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A Salute To The Best Voices In The NFL

“There is a small group of announcers who, no matter what I’m doing, I’ll always stop and listen to.”

Ryan Maguire



The NFL’s regular season, as crazy as it sounds, is right around the corner.  

Which means a yearly tradition is about to unfold in the Maguire household.

(NOTE- this will likely be pushed back to early November as I’m currently working on the broadcast team for a certain MLB squad that has a chance to play in the fall classic).

I’ll sit in my living room in Suburban Milwaukee.  The flat screen has NFL Red Zone.  My Fantasy Football teams are pulled up on my laptop.  My tablet has NFL Sunday Ticket where I scroll around to games of interest (namely the ones I have money on).

Oh yea, and my ears are tuned to the NFL on the radio.   

My Sirius/XM app is pulled up on my smartphone and I’ll surf from game-to-game listening to different home market radio broadcasts.

Yea, I’m THAT guy.

My ultimate dream was to be the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Lions.  I grew up envisioning the day where they’d finally win that elusive Super Bowl and I’d have my dad in the radio booth sitting next to me and sharing a hug.  

Sadly, those dreams were dashed when I realized that both the Lions and myself had one fatal flaw in common…neither of us were good enough to make that dream a reality. 

But the love for hearing hometown and home team broadcasts has always remained.

There is a plethora of talented announcers who call NFL games on the radio.  Let’s face it, depending on what team we grew up rooting for, we ALL have our favorites.  I’m no exception.

There is a small group of announcers who, no matter what I’m doing, I’ll always stop and listen to.  These are people whose work manages to garner my attention.  

As we head towards kickoff of Week 1, I wanted to highlight them.


May be an image of 1 person and outdoors

The dean of NFL announcers, Reese has been calling games for the Eagles since 1976.  I always remember him being a staple on those mid-90s NFL film videos when you’d see Randall Cunningham, Herschel Walker and Eric Allen make big plays.

Reese sounds like someone who has seen it all.  His booming baritone voice cuts through the clutter of any background noise and commands you to pay attention.

Take your bathroom breaks when Merrill takes his commercial breaks.  

As cut-throat and political as our business is, I always marvel with reverence those who have been able to survive with the kind of longevity that Merrill has.

As long as he wants to call games, I’ll listen.


300 Games Later, Paul Allen Still 'All In' with the Vikings
Courtesy: Minnesota Vikings

So, what happens when you take a horse track announcer and ask him to call NFL games?  The answer is Paul Allen.

P.A. is no doubt one of a kind.  Bombastic and often unfiltered, he’s one of the game’s most unique voices that, I honestly can’t get enough of.  How many of his calls have gone viral?   I’ve lost count.

When I listen to Allen, you can tell he’s having a good time and doesn’t take himself that seriously…but takes the wins and losses JUST as serious as the most die-hard of the Purple People Eaters.  His calls are a roller coaster ride of emotion.  He runs the gambit from humor, anger sadness and everything else in between.

He’s a must listen.  


Mitch Holthus (@mitchholthus) | Twitter

Mitch’s game calls are as big and bold as an order of Arthur Bryant’s pulled pork (incidentally, the best you’ll find in the city of fountains).  It’s amazing to me that he has the energy to make it through a full game broadcast. 

That’s a tall task considering the fact he had to follow in the footsteps of some legendary local fixtures as Bill Grigsby and Kevin Harlan.

Mitch is the unquestioned spokesperson for the “Chiefs Kingdom”, an honor that he earned through years of being able to channel the passion of one of the best fan bases in the NFL.

Let’s face it, there is no better call in all the NFL than “TOUCHDOWN, KAN-ZA CITY!”


Dan Miller (Sportscaster) Bio, Wiki, Age, Wife, Fox 2, Net Worth, Salary

Yes, I’ll admit, I’m biased.  The only team that I have had a consistent rooting interest in are the Detroit Lions.  (I blame my father for such a poor upbringing).  

Dapper Dan is the complete package.  Entertaining, emotional, and honest.  Dan knows EXACTLY how to talk to his audience.  Lions fans are a tough crowd to win over and he has done that in an amazing way. 

You can’t B-S us.  We’ve seen it all.  And Dan doesn’t even try to blow sunshine up our skirts.  When the Lions stink, he acknowledges it.  When they make a great play, he acts with the same amazement, jubilation, and relief that we all have.

No matter the situation, he’s saying EXACTLY what’s on all our minds.  Win or lose.

Mostly lose.

There isn’t a Sunday that goes by during the season where I’m not listening to him call Lions games online.  That won’t change as long as he has the gig.

I can’t wait for him to one day call a Lions Super Bowl winner.  Hell, I’d settle for an appearance.  That one may be a call for the ages that gives Al Michael’s “do you believe in miracles” a run for its money.

It’s got to happen someday, right?

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.




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.


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



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



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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