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Dunlap, Switzer Turn Twitter Beef Into Charity Drive

Brandon Contes

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Ryan Switzer of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Colin Dunlap from 93.7 The Fan proved that good can come from a social media spat after the NFL wide receiver and sports radio host turned a Twitter quarrel into a charitable “reception challenge.”

As Bleacher Report first noted, during the Steelers’ Week 11 victory in Jacksonville, Dunlap reacted to a goal-line target of Switzer by tweeting, “So the plan was to throw to Switzer? Yikes.”

Switzer later saw the tweet and took exception to the analysis replying, “You and I both know you have some quarrel with me. It’s fine. I apologize for whatever it is I upset you with. Just keep it professional, please. The “yikes” in your tweet was unnecessary. You’re applying I’m not good at what I do. Which I am. I don’t speak on your profession.”

The morning radio host defended his original tweet, but also provided a peace offering to Switzer, suggesting a performance based charity donation.

“Talking about sports is what I do. Sometimes that involves criticism. It’s my goal to never make it personal. [Ryan Switzer] felt I did, I felt I didn’t. It bothers me and demands olive branch. That said, for every catch he has rest of season I’ll donate $20 to his charity($500 min).” Dunlap wrote on Twitter.

Switzer took Dunlap up on the offer, selecting a charity that is very meaningful to Dunlap and his family, the oncology program at UPMC Children’s Hospital where the morning radio host’s 7-year old daughter, Darran Dunlap is a patient being treated for leukemia.

“Great idea. You hear that Colin Dunlap? I’ve picked my charity of choice. And I’d like to double down. $40 from me for every catch the rest of the season/playoffs to the oncology programs at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.” Switzer wrote on Twitter after a follower suggested the “reception challenge” should benefit the children’s hospital oncology program.

What started out as a Twitter disagreement over an NFL play call, quickly turned into a positive impact.  The Ryan Switzer Reception Challenge page at givetochildrens.org allows the public to provide a pledge per reception or a flat fee donation.  In less than one week, the challenge surpassed its $5,000 goal and is currently closing in on $10,000 while still accepting donations.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Fescoe in the Morning: ESPN Has a History of Ignoring Non-Partner Leagues

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

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Fescoe in the Morning

ESPN is out of the running for the Big Ten football and basketball media rights. Those will be awarded to a combination of other networks and likely a streaming service. ESPN appears to be focusing on NCAA Championships next.

Josh Klingler, co-host of Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, took time on their show on Tuesday to break down what that might mean for the Big Ten in terms of coverage.

“You’re (Big Ten) going to network television, which is better; more eyeballs and what have you,” noted Klingler. “But also, let’s not forget ESPN has a history of ignoring you when you’re not on their air. That’s the risk they are going to run.”

Klingler would add, “They are going to take the money. They are going to get network viewers, which is good. I guess the highlight and the hype and all those things that we are accustomed to doing that ESPN provides. We’ve already seen they ignore you if you’re not on their network.”

Bob Fescoe chimed in a reminder about another prominent league that chose not to partner with ESPN.

“Ask the National Hockey League what happened when they took the money from NBC and ran,” said Fescoe.

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

“Right, but I think they are willing to do that for a billion dollars per year,” Fescoe responded.

Fescoe then said that the Big Ten might make up for the perceived shortcomings of not being on ESPN by being on network television.

“If you’re going to be on network TV in all three windows, Josh, quite honestly all your marquee games are going to be free,” said Fescoe.

“That’s exposure,” said Klingler.

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NESN’s Dave O’Brien Says National Networks “Blew It” By Not Hiring Dennis Eckersley

“I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley decided to make it known that this season would be his last with NESN in the booth. He mentioned that after 50 years in baseball, it was time to go be with the grandchildren in San Diego.

His broadcast partner for a lot of those years in the NESN booth was Dave O’Brien. On the latest Sports Media Mayhem podcast, O’Brien joined show host Alex Reimer to talk about the retirement of Eckersley. Reimer pointed out that it took awhile before Eckersley became the main color analyst for the team. O’Brien remembered the time well.

“When he started, he was pre- and post- and he did that most of his career at NESN,” said O’Brien. “It was really, only the last six or seven years that he really started to get on as a game analyst.”

O’Brien was named the lead play-by-play announcer for NESN’s Red Sox coverage in 2016 which is about the same time Eckersley slid into the role of game analyst. In the time since, O’Brien has seen the work of Eckersley up close and is floored that he was working for a regional sports network and not somewhere more nationally prominent.

“I think the national people totally blew it on Dennis Eckersley,” blurted O’Brien. “And that includes Turner. They had an opportunity, I can say that because a lot of those people there now didn’t make the decision. He should have been the lead analyst doing national games. He should have been on ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball or FOX. I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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Sal Paolantonio Not Interested In Trying Ayahuasca To Better Understand Aaron Rodgers

“Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately.”

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Dan Patrick is a very good interviewer. He asks the questions he knows his audience wants answered. He also makes a habit out of throwing out questions to his guests that they never see coming. That was the case on Tuesday for ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

Paolantonio joined the Dan Patrick Show to discuss Pro Football Hall of Fame voting and the new NFL season. That is not what the host hit him with out of the gate.

The first question from Patrick to Paolantonio was “Just to relate to Aaron Rodgers, would you be willing to try ayahuasca?”.

Paolantonio was left speechless. All he could do was laugh and say “you got me on that one, Dan.”

Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately. The Green Bay quarterback recently said on a podcast that experimenting with ayahuasca opened him up to be ready to succeed both on the field and as a leader. He credits the experience with laying the foundation for his 2021 MVP season.

Patrick pushed the issue challenging Paolantonio to beat Andrea Kremer to the experience.

“My money is on the fearless Andrea Kremer,” Paolantonio shot back.

For the record, Kremer responded to the challenge on Twitter.

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