By Throwing a Punch, Juwan Howard Gave a President’s Day Gift to Sports Radio – Barrett Sports Media

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Howard’s swing, and the skirmish it touched off between the Michigan and Wisconsin teams was a topic on virtually every sports radio show in the country on Monday.
Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard probably won’t see it this way, but he did sports radio (and sports television) a huge favor on Monday.
Several radio shows were off for the President’s Day holiday or weren’t working with full operations, as was the case with WFAN’s Carton & Roberts, whose show wasn’t simulcast on SNY Monday because the network let staff have the holiday off.
The first Monday since September with no football to talk about, the NBA coming off its All-Star Weekend (though Steph Curry provided a performance worth talking about in Sunday’s All-Star Game), and Major League Baseball still slogging through a lockout made for a potentially slow day in sports talk.
Here is the full video of Juwan Howard and Joe Krabbenhoft setting off a brawl between Michigan and Wisconsin.

Full breakdown on The Field of 68:
But Juwan Howard lashed out with his right hand (an open hand, so we’re not calling it a punch) at Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft after getting into an argument with Badgers head coach Greg Gard during the post-game handshakes. That, and the skirmish it touched off between the Michigan and Wisconsin teams was a topic on virtually every sports radio show in the country on Monday.
CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara even talked about how great Andrew Catalon was calling the play-by-play of the brawl, setting up that Howard was upset with Gard about that timeout and was hanging back in the handshake line. Were the two going to exchange words? Oh, they’re arguing! There’s some jostling! AY-YO! Howard just threw a punch!
And if you didn’t talk about Howard, the length of suspension he deserved for his actions, and whether or not he might be fired, what else were you discussing during your show? There were so many directions this story could be taken. It even broke through into mainstream news.
Our @GoodmanHoops went on @CNN to talk about the Michigan/Wisconsin brawl from this afternoon
The Howard incident was even a good enough topic to spur spinoff discussions, such as whether or not hosts would defend each other if they were involved in that kind of fracas. Had you ever witnessed one employee throw a punch or slap at another in your workplace? Who are some other coaches in sports that you’d like to see get in a tussle?
Gio reassures Boomer he's got his back if a Juwan Howard-esque fracas ever breaks out 👊💥
Was this the kind of story that college basketball needed to grasp the national discussion during a slow time on the sports calendar? Of course, a great game would’ve been better. But many fans are catching up to college hoops now that the NFL season is finished. Who are the top teams? The current AP poll has plenty of familiar names in its Top 25, including Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Villanova. Wait — Auburn is that good?
Hey, Michigan isn’t in that Top 25. Weren’t they expected to be good this season? Was Howard letting out some frustration on the Wisconsin coaching staff? Is the Michigan athletic department disappointed in the team’s performance this year? If so, could adminstrators use this as an excuse to dismiss Howard for cause? Would that really happen after the Wolverines advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight last year?
Caution: Unedited, NSFW language.

Here’s my full raw look at the events that led to the postgame brawl following the 77-63 #Wisconsin win over #Michigan.

You can see Juwan Howard say “I’ll remember that” to Greg Gard, who said tried explaining himself.
But two coaches arguing in the post-game handshake line? One coach taking a swing at another? A melee breaking out on the court after the game had ended. A rugged tilt between Michigan and Wisconsin, and it didn’t take place on the football field?
The Howard incident could even become a two-day story for some shows. Most of Monday was concerned with speculation as to what could happen to Howard. But in the evening, the penalties were finally announced.
Michigan announced that Howard would be suspended for the remainder of the regular season, five games in total. The Big Ten fined him $40,000. Three players — two from Michigan, one from Wisconsin — received one-game suspensions. Gard was fined $10,000, but no suspension. Should he have been penalized at least one game?
How about Krabbenhoft, who sure looked like he escalated the situation in video of the fracas? No suspension there? And no punishment for the staffer who gave the ol’ crotch chop gesture? Wasn’t that guy representing the University of Wisconsin?
There’s certainly an opportunity to follow up on this for anyone who wants to stretch it out or needs a topic of discussion. Howard’s punch is the gift that keeps on giving. Well, for maybe another day or two. At least on a national level.
Maybe the coach can take some solace in that or even listen to some of those segments during the next two weeks while he presumably has some extra time available due to his five-game suspension. OK, probably not. But Howard provided a great service to sports media and it shouldn’t go unappreciated.

