This is how my boss makes me spend the afternoon of my birthday.
Josh Innes opened his show today by playing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Mr. Bojangles,” letting the song ride out until the line “He danced for those in minstrel shows and county fairs,” when Innes chimed in. He opened by asking “General Knowledge question: What station is now a minstrel show in Philadelphia?” Surprisingly, he moved right on to discussing the new Madden game and the show’s plan to run season simulations to predict the Eagles record right after that. For a couple minutes, he’d just drop a passing shot at Miss here – “No need to go anywhere else today, you’d probably just hear some fake callers talking to some fake hair dyed radio hosts” – and there – “callers named Dwayne hop to the front of the line.” But after a long commercial break, he went off:
Innes: “No reason to go anywhere else because what you’re hearing here is what you’re actually hearing here.”
Reigner: “And if it wasn’t, you’re dumb and you had no idea, right?”
Innes: “People are tweeting me about – I’m gonna start calling Mike “Soul Man” now – but Soul Man or Al Jolson whatever you wanna call him, but I’ll go Soul Man – it was a C. Thomas Howell movie where a guy takes a pill to be black – so evidently over at 97.5 they’re a bunch of soul men over there and their whole schtick is that they have fake callers. And then what I’m being told by people on twitter is they’re trying to paint is as everyone in the world has fake callers to the point that they’re referencing Howard Stern and saying the whack pack…no the whack pack are actual whackos who called in because they could get people to call into their radio show and don’t have to fake it. I mean you’d think with your lame, lousy questions, real people would call up and answer your softball, general knowledge garbage, but as it turns out, your callers are as fake as your hair.
From what I understand, Soul Man is saying he knew nothing about this and that he was duped. So of course Soul Man, who is a guy that regularly is offended by everything because he’s so consumed by white guilt that he has to get up and stump for every offensive cause and tell you how awful you are…”
Reigner: “He’s offended by the guy on the pizza box.”
Innes: “He is a guy that is offended on behalf of everyone and everything, that is his schtick. He is Soul Man. But you mean to tell me that you don’t think Soul Man had any clue for a couple of years that a guy that was calling his show was not real. You don’t belive that, and that’s also not the story, by the way. The story is not that there’s a fake caller…the problem is when it comes to 97.5, everything about that radio station is 100% phony. I knew the hosts were phony, because I knew that guys like Rob Ellis were asking to stay on the show with me…or the Cuz shakes you hand to your face and then tells everyone behind your back that you suck, or that Mike’s hair is actually black. I know there’s a lot of phonies over there. I didn’t realize the callers that called the show were fake and they stacked the lines.
And not just fake callers, guys who are WHITE pretending to be BLACK guys. Like, that’s what makes me laugh about all of this. Mr. Soul Man, who is offended by everything…white guilt to the nth degree and he pretends to be boys with all his brothas, HE WOULDN’T LET YOU MOW HIS FREAKIN LAWN on the Main Line. Oh but on the air he’ll pander to you hard and you’ll buy it because you think brothers are actually calling the show. Turns out it’s a WHITE GUY pretending to be black calling the show.”
Reigner: “I’ve never met the man, but I’ve heard enough stories to know he’s a red ass…He’ll flip out on people. We know that Soul Man will punch somebody, will throw someone up against the wall that still works here. We know that. So you’re gonna tell me that guy got played for two years, and it’s just “oh well I don’t see what the big deal is”?
Innes: “Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he doesn’t know: Then you’re listening to an old, out of touch idiot that doesn’t know he’s being pranked by someone doing a minstrel show. Worst case scenario: He knew about it. Best case scenario: He’s an old man with dyed hair who has no idea what’s happening on his show. You like it, then you like it, but whatever.
It’s baffling…Basically what you’re dealing with is 97.5 is run by a bunch of entitled white kids who portray black characters on the radio. Is that fair to say if we wanna throw a blanket over it? You’ve got guys who are in a pretty high position of power, like Myrtetus, who is orchestrating this entire ruse and lying to the audience, and not only lying to your audience, but doing a minstrel show. People went off on me because I posted a picture of Al Jolson last night, but that’s what that is. It’s a minstrel show when a goofy white guy not only calls as a black guy, builds an entire twitter account with pictures and everything. So it’s funny to me because the guy is offended by everything, but now there’s no way this guy didn’t know this was going on.”
