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Dolphins to audition OchoCinco; mixed news for Sid Rosenberg; a brothers Van Gundy pairing?

Here's our weekly media column below. For my three stories previewing Heat-Celtics Game 7 - and all of Friday's Heat news - please click on the last three posts. (The stories are also available elsewhere on the sports home page.)

 

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We'll have alonger  story posted next to this blog shortly, but the Dolphins plan to audition Chad Ochocinco next week, according to a source close to him. Miami is considering adding a veteran receiver and Ochocinco badly wants to play here.

 

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Sports media news and views:

###  Sid Rosenberg’s attempts to get back on local radio sooner rather than later hit a roadblock this week, entirely because his former employer wants to place a muzzle on him.

The good news for Sid: He’s getting a job at WMEN-640, and he will be on the air from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays beginning Aug. 13.

The bad news: He won’t be on local radio in June or July – which had been the hope of his new employer.

Even though WQAM fired Rosenberg in April after a DUI arrest, the station still had an enforceable non-compete clause that will prevent Rosenberg from taking another job until the second week of August.

WMEN and WQAM have been negotiating for weeks with the goal of waiving the non-compete clause and allowing Rosenberg to begin his new gig immediately.

But WMEN station manager Steve Lapa said Friday that one stipulation doomed the negotiations: WQAM’s insistence on a non-disparagement clause, meaning that WMEN had to agree in writing that Rosenberg would say nothing negative about WQAM or any of its employees.

“Sid was not ready to sign off on that,” Lapa said. “With that clause, they want to control things they can’t control. We were saying, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Last time I checked, the Constitution covered that. I feel bad we couldn’t work it out. We met their financial requirements.”

Rosenberg – who says he has battled drug and gambling addictions and problems with alcohol – tweeted earlier this week, “60 days in one Fellowship today, and seven months in the other on Saturday. None of it has been easy and lots of “stuff” has happened along the way. But TODAY I am on my way back to being me. Thanks for the love and support. God bless.”

And then, on the other end of the spectrum, was this tweet from Rosenberg: “I love living in South Florida. I love working in South Florida. But Heat fans are the biggest [expletives] I’ve ever dealt with in my 15 years in this business… On the other hand, I like Dolphins fans. I find them to be knowledgeable and long-standing.”

Lapa said Marc Eisenberg and Chris Perkins will handle the morning show until Rosenberg takes over.

### If I’m ESPN management, one of the first calls I make in the next few weeks is to former Magic and Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, with an offer to work alongside brother Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen on the ESPN/ABC lead announcing team.

If Stan speaks as candidly as he does at his news conferences – and there’s no reason to believe he would not – a Brothers Van Gundy broadcast team would generate some of the meatiest and liveliest exchanges and some of most intelligent, incisive analysis in network TV sports.

“I am interested in TV, coaching, teaching or whatever comes next,” Stan said in a text message Thursday. ESPN declined to discuss the possibility, but Jeff would welcome a TV partnership with his brother, who was fired by the Orlando Magic last month.

“I think he would be great at it,” Jeff said. “Stan is extremely smart, insightful and does everything with a tremendous amount of candor. Working with him would be fine because I don’t get to see him that much because he’s always busy with his job and we don’t live in the same city. And he would probably verbally assault me like he has for my whole life if we ever did it together.”

The sensible approach would be letting Stan do some ESPN games as the sole analyst – games not worked by his brother or Hubie Brown – but pairing the Van Gundys on Sunday afternoon ABC games, marquee ESPN games and most playoff telecasts.

“I think he has many options,” Jeff said. “You have to go through the process of grieving the job loss and not rushing into something.”

### Jeff Van Gundy said “the hardest adjustment” to TV is “I never realized how sensitive players were. You might say 99 percent good things and if you say one thing that you would like to see have been done differently, they get quite angry.”

He said there was one game during these playoffs in which a player (whom he declined to name) “made a basket and jogged down court. He didn’t look directly at me, but I knew he was looking towards me and screamed something out I couldn’t share with you for print. I was amazed.”

### The chances of Jon Weiner and Marc Hochman hosting 790 The Ticket’s morning show long-term have increased somewhat, but a final decision has not been made and the sides are still sorting through challenges of the two juggling that show with Dan Le Batard’s program. Even if he does mornings long-term, Weiner wants to stay on Le Batard’s show five days a week.

### Jason Taylor, officially hired by ESPN as a studio analyst on assorted programs, said TV was the natural progression because "I know the game. I'm still close enough to the game." (More on JT in weeks to come here.)

### Heat TV announcer Eric Reid has been on press row calling all the Heat-Celtics games into a tape recorder, broadcasting to an audience of, well, nobody. The reason? The Heat wants to use Reid’s call of big plays (instead of the network announcers) on postseason videos and offseason highlights shows. “I enjoy being involved in whatever way I can,” he said. Reid and the Heat have been doing this since 2005.

### No surprise here: Some of the ABC/ESPN Heat studio commentary has been way too reactionary and cliché-driven, including Magic Johnson saying after Game 5 that the Heat “doesn’t have a will to win.” C’mon, Magic – can’t you come up with something more substantive that that? And Magic sure changed his tune after Game 6.

Then there was Jon Barry asserting after Game 5: “They’re front-runners. They point fingers at each other when things don’t go well.” And where’s the evidence of that, beyond Dwyane Wade yelling at Erik Spoelstra in the Indiana series? No players have taken shots at each other.

### A caution to the Dolphins: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, whose team participated in HBO’s Hard Knocks two years ago, told a Cincinnati radio station that “it’s really a 24-7 deal. No matter what you do, there’s a camera there.”

### Fox, in the midst of eight consecutive weeks of prime time baseball, will air Marlins-Rays games in Florida each of the next two Saturdays, with Dick Stockton and Rays announcer Brian Anderson calling this weekend’s telecast. That’s bad news for transplanted New Yorkers, because that means Yankees-Mets will not be televised here Saturday.

Incidentally, get used to seeing Saturday night sports on Fox. The network has decided to challenge ABC’s Saturday night college football package with a lineup featuring prime time Pacific 12 and Big 12 football, plus baseball playoff games.

 

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