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Jon Laaser Steps Down As Voice Of Virginia Tech Hokies

“The Roanoke Times indicates Adam Witten of the Appalachian State radio network will be filling in regularly on Hokie men’s basketball broadcasts as the season moves forward.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcaster Jon Laaser announced on Monday that he is stepping aside from his post as the school’s director of broadcasting.

Laaser made the announcement on his Twitter account, saying he plans to do more work in the area of mental health.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I feel at peace knowing all the good we can do,” his note said. “I will be focusing on mental health initiatives in the short term, but I will be back in the booth at some point soon.”

Laaser joined Virginia Tech in 2015, replacing longtime voice Bill Roth. Prior to that, Laaser served as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels since the team’s inception in 2010.

Laaser noted that in the years since his father’s death in 2019, mental health was an area near and dear to his heart. The Roanoke Times notes that both Laaser’s parents were psychologists.

“I started to think about wanting to do more to help people,” he wrote in his note to his more than 13,000 Twitter followers. “Primarily through Mental Health advocacy. His dream. Over the last few months, that urge has grown.”

Laaser took his touchdown call, “Nothing but clean mountain air” and had t-shirts made. He sold them directly, but the proceeds from shirt sales went to Mental Health America, a community-based nonprofit. The shirts were a hit among student-athletes, staff and fans in Blacksburg.

There is no word about who will permanently replace Laaser at Virginia Tech. The Roanoke Times indicates Adam Witten of the Appalachian State radio network will be filling in regularly on Hokie men’s basketball broadcasts as the season moves forward.

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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