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Weekender’s Guide to Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world. The city of Seattle has something for everyone, from excellent food, historical museums, stunning buildings and, of course, sports culture. Although there are many great places to see and visit, if you are spending a week in the city, I recommend checking out these five sites!

 

Seattle Monorail & Space Needle

Nothing represents Seattle more than the Space Needle. If you are not afraid of heights, I recommend taking the 520 feet ride to the top for a spectacular view. There is also a monorail that takes passengers from the top of the Westlake Shopping Center straight to the Space Needle, and only for $2.25 (Cash-only).

Pike Place Market

Seattle’s most famous market and place to shop is the Pike Place Market. The market is home to more than just local fisherman; Pike Place also offers fruits, vegetables, local crafts, freshly made donuts, and cheap bouquets of flowers. There is so much to see in the market that you can spend hours walking around.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit that showcases the work of Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is one of the best-known artists in the Northwest due to his beautiful glass sculptures. The exhibition includes three primary components: the Glasshouse, the Garden, and the Interior Exhibits. Chihuly’s art is unique and visually stunning, making this exhibit a must-see! (Mitch Tip — If you want to ride to the top of the Space Needle and see the Chihuly exhibit, purchase a combo pass for s discounted price!)

CenturyLink Field

Of course, I have to mention the home of the Seattle Seahawks. If you are visiting Seattle during football season, I highly recommend visiting the stadium for a game. Even if you are not a big football fan, the stadium will not disappoint. CenturyLink Field is an impressive venue and is the loudest stadium that I have ever been to.

Seattle is a great city to live in — but also a great place to visit. If you are traveling to Seattle for a few days, be sure to check out these great sites!

Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in radio and sports broadcasting after earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse. Read more of his advice for the radio industry or check out his Twitter!


Originally published at mitchlevy.co.

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How to Choose a Talk Radio Topic

When working on a set of talk radio, it can be challenging to generate new topics that engage your listeners. At the start of a new talk show, it can easy to come up with fresh ideas. However, the longer the talk show is on for, the more challenging it can become to stay fresh. I’ve worked in talk radio and broadcasting for almost 30 years and here are the tips that helped me stay current and new!

 

Know Your Audience

Knowing and understanding your audience is the first key to developing engaging content. If you do not have a thorough understanding of who is listening to you, then it will be hard to create engagement. Take the time to get to know your audience and what their interests are. Conducting some research will help you discover more about your listeners, such as their average age and gender of your audience. You can also use social media to learn more about what your listeners want to hear. Create Twitter polls or ask for ideas on Facebook. This will help you know which direction you should lean towards when creating content. However, be sure not to restrict yourself to a limited audience completely.

Stay Current

Staying up to date on trending topics is easy in today’s world. Television shows, headlines on websites, and social media platforms all offer trending issues. Combining hot topics with what your audience is interested in will help you create excellent content. Just remember that just because something is trending, does not mean it’s a fit for your talk show. This is why it is essential to learn who your audience is before taking the next step.

Invite Guests

Another easy and fun way to produce fresh and new content is by having guests on your show. Guests can add a fresh take on a topic as well as offer a unique and different perspective. Inviting guests and experts also add credibility to your show. Again, it is crucial to learn who your audience is because that will play a role in who you invite to your show.

While working in broadcasting or talk radio, it can become difficult to produce fresh and engaging content continually. However, after you take the time to learn your audience, there are easy ways to deliver new and exciting content. Working in talk radio can be challenging, but these tips have helped me over the years, and they are sure to help your show!

Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in radio and sports broadcasting after earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse. Read more of his advice for the radio industry or check out his Twitter!


Originally published at mitchlevy.net on February 14, 2018.

Part 2: Olympic Competitors to Watch — All Other Countries

Some of the world’s best athletes will travel to South Korea to battle against other top competitors for the opportunity to represent their country in the international games. While thousands of top athletes will compete for a medal, these are the ones from outside of the United States that you should pay extra attention to.

