People & Personalities: Ed Olczyk Scheduled For Six Months Of Chemo
NBC and Blackhawks TV analyst Ed Olczyk is “scheduled for six months of chemo” following last month’s diagnosis of colon cancer. Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley gave an update on his partner during the team’s preseason game against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday and said Olczyk began his chemo treatments “last week.” Foley: “This guy is in a battle. He had to go through a five-hour surgery, and it took him six weeks to recover from that. … These are very hard times for him” (“Blackhawks-Blue Jackets,” CSN Chicago, 9/19). In Chicago, James Neveau noted Olczyk has been a "fixture in the Blackhawks’ booth for a decade." Former Blackhawks D Steve Konroyd will "fill in" for Olczyk as the Blackhawks color analyst while he is "undergoing treatment" (NBCCHICAGO.com, 9/20).
FREEZING COLD TAKE: On Long Island, Neil Best notes ESPN's Trey Wingo will replace Mike Greenberg when he leaves "Mike & Mike" in January, and one thing you "will not hear from Wingo; contrived controversy." Wingo said, "We aren't going to shy away from anything, but I'm not a hot-taker." He added, "That's not what I do. I prefer reasonably nuanced discussion based on information, for lack of a better term." Best notes Wingo will host "NFL Live" on ESPN through the end of the current season, then "leave the show to focus on his morning job." He will "continue to host" the NFL Draft and "NFL Primetime" (NEWSDAY, 9/21).
VETERAN MOVE: In N.Y., Hannah Withiam notes YES Network on Friday announced that Sarah Kustok would become the Nets' full-time color commentator, "making her the only woman handling the analyst duties on her own for an NBA team this season." Kustok has spent the "past five years as the Nets' sideline reporter." Three seasons ago a "scheduling conflict pushed her into the analyst role alongside longtime play-by-play man Ian Eagle for a game against the 76ers." The fill-in gigs "slowly picked up from there and opened Kustok's eyes to a thrilling possibility." Eagle said, "She is smart, passionate, prepared, likable, everything that you look for in a successful analyst" (N.Y. POST, 9/21).
FEMALE INTUITION: ESPN’s Beth Mowins was the first woman to call an NFL game in 30 years earlier this season, and she said of her experience working “MNF,” “It’s a different voice for most fans to hear that aren’t watching a lot of women’s sports or are not watching a lot of college basketball, it does take a little bit I think to get used to that.” Mowins: “I try to encourage people, give us a quarter, give us a half and don’t pay attention to pitch and tone and things like that. What’s the content? What’s the quality?" Mowins said of the impact she is making on the younger generations of women, “I have embraced that a little bit more because I walk that fine line between, ‘Well, I’m a play-by-play announcer.’ Well, if you see me as a female play-by-play announcer that’s fine, but I’m not going to broadcast that” (“We Need To Talk,” CBSSN, 9/19).
PEAKING QUICKLY: Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom said before the season he “wasn’t sure" if CBS' Tony Romo would be "any good" at broadcasting. Albom: "After two games, I’ll modify that: he may be a Top 3 analyst already." Albom said Romo is "not as polished" as Cris Collinsworth on NBC or "as comfortable" as Troy Aikman on Fox. But Albom asked, "When was the last time a color analyst really opened your eyes to a football game in the NFL?" Albom: "Romo approaches each play as if he’s walking to the line and surveying it as quarterback. He picks apart the defense and indicates where the play is likely to go all before the snap is made" (“The Sports Reporters Podcast,” 9/18).
ICE, ICE BABY: Former Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, former NHLers Ken Daneyko and Stu Grimson, and former Sportsnet anchor Jackie Redmond have joined NHL Network's roster of on-air talent. Bylsma, Daneyko and Grimson will contribute as studio analysts, and Redmond will serve as a studio host and reporter (NHL Network).