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Gianna Franco

Gianna Franco is the Afternoon Update and What's Trending Anchor on 95.7 The Game and can be heard daily, on The Damon Bruce Show. She is also the Host of 95.7's "The Sports Dish" and Co-host of the Franco & Kags Podcast


Family Guy Spoofs Steph/ Riley Curry Press Conference

We all remember the adorableness that was Riley Curry when she sat on her fathers lap during post-game press conferences during the Golden State Warriors NBA Championship run back in 2015.

On Sunday night, Seth MacFarlane recognized those press conferences in his latest episode of Family Guy. In the episode, titled "Passenger Fatty-Seven" see's Peter and the guys take a vacation to San Francisco, where Peter runs into the Warriors back-to-back MVP Award winner on the street. Upon seeing Curry, Peter rushes over to him and asks to sit on his lap during his next press conference, which Steph (who provides his own voice for the segment) happily obliges.

What follows is your classic Family Guy cutaway gag that you can view below. Enjoy!

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Raider Nation buys all alcohol on flight to Kansas City!

Congratulations Raider Nation! On a Southwest Airlines flight to Kansas City you drank all the alcohol aboard plane! Even the captain on the plane shouted you out!
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Sports Dish! What Makes a Great Burger?

Hamburger
We started talking about the best hamburger in the Bay Area on the Damon Bruce show today, so...it got me thinking what makes a great burger?

1.  Make sure the meat is seasoned really well and keep it simple, salt and pepper. The condiements should not hide an under seasoned burger, if the best part of your burger is everything but the meat, then you got it wrong!

2.  In my opinion, a burger should be cooked medium to medium well. If it's done evenly it will offer plenty of flavor and juice!

3. Get a proper bun, don't just grab the cheap $.99 pack (unless you are feeding a ton of people, then ya, I get it) If in the budget, get a soft bun, with sesame seeds on top and make sure that it isn't too big or small.  Lightly toasted with a little mayo is even better!

4. Get creative, it's your burger be a purist (hamburger, bun, tomato, lettuce, mayo & mustard) or, add the condiments and extra yummy stuff that you like!! Grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheese...etc!! 

What do you put on your burger?

-Gianna

 
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The A's are now the Official Sponsor of the Baseball Emoji!

Baseball

The Oakland Athletics are now the official sponsor of the baseball emoji, through the Unicode Consortium’s Adopt-a-Character program. Also, in honor of their mascot Stomper, the A's adopted the elephant emoji and they adopted the oak tree! 

Here's part of the Official Press Release:

“The baseball symbol will now forever be associated with the Oakland Athletics. This sponsorship represents our rich history and tradition,” said Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval. “We’re also excited to adopt the elephant character to honor our mascot, Stomper and the oak tree which symbols the city of Oakland.”

What's your favorite emoji? Do you use them?

To learn more about Unicode, you can click here
 

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Interview with Oakland Mayor on 'Framework' with Ronnie Lott's Group

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
I spoke with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf regarding a new 'framework' that was announced in an effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland. The 'framework' agreement is with HOF'er Ronnie Lott's development group. She says they are working quickly in hopes of keeping the Raiders in Oakland. Mayor Schaaf also addressed a potential new A's Ballpark. The Mayor will be meeting with representatives from the county and the city council in closed sessions over the next few days. To Listen to my interview with Mayor Schaaf, Click Here!  
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2017 Ford C. Frick Award Ballot

The Hall of Fame recently announced the eight finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award, and, as usual, the candidates all have outstanding credentials.

I admit to a certain bias because I grew up listening to him and then, beginning in 1996, we spent 10 years together in the Oakland A’s radio booth, but it’s my belief that the selection of Bill King is long overdue.

As John Shea wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday:
Enough of the constant tease. He’s on the ballot for the eighth time. Either elect him or stop putting Bay Area fans through the pain of having the greatest broadcaster in the region’s history get ignored.  If the Hall of Fame is for fans, and fans would argue no one from the Bay Area should get the award before King, then the 17 voters (including 13 living Frick winners) should do the right thing and elect the former voice of the A’s — and Raiders and Warriors.
 
One of the issues that is sometimes discussed when it comes to Bill and the Frick Award is the fact that he was so brilliant in baseball, basketball and football that perhaps the perception of his work in baseball has become diluted over time.  I’ll admit, there is no doubt about his all-around virtuosity.   I was thrilled to learn that my good friend Pat Hughes, the voice of the Cubs, was also named a finalist.  Here is what Pat told me for my book about Bill: “He is the best all-around play-by-play man in the history of our country.  And, to tell you the truth, I don’t think there is anyone who is even close.”

His all-around greatness should not obscure two very important facts.  Number one, Bill’s first love was baseball and, number two, it was by far his favorite sport to broadcast.

He had a long and rich history with the game.   Bill was a good player in his day—a semi-pro catcher.  He broadcast his first game in the minor leagues in 1950 and did his last game for the A’s in 2005.  Such was his love and passion for baseball broadcasting that he underwent hip surgery right after that season with an eye on working a full schedule the next year.  Why not? He was still at the top of his game at 77.  Sadly, he never left the hospital and passed away on Oct. 18.

The entire Bay Area was in a state of shock and the grieving reached emotional levels one would expect for a family member.  There are thousands of Bill’s fans who look back on that day with such a profound sadness that the memory is still painful.

And, that’s the crux of my argument for Bill.  I understand that judging a broadcaster is subjective business.  But, there is no doubt about the impact Bill made with A’s fans.  That defines a Hall of Famer to me.   Impact is the most important criteria.