Ian Casselberry is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media, which includes writing daily news stories on the sports media industry, and managing BSM’s content schedule and its writing team. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @IanCass or reach him by email at [email protected].
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“If you have upwards of $25 million per year invested in your people alone, how can the network justify telling people to go to ESPN2 or ESPN+ to watch the Mannings instead?”
Personally, if I controlled ESPN’s money, I am not sure I would have opened the corporate checkbook to overhaul the Monday Night Football booth. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick aren’t must-see TV, but then again, no play-by-play booth is and that is okay. That isn’t really the reason the pursuit of Troy Aikman surprises me though.
What does adding Aikman to the main Monday Night Football broadcast mean to the ManningCast? It was the darling of the broadcasting world last year. Even if the ratings weren’t through the roof, the innovative alternate broadcast drew praise from fans and executives alike.
Eli Manning has been pretty clear. He and Peyton love what they are doing and are dedicated to the deal with ESPN. That doesn’t mean they want to do more than the ten games per year they are currently contracted for. If you look at it that way, the move makes sense. ESPN is strengthening their approach for every at-bat and not just relying on the home run hitters to bolster Monday Night Football.
I might argue though that part of the reason the Manningcast had the success that it did and could receive the push on every single Disney platform that it did is that the executives did not have to justify a major investment in the main booth. When it is Levy, Griese, and Riddick, three guys that were already on the network payroll, calling games, there is no hesitation about promoting a competing product that could take away even a single viewer.
We know ESPN will be on the hook for $18 million per year with Troy Aikman alone. If the network lands Al Michaels too, that will likely mean another seven-figure salary on the books. If the rumor is true and Disney is focused on getting Joe Buck out of the final year of his FOX contract to join his partner in the Monday Night Booth, that would probably be an eight-figure annual salary. If you have upwards of $25 million per year invested in your people alone, how can the network justify telling people to go to ESPN2 or ESPN+ to watch the Mannings instead?
These decisions don’t happen hastily. I am positive every decision maker at Disney, all the way up to Bob Chapek, evaluated the pros and cons of remaking ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth. I am sure plenty of strategy meetings either have or will occur to make it all work.
One strategy that could make sense is to lean even further into the MegaCast model. The ManningCast is already the most successful alternate broadcast of any sort. Do you circle those ten dates Peyton and Eli are on TV and go all out in terms of promotion? It makes the most sense. Maybe you could utilize ESPN+ to create one or two more feeds to maximize the idea that these weeks are an especially big deal.
Joe Rose and Zach Krantz talked about Aikman’s deal last week on WQAM. They made the point that if the day comes that Peyton Manning wants to move to the traditional Monday Night Football booth, ESPN would kick Troy Aikman to the curb in a second to make room.
It’s a funny point and liekly true. Here’s the thing though. That isn’t going to happen.
Peyton Manning’s owns Omaha Productions. ESPN’s deal is with the company. That gives him the opportunity to do so much more than be a color commentator. He is creating whole blocks of programming for ESPN. Disney doesn’t look at him as an analyst. It looks at him as The Mandalorian or Frozen. Peyton Manning is a franchise! Why would he give that up to call some garbage Week 11 game?
ESPN executives are going to figure out how to make this all work. There is no doubt in my mind.
Everyone at Disney knows the company has something special with the ManningCast. The fact that Jimmy Pitaro and his crew are pouring money into the primary Monday Night Football booth likely isn’t a threat to Omaha Productions. It is a sign that ESPN wants to make the Monday night game feel like an event again. In 2022, you need multiple premier, innovative presentations to accomplish a goal like that.

