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Dan Le Batard’s Freedumb Draws 3 Million Viewers

The Le Batard and Friends Freedumb 24-hour marathon brought in almost three-million viewers to the Le Batard and Friends platform.

MIchael Quirk

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When Dan Le Batard, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, and the Shipping Container wrapped up their final show at ESPN, their playing of George Michael’s “Freedom” was about as subtle as a squirrel tail in an apple pie. Months later, it was a variation of that carefully-selected word that led the official kickoff of Meadowlark Media’s partnership with DraftKings.

Their 24-hour content extravaganza from Friday to Saturday entitled “Freedumb” “drumbed” up close to three million viewers across social media and YouTube Live, according to The Big Lead. The average YouTube Live viewers watched the show for an average of 45 minutes, as well. Appearances included Bob Costas, Pat Riley, Charles Barkley, Jim Rome, Michelle Beadle, and and John Skipper among others. It also served as a launching pad for the flurry of acquired former-ESPN talent to delve into the new venture.

Le Batard long said he wanted to do his show for Miami and in Miami, and after taking the previously-local show national to ESPN, continued the program’s unorthodox approach to sports radio. While for years, sports radio has consisted of Mount Rushmores and pontifications about athlete legacies, Le Batard and his cast of idiosyncratic characters, discussed their favorite colors, how long is “too long” not to change underwear in South Florida, and the origins of popular cliches. This type of “anti-sports-radio sports radio” has led to an army of dedicated fans consistently bringing the show to most-downloaded podcasts lists.

ESPN’s stern directives about what content it would like on its airwaves caused much consternation for the show. Now working with former ESPN-executive John Skipper, the reigns are off as the crew is now able to talk politics, race, sandwiches, or finally get to the conversation about Carter Verhaeghe. Rarely one to take itself seriously, it appears as though Le Batard, Stugotz, and the Shipping Container are enjoying their newfound “Freedumb.”

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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