Ike Reese on With Howard Eskin? Could Happen. Plus: Lineup Shakeups at 950

Ike Reese on With Howard Eskin? Could Happen. Plus: Lineup Shakeups at 950

With two sports talk radio stations vying for the ears of a coveted demographic—you—there have been a few shakeups recently on 610 WIP and 950 ESPN Radio, and another one could be on the way. Less than a week after longtime Philly radio great Jody McDonald announced that Friday was his last day with 950, the man who has for better or for worse (you decide) been the most recognizable visage in Philly sports talk over the past decade, Howard Eskin, may be getting a co-host in former Eagle Ike Reese.  

Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross, who keeps a pretty close tab on the dials, says Reese could move up to 3-7PM with Eskin, having his 7-10PM slot, which would likely be filled by Rob Ellis. The evening slot was given to Reese, a radio and broadcast rookie, when Glen Macnow moved to middays with Anthony Gargano. For those who follow the radio ratings, a change in the PM drivetime at WIP probably won't surprise you. It's been widely reported that Eskin has been toppled by 950's Mike Missanelli in just the first year of his return to Philly on a rival station. Missanelli and Eskin were of course co-hosts at WIP for a time. We certainly saw which side you preferred

Gross states that WIP operations manager Andy Bloom wouldn't confirm nor deny the information. 

There are also some fairly big programming changes at 950 taking place. 

As I mentioned, Jody Mac said goodbye to his 950 listeners rather suddenly and without much warning on Friday. I'd left work early to meet Enrico for a few drinks to start the holiday weekend, and got in the car just in time to hear him respond to a few final favor requests, then announce that it was his last day, a sad one for me. Since his time with WIP years ago, Jody was one of my favorite hosts, and his presence on 950 when they launched the station was essentially the only reason I listened. He was a great alternative to Eskin, his polar opposite, in my opinion, and it became my routine to be up the dial during those hours. I really enjoyed how much he knew about all four sports, including hockey, which is ignored during many of the on-air hours these days. There are some notable exceptions, including Macnow, who along with Gargano, was on opposite Jody's most recent time slot. As someone who enjoys all three of these hosts, I liked it best when they weren't on simultaneously.  


Jody's Last PM Drive Show, originally uploaded by Cavalier92.

Jody said on air that the station had indicated they were going in another direction. Considering that his co-host since his return from bypass surgery, Harry Mays, is remaining in the slot and has been joined by Dan Schwartzman, formerly the evening host at 950, I'm not sure exactly what that "different" direction is, but I'm guessing it's the usual one. Probably because he saw this move coming, Mac-man has been hosting on Sirius/XM satellite radio lately as well, which he will continue to do. It's my understanding that his show runs from 4-6PM, co-hosting with Rob Dibble. 

Hey Jody Mac, do us a favor—don't be a stranger.

Schwartzman's move to middays leaves the evening slot open at 950, which will be filled with a variety of football-related programs now that the season is underway. On Tuesday nights, the 7-8PM hour will be filled by the Linebackers Show, with Eagles Chris Gocong and Stewart Bradley. On Wednesdays, the station's Eagles beat reporter, Brian Seltzer, and Joe Decamera will host an Eagles-oriented show. I tuned in for some of the debut last night and was glad to hear that it was more about position depth on opening day than Mike Vick. Sal Pal will be hosting a show on Thursdays. Jon Marks, who produces Mikey Miss's show and gets a lot of airtime there and in other slots, will also be hosting some of his own shows in the evening, which I'm also looking forward to checking out. 

I'm not one to pick one sides between the stations on the whole. There are great shows and hosts on both, as well as quite a few I can't listen to for more than a minute. Chances are, in this personality-driven field, you feel quite the same way. 

We'll keep you posted as we hear more. 

Brett Brown has 'completely different feeling' in training camp this year

Brett Brown has 'completely different feeling' in training camp this year

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- Brett Brown left training camp last September with an unsettling feeling. He had just completed long days of scrimmages, drills and planning, and yet he sensed the Sixers were not ready to tackle the 82 games that lied ahead. 

“I remember driving back to Philadelphia last year knowing in my heart of heart that this group was going to be challenged,” Brown said Thursday following the morning practice session at Stockton University. “That was a frightening drive home. That drive home scared me because I felt like, I know what we have and how are we going to be able to maneuver through this?”

Brown was right. The Sixers lost their first 18 games and began the season 1-30. They stumbled the rest of the way, finishing the 2016-17 campaign with a dismal 10-72 record. 

“We really didn’t know who the point guard was,” Brown said. “We came in extremely injured, we were trying to make the Nerlens (Noel) - Jahlil (Okafor) thing work, there really weren’t a lot of veterans to look around [and see], and you knew it.”

Now in his fourth training camp as head coach, with 47 wins and 199 losses with the Sixers behind him, Brown has different emotions as the team nears the end of training camp on Friday. 

Instead of a constantly-changing lineup of players, the Sixers are building a roster that can serve as the foundation for the future. There are nine new players on the team, including first overall pick Ben Simmons and rookie Dario Saric. Joel Embiid will make his NBA debut after two years of injuries, and the Sixers added veteran leaders in free agency.

Brown has a clearer picture of what the team could look like this season and beyond. He is coaching training camp to enter a new chapter, not to simply make it through the upcoming months. 

“You can leave and you can sniff reality,” Brown said. “Now what I see is there’s depth. There are challenges positionally as we’ve talked about. But there’s talent. There’s point guards. They’re sprinkled in with some veterans. How we grow it and play it is still on the table. To me, it’s a completely different feeling that I have now that I did not have last year.”

The additions of Jerryd Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez at the one spot lessen the coaching load for Brown. He also can turn to T.J. McConnell from last season. The depth is a far cry from when the Sixers were quickly changing at that position and didn’t find a consistent starter until they traded for Ish Smith in late December.

“That position, I think, is vital when you start putting a bunch of 20-year-olds around it and trying to find some type of organization,” Brown said. “You just can’t replace a point guard’s intellect. You can’t replace, I think, somebody that has great command from that position. It certainly helps me.”

Brown expects to feel “proud” when the Sixers wrap training camp on Friday. He is looking forward to getting the season underway, beginning with two practices at the new training complex in Camden before their first preseason game Oct. 4 against the Celtics. 

Brown anticipates his drive home this time will be a much different trip. 

“I feel comfortable that we’re ticking boxes and we’re achieving the goals that we set out from the start of what we wanted to get done in Stockton,” he said.

The Sixers continued to monitor load management on Thursday, as Okafor, Embiid and Gerald Henderson did not participate in the morning scrimmage. Bayless also did not go through the scrimmage because of a sore left wrist. 

Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

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Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

A zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America are both nightmare scenarios for many people. But Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is prepared in the case of either.

At least that's what he says.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bye this week, so Jenkins found the time to post the below video to Twitter, teaching us a little bit about his quirks.

"Something you might not know about me is that I'm a half-hearted doomsday prepper. For the last two or three years I've been silently preparing myself for a zombie apocalypse... or Donald Trump becoming President, whichever comes first. Communications, food, protection, everything, I've been stockpiling. I took a zombie survival course a couple of years ago," Jenkins said.

"Hopefully I won't have to use my skills."