Demetri Ravanos is the Assistant Content Director for Barrett Sports Media. He hosts the Chewing Clock and Media Noise podcasts. He occasionally fills in on stations across the Carolinas. Previous stops include WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL, WBPT in Birmingham, AL and WBBB, WPTK and WDNC in Raleigh, NC. You can find him on Twitter @DemetriRavanos and reach him by email at [email protected].
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” If you know you only have 10 minutes before you are supposed to hit that next break and you love the topic that you teased in the previous segment, then you do not have time to be distracted.”
Picture this moment, you’re about to crack the microphone and return from commercial break when all of the sudden someone passes by the studio door holding a birthday cake. Now, the mic turns on, and instead of diving into whatever you had planned, you’re discussing the birthday cake that’s made its way down the halls. This lasts about 3 to 5 minutes before you’re able to get back on track to what you were initially planning to discuss.
Every host has done this, some more than others, but you’d be lying to yourself if you read that brief, made-up anecdote and said – “that’s never me!” 
Of course, you can replace the birthday cake in this story with just about anything. In fact, I’ve often referred to this type of on-air occurrence as the ‘fly in the studio’. aAn easily distracted host will discuss the smallest movement or change to their surroundings, even if the entertainment value is sub-par at best.
This was something that ailed me a lot in my early on-air years, just getting used to being the host and having full power over the content that was delivered. It would send me down many useless rabbit holes that didn’t really need to be explored. I’ve noticed this is the case when listening in to a lot of inexperienced or “green” hosts. A fly in the studio tends to send them down roads that they probably think are entertaining. In reality, they’re just a waste of the listeners’ time. 
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when this type of spontaneous discussion can work out brilliantly. When done well and with the right subject, letting people into the absurdity around you has upside, but more times than not those discussions entertain the hosts more than the audience at large. I think it comes down to frequency, selectiveness, and knowing yourself as a host. If you overdo the ‘randomness’ bit, it won’t be random anymore. If you choose to discuss every malfunction or spilled cup of coffee, your audience will expect you to be derailed on the regular, which has to have negative long-term effects on your show.
Finally, you’ve got to know if you’re good at letting people in when something strange occurs around you. Are you a good spontaneous storyteller? Are you funny? These are categories where we tend to overrate ourselves, especially as radio hosts. I think the best hosts learn that just because you have a thought, that doesn’t mean everyone needs to hear it. 
Look, it’s 2022. We all have some form of attention deficit disorder. Some may be clinical and some may be environmental, but either way, it’s easier than ever to get derailed as a radio host. Your phone is going off throughout the show, your co-host is checking their Apple Watch mid-segment, and your boss expects that email to be replied to within minutes. We all deal with this on a regular basis, that’s why it’s more important than ever to cut out the distraction and focus on what brought you to the dance. Believe it or not, no one tunes in to sports talk radio to hear a host go on and on about their recent text message or a producer’s choice in rejoin music. 
The simple solution is this: Know yourself as a host, believe in your content, and don’t skimp on preparation. If you know you only have 10 minutes before you are supposed to hit that next break and you love the topic that you teased in the previous segment, then you do not have time to be distracted. If you’ve put a good amount of prep into the segment, your audience is more likely to gobble up that discussion than any silliness you may be tempted to waste their time with.
I can not reiterate this enough, our jobs are not to entertain ourselves. Our jobs are to entertain a listening audience. Don’t do them the disservice of wasting too much of their time. 

