By: John Molori
August 30, 2005

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THIS WEEK:

- Agent of change
- Blitz bits
- Minced Golic
- See you, Slater
- Calling Comcast

Radio waves and television raves take center stage

Two sources in Providence sports radio have told Media Blitz that midday hosts John Rooke and Steve Hyder may be leaving The Score AM and FM and be replaced by a revamped midday show. WEEI regular Sean McAdam is rumored to be a host candidate.

ESPN Radio AM 890 and AM 1400 in Boston is undergoing studio renovations, which should be completed this week. Word is that the ESPN affiliate has also welcomed former AM 1510 and The Score in Providence regular Kevin Winter.

HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg sent a friendly email regarding the fact that there were no HBO personalities on Media Blitz's recent "Ten to Watch" national football commentators. He stated, "We win the Sports Emmy two of the last three years for "Inside the NFL." (Cris) Collinsworth wins for analyst and (Bob) Costas for host and we don't make the cut? Whew, you are tough." Thanks for reading, Ross. Collinsworth and Costas would be in my Top 15 for what it's worth.

AM 1510's "Celtic Pride" and Bleachertalk.com's Patrick Gilroy reports that if you visit 1510TheZone.com and click the Bleachertalk link on the Hickman and Gilroy page, you can now listen to his show via podcast on itunes.

SIRIUS satellite radio and The Ivy League have inked a multi-year agreement to broadcast a "Game of the Week" for football and men's basketball and a select number of men's hockey and other games. The Ivy League football season starts September 17 and men's basketball begins November 11. Complete SIRIUS broadcast schedules for both football and basketball will be announced at later dates.

Sports media types are still gabbing about last Tuesday's Rolling Stones concert at Fenway Park. That same night, I caught Hall and Oates at the Bank of America Pavilion. While the Stones are still a draw, their age is showing and they sound every bit as old as they are. Give me the dulcet tones of Hall and the smooth backups of Oates any day over those Budweiser-peddling, Larry Lucchino cash cows. Besides, I saw the Stones before Keith Richards passed away.

Secret agent

Recently, sports agent Steve Freyer told Media Blitz that he once sent a letter to WEEI host and former Boston Globe cartoonist Larry Johnson complaining about a Johnson cartoon in which a sports agent was depicted as a rat.

Johnson responds, "What bothers me about Freyer's comments is that I never got a call from him. To be offended about a cartoon depicting agents as rats is like saying politicians are crooks or all cops eat doughnuts. Obviously, if the shoe doesn't fit, don't worry about it."

Freyer, who represents Ray Bourque, Dale Arnold, Dan Roche and Butch Stearns among others, reiterates that he did, indeed, make a call to Johnson. " It was many years ago and I'd have no reason to bring the whole thing up if it didn't happen. I brought it up principally because most people do have a lousy image of agents so the cartoon smarted. However, it was also before voice mail was common and it's indeed possible the message was lost at the newspaper before it ever reached Larry."

Johnson states that another well-known sports agent had no problem with his rendering. "Howard Slusher seemed to get it and we had quite a few laugh s over the years. Lighten up, Steve. Obviously everybody knows you have always conducted your business with class and dignity. By the way, I'm still waiting for my phone call."

Freyer responds, "No blood, no foul. I'll be happy to have a cup of coffee with (Johnson) and fill him in on what competent, well motivated agents do for their clients that most folks never see."

Muzzle Mike

This past week, on ESPN's "NFL Live," analyst Mike Golic was weak to say the least. You've heard of "He-Man, Master of the Universe." Golic was "G-Man, Master of the Ludicrous."

Golic appeared to contradict himself in discussing Mike Nolan's surprise decision to name Tim Rattay, not rookie Alex Smith, starting quarterback for the 49'ers. Golic stated, "If you're going to make a change, make it now, but I think (Nolan) made the decision too soon." Huh?

Golic went on to say that the Patriots biggest loss this season is Charlie Weis. Are we in August or January? Since Weis accepted the Notre Dame job, the Patriots have bid official farewells to the talented likes of David Patten, Ty Law, Ted Johnson and, for 2005 anyway, Tedy Bruschi. Harping on the Weis departure is outdated.

Later in the program, Golic opined that Michael Vick should learn to trust his receivers more than himself. Golic played alongside Randall Cunningham in Philadelphia. The electrifying Cunningham was Michael Vick before Michael Vick. He should know that with such talents, it's about instincts and learning, not trust.

Golic ended his lowly performance by telling the world that he believes the loss of QB Rex Grossman puts the Bears' season in jeopardy. Forget ludicrous. Golic is now "G-Man, Master of the Obvious."

Clean Slater

"ESPN Hollywood" (weeknights, 6:00 p.m., ESPN2) host Mario Lopez can identify with youthful superstars like LeBron James and Sidney Crosby. As a teenager, he portrayed Slater on the hit NBC series "Saved by the Bell."

"I easily could have become a bad "E! True Hollywood Story," says Lopez, who also starred in USA's "Pacific Blue" and NBC's "The Other Half." " So many young stars have gone bad. I was very lucky to have a great family around me. I can't identify with LeBron's money, but the fame aspect is similar."

Like young athletes, Lopez was no stranger to worldwide recognition. He states, "Our show was seen in 183 countries. It's tough to be a kid and have that much pressure and notoriety. I don't mind that people still identify me with Slater, but as a child star or athlete, you have to prove yourself a little harder to show people that you can remain successful."

Making demands

Comcast On Demand is once again whetting the appetites of hungry football fans. The regional cable provider is providing season previews for every NFL team as part of their On Demand package. In addition, Comcast's NFL Weekly Replay will begin on September 9 including.

"The replay includes 8-20 minute highlights showcasing the crucial moments and outstanding performances from up to 16 NFL games each week, including the playoffs and the Super Bowl," says Comcast PR guru Marc Goodman.

According to Goodman, weekly replay highlights for Sunday games will be available by midday on Monday, and highlights for Monday night games will be available by midday on Tuesday. The highlights are available to watch throughout the week.

In 2004, Comcast's replays were a huge success. In week one of the service, Comcast enjoyed 600,000 views. That rose to 2.9 million after one month and 8.6 million for the 2004 season. Player profiles for the 2005 NFL draft had more than 600,000 views, including 50,000 views on the first day of the draft.

John Molori's columns are published in The Providence Journal, The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Sports Review, New England Hockey Journal, New England Ringside Magazine, The Providence Journal, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com, ColdHardFootballFacts.com and MethuenOnline.com. Email John at JOMOL3@aol.com.


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