We knew Innes would have a field day with this, but I’m honestly surprised he didn’t do it right off the top. Only took a few minutes though. MAESTRO (or something):
Mike Missanelli off the top today on what he dubbed Dwaynegate:
Audio 97.5 The Fanatic
“Today we will deem DwayneGate. Since this story has taken over the world. And thanks to the intrepid hardcore bastions of hard-hitting journalism reporters at Crossing Broad, cracking the big case as if they discovered the Lindbergh Baby, and where the Lindbergh Baby was kidnapped, comes up with the story that Dwayne from Swedesboro was actually not Dwayne from Swedesboro, that he was a voice from our own producer here at 97.5 The Fanatic named Pat Egan. Now, I don’t really quite know what the story is that is so important that it is a major story for all the blogs. It got to Deadspin somehow, and Philly Mag dot com, and Philly dot com, and all that. But here’s what I will say. I didn’t know that Dwayne from Swedesboro was not a real person. There may be people here that knew all along that he wasn’t a real person. I did not know, because I don’t know who are real persons that call us or not…I don’t really know them on a personal level…Dwayne from Swedesboro, we’ve occassionally asked the question if he was real or not, having never met him. Now I was told that he was at the station once…so I assumed he was a real person. Now, I don’t really know what the story is, and I hope that people will tell us what thw story is…Let’s face it, in radio, it’s not the first time people have made up a character in radio, so I don’t get what the outrage is, unless you thought that it pushed the boundaries of racial lines. And if you thought that, and you were offended, I’m right there with you. If you are offended by Dwayne from Swedesboro and the content of his call, then I have wide open ears for you to hear your calls and to hear your complaints…I mean I really don’t understand the hubub of a fake caller that has appeared many times in radio circles. The bottom line is: Dwayne entertained many people.”
Mike opened up his show for discussion on the topic, even though he continued to downplay the notion that it was a story. Pat Egan came on briefly and explained that he used to call as Dwayne from the studio behind Mike, which was quite funny. Mike is being sympathetic to the race angle. He is calling me “Woodward and Bernstein” and “an ambulance chaser blogger,” which is funny because he’s had no problem running those lights with me when he’s emailed me tips in attempts to get me to bash (off the top of my head) Glen Macnow, Howard Eskin, John Gonzalez, Andy Bloom, Tony Bruno, Michael Barkann, Josh Innes, and, my personal favorite in light of recent events:
If you can’t read that:
“That other station is so desperate that they’ve resorted to having their minions (as few as they may be) making phony phone calls to all of our shows. Pathetic.”
Meanwhile, Glen Macnow comes over the top – publicly – as tipsters are lighting up my inbox and phone regarding fake callers in sports talk radio:
Bring me my wartime epaulettes. And the music. PLAY ME MY MUSIC:
OK so the number one response to the “Dwayne From Swedesboro” post has been people asking whether or not Mike Missanelli knew that he was talking to a producer. I genuinely don’t believe that he did. From the moment I started poking around on this story, everyone I spoke to, with no allegiance or reason to protect Missanelli, volunteered the information that perhaps the best-funniest-craziest part of the story was that Mike was the only one on the on-air and programming side who had no idea. Mike – who I can assure you is not thrilled about any part of this – seemed genuinely caught off-guard by my email when he discussed it on the air with Jason Myrtetus.
I had reached out to Mike yesterday. He didn’t immediately respond to me, and opted to do so on the air, but he emailed me back at 5:45 p.m.– I didn’t see it until after I posted the story. Here’s what he said: Continue Reading
BOOMSHAKALAKA. The seven best Philly sports podcasts – BGN Radio, Crossing Streams, Sixers Beat, The Stepover Pod, Felske Files, Bar Talk, and SOP Radio – all in one FREE app, available now on iOS and Android.
Me and BGN Radio and WIP host John Barchard have been working on this for some time. We think too many people are put off by podcasts because listening to them still involves some effort. So, we took the hassle out of it and just put the best Philly sports podcasts all in one app. I think this sort of thing is the future of podcasting, and there should be no reason why all Philly sports fans don’t have this on their phones. John’s BGN Radio is literally the best Philly sports podcast. You’re familiar with our Crossing Streams. We have two excellent Sixers podcasts– Derek Bodner’s Sixers Beat, and Jim and Max Rappaport’s Stepover Pod. We have Glen Macnow’s Bar Talk, John Stolnis’ Felske Files Phillies podcast, and Sons of Penn’s Flyers podcast. With more to come. This is the app for SMART Philly sports talk. It seems we should’ve given it the tagline Sports talk without the fake callers.
It looks like this:
Here’s the press release we sent out:
Liberty Podcasts, a Philly podcasting network comprised of the seven best local sports podcasts— BGN Radio, Crossing Streams, Sixers Beat, The Stepover Pod, Felske Files, Bar Talk, and Sons of Penn Radio, is proud to announce the launch of its mobile app, available for FREE on iOS and Android. The app removes the friction for Philly sports fans to find great, high-quality podcasts, by putting them all into one easy-to-use app.
