,” Williams agreed.
Rob agreed to the arrangement. Williams asked him if he wanted to apologize for doubting the basketball analyst’s prediction of the Lakers’ demise.
“Apologize? I need the Lakers to apologize to me after that performance,” Rob said. “Because Jesus Christ, that was horrible. That was bad.”
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen on LeBron James Retirement Talk: ‘NBA Needs Offseason Stories’
“I think we pick and choose with him. I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
As the Los Angeles Lakers exited the court after being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, a grim reality set in across the basketball world regarding the future of forward LeBron James. Widely regarded as one of the best players to ever suit up, James is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, a 19-time All Star selection, four-time MVP, and four-time NBA champion.
During his postgame media availability on Monday, he stated that he had to seriously think about his future, undoubtedly referencing retirement. James just completed his 20th season in the Association and continues to play at a high level, but is going to think about walking away from the game after falling short of the NBA Finals this year.
“He’s been a pretty good soldier for the game,” said Tom Milikan, morning show producer and assistant program director at 97.1 The Ticket. “There’s been some things I haven’t agreed with him [on] that he’s liked or tweeted or whatever. I think he’s had some ignorance, but I think that applies to every single athlete out there that’s great.”
Throughout his NBA career, James has been the subject of criticism. The ESPN special he participated in titled The Decision saw him reveal he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. He is also a frequent subject across the network’s programming, including on Get Up, First Take and NBA Today.
“I think we pick and choose with him,” Millikan said. “I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
Show co-host Mike Stone read messages from the 97.1 The Ticket text line during the show, many of which criticized James for being a “flopping” player desperate for any semblance of attention since he will not be in the NBA Finals. One text suggested his revelation of weighing retirement was done intentionally, surmising that he has a film documentary crew around him and coming back stronger than ever would make for a great story.
“The league needs some offseason stories,” Millikan said. “From what I know, the free agency class is not all that great this year – and one of the big names is Kyrie Irving, and that’s toxic. It’s sort of like, ‘Hey, maybe they’re generating buzz or trying to do the whole Brady thing.’ So be it – I’ve seen it 15 times in my life.”
Stone recognized that athletes like James are genuinely once-in-a-generation type talents, and that his time in the NBA has been defined by more than what he has done on the court. James has also been an immense advocate for greater causes, including social issues, youth education and community affairs. Whenever he decides to call it a career though, fans should rest assured that James has truly given the game everything he has.
“I want to see the best that they have for as long as possible,” show co-host Jon Jansen said of star athletes. “If they end up playing too long, so be it. I don’t care. Then I know I’ve [seen] it all.”
Sports Radio News
Danny Parkins: NFL Teams ‘Don’t Really Care About Your In-Stadium Experience’
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it.”
On Monday at the NFL Owners’ Meetings, flex scheduling for Amazon Prime Video’s presentation of Thursday Night Football was approved 24-8. Games can only be flexed between Weeks 13 and 17 with 28 days notice required. Additionally, a maximum of two games can be flexed per season, with the entire operation being on “a trial basis.”
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it,” said Danny Parkins on 670 The Score as the news broke Monday. “[The] first rule already happened, and the Bears are one of the teams that either benefit or are victimized by the rule depending on your interpretation. You can play on multiple Thursdays this year. You can’t play multiple road Thursdays, but the Bears have two Thursday night games – in Washington and home against Carolina.”
In an effort to broadcast compelling action on a national stage, the National Football League did not give all of its 32 teams at least one game on national television this season. Conversely, the New York Jets, complete with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will be featured on national television for the maximum of six times, including two matchups on Thursday Night Football. The Jets, along with the Chicago Bears, dissented from voting in favor of flexible scheduling, but Parkins assumes it has nothing to do with the fans.
“My guess is [it is] because they already have two Thursday night games,” Parkins said. “Maybe they’re just altruistic and they care about fans and travel and all that, but I bet you that they said, ‘Well, we’re playing in Week 5 in Washington and Week 10 at home against Carolina. We don’t want to risk Bears-Browns or Bears-Falcons being flexed into Thursday Night Football later in the season and end up with three Thursday night games.’”
Many football fans and media professionals have pushed back on granting the property any type of flex scheduling because of the negative impact it has on injury prevention, something that is not as pronounced with other properties solely because of the day of the week. Sunday Night Football on NBC was previously the only property with flex scheduling ability, and Monday Night Football on ESPN is being granted that ability between Weeks 12 and 17 with at least 12 days notice.
“They don’t really care about your in-stadium experience – they don’t,” Parkins said of the league. “As long as you watch on TV, they’re thrilled because that’s where they make a huge, ungodly percentage of their money – more so than any of the other sports.”