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Vitale Gets Into Heated Argument On ESPN 104.5

“The iconic ESPN college basketball analyst became especially tense when the word hypocrisy was mentioned.”

Brandon Contes

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As LSU heads to the Sweet 16, Dick Vitale joined Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert’s Off The Bench on ESPN 104.5 in Baton Rouge to discuss the Tigers men’s basketball head coach, Will Wade.  Earlier this month, Wade was indefinitely suspended by the school after being named in an FBI investigation regarding payments to recruits.

Wade and LSU was not the only program named in the investigation, but Tiger fans feel Vitale has been particularly hard on their coach, while showing leniency toward others.  With that being the background for the interview, the fireworks that ensued between Culotta, Hebert and Vitale were no surprise.

After being welcomed to the show, Vitale quickly jumped into explaining his stance, controlling the first four minutes of the interview before the hosts asked any questions.  From the start, Vitale seemed agitated that he needed to defend his opinion, specifically with fans on social media who wished him ill will in profanity laced tweets.

Half way through the interview, the hosts clarified that they’re not defending Will Wade, but they do wonder why Vitale is zoning in on the LSU coach and not others involved in the scandal. 

The iconic ESPN college basketball analyst became especially tense when the word hypocrisy was mentioned.  “I come on your damn show, and I’m gonna be on it for you, but don’t sit there and tell me its hypocrisy when I’m telling you play the tape!  Let your people hear the tape of that coach!” said Vitale.

Throughout the interview, Vitale would yell at the hosts to “play the tape,” which isn’t possible considering the tape hasn’t been made public while the federal investigation ensues.  At least three times, Culotta and Hebert asked Vitale if he heard the tape, but he never gave a clear and definitive answer.

Vitale wasn’t amused when he was asked, “how much did Duke pay for Zion, in your opinion?”  The hosts were confused as to why Vitale was defending certain coaches, even supporting the idea of paying players, but dug his heels in when claiming Wade committed “one of the biggest sins and crimes in all of sports.”

More than once, the interview sounded as if it was about to end on bad terms, but credit Vitale for sticking with the show for 20 minutes.  Although the trio never reached an agreement, the interview ended cordially.  

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

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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