The ratings for Monday Night Football on ESPN continue to rise this month, reaching historic levels in Week 15 as the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. It was a difficult game for fans of “Da Bears” to watch, as the team managed to put up just nine points despite a strong performance from quarterback Justin Fields.
Something else that fans watching the game may have noticed, sans the ManningCast, was the Monday Night Football broadcast booth of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Reddick. The trio’s game behind the mic was a topic of discussion on ESPN 1000 Chicago Wednesday morning on Kap & J. Hood on their segment “Shot or No Shot.”
“Last night, the Monday Night [Football] crew had a little bit of a rough go at it on the ESPN broadcast,” said Tyler Aki, producer at ESPN 1000 Chicago. “I don’t know what you guys thought of it.”
“My friend Jim Beam and I had no problem with the Monday Night broadcast,” said Jonathan Hood, co-host of the morning drive program. “Jim said it was a fine broadcast… He came over with his wife Coke, and they were together… They were having a good time, and had no problem with the Monday Night [Football] booth.”
The trio of Levy, Griese and Riddick is in its second full season together, and with consistent turnover in NFL front offices, not everyone is so sure that the booth will return as currently constructed next season. The guys on ESPN 1000 Chicago predict Riddick is well-positioned to land a front office job in the near future – potentially with the Chicago Bears, whose current general manager, Ryan Pace, is reportedly on the hot seat.
“If you’re a Bears fan or someone that’s looking for a general manager,” said Hood, “you want two-thirds of that booth to be intact.”
Hood spoke about Riddick’s ability to break down the problems in a front office and put an organization on a path to effectively solve them, reminding him of baseball analyst Steve Stone.
“Steve Stone hypothetically can go to any place and get a GM job, and [the team says] ‘Steve, what’s wrong with the organization?,’ and then an hour-and-a-half [later], he’s still answering the question. For some in front offices, that’s intimidating,” Hood elucidated. “And I think the same thing for Louis… It’s not because he’s telegenic and great on television as an analyst. It’s about him understanding football, [and] understanding [it] in a granular detail that can help an organization.”
Connor McKnight, who hosts pregame and postgame shows for Chicago White Sox baseball on ESPN 1000 Chicago, was on the show Wednesday filling in for co-host David Kaplan, and agreed that Riddick could be an asset to a front office if he were to land a job within one because of his ability to evaluate talent, something apparent from his time in the booth.
“I’m talking about guys who write [about] this league; guys who follow this league, cover it,” explained McKnight. “Riddick has that kind of reputation. I would not be surprised at all [if he came] out of the booth and [went] into that sort of thing. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he’s in a front office come next season.”
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, he serves as the production manager for the New York Islanders Radio Network and lead sports producer at NY2C. He has also worked on live game broadcasts for the Long Island Nets and New York Riptide. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks and wrote for The Long Island Herald. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Boomer Esiason: ManningCast Proves Peyton Manning Can Never Be a Coach
“He’s got no patience whatsoever.”
Don’t expect to see Peyton Manning on an NFL sideline. He may be one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but Manning isn’t cut out to be a coach according to Boomer Esiason.
On Tuesday morning, Esiason and the rest of the Boomer & Gio cast listened to highlights of the previous night’s ManningCast. They enjoyed the audio of Peyton Manning losing his temper after Cowboys kicker Brent Maher missed his third extra-point attempt of the night.
The clip, which has since gone viral, includes Manning asking if a kicker can be cut at halftime of a playoff game.
“This is why Peyton can’t coach,” Esiason said in response to the audio. “He’s got no patience whatsoever.”
The chemistry and authenticity of Peyton and Eli is often cited as the appeal of the ManningCast. Esiason noted that was what is on display in moments the brothers cannot control.
Boomer Esiason was a guest on the week eight ManningCast, which featured his former team, — the Cincinnati Bengals — playing Cleveland Browns. Esiason said at the time that while it was a distracting way to try and follow a game, being a part of the show is a lot of fun. He echoed that praise Tuesday morning.
“Those things are really unbelievably done. I mean, they are funny.”
NHL All-Star Game Airing Exclusively on SiriusXM After Contract Extension
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter.
SiriusXM and the NHL have reached an extension that will see the satellite service continue to carry every league contest. The new multi-year deal will run through the 2028-2029 season.
Part of the deal includes the NHL All-Star Game airing exclusively on SiriusXM. The game had previously been distributed by Westwood One before Sports USA Media took over the rights in 2021.
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter. All three are regulars on NHL Network Radio. Stellick and Laughlin serve as hosts of NHL Morning Skate, while Kouleas hosts the station’s afternoon show, The Power Play.
NHL Network Radio will also provide live coverage of the league’s All-Star Media Day on Thursday, February 2nd and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, February 3rd.
The deal includes SiriusXM continuing to produce and distribute SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the platform for the duration of the contract.
“Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans, and our long-term relationship with the NHL enables us to deliver those fans across North America comprehensive access to the league, offering them live broadcasts of every game and the only 24/7 NHL channel in audio,” said SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Live sports, coupled with great, in-depth sports talk, is one of the key elements of our programming and we are very pleased to be extending our content agreement with the NHL for many more years.”
Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.
The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.
Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.
Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.
The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.
While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.
“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”
Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”