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Why isn’t Marc Farzetta on WIP?
Farzetta, among WIP’s most-recognized personalities, has been a part of Angelo Cataldi’s popular morning radio show in one form or another since he graduated from Temple in 2005. But he’s been noticeably absent from WIP since July 15, when he called in to the morning show from Siena, Italy, 10 minutes before his wedding to his longtime girlfriend Celeste.
So what happened to Farzetta? Prior to his wedding, he had informed colleagues he was stepping down from WIP after 13 years to focus on television. His last official day with the station was June 15.
Farzetta said the move was necessary after NBC Sports Philadelphia hired him full-time. Back in April, Farzetta and Amy Fadool replaced Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk, and this season he’ll be part of the network’s Eagles game-day coverage.
“Amy’s a blast to work with and Mike Mulhern is a great producer. So all is smooth so far,” Farzetta said.
Farzetta’s new duties on Sunday also forced him to step down from his role on NBC’s Sunday Night Football coverage, where he has worked on the tape team handling instant replays and in-game feature packages since the 2006-07 season.
“Spent 11 seasons on the Sunday Night Football crew and can’t think of a better ‘last game’ than working the Eagles Super Bowl championship,” Farzetta said.
Jason Witten needs more reps
During the offseason, when Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden returned to the NFL to coach the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, ESPN replaced him with former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.
Witten, like his former teammate and current CBS analyst Tony Romo, didn’t have any previous experience as a television analyst. But so far, Witten is showing that he’ll need a few more reps than Romo did before he gets fully comfortable with his new role in the booth.
During his first game calling the New York Jets and Washington Redskins last week, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Witten seemed “surprisingly nervous” And on Monday night, the former tight end sounded tight and overly rehearsed, and botched his analysis of Indianapolis Colts defensive end John Simon’s sack of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
Uhh, he didn't do any of that stuff you just said, Jason Witten pic.twitter.com/gkxfAtsCJE
— Mr. Falcon (@DavidInAlief) August 21, 2018
It’s easy to over-react to mistakes like this (and many critics did on Twitter), but it is only Witten’s second game, so he has plenty of time to improve. And he knew going in he would constantly have his performance compared to Romo.
“Look, those boos have been happening for a long time. They’re not going to stop now,” Witten told the Inquirer and Daily News in May.
Witten will get plenty of on-the-job training before he calls his first game in Philadelphia on Dec 3, when the Eagles take on Washington in Week 13 at Lincoln Financial Field.
>> READ MORE: The Eagles’ complete 2018 schedule
DeMarco Murray joins the booth, too
When former Cowboys and Eagles running back DeMarco Murray announced his retirement from the NFL on NFL Live back in July, many wondered if the three-time Pro Bowler would be joining ESPN as a football analyst.
It turns out Murray was interested in a sports television role, just not one with the “worldwide leader.”
Fox Sports has hired Murray as a college football analyst, where he’ll call games each week alongside play-by-play man Justin Kutcher and analyst Petros Papadakis. Murray’s first game will be on Friday, Aug. 31. He and his team will call San Diego State at No. 13 Stanford on FS1 at 8 p.m.
Murray told Dallas Morning News reporter (and former Daily News intern) Jori Epstein that becoming a broadcaster was something he’d always had in the back of his mind. He began preparing in February, and asked friends like Romo and Kirk Herbstreit for advice on how to stand out during an audition. Fox tested out his abilities by sending him on FSI to talk on shows like The Herd and Speak for Yourself.
“It’s not something you can just wake up and do,” Murray said of broadcasting. “You have to study, perfect your craft, take it one day at a time.”
It also helps if you wore a Cowboys helmet during your career. In addition to Romo and Witten, Troy Aikman, Michael Irving, Daryl Johnston, Jimmy Johnson, Deion Standers and Drew Pearson are all former Cowboys players and coaches who ended up in broadcasting.
Murray spent one forgettable season in Philadelphia after leaving Dallas as a free agent in March 2015. He spent his final two seasons with the Tennessee Titans, who released him during the off-season. He was the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, and ended his seven-season career with 7,174 yards rushing and 49 touchdowns.