Sports 56 WHBlog Q

January 30, 2009

The Steelers will win the “Big” game

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 6:16 pm

Win or Lose Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals have been a terrific story this season. Often considered a laughing stock organization with a horrible owner (Bill Bidwell), the Cardinals have proven what can be done when everyone’s on the same page. With the use of high draft picks (from all those dismal seasons), a free agent here and there, and a coaching staff stacked with men who have been to the summit, the Cardinals have turned into a contender. Unfortunately for the Cards and their fans, this season’s story will not have a happy ending.

The Cardinals will face the big, bad Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. The Steelers will be making their 7th appearance in the “Big Game”. This is a winning organization and a model for everyone else. From Art Rooney to his son Dan to every other Rooney, this family is a class act, and it’s trickled down to their football team. Think about this, the Rooney’s only have had to hire three head coaches in the last four decades. THREE! (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin). And both Noll and Cowher left on their own accord.

Winning football is not a passing fling in the Steel City, it is part of the fabric of the city. The blue collar worker in Western Pennsylvania has grown up with the Steelers, and they expect nothing from the team but its best effort every single game. From Bradshaw to Swann to Lambert to Woodson to Roethlisberger to Ward it’s been a cavalcade of greatness.

I know, I know, what does history have to do with the present? Well in a word…plenty!! The Steelers know how to win the biggest game in sport, the Cardinals have never had a chance until now. Give me the organization with the history, the winning tradition, the nerves. Give me the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-13.

Your Picks? let me know…..

Day 5…Apparently the Attractive People Started Showing Up Last Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 12:52 pm

Wow. So far today, we have interviewed Brooklyn Decker, a swimsuit model with SI, and the PR girl with her said they’ll be bringing around a couple more models later on today. By the way, I am now in love with Brooklyn Decker, because she hates Duke and is a huge Carolina fan. She is the second perfect woman I’ve ever met. I also saw Stacy Keibler out in the lobby, and got a picture with her as well. The Media Center is looking like a good place to be today.

Brooklyn Decker.  Enough said.  Damn you Andy Roddick!!

Brooklyn Decker. Enough said. Damn you Andy Roddick!!

Me 1, Greg Gaston 0.  I win!  1-0!!

Me 1, Greg Gaston 0. I win! 1-0!!

What with my newly acquired double chin, I am not quite worthy of being in the same picture with Stacy Keibler, no doubt. More to come later. Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  This job does not suck today.  Two more SI models, Jarah Mariano and Jessica Gomes, stopped by our table at radio row also.  Here is our photo…we tried to convince them to get us in whatever parties they going to tonight, but sadly, they have no control over the guest list.

We have a good job.

We have a good job.

Things are going well.

January 29, 2009

The Stars Just Keep on Comin’ Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 4:23 pm

Ray Lewis stopped by today on the Sporting News Radio set right next to us…here he is.

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The Entertainment Portion of the Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 3:53 pm

Today was the massive press conference to announce Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be playing the Super Bowl.  The Boss being one of my favorite acts ever, I got tons of pictures.

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Clarence Clemons...he will be owning the sax on Sunday.

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This was only about 60% of the crowd.  There were about a thousand people at this press conference.

This was only about 60% of the crowd. There were about a thousand people at this press conference.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were also on radio row today…Faith is playing the pregame show along with John Legend…Tim McGraw was just being a good husband, I suppose.

Midnight Rambler at the Super Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eli Savoie @ 3:49 pm

 

It has been a couple of hectic days today and yesterday here in Tampa. The days always get crazier as the week goes on and more and more people arrive in town. Among the festivities yesterday was a press conference where the folks from FedEx handed out the “FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year” awards.

Phil Simms, who later joined us on radio row was the master of ceremonies for FedEx. He presented the hardware.

