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I’m Almost 40 And You Have Permission To Kill Me

“If any of you ever hear me start to say ‘you know, that is a good point’ when any of the following opinions are expressed, you may take me to Antarctica, find an iceberg, and set me adrift to never be heard from again.”

Demetri Ravanos

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Welcome to August 2021, everybody! This is the month that I turn 40. I remember a time when 40 seemed to be so far away. 40-year-olds seemed so experienced and wise.

If you are reading this on the day that it drops, I’m exactly three weeks from the milestone and I am pretty confident that I am still a moron. Like, I remember when my mom turned 40. She was so upset about being old and flipped out when I made an “over the hill joke.”

Over The Hill Grim Reaper "I Am Here for the Cake" Foil Balloon -  ZoomParty.com
This is the actual balloon I gave my mom on her 40th birthday and it made her cry. To this day, I maintain that this balloon is hilarious.

As I sit here, with the Big 4-0 very much in the crosshairs, I couldn’t feel more different. Maybe that is the privilege of being a man in a society where women are given unspoken expiration dates, but right now, August 23, 2021 feels like it will just be another day to me.

Still, it is hard to deny that I am indeed getting older. Are there more yesterdays for me than tomorrow? I mean, probably if you assholes don’t stop being selfish shitheads and just go get vaccinated. But also, maybe not. All I know is I have found myself more interested in Shark Week in recent years and my arm hurts for two days after I throw any ball any distance.

Recently, I was talking to a colleague that is as close to 30 as I am to 40. He said to me, without a hint of irony in his voice, that as he was getting older, he found that he started to agree with more traditional sports talking points. I asked him to give me an example and he told me that college athletes getting thousands of dollars for name, image, and likeness deals was making college football less fun for him.

I told the guy that he was an idiot. That opinion is not traditional. It is just stupid and wrong.

In that moment I made a decision. Here are seven “traditional” sports talking points that I hope I never agree with. If any of you ever hear me start to say “you know, that is a good point” when any of the following opinions are expressed, you may take me to Antarctica, find an iceberg, and set me adrift to never be heard from again.

The offer was made on a blog, so it is legally binding.


PLAYERS THAT HOLD OUT FOR A NEW CONTRACT ARE GREEDY

The guy putting his body on the line so others can have success is always the one to side with. Also, if it isn’t your money, don’t be a bootlicker. The one in power is always wrong.

THE NAME ON THE FRONT OF THE JERSEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ONE ON THE BACK

Man, wouldn’t it be cool if the world were Little League? Do you think that anyone ever said to themselves “man, I really want to spend my 20s in Indianapolis”? Is there anyone on Earth that has ever longed to spend the coldest, most miserable months of the year in New England? No! The name Manning was more important than the name Colts and the names Brady and Belichick are more important than the name Patriots. Welcome to the real world, where people make decisions based on what or who best helps them accomplish their goals.

A FREE COLLEGE TUITION IS MORE THAN ENOUGH PAYMENT FOR PLAYING FOOTBALL OR BASKETBALL

This is a very old argument with very old evidence to prove that it is wrong. Every time a new billion dollar television contract is signed, remind yourself of how many people you know that got their careers started because of a family connection or that have a degree that has nothing to do with their current occupation. I loved my time in college. I will always advocate for college, but there is no college education that could ever make me think people like Joe Burrow or Justin Fields got compensated fairly when people who never took a single hit make fortunes off of SEC and Big Ten television contracts.

TEAM USA BASKETBALL SHOULD CARE MORE ABOUT THE OLYMPICS

Do I want the USA to do well? Of course I do. Would a gold medal make me happier than a Celtics title? No. If Jayson Tatum insists on being a part of Team USA, then I insist he half ass it.

THERE’S NO ROOM FOR POLITICS IN SPORTS

Look, I am not saying I want a lecture about the shortcomings of capitalism every time I turn on a football game, but the idea that these worlds were mutually exclusive until Colin Kaepernick came along could not be further from the truth. Also, politicians will not shut the hell up about sports. What is the most iconic crossover of sports and politics in the United States? It’s the championship White House invitation, right? You know why that started? Because Andrew Johnson, who was WILDLY unpopular in 1865, wanted to show the country that he was just a regular guy that liked baseball. Politics is inherently toxic, and so the people that exist in that world want to tie themselves to literally anything else.

THE PLAYERS OF YESTERYEAR WERE BETTER AND TOUGHER THAN PLAYERS TODAY

Why are you so invested in the best of sports being behind us? It would be awesome if Trevor Lawrence turns out to be the best quarterback in history. We would be so lucky to see Cade Cunningham or Anthony Edwards put up scoring numbers and championship wins to rival Jordan and Kareem. Rooting for the future is rooting for yourself.

BASEBALL HAS UNWRITTEN RULES AND IF YOU RESPECT THE GAME, YOU FOLLOW THEM

F*** you.

BSM Writers

Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing

…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.

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WRONG BAD

In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.

“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.

“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”

Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.

The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?

That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.

You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.

“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”

Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.

Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”

Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”

Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”

Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”

It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.

WORTH EVERY PENNY

I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.

My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.

My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.

After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.

Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.

Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”

My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.

My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.

Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.

And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.

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BSM Writers

Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.

Jeff Caves

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Radio Sales

A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours. 

But is that why you sell sports radio?

In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.

A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family. 

Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.

I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.  

I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.

Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important. 

So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.  

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table

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Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.

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