Be sure to check out my previous blog for the list of U.S. Competitors to watch!

Nigerian Bobsled Team

The Nigerian bobsled team will make history this year. The team is comprised of Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga. They are the first bobsled team to represent any country in Africa as well as the first team from Nigeria to compete in the winter games. They have worked extremely hard to get to the Olympics, and will definitely fight as best as they can for a medal.

Yuzuru Hanyu — Figure Skating

Japan’s own Yuzuru Hanyu is the reigning men’s figure skating champ and is thought to be the greatest male skater of the era. Hanyu is a fantastic athlete who has broken world records twelve different times. Only three men in Olympic figure skating history have won the gold two consecutive times, and Hanyu may be added to that list this year.

Elise Christie — Speed Skating

Elise Christie will compete in her third Olympic games, after having a devastating run in the 2014 Sochi games. The Great Britain competitor qualified for three events in 2014 but was disqualified from all of them. Christie is now a world champion in those events and will hopefully get the chance to compete for medals this year.

Marcel Hirscher — Alpine Skiing

Dominating men’s Alpine skiing for over seven years, Marcel Hirscher still lacks Olympic gold. The Austria native has won six World Cup titles yet has only been able to capture silver in his Olympic career. Hirscher has said he is not planning on racing in 2022, so if he’s going to get gold, this has to be his year.

Martin Fourcade — Biathlon

Martin Fourcade, a biathlon superstar, has mastered the art of combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The France native won three medals in Sochi and has already won six World Cup events since December 2017. Fourcade is definitely an athlete to watch this year.

There are thousands of excellent athletes who will compete in the 2018 winter Olympics. While these five competitors are ones to watch out for, you never know who will come away with the gold. Follow this link for the full Olympic schedule with times and dates of all events!

Mitch Levy has been a sports fan his entire life, which led him to spend nearly 30 years in sports broadcasting. Read more of his sports blogs or check out his Twitter for recent sports coverage.


Originally published at mitchlevy.org on February 14, 2018.

Part 1: Olympic Competitors to Watch — United States

The PyeongChang Winter Olympics officially begin on February 9th and run until the 25th. The United States is sending 243 athletes, including 135 men and 108 women, to compete this year. From alpine skiing to short track speed skating, the U.S. team is taking part in 16 different events. While there is excellent talent representing the United States this year, here’s a look at the possible top competitors from the U.S. to keep an eye on.

Lindsey Vonn — Alpine Skiing

2018 marks Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic return, as she missed the 2014 Sochi games due to a knee injury. Vonn has had a significant comeback, adding over 20 wins to her record since her injury, four of which she earned since December 2017. Eight years is a long time, but Vonn should definitely be on your radar to watch because she is ready for gold.

Mikaela Shiffrin — Alpine Skiing

Like Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin is a skiing all-star. The 22-year-old athlete has already won one gold medal but is certainly on the path for more. She is following a similar track to Vonn by already winning a World Title at such a young age, but many believe she is making history faster and bigger than Vonn ever did.

Shaun White — Snowboarding

Shaun White is a legendary snowboarder who is entering his fourth Olympic competition. He has already won two gold medals but missed the podium in 2014 making him hungry for another. White is on track to outshine his competitors, as he scored a perfect 100 halfpipe run in the 2018 U.S. Grand Prix, which qualified him for the Olympics.

Chloe Kim — Snowboarding

At the age of 17, Chloe Kim is already making a massive mark in the Olympics. Kim is making her first Olympic appearance and is a favorite to win gold in the halfpipe event. She actually qualified in 2014 for the Sochi games but was too young to compete. This young superstar is one to watch.

Nathan Chen — Figure Skating

Another young athlete and first time Olympian to watch this year is Nathan Chen. Chen has already won two U.S. national titles, including his 2018 win where he outscored the second place competitor by 40 points.

The 2018 winter Olympics will see many talented athