**This post originally appeared on John Amoroso’s Medium page on October 17, 2016**
ESPN Radio’s Russillo & Kanell stumbled upon one of the greatest radio bits of recent memory. Each Wednesday, Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell have College Football Analyst, Todd McShay on to discuss college and pro football, simple enough.
To spruce up a segment during McShay’s studio time, “Scout Team vs The Starter” was aimed to get the perspective of a former walk-on at the University of Richmond (McShay) and Kanell, a former Florida State and NFL quarterback.
This bit starts at the 21:50 mark of the Russillo & Kanell Podcast from 10/12/16. Listen and skip ahead to the bit here.
Here though, is the bit as announced on the show:
One guy went to Richmond to play quarterback. It didn’t work out. But he sold a company for a ton of money, was never broke in his 20’s, and had an apartment on the Boston waterfront. And now, he has a hot, younger wife, and likely, a second home.
The other played quarterback at Florida State. Sure he takes a ton of heat but he was offered by everyone. Was at one point a Heisman finalist, played in the NFL, which you didn’t. And now he has a pool, and also a hot, younger wife. It’s time for Scout Team vs The Starter on Russillo and Kanell.
Ryen wrote the introductions and they even caught the attention of Texas A&M Head Coach, Kevin Sumlin, who was a guest on the October 12th show after Todd McShay. Sumlin said, “hey you need to give me one of those intros like you just had with the young hot wives and everything else.”
Sumlin said exactly what we wanted to hear. The over-latent, unlikely heard complements provided a new crisp look for radio. It is a great way to get in some laughs and to get the conversation off to a positive start.
Not just anyone though can throw a bit like this together. Leave it to Russillo. He and former host Scott Van Pelt (who moved on to host the midnight Sportscenter) had one heck of a bit themselves, Pulse of the Nation. SVP and Russillo would speak in Boston accents and just go for it with Dropkick Murphys playing under them. It was gold. Still is hilarious.
I truly believe that Russillo has something going for him. First Pulse, now over-complementary intros.
Russillo & Kanell will take this bit and stretch it but it is not for everyone. It will be good every once in a while like Pulse of the Nation. Maybe they keep it for McShay, (add it for) Sumlin and potentially a few other regulars for the show. It will stay golden as long it is not overused.
The bit will make people want to listen or watch the show. What did they say for Ryan Clark? What was the new intro for McShay this week? The conversations created just from an introduction to a guest makes Russillo & Kanell soar to greater heights for viewership. It makes people want to tune in and see what gets said about a player, coach, analyst or reporter.
If people give it a listen, this bit will be one of the top radio bits of our generation. Who gives non-sport related introductions on sports radio? No one.
I will be listening to Russillo & Kanell as often as possible to see where this bit goes because it is one heck of a bit that I wish I could have come up with.
You can listen to Russillo & Kanell on ESPN Radio via the ESPN App 1–4pm EST or you can watch the show on ESPNEWS.
***This post originally appeared on John Amoroso’s Medium page on October 17, 2016***