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Schemmel Reflects On Plane Crash 30 Years Ago

“To honor those who didn’t survive the crash, Schemmel, an avid bicyclist, rides 112 miles to Colorado Springs and back, one mile for each life lost.”

Brandon Contes



Last Friday marked exactly 30 years since Colorado Rockies radio voice, Jerry Schemmel survived a fatal plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa.  Schemmel was one of 184 survivors on Flight 232, but over 100 lives were lost in the crash.

Flying from Denver to Chicago on July 19th, 1989, the United DC-10 airplane went down after losing hydraulic power and a rear engine exploded, killing 112 passengers.  While attempting an emergency landing at the Sioux City, Iowa airport, Flight 232 fell just shy of its target runway, erupting into flames, breaking apart and tumbling to a halt.

“Immediately inside the cabin, it was complete chaos.  People being thrown about, some of them were strapped inside their chairs and their chairs had given and they were thrown that way.  And smoke and fire and debris, all in the first couple of seconds after we hit down,” Schemmel told KDLT News in Denver.  “I remember thinking, all right, we’ve hit down hard, there’s a lot of people hurt, there’s probably some people who aren’t alive right now but we’ll coast to a stop and I’ll assess things then and about the time I had that thought, we flipped over frontwards, kinda cartwheeled end to end, flipped over and started sliding upside down.”

Schemmel was lucky to survive the crash, but the now Colorado Rockies broadcaster was also a hero that day in 1989.   After Schemmel was able to find an opening to escape the plane, he heard a baby crying.  He went back into the burning airplane and rescued an 11 month old girl trapped in an overhead bin.  52 children were on Flight 232, including four “lap children” without seats because of a United Airlines promotion called “Children’s Day,” allowing kids to fly for a penny.

To honor those who didn’t survive the crash, Schemmel, an avid bicyclist, rides 112 miles to Colorado Springs and back, one mile for each life lost.  “It’s my way to personally honor the victims of the crash and the families who were left behind,” Schemmel told the Denver Post about the annual bike ride which he began in 2007.

Schemmel joined the Rockies radio broadcast in 2010, after 18 seasons as the voice of the Denver Nuggets.  The play-by-play announcer told KDLT he still flies, regularly traveling with the team, but not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about the crash.  Schemmel detailed his experience on Flight 232 in his 1996 book, “Chosen to Live.”

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

Hebert: Bally Sports is Taking Advantage of Customers

“Pathetic, Bally, read the room! You suck!”

Jordan Bondurant



T-Bob Hebert

Bally Sports is getting set to roll out its premium streaming service Bally Sports+ on September 26.

All 19 of the Bally regional sports networks will be able to stream games on the service.

Those interested can pay either $19.99 a month or $189.99 per year for the service. But one Baton Rouge host thinks the asking price to watch New Orleans Pelicans games this season on the service is too steep.

“I‘m going to put this as succinctly as I can. F Bally Sports,” T-Bob Hebert said on Off The Bench on 104.5 ESPN Wednesday. “The worst part is I love (Pelicans broadcasters) Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels. I think they’re one of the best combinations in the entirety of the NBA. And it’s not even that you’re asking me to pay. I’m down to pay.”

“But $20 a month?!? That is rapacious,” Hebert added. “You are taking advantage because you know that you have the only avenue with which to view this Pelicans team.”

Currently Bally Sports New Orleans is only available in the market on DirecTV. Apparently none of the other cable providers carry the network, so Bally seems to have fans by the jugular. That doesn’t sit well with Hebert.

“‘Just bundle it with DirecTV,'” Hebert said mockingly. “I don’t want to!! I just want to watch the games!”

Hebert added that given the added excitement level surrounding this Pelicans team, it’s really doing the fans a disservice to charge $20 a month to watch.

“They’re making it oppressively hard and expensive on the actual people who care and want to watch,” he said. “Pathetic, Bally, read the room! You suck!”

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Sports Radio News

Brady Quinn Calls Paul Finebaum A “SEC Thumper”

“Give him a break. He’s an SEC thumper,” Quinn said.

Jordan Bondurant



Brady Quinn, Paul Finebaum

College football season kicks off in the next couple of weeks, and earlier this week the Associated Press released its preseason national top 25 rankings.

Alabama claimed the top spot, with Ohio State, defending national champion Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame rounding out the top five.

But Paul Finebaum apparently took issue with Notre Dame being ranked where they were, and said partly why the Fighting Irish shouldn’t be in the top five is because of their Week 1 matchup.

“They should not even be in the top ten. It’s an absolute joke, and it happens every year with the AP poll, which is about as worthless as NFL preseason football,” Finebaum said in a recent appearance on ESPN. “It’s ridiculous. Notre Dame is going to get run in the first game of the season. I mean they’re going to get destroyed at The Big House…They’ll be fortunate to go 9-3. It’s laughable they’re in the top five or six.”

On FOX Sports Radio, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn felt the need to set Finebaum straight. He did firstly by correcting the SEC Network host, who said Notre Dame would be playing Michigan to open the season. Notre Dame is playing at Ohio State in Week 1.

“Give him a break. He’s an SEC thumper,” Quinn said on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe on Wednesday. “So I’m surprised he even knows where Ohio State is to be honest with you, or Notre Dame. Apparently he doesn’t.”

Hey Paul, how many teams are going to walk in to Ohio State and Columbus this year and beat them?” Quinn asked. “Probably no one.”

Quinn finished by taking a little jab at the fact that the Notre Dame/Ohio State game would be in primetime for ESPN, which runs the SEC Network.

“He’s bashing his employer’s matchup between these two and trying to downplay it,” he said. “So well done, Paul, lot of logic there.”

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Sports Radio News

Zolak and Bertrand Broadcast During Patriots/Panthers Fights

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak.



Zolak and Bertrand

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were broadcasting live from the New England Patriots’ joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. During their show, things got heated between the two teams, multiple times, and the show was there to call it all.

Bertrand was bringing the show back from commercial break and noted that there had just been a fight moments before Zolak and Bertrand were live.

“This drill got escalated by the Panthers here,” said co-host and former Patriots quarterback. “This is number three (fights)in a freaking kickoff drill. A kickoff drill!”

Shortly after, Bertrand was describing the efforts to separate the two teams when even more chaos erupted.

“They’ve separated all the players,” began Bertrand, sensing some calm was being restored. “They’ve sent them on their way to the next period so you’ve got — and now here comes another fight. Another major fight! It’s happening right in front of the stands.”

“These guys are a-holes man,” spoke Zolak. “Get these clowns out of here. All they want to do is fight. This is unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“What a scene,” said Bertrand.

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak. “Thank God we’re down here!”

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