Brandon Kravitz can be heard in afternoon drive hosting ‘In The Zone’ on 96.9 The Game in Orlando. He also contributes to the radio station’s Orlando Magic pre and post game coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @BrandonKravitz or reach him by email at [email protected].
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“Don’t be shy. We want dialogue, because I’m going to learn much more from you coming up and saying hi to me, than you probably will from talking to me.”
If there was a list of suggestions while attending the BSM Summit, you could probably sum up the best advice with just two tips.
It’s really that simple. But if you don’t want to take it from me, take it from Justin Craig, ESPN Radio’s Senior Director of Programming and Operations. He’s adamant about having great dialogue with colleagues at the BSM Summit over the course of the two-day event. He wants conversations with people he knows, and others he’s never met. That means that if you have interest in meeting a high-level executive with ESPN Radio, shoot your shot. Craig is telling you not to be shy around him. 
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Go up and say hello. But also, when possible, do your homework. Go through the different speakers that are going to be there and know what they’re about and where they’re from. Then set a list of priorities for yourself so that when you are there you can ask smart questions. Are people going to be looking for opportunities? Of course. That’s what this is all about. But more importantly, hear what’s said on the stage, and then go and try to meet that person off the stage. Don’t be shy. We want dialogue, because I’m going to learn much more from you coming up and saying hi to me, than you probably will from talking to me.”
Not only has Craig routinely attended every BSM Summit over the years, he’s also been featured as a speaker at the event since its inception. That will be the case again this year and it’s clear he’s excited. Like everyone else attending, Craig is going to NYC with an open mind and an eagerness to learn from others.
“To be honest, I’m really looking forward to this year, because we’ll actually get to see people again,” said Craig. “It’s about relationships. When Jason and I talked about this way back in the beginning, which wasn’t that long ago, it was kind of like the radio row for sports talk. It was a chance to get together with a bunch of colleagues that enjoy the process of networking and building relationships and just sharing ideas. Are we competitive with each other? Of course. But that’s the beauty of it, because if we all succeed, the industry succeeds. By being able to be together with a bunch of smart people in the same room, it allows us to be better.”
One thing you’ll quickly learn by attending the BSM Summit is that the most successful people in the building are usually the ones most eager to learn. Some might think it’s just the exact opposite, but the willingness to learn from everyone, not just a select few, is a major factor in reaching and staying at the top of the profession. 
You can count Craig in that group. Sure, many people will want to introduce themselves and talk shop with him at the conference. Who wouldn’t want to learn from an ESPN Radio boss. But don’t expect it to be a one-way conversation.
“I’m much happier taking ideas from others,” said Craig. “I look at what I do and take ideas I’ve learned and morph them into what works for me. I learn so much just from sitting and doing my best to listen. What is the one thing we always charge the people that we work with to be better at? Listening. I want to make sure I’m the one sitting there listening and absorbing, and trying to process it so that I can use it. The people that are going to be up on the panels are incredibly successful and I just hope to be able to take what they’re saying and process it so I can use it myself.”
Craig will be speaking on the final panel of the final day at the BSM Summit. Essentially, Justin, Mark Chernoff, Scott Shapiro and Jason Barrett will close everything down with a big splash. The title of the panel is The Programmer’s MasterClass. The conversation will cover how and why shows succeed, what hosts and programmers can do to position themselves for future success, and what has to be done consistently to earn ratings.
This isn’t a panel you skip for an early dinner or drink. Getting Craig, Chernoff, Shapiro and Barrett on the same stage to have an in-depth discussion on programming only happens at the BSM Summit. We’ll all learn something from it. Craig is no different. 
“It seems like Scotty and I have been doing this collectively for each of these Summit’s now,” laughed Craig. “I think JB must be looking at us and thinking we have to be on the same stage at the same time. Just to be able to sit and learn from Mark is tremendous. I had the enviable task of trying to match wits with him while I was in New York at 98.7. I truly plan on just listening. It’s kind of a cool thing to be sitting with both of those guys to talk about the industry that all three of us love. More importantly I’m curious what we’re all going to take away, which we’ll then incorporate into what we have to say to finish it all off.”
But what does Craig want to portray in one of the most anticipated panels of the entire event? The answer is more simple than you might think.
“Just be better people,” said Craig. “All of us need to be good people. Honestly it comes down to that. I just hope some of my experience over the course of years, will be translated by someone else out there, and they’ll look at it and say, ‘you know what, I haven’t thought of it that way.’ I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the, how are we going to get a quarter hour? We need to step back and present more of a common sense approach, because the people that are listening to us, they don’t care about time spent. What they care about is compelling content. If it’s compelling, they’re going to come back the next time. I love approaching things in a common sense way, because truthfully, I’ve never had the book smarts to look at it any other way. The bottom line on a daily basis is what do our listeners think? Do they care about what we’re putting on coming out of those speakers? If the answer is yes, you’re in good shape. If the answer is no, then refocus and reshape it so that they will pay attention to what you have to say.”
You bought airfare, hotel and  tickets to the BSM Summit. The least you can do for yourself is approach the people in the building you want to approach. As Craig said, it’s all about building relationships and there’s no better opportunity to do so than this event. Listen, learn and interact with others. That’s the secret of the BSM Summit. 
Do your homework before you introduce yourself to the heavy hitters in the business. But don’t be shy. Go for it. 
“Truthfully, when I go to a summit or conference, I’m more about meeting people I don’t get to see on a regular basis, because I love that aspect of it,” Craig said. “It’s the networking and the building of the relationships that are so important.”

Tyler McComas is a columnist for BSM and a sports radio talk show host in Norman, OK where he hosts afternoon drive for SportsTalk 1400. You can find him on Twitter @Tyler_McComas or you can email him at [email protected].
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