With the legendary Marv Albert no longer calling NBA games for TNT, that means there is an opening on the lead NBA broadcast crew for the 2021-22 season. One of the people that would be in line to take that position is Ian Eagle, who has called games at Turner Sports since 2010. He even was a sideline reporter for a game back in 1996.
This week, Eagle was on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina. Eagle was asked if the open position is one he wants. He admitted that he thinks about it, but isn’t jumping to any conclusions.
“I think the way these jobs work is they don’t come around all that often. When something opens up and you think you might be a good fit, of course it crosses your mind. But, you also recognize there’s other people that feel the same way,” Eagle told Traina. “With Turner, they’re in a really advantageous position. They have a lot of great broadcasters in their stable. How it all plays out, what the pairings look like, I’m not even sure they’re necessarily going to say this is our A crew, this is our B crew. My goal is to continue and keep working for them and do big NBA games when those are available to me.”
Of course, Eagle is known for being the play-by-play voice for the Brooklyn Nets and calling NFL games for CBS as the voice of the number two crew. If the lead TNT gig were to come up, Eagle looks at balancing all of those jobs as a “jigsaw puzzle”.
“How do you get the pieces to fit together especially when you are juggling a number of balls in the air? For me, I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I’ve had all these opportunities, but I’ve also been able to maintain them because I figure out how to make it work scheduling-wise and I don’t make it a problem for any of those companies. I try to make myself available.”
Eagle has always been grateful for the bosses that he has worked with that have allowed him to do so many things. He cited Michael McCarthy, the then President of MSG Network, being open to Eagle taking a week away from the Nets to call the NCAA Tournament in 1998 on CBS.
McCarthy gave him the green light. In fact, it was due to CBS having most of their announcers at the Winter Olympics and NBA All-Star weekend that Eagle was able to call a college basketball game in February of that year, which led to the opportunity.
“Relationships are really important and fostering them and maintaining them and not taking them for granted. I think for me on a personal level, that’s been a big part of success. It’s not ass kissing. It’s actually finding a commonality and a common bond and doing the work that’s required to maintain the relationship. Staying in touch and checking in and finding where that fine line is of feedback and input and developing a back-and-forth.
“I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my career somebody that was in a position to make a decision that would affect my life fortunately made the decision that benefitted me based on the fact that they trusted me or they believed in me or I had built enough equity in the relationship for them to believe in me. It does take an understanding boss somewhere along the line to see the big picture. Sometimes you do get a boss that doesn’t see it that way and you have to accept that too.”
The old saying in the sports media business is it’s not what you know, but who you know. Due to Eagle being able to maintain those relationships, he has been able to be a part of so many great sporting events.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Gregg Giannotti: Booger McFarland Take on Zach Wilson ‘Just Stupid’
“You gotta draft a quarterback that grows up poor. I’ve been saying that since the beginning of time. Those are the guys that you need.”
Last night, Booger McFarland had harsh criticism for New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, saying he was “a young man who grew up with a lot of money” and has never “had to accept accountability”. Fellow Monday Night Countdown analyst Steve Young pushed back on the criticism, and he was backed up by WFAN’s Boomer & Gio Tuesday, with Gregg Giannotti taking a strong stance.
Young, who went to BYU like Wilson, immediately countered McFarland’s analysis, saying “that doesn’t resonate at all”.
“Steve’s gonna obviously protect his buddy,” Esiason said. “He’s a BYU quarterback as well, and lives out there. I’m sure they know each other very. That’s kind of a — I don’t wanna say it’s a cheap shot — but that’s the thought process a lot of people have with Zach.”
“You gotta draft a quarterback that grows up poor,” Giannotti said sarcastically. “I’ve been saying that since the beginning of time. Those are the guys that you need. That’s a stupid take. His uncle is the one who’s a billionaire. It’s not even his family.”
Wilson’s uncle is David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways.
Angelo Cataldi Bans Michael Irvin From WIP Morning Show After Cowboy Comments
“Michael Irvin is a moron. Michael Irvin is a blithering idiot, and I will now prove it to you.”
The Philadelphia Eagles are on a roll this season, and 94WIP morning man Angelo Cataldi is not accepting criticisms of his team, and former Cowboy Michael Irvin is now in the crosshairs.
Irvin caught the ire of Cataldi after comments he made on First Take Monday about the greatness of the Dallas Cowboys.
“Earlier in the year, I featured comments made by Michael Irvin, then had him on the show and kissed his ass” Cataldi said. “Michael Irvin is a moron. Michael Irvin is a blithering idiot, and I will now prove it to you. ‘Oh my god, they won 40-3. Oh my god, let me start kissing the Cowboys ass again.’ Listen to Michael Irvin on ESPN yesterday.”
The show then played a clip of Irvin saying the Cowboys played a near perfect game, that showcased the best of their abilities, which saw the animated Irvin shouting in praise.
“Guy’s a moron. After calling the Eagles a dynasty in the offseason, he has changed his mind now. And guess who the best team is to him? You’re a moron, Michael Irvin! So I hereby decree that Michael Irvin is banned from the WIP Morning Show.”
“For the next two months,” co-host Rhea Hughes joked, alluding to Cataldi’s upcoming retirement.
“No! He’s done! Wait a minute,” Cataldi chuckled. “She’s right. She got me. For the next two months he’s banned, and then after that, all bets are off. And if he calls me at home, I’m not taking it!”
Frank Frangie Prepared 20 Minutes of “Blowout Material” For Ohio State/Maryland Broadcast
“We almost went through it — almost rehearsed it — because I was convinced we were looking at 35-10 at the half. That’s just the way the Ohio State games go.”
1010XL afternoon host Frank Frangie had the opportunity to work as the play-by-play announcer for the Ohio State/Maryland game for Touchdown Radio Productions over the weekend, and discussed his preparation for the game on his show Monday.
Frangie serves as the radio voice of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the franchise had its bye week last Sunday, and was available to work for Touchdown Radio.
“I had the Ohio State/Maryland game, and I was so worried about a blowout and K.C. Jones — the former center from Miami who did the game with me and was on a couple of those Broncos Super Bowl teams — we had about 20 minutes of blowout material prepared,” Frangie said. “So much so that we almost went through it — almost rehearsed it — because I was convinced we were looking at 35-10 at the half. That’s just the way the Ohio State games go.”
Luckily for Frangie, and listeners/viewers of the game, it was a back-and-forth affair that saw Ohio State secure a late touchdown to extend a lead to 43-30.
“It was a hell of a game,” Frangie concluded.