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Giants Pick’s Dad Fires Back At Francesa

“This is the kid that that guy [Francesa] wished he had as his son.”

Brandon Contes

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New York Giants sixth-round draft pick, Corey Ballentine was injured in a shooting Saturday night that killed his best friend and teammate, Dwane Simmons.  Although Ballentine and Simmons appeared to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time, a non-remorseful Mike Francesa went on his WFAN radio show and criticized the Giants for making the draft pick.  

“When you finish your draft and stress how you went out of your way to take the right kind of guys, guys that you want on the team, guys that are going to be great character guys and you stress that as strongly as the Giants did…it looks pretty bad when one of them gets shot on a Saturday night. It does not look good. It’s just more of the same for the Giants, who just can’t get out of their own way”

“As someone who’s been around the Giants for 40 years,” Francesa continued, “It’s sad to see the Giants become a laughingstock that they have around the league.”

The New York Post reached out to Ballentine’s father, Karl Vaughn who vehemently defended his son against any criticism from Francesa.

“This is the kid that that guy [Francesa] wished he had as his son,” Vaughn told Kate Sheehy of The Post.

After the Giants drafted Ballentine in the sixth-round out of Washburn University, the 23-year old defensive back went to an off-campus party with his friend, Dwane Simmons to celebrate.

“It was just two blocks from his house — it was not a thug area or a hoodlum area,” Vaughn said of the party Ballentine and Simmons attended. “It was just wrong place, wrong time.”

According to Vaughn, his son was the type of high-character player the Giants were looking for in this year’s NFL Draft.

“I tell you what. You can pick up every stone and every rock on the ground, and you won’t find a smidge of dirt tied to that boy,” Vaughn said. “He never had a discipline referral, never been suspended from school. He was an honor-roll student.”

In terms of how Ballentine is recouping from the act of senseless violence, Vaughn told The Post, “He’s about as well as expected for a 23-year-old who just got shot … and lost a good friend,” 

“He holds a lot of stuff in. He’s going to have to let some out,” Vaughn added.

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

Kayla Anderson Added to 104.5 The Zone Morning Show

Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor to WKRN-TV in Nashville.

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Kayla Anderson has been added to the 104.5 The Zone morning show, newly titled Ramon, Kayla, and Will, joining Ramon Foster and Will Boling on the Nashville station.

Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor on WKRN-TV in Nashville. A graduate of Washington State University, she has also worked at television stations in Spokane, Missoula, Tucson, and Columbus in addition to her time in Nashville.

Anderson said on Twitter she is “so excited to join this group!”

Boling had been the interim host of the morning show after the August departure of Jason Martin.

Ramon, Kayla, and Will will be heard from 6:00 AM-10:00 AM each weekday morning.

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Sports Radio News

Derek Wolfe Joining 104.3 The Fan as ‘The Drive’ Co-Host

I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive.”

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Former NFL defensive lineman Derek Wolfe is joining 104.3 The Fan in Denver as co-host with Darren “DMac” Mckee on The Drive With Derek Wolfe and DMac.

Wolfe announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this year after signing a one-day contract to retire with the Denver Broncos. He was the franchise’s top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, spending eight seasons with the team, including a win in Super Bowl 50.

“To the listeners in Denver, ‘The Fan Wolfe-pack,’ I am so insanely pumped to talk with you every afternoon on The Fan. We had a special connection when I was playing for the Broncos that’s only going to grow stronger every day on The Drive,” said Wolfe. “DMac and I are going to fight sometimes, maybe we’ll fight a lot of the time, but we’ll always be working together to entertain you. I’ve always kept it 100 with you, and that’s not going to change one bit.” 

“Derek is one of the most popular players in Broncos history, with the iconic image of his sack celebration in Super Bowl 50 forever etched in Denver sports lore,” said 104.3 The Fan program director Raj Sharan. “What’s so exciting about adding Derek is his connection with the audience goes far beyond his production on the field. He’s never been afraid to mince words and is unapologetically authentic. Those characteristics drew Denver sports fans to fall in love with Derek, and we’re thrilled to help Derek build on that relationship everyday as he entertains his ‘Fan Wolfe-pack!’” 

Wolfe enters a role previously occupied by former Bronco Tyler Polumbus, who departed the station in September. The Drive with Derek Wolfe and DMac will be heard weekday afternoons from 2:00 PM-6:00 PM.

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Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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