“We believe many potential podcast listeners are put off by what they view as a somewhat convoluted process of finding a good podcast app, finding a show that interests them, obtaining its feed address, and then deciding whether or not to subscribe to it,” Crossing Broad’s Kyle Scott, a Liberty Podcasts co-founder, said. “Our intent is to simplify things and remove discovery entirely from the process, providing listeners with one app containing only the best Philly sports podcasts which have been carefully vetted. We believe niche-based listening experiences are the future of podcasting, and we’re thrilled to be the first to try anything like this when it comes to sports.”
“I’m thrilled to be working and partnered with the absolute best Philly sports podcasts,” radio host John Barchard, also a Liberty Podcasts co-founder, said. “We have some of the most talented writers and podcasters, experts in their respective subject matters, all working together, and I couldn’t be more excited to see where it goes.”
At launch, the Liberty Podcasts app will consist of seven popular local podcasts, all with their own passionate followings. BGN Radio, hosted by John Barchard, is the Eagles podcast for all Eagles fans. It amassed a large audience over the last few years and broadcasts some of its episodes live on local radio. This year, BGN Radio will do a weekly show on 94.1 SportsRadio WIP that will also be available as part of the podcast feed. Crossing Steams is CrossingBroad.com’s podcast, hosted by site editor Kyle Scott. Crossing Streams is known for its conversational interviews with guests such as Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil, Sixers head coach Brett Brown, and Villanova head coach Jay Wright, along with agents, directors, comedians and more. Sixers Beat is a Sixers podcast hosted by Philly Mag writer and Sixers guru Derek Bodner. Focusing on smart, intelligent Sixers analysis, Sixers Beat is the podcast for the hardcore Sixers fan to listen to intelligent conversation. The Stepover Pod is co-hosted by CrossingBroad.com’s Jim Adair along with former Sixers digital coordinator and current Complex writer Max Rappaport. It, too, focuses on smart commentary, but also on some of the more frivolous aspects of Sixers fandom and listener interaction. The Felske Files is a Phillies-centric weekly podcast hosted by radio host and baseball writer for SB Nation’s “The Good Phight” and numberFire.com, John Stolnis. Every week John talks to Phillies insiders and beat writers for the latest news on the team from the inside. Bar Talk is a craft beer focused podcast hosted by longtime WIP host Glen Macnow and beer critic Don Russell, who wrote as Joe Sixpack in the Daily News for decades. And Sons of Penn Radio is Philly’s premiere hockey podcast. The city’s best, and most opinionated fanalysts, number crunchers, beat writers and hockey personalities discuss, debate and dissect the Flyers.
Quintin Mikell is enjoying his first year in the Eagles’ employ outside of a uniform. NFL Player Engagement:
“This position has been around a while, but it’s changed over the years,’’ Mikell said. “It’s different now in that it used to be a former player who would just kind of be around if you needed something. Now, it’s development, just as it says ‘player development.’ My job is trying to help, not just our young players, but any of our players, develop on and off the field. If it’s a rookie, it’s getting them used to the NFL life, the different stresses and ups and downs you go through; to a guy that’s been in the league for a couple years but still isn’t sure where he is. Maybe he wants to start getting ready for his exit. What should he do? How should he plan? And it goes all the way to the guy who is on the way out and I’m helping them transition to life after the game.’’
Stephen Tulloch is somewhere between depth and a possible starter. Philly.com:
But the addition of Tulloch is potentially at odds with the direction of the team – at least the rebuilding part. The Eagles have, after all, said they want to win now while building for the future, i.e. re-signing quarterback Sam Bradford while drafting Carson Wentz. It’s fair to question where Schwartz stands on the dichotomy. Tulloch is the fourth free agent the Eagles have signed who previously played for the defensive coordinator. The first three have prominent roles. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin, strong-side linebacker Nigel Bradham, and slot cornerback Ron Brooks are all penciled into first-team spots.
And his veteran presence is welcome. CSN:
“I knew something was coming,” Jordan Hicks said Monday. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand what’s about to happen. “I’m excited. I want this team to be as good as we possibly can, and I think adding another veteran presence and another linebacker to our corps and having that type of depth and being able to move around and have another aspect to it will help a lot…It’ll be fun. It’ll be really fun,” Hicks said. “He knows what to expect. And like you said, he’s played for so long. He’s probably been around it all. It’ll be exciting and I’m going to enjoy learning from him.”
The two most important scoring pieces on the team are back at work. Philly.com:
Kicker Caleb Sturgis said he would return to practice Monday after being cleared through the NFL concussion protocol, and quarterback Carson Wentz said he will throw for the third day in a row, despite sore ribs. “It’s killing me not to be out there,” Wentz said. “It’s one of those things. It just takes time.” Wentz said his goal is still to play in the final preseason game, Sept. 1 vs. the Jets. Wentz said his ribs will be scanned again in about a week. The team said he suffered a hairline fracture in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay.