The A’s, at the end of the Finley era, were a moribund franchise, relegated to a state of irrelevance in northern California.  Attendance had slipped to a season total of 306,000 in 1979.  The Haas family took over ownership in 1981, and by 1990 the A’s drew almost 3 million fans and finished second in the American League in attendance.  There were an array of stars and future Hall of Famers in uniform like Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley and Tony LaRussa.

And yet there was one acquisition that stood above all the rest.  The leadership of the A’s front office was unanimous in saying that in terms of establishing credibility in the market and building a fan base, Bill King was the most important person in the organization.

The attachment Bill had with his audience was visceral and it came because of his passion.  He was a walking history of the game.  I’ve never known anyone with his breath of baseball knowledge and he had such a thirst for information that his immersion in his homework for every game was legendary and has inspired numerous announcers who are working in MLB today.   Such was Jon Miller’s affection for Bill that he had a friend record Bill’s first broadcast for the A’s.  The Marlins Rich Waltz recently sent me a two page, typed letter Bill sent him when Rich was in college and looking for broadcasting advice.   Reading that letter, I felt like I was studying in a Master’s class on broadcasting.

The attention to detail, the emphasis on the accuracy of the calls, the importance of preparing, being believable, knowing when to punch up the drama and when to take a step back—it’s all in that letter.

Bill felt it was important to be a well-rounded person and his myriad interests and erudition added a texture to his broadcasts.  As a young announcer, he tried to learn three or four words every day and incorporate them into his broadcasts.

He took great care in crafting questions for something as seemingly routine as the daily manager’s show. This led former A’s and Brewers manager Ken Macha to say: “It was amazing.  Your knowledge of what you want out of the person you are interviewing.  Bill had a unique way of doing that.  I got an education and I didn’t have to pay for it.”

Bill’s calls are legendary.   The one that’s received the most attention is Scott Hatteberg’s homerun to win the 20th game of the A’s winning streak in 2002.  The call served as punctuation for the movie Moneyball.

“This year Hatteberg in pinch-hitting roles is one for five.  Two-sixty-nine average.  He’s gone deep a dozen times.  Now the pitch.  Swung on, there’s a deep drive, hit way back, right-center field.  That one is gone and it’s 20 consecutive victories for the Oakland Athletics on an unbelievable night when they lost an 11-0 lead and now they win it!  The crowd comes back to insane life.  Crazy, just plain crazy!  How do you explain it?  Hatteberg is mobbed at home plate.  In 103 years of American League baseball, the Athletics have accomplished what no one has before.  They have won 20 consecutive games!”

How did Scott Hatteberg react to hearing the call?

“All of a sudden, fireworks!  It happened, we win, and to have the wits about you to grasp the situation so well and put it into words.  To just absorb yourself in it and let it come out and to do it so profoundly.  I don’t know.  It’s pretty cool.  Masterful.”
For all the calls and all the years and the influence he had on me dating back to when I was a kid listening to him late at night through the static, one thing stands out:  how wonderful he was to me.

I replaced the great Lon Simmons on the A’s broadcasts for the 1996 season.  That, itself, could have been daunting.   But, as the Raiders’ voice Greg Papa said, “The most difficult job in sports broadcasting would have been to be Bill’s partner.”  Greg said this with a reverence reserved for an idol.  He explained that the intimidation would have come not from anything about Bill’s personality, but because of Bill’s brilliance.  “How could you possibly stack up?”

I admit I felt a certain pressure in those early days with Bill.   I felt like I had to try and be at the top of my game every night because Bill demanded nothing less.  You had to bring it every game, but this wasn’t something Bill ever talked to me about.  He was so focused that nothing needed to be said.

And, yet there was no ego.  There was no protecting of turf.  There was no seeking of the spotlight.  There was no self-promotion.  He rarely called me “Ken”.  It was usually “Partner”.   Bill’s endorsement of me in that first year has been the single most important thing anyone has ever done for me in my career.  I’ve said this many times:  I had the feeling that A’s fans were thinking, “If Bill King thinks this guy is ok, well then he must be ok.”  How to you repay someone for that?

Whoever receives the Frick Award will be a deserving choice.  But, for Bill’s legion of fans and for his friends, colleagues and family—it would mean so much.   It would be validation and the ultimate honor for someone who has been deserving for so long, and whose career was the definition of exemplary.  On the air and off.
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Senior Cubs Fans Celebrating World Series Win!

This is certainly the sports feel good story of the day!!  Imagine never getting to see your favorite team win a champtionship, especially if you waited a lifetime. Well these Cubs fans got to witness a historic moment when the Cubs beat the Indians in extra innings to win Game 7 of the World Series ending a 108 year drought! Multiple generations, grandparents, parents, these Cubs fans waited their whole lives for this moment! Even former Athletic Dallas Bradan shared how his grandmother was celebrating!! This will certainly warm your heart as a fan, and especially if you love the nostalgic side of baseball! Enjoy!!!!
 
 
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LeBron's Subtle Halloween Jab at Warriors

Have you seen this? Over the weekend Cleveland's LeBron James hosted a Halloween party and decided to take a few jabs at the Golden State Warriors. A photo posted on instagram by DJ Steph Floss (who's bio reads "Official DJ of the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers & Lebron") shows a skeleton drumhead sign that reads "3-1 lead."  



There's more...LeBron posted a picture of the dessert table that featured a couple of tombstone cookies with Step & Klay's name on them. A close-up of the photo was also posted by a party goer but quickly deleted, but you get the jist!

 

 

 

The dessert table was phenomenal!!!

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

 

What do you think the Warriors should do in response to LeBron? Obviously winning this year's championship would be the best revenge, but in the meantime...

-Gianna Franco

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Guess who the President picks for this year's NBA title!?!?!

Sway President Obama
USA Today Images
Check out this interview that SWAY did with President Obama! He asked him everything from his NBA picks to we will see in the Super Bowl! Watch the video and check it out!
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