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Hey Jealousy

Brian Noe

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Los Angeles Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani is performing like the rare combination of Zeus, Shaft, and Gerard Butler from the movie 300. The rookie phenom has been on fire. Remember the infamous “show me the money” line from Jerry Maguire? We might be seeing “Sho-hei the mon-naaay” signs in Angels country soon. Sorry, Starz is the only premium movie channel I currently have.

The Japanese stud has been the Swiss Army knife of production. He hit three home runs two weeks ago and struck out 12 batters against the Oakland A’s last Sunday. That would be impressive as a 15-year-old Danny Almonte posing as a 13-year-old. Ohtani is doing all of this as a daisy-fresh rookie in Major League Baseball! Filthy splitter + 100 mph fastball + scorching bat = is this dude from the future?

So far his teammates have said the right things about him. They’re absolutely blown away by his rare combination of talents. It makes me wonder if there will be a teammate or two that will get tired of Shohei Mania and the spotlight not being on themselves. Remember when Albert Pujols thought it was an insult to be compared to Mike Trout? When asked, “Are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?” Pujols responded, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

There are many other examples of pettiness that trump Pujols. Take the Seattle Seahawks for example. The reports of Russell Wilson’s teammates being envious of his commercial success have been well documented. A teammate resenting Russ for being in a TV ad is the equivalent of a 4th grader saying the most popular girl is school has a stupid face. At some point you just have to grow up.

If you think this dynamic doesn’t exist in sports talk radio, you’re sadly mistaken. Hosts are supremely aware of which people get opportunities. The news of a promotion isn’t normally met with, “Golly gee, that’s great.” It’s typically, “That hack? Really?” These same hosts don’t realize the damage their mindset is doing. A bad attitude is like a governor on a semi truck — it limits your potential.

Think of a Super Bowl party. There is the person that’s upbeat and makes positive comments about the food or bean dip. “You guys made sliders? Awesome!” Then you’ve got Debbie Downer who complains about everything. “They don’t have much to drink and the TV is too small.” Which person would you rather hang out with? You’ll find out that life is just like a big Super Bowl party.

The exact same dynamic takes place at work. Bosses have thoughts about who they’d like to be around when making a job offer. You’d need to be talented on a Shohei Ohtani level for a boss to think, “Man, this guy has an awful attitude, but let me offer him the gig so I can deal with his awful attitude daily and drive myself crazy.” It normally doesn’t work that way.

A positive attitude not only makes yourself feel good, it makes everyone around you feel good. It’s amazing how doors magically open after making other people happy.

The question then becomes how do you MacGyver your way in to a promotion? Outside of the obvious things like being good at what you do and networking, it comes down to attitude and approach. If both are bad, so are your chances of success.

In relationships, the worst approach to get your partner to do something you want, is to point out what they’re doing wrong. That isn’t motivating. It’s deflating. “You never take me out on Friday night. Why not? How come?” Your partner won’t be fired up to take you out. If it’s the opposite approach — “I love when we go out on Friday night. It’s so much fun being with you!” Your partner will be strutting around like a peacock. The positive approach gives you a much better chance of getting what you want.

Sports talk job seeking is no different. Don’t whine to your boss, “Why did John get that shift? Why not me? Whaa whaa whaa.” Instead, find ways to be positive. “I love working here. I’m very thankful. What steps can I take toward a greater role?” It’s not that you’re asking. It’s how you’re asking. You can’t expect a girl to go out with you after saying, “Why’d you go out with Chris? Why not me? No fair.” Don’t expect a promotion by saying the equivalent to a manager.

All of these things help increase the odds of having success. I don’t know about you, but I want the odds to be in my favor as much as possible. Your dream job might not fall from the heavens the minute you have a positive mindset. I’ll guarantee two things though — your odds of having success will be better and you’ll be much happier in the meantime.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said that “jealousy and envy are incurable diseases.” It’s easy to become envious of someone else getting a big opportunity instead of yourself. That doesn’t make it right. It only makes the problem worse anyway. Remember that song “Hey Jealousy” by the Gin Blossoms? As bad as that song was, think of your outlook being worse when you’re consumed with jealousy.

Wow, Gin Blossoms and Jerry Maguire. I’m sorry I didn’t fit in stone-washed jeans and Lou Holtz to complete this throwback experience.

Positivity is one of the greatest allies in life. It’s a door opener. Jealousy and envy are opportunity destroyers. You can’t even spell jealousy without lousy. Be happy when people achieve things that you’re striving for. It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. If you resent the success of others, the chances are greater that you will never experience similar triumphs.

BSM Writers

Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing

…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.

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WRONG BAD

In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.

“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.

“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”

Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.

The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?

That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.

You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.

“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”

Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.

Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”

Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”

Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”

Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”

It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.

My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.

My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.

After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.

Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.

Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”

My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.

My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.

Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.

And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.

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BSM Writers

Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.

Jeff Caves

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Radio Sales

A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours. 

But is that why you sell sports radio?

In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.

A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family. 

Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.  

I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.

Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important. 

So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.  

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table

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Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.

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