Sturgis got bonked on the dome. Philly Voice:
“We were just doing a normal warmup in the end zone, and I don’t know, he was standing on the other side of the 50, probably. Maybe the 40 or 35. I guess I hit a really good one, and it caught him square on the head. I remember looking up and seeing it and then at the last minute – obviously I was like 60 yards away (and couldn’t warn him) and it just hit him square in the head. “He fell, and as soon as he fell, I was like ‘Ah, sh*t,’ and walked down there to see if he was OK. That’s a freak deal, man. In all the years I’ve played, I’ve hit thousands of punts in pregame, and never concussed anyone.” “It didn’t feel good,” said Sturgis.
And Wentz really wants to get back out there. Philly.com:
“I’m not going to back away from anything, but at the same time I’m still learning how to control myself and take care of the body, protect myself a little more,” Wentz said. Wentz wore a flak jacket under his jersey when he suffered the injury, but he was hit “at a funny spot.” He said his ribs would be covered when he plays next. For now, he needs to wait for the discomfort associated with the injury to subside. “I’ve never dealt with this before,” Wentz said. “It’s killing me. I want to be out here. It’s one of those things that takes time.”
DGB expects to play with the first team on Saturday. PhillyMag:
Dorial Green-Beckham, meanwhile, expects not only to play more against the Colts on Saturday, but to also be on the field with the first-team offense at some point. Mychal Kendricks, who will practice fully for the first time today since suffering his hamstring injury, plans to play in Indianapolis. Blake Countess and Caleb Sturgis both cleared concussion protocol, so they will likely be available as well.
More cuts are coming and Josh Huff may be on the bubble. Philly Voice:
As for Huff and Agholor, their futures in South Philly aren’t quite as set. But of the two, Agholor seems like the one most likely to stick with the Eagles this season given where he was taken in the draft (20th overall) and the potential upside he has as a vertical threat on a roster that is in desperate need of one. And with the recent addition of 2015 second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham, the emergence of Paul Turner as a legitimate candidate to make this team, and the presence of veterans Reuben Randle and Chris Givens –not to mention that Huff’s lack of production from his first two seasons* has carried over into the 2016 preseason – it’s beginning to look more and more like he could be among those left off the 53-man roster.
Joel Embiid was at last night’s Drake and Future concert at THE CENTER*. At some point – likely after the show – JoJo got a pic with the part-time Raptors employee (above). But it wasn’t the first time he’s dipped his surgically repaired feet into the feud Toronto’s Aubrey Graham has with Philly’s own Meek Mill. In fact, just over a month ago, Embiid was spotted chatting with Meek:
To be fair, it looks like Meek doesn’t really wanna hear whatever JoJo is saying. Maybe something like “Why you taking so many Ls against Drake?” We’ll await an official statement on which side Embiid has chosen.
*According to whatever we’re calling Instagram’s Snapchat knockoff, his seats weren’t even that great.
On Friday night, tipster (@TheREALJAYEMCEE) reached out to me and claimed that infamous 97.5 caller “Dwayne From Swedesboro,” a stereotypical black guy with paternity test problems, is actually 97.5 producer Pat Egan, who is white.
That tip was correct.
Dwayne is known for calling Mike Missanelli’s show, but he’s also called other 97.5 shows. Here’s a sample, from when he called Jason Myrtetus at 4 a.m. this January:
“Look man, I ain’t gonna lie to ya, the paternity test was a big relief. It’s like I didn’t think that kid was my kid, but then its that little bit of fear like, oh snap, Dwayne could be paying for this for 18 years.”
“I don’t have that many minutes man, I have a set number. I can’t be using it to wait 45 minutes. Look man, I ain’t got the baller budget that you radio people got so I gotta get the limited mintute plan.”
And another portion from a call to Missanelli: Continue Reading
I have no use for your cautious optimism, it’s time to go all in: Brett Brown told Anthony Gargano this morning that there are “no red flags anywhere” around Joel Embiid, so it’s time to throw reason and concern out the window and get rock hard about JoJo.
It’s the news we’ve waited to hear for years. Gone are the qualifiers of “IF he’s healthy” and “IF he can ever play.” Now it’s just “if he plays to a level even close to his potential,” Joel Embiid can be great. Just last week, all-time NBA great Brian Scalabrine said Embiid will be better than Karl Anthony Towns in two years. Charles Barkley previously said that the Sixers can be a playoff team this year with a healthy Embiid. Both of those predictions might be overly optimistic, but with Brett Brown’s “no red flags” report, we have to stop talking about Embiid like he’s wrapped in bubble wrap, yet to be taken off of the shelf and start talking about him like a player who is going to contribute (all while keeping our butts clenched out of fear and anxiety every time he lands awkwardly).
He’s still unproven and he’s still got a ways to go, but it’s time to reverse the 80/20 “If he’s healthy”/”he’ll be good” split. Get excited now, before the inevitable comedown.