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Damon Amendolara: Andrew Catalon Called Juwan Howard Incident Perfectly

“Catalon has the exact right pitch. It’s big! It’s a moment! There’s that ‘ay-YO!’ He says there’s a scrum, then doubles it up with ‘There’s a scrum in Madison!'”

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The national story across sports radio on Monday has been the melee between the Michigan and Wisconsin men’s basketball teams ignited by Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard striking out at Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft during the post-game handshake line.

Howard was upset at Wisconsin head coach Greg Garb for calling a timeout with 15 seconds remaining when the Badgers had a 15-point lead. The Michigan coach didn’t want to shake hands with his counterpart, telling Garb that he would remember the perceived slight.

Garb then grabbed Howard’s right elbow to stop him from walking by so he could explain why he called the timeout. Howard objected to Garb putting his hands on me and that led to the fracas.

On Monday morning’s The D.A. Show, Damon Amendolara praised CBS play-by-play broadcaster Andrew Catalon for how he called the incident, saying he explained that Howard was staying back in the handshake line and was clearly upset. But when the situation escalated, Catalon conveyed the right tone of surprise over what was happening.

“Catalon has the exact right pitch,” said Amendolara. “It’s big! It’s a moment! There’s that ‘ay-YO!’ He says there’s a scrum, then doubles it up with ‘There’s a scrum in Madison!’ I mean, that’s just really good. It’s good eating right there from Catalon.”

Amendolara particularly enjoyed Catalon’s exclamation when Howard takes a swing at an opposing coach, the moment it becomes clear that this won’t be just an exchange of words and argument between coaches.

“Note that the truck is trying to play them out with the CBS music,” Amendolara continues. “And a lesser broadcaster just lets the truck go to break, because maybe the truck senses, ‘Hey, let’s cut to commercial before things get ugly here.’

“But because Catalon keeps calling the play-by-play, they can’t cut away. And thank goodness they don’t because we catch on camera, the swing! I think, start to finish, Cat sets it up, ‘Hey, we knew Juwan Howard was leaning back, he wasn’t leading the handshake line, something’s amiss here.’ And then, ‘Ay-YO!'”

Amendolara’s observation that producers might have cut away if not for Catalon continuing to call the action and explain that there was tension in the handshake line was particularly astute. That allowed CBS to capture a moment that viewers may not have seen until afterward on social media, such as when WKOW’s Pablo Iglesias posted his camera footage of the Howard-Gard confrontation.

Catalon also didn’t editorialize in the moment, but also let some emotion convey the shock of what had happened. Amendolara admitted that he’s in the bag for his college classmate, but was right to praise Catalon for good work in a crazy moment.

Sports Radio News

Keyshawn Johnson: ‘I Don’t Like Sunday Night Baseball Putting Mics on Players’

“I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

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Most people seem to really like Sunday Night Baseball adding mics to players in the field this season. Fans and critics alike have commended ESPN for giving fans access that they have never had before. But don’t expect Keyshawn Johnson to join that praise chorus anytime soon.

“I don’t like the interaction with broadcast teams talking to players during the game, in the field,” he said on Monday morning’s edition of Keyshawn, JWill and Max.

The ESPN Radio morning man is convinced that eventually, the in-game conversations are going to cause a costly error.

Freddie Coleman, who was filling in for both Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, played a clip from Sunday night’s game for Johnson. In the clip, listeners could hear the Padres’ newly acquired slugger Juan Soto pleading with a ball hit by Cody Bellinger to stay in the park during the team’s 0-4 shutout loss to the Dodgers.

“I don’t like that as a player,” Johnson said. “I know the fans love it.”

He said that when he sees players mic’d up and answering a question during the game, he is constantly worried about how it will affect what happens on the field. He said he felt some empathy for the fielder on the mic once the ball is put into play, because if it comes that fielder’s way and he is distracted, the instant reaction from the crowd will be to question the player’s effort or ability rather than ask if the distraction is worth it.

Coleman pointed out that there is some very famous video of Keyshawn Johnson during his playing career mic’d up on the sidelines. Johnson defended NFL Films, saying that getting live sound of a game is very different than what Major League Baseball is making players do.

“That’s different than interacting with Karl Ravech and company in the booth. I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

The closing months of the regular season as playoff races start to take shape are not the ideal times for networks to be having conversations with guys in the middle of the field. That doesn’t mean it is never good content. Keyshawn Johnson said that as a viewer, he would welcome in-game interviews during Spring Training and the All-Star Game. He just has trouble believing players are happy to participate.

“It’s cool. I’m not mad that it’s being done. I just wouldn’t like it as a player,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Rob Hipp Named New Voice of North Dakota State

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

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Rob Hipp is the new “Voice of the Bison”.

The former Sam Houston State play-by-play announcer will serve in the same capacity for North Dakota State. He replaces Jeff Culhane, who left the position for a similar role at Florida State earlier this summer.

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and blessing to be here. The word that comes to mind with everything associated with NDSU is excellence,” Hipp said. “Matt Larsen, Coach (Matt) Entz, Coach (David) Richman, the support staff and everyone with Bison Sports Properties led by Josh Hartman made this a transparent and smooth process. I also want to thank Tom Boman with Learfield as well as Nancy Odney and the great people at Radio FM Media. My family and I are proud to be in Fargo!”

“We are thrilled to have Rob join the team at Radio FM Media as the new voice of the Bison, Director of Operations for Bison 1660-92.7, and Sports Director for our group,” said Radio FM COO Nancy Odney. “Rob is a very talented play-by-play announcer and a top sports radio host. His creative energy, new content, and passion for sports and broadcasting is going to be an exciting addition to the team.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Graca Joining ESPN New York For Nighttime Show

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

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SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio host Dan Graca is joining ESPN New York as their new night time host.

Graca, who will host a show from 7:00 PM-10:00 PM had been with SiriusXM for the past 12 years. It’s a coming home moment for Graca, who interned at the station.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

The 7:00 PM-10:00 PM position had previously been held by Chris Carlin, who moved to the national afternoon slot to pair with Chris Canty in April.

In addition to his new nighttime show, Graca will continue as the pre and post-game host for ESPN New York’s coverage of the New York Jets, a position he’s held the past four seasons.

His show is slated to begin on Monday, August 15th.

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