Thursday’s NBA Draft is a moment the guys waiting to hear their names called had been waiting for since the day they picked up a basketball. While his draft came decades ago in the NFL, LaVar Arrington could relate to what they were feeling.
“It’s a dream recognized,” he said on Friday’s episode of FOX Sports Radio’s 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe. “You work so hard for so long. So, when you’re sitting there waiting for them to call your name, it’s a surreal moment.”
His partner, Jonas Knox, wasn’t in such a nostalgic or celebratory mood. He had a problem with the information leading up to draft night and just how much the narrative that Auburn’s Jabari Smith would be taken by the Orlando Magic with the first pick was pushed before all the sudden, it wasn’t.
“What a bunch of crap that we are being fed by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN, the Orlando Magic,” he said. “Whoever’s feeding it is full of crap.”
Wojnarowski tweeted an hour before the Draft that Jabari Smith was still the favorite to be taken, but he was hearing that the Magic weren’t ruling out Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
When the first pick was announced, it was Paolo Banchero that heard his name called, not Smith.
“One of three things happened,” Knox said. “Either ESPN is so desperate for ratings and for people to give a crap about the NBA Draft and their sport that they waited until the final hour to pump up some interest, realizing we’ve got a problem here based on some ratings and some reports on some ratings in the NBA Finals, so they waited until an hour before and had Woj drop a ‘Woj Bomb’ that it could not be Jabari Smith, that it could be Banchero who’s gonna go number one overall. It’s either that or Woj is in some kind of cahoots with the Orlando Magic.”
That is a powerful accusation. Knox finds it hard to believe the information got to ESPN’s renowned NBA Insider so late in the process.
“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”
He didn’t rule out that someone was trying to make money behind the scenes. As late as Thursday afternoon, the Duke Forward was still in plus territory to be the top pick on many sportsbooks’ odds boards. The odds had gone as high as +1600 last week.
“I call BS. I think it’s all shenanigans and I think somebody needs to get called out for it,” Knox concluded. “That pisses me off, man.”
NEW STUDY: Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.
Joe Ovies: NC Isn’t Far From Legal Weed, What’s The Problem With Gambling?
“This makes zero sense to me. And if you’re coming at this from the perspective of morality, well when does it start and when does it end?”
Legal sports betting unfortunately won’t be coming to North Carolina in 2022. Legislation that would’ve legalized the practice suffered a narrow defeat in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday by a 51-50 vote.
In Raleigh on 99.9 The Fan, host Joe Ovies said it was incredible to him how the state government can be so divided and against gambling on sports when the state lottery makes playing easy and accessible.
“There is a kiosk available for a scratch-off, or a Mega Millions or whatever, just about everywhere I go in the state of North Carolina. You tell me which is more of a game of chance,” Ovies said on his show, The OG with Joe Ovies and Joe Giglio, Wednesday. “This makes zero sense to me. And if you’re coming at this from the perspective of morality, well when does it start and when does it end?”
Ovies said he can just as easily buy beer, liquor and cigarettes, all addictive. So should the state do away with those too?
“You’ve been OK with other vices for a very long time,” he said. “Heck, we’re not that far away from legalized marijuana in this state.”
He added ultimately whether sports betting is legal or not doesn’t affect him personally, and people should know that. He’s just trying to advocate for those who would be more inclined to partake and shine a light on how beneficial it would be to businesses and entities in the state.
“Do you not listen to me?! How many times have I explained to you I don’t give a damn about gambling,” he said. “The chances of me actually putting money down on sporting events is so freaking slim. It’s all about the principle.”