Drew Brees of the Saints took home the “Air” award while Adrian Peterson was the “Ground” winner. Brees was on hand to accept, Peterson was not.
Down on radio row various former and current players and celebrities were making their way around. Shelton Quarles, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Vanderbilt Commodore joined us to talk about his career and how excited he was to see the Commodores win a bowl game this year. As he told us, the last time they won a bowl game was the year his mom was born!
Former Memphis Tiger and current Carolina Panther DeAngelo Williams came by to talk about his breakout season, the new nickname for him and Jonathan Stewart, and his love of paintball.
Some of the biggest names in football were on hand, like Joe Montana. One of the true legends of the game.
Today got started with a press conference held by the Gridiron Greats, an organization dedicated to raising money for former NFL players who need financial and medical assistance. Michael Irvin was one of the speakers at the event which was attended by about 25 former players, many of them Hall of Famers. This organization is a great one as the NFL has really turned it’s back on its former players. Irvin talked about the need for more current players to get involved with the cause and saluted Matt Birk of the Vikings, who was there, for his efforts in leading by example and trying to get more current players to help out.
Mike Ditka is one of the guys that got this organization started and has been one of the most outspoken people on behalf of the greats. He talked about the need for more money to be raised. You can learn more about the Gridiron Greats and bid on some great items in their online auction by going to http://www.gridirongreats.org/
 
Another very outspoken former player is Joe DeLamielleure. The former all-pro offensive lineman joined us on radio row to talk more about it. We have had Joe on the last two years and he is always great. He has no problem speaking his mind on any topic. He brought with him war hero Tommy Riemer who was shot over 10 times in Iraq as a member of the US Army. Riemer told his story about being a human shield, it was amazing.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also stopped by today for a very interesting chat. I asked him about Brett Favre and you can tell that Rodgers is not really fond of Favre and the way he handled things last offseason. Rodgers said he has yet to speak to Favre since Brett left Green Bay. We’ll be playing that interview tonight during the 5-7pm show. It’s a good one.
 
Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans was on hand for the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Year award presentation. Johnson did not win the award, it went to Joe Flacco of the Ravens, but Johnson stopped by and talked to us about his great rookie season afterwards.
Johnson’s teammate with the Titans, Brandon Jones, also came by to talk about the Tians year and the season of his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and the similarities between the two.
I also chatted early today with Usama Young, a cornerback for the New Orleans Saints. Everybody loves the commercials during the Super Bowl, and Young will be in one of the commercials this year. He was part of a contest held by the NFL with players telling stories about football and their childhoods. Young’s story won the fan vote, so it will be turned into a commercial that will air sometime during the second half of the game.
The craziness continues here today, but that’s all I have for now. Don’t forget to check out our Super Bowl show tonight from 5p-7p and remember also that you can check out all the interviews we do down here online. After we air the interviews on our shows, they will be available.
 
Until next time, have a good one! 

The Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year is…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 1:29 pm

Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens.  He beat out Chris Johnson of the Titans, Matt Ryan of the Falcons, Steve Slaton of the Texans, and Matt Forte of the Bears.  Here are some pictures of the announcement and presentation.

Rich Eisen introdues the five finalists.

Rich Eisen introduces the five finalists.

The five finalists on stage.

The five finalists on stage.

Thw inner, Joe Flacco, accepting the award.

The winner, Joe Flacco, accepting the award.

Super Bowl, Days 3 and 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 9:42 am

Sometimes in your life, you’re somewhere where you look at your surroundings, and are amazed at where you are. Yesterday in the morning when we arrived here in Tampa in the media center, I saw the following: Joe Montana, Deacon Jones, Phil Simms, Drew Brees, Michael Strahan, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Shannon Sharpe, Tiki and Ronde Barber, and Al Michaels. Today, by 9:20, we have seen Roger Staubach, Lynn Swann, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Aaron Rodgers. It’s pretty amazing here at the Super Bowl.

Here are some more pictures from the last couple of days…forgive me, because my camera was about to run out of batteries yesterday so I didn’t get much.

Ladanian Tomlinson with a very stylish argyle sweater on.

Ladanian Tomlinson with a very stylish argyle sweater on.

Phil Simms announcing the winners of the FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year.

Phil Simms announcing the winners of the FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year.

The FedEx Air Player of the Year Drew Brees accepts the trophy.

The FedEx Air Player of the Year Drew Brees accepts the trophy.

Eli talks with former Bucs LB Shelton Quarles.

Eli talks with former Bucs LB Shelton Quarles.

Eli interviews Saints corner Usama Young about winning the Super Ad contest.

Eli interviews Saints corner Usama Young about winning the Super Ad contest.

Stay tuned today to Sports 56 Middays and our Super Bowl show from 5-7 tonight for all of our interviews and coverage from Super Bowl XLIII down here in Tampa. More pictures later.

January 28, 2009

Super Bowl-Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eli Savoie @ 4:02 pm

Due to some computer issues and other technical problems out of my control, I was never able to get to posting things from yesterday, but those issues have been resolved, so here we go. Tuesday is always a big day of Super Bowl week because it’s media day, which means all the media head down to the stadium and each team does a one hour session where the players and coaches are spread out and you can go talk with them. It’s really a circus, although this year was a little calmer than normal. I had a chance to talk to some guys with some Memphis ties and get some sound from some of the stars of the game also.

This gives a general idea of what the players and coaches have to deal with, tons of media flocking to them like seagulls to a potato chip on the beach.

The big stars obviously get the most attention, this is Kurt Warner at his podium and the throng of media trying to get that perfect quote.

Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

This is a much closer shot of Warner

The guy that Warner likes throwing to, Larry Fitzgerald

The Cardinals defense hasn’t gotten much love, this is one of their stars, Karlos DansbySteelers Head Coach Mike TomlinBig Ben Roethlisberger

The NFL’s defensive player of the year, James Harrison, talks with Deion Sanders, who now works for the NFL Network.

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has some interesting hair

I got the chance to sit down with Randy Fichtner, the former University of Memphis offensive coordinator, who is now the wide receivers coach in Pittsburgh.

Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler with me. Butler played and coached at the University of Memphis.

If you’ve ever seen a Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a shot of the pirate ship. This is that ship.

So that’s a recap of media day, but last night it was off to Ybor City in Tampa for the annual media party. That’s where the host committee serves us free food and drinks all night and brings in some entertainment. This year’s band was .38 Special, and they rocked the joint!

So that’s our Tuesday in Tampa, I’ll be back later with more on today’s events as long as I can avoid technical difficulties.

Until then, have a good one!

January 27, 2009

Media Day in Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Will Askew @ 6:55 pm

Super Bowl Media Day was today…And I decided the best way to convey the utter chaos of the event was to just put a picture gallery up. Enjoy.

January 26, 2009

Midnight Rambler at the Big Game-Day 1

Filed under: blog, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Eli Savoie @ 5:45 pm

It’s day 1 of the big week as Will Askew and MMR(Mr. Midnight Rambler) are in Tampa to cover the craziness that is the Super Bowl. It is by far the biggest sporting event of the year and the week leading up to it is a complete circus. Monday is always relatively quiet so today we have just basically got set up on radio row, renewed acquaintances with the many other radio hosts I gotten to know over the last four years, and wedid did a little work as well. As for first impressions go, Tampa is a great host city for the Super Bowl. I have been to this area before and absolutely love it, but I didn’t know what it was like for a Super Bowl. It seems like a great place for this event because they have everything they need in the downtown area so it’s not all spread out, and the weather is fabulous. Below are a few of the things to see here in the Tampa Convention Center, which serves as the media center this week and our home away from home.

They have a banner for each Super Bowl hanging on one wall of the room we are in. The biggest is this giant one representing this year’s Super Bowl.

These are the banners of the last four Super Bowls. Those are the others that I have been to. Jacksonville, Detroit, Miami and Phoenix are the cities from right to left.

This is the biggest Fathead ever. It’s an enormous Ben Roethlisberger on the wall of the radio row room.

This is a giant Larry Fitzgerald on the wall opposite of Roethlisberger. I know Fitzgerald is a big receiver, but this is ridiculous.

One of the staples of Super Bowl week is the terrific coverage on the NFL Network, and Rich Eisen is the anchor for the majority of the coverage. Eisen does a terrific job and puts in a ton of hours through the week. He managed to take a moment out of his busy schedule to stop by for a visit with us today.

Be sure to stay tuned throughout the week for our coverage from Tampa. I’ll be doing my show each day and Will will be on the Sports Bar and then Wednesday through Friday we will be doing special Super Bowl shows from 5p-7p. On Sunday we will do a special pregame extravaganza for three hours leading up to kickoff. We will be on from 2p-5p. You can listen in on Sports 56 or on the website and we’ll post all of the interviews from the week on the web site as well.

Tomorrow is the craziest day of the week as it is media day when we, and the 3,000 or so other media members here, get a chance to talk with the players and coaches for both teams down at the stadium, I’ll be posting another update with pictures tomorrow afternoon.

Till then, have a good one!

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