If the Green Bay Packers deliver "the dagger" against the New York Giants on Sunday to seal a Super Bowl berth, Madison-area fans of the Green and Gold may not be able to hear it on the radio.
Don’t worry, Packer backers — the NFC championship game at Lambeau Field will be broadcast on both your AM and FM dials. But it won’t be familiar voices coming out of the speakers.
Play-by-play announcer Wayne Larrivee — fond of identifying a game-clinching play as "the dagger" — and analyst Larry McCarren will be on the mic, but their call will be blocked from reaching local radio listeners due to the NFL’s exclusive contract with nationwide network Westwood One.
WIBA didn’t have a choice in the matter. Unless a station is in its team’s home market, Westwood One’s contract requires its affiliates to give priority to the national outlet for the conference title games and the Super Bowl.
And Madison is not considered a home market for the Packers, a point already driven home to local Green Bay diehards who were denied a chance to see their team on broadcast television when the Packers’ Nov. 29 game was aired on the NFL Network.
The broadcast team assigned by Westwood One adds a bit of insult to injury to local listeners who are accustomed to their pro-Packers radio announcers. Fassel is a former Giants head coach, who led the team to its last Super Bowl berth seven years ago. He is in his first season in the radio booth.
Man, that is really, really, low.
The headline seems to blame the NFL for this, because Madison is not in the home market for the Packers.
However, in the article, it really seems to be an issue with Westwood One, who appears to own the radio stations in town where the Packers Radio Network is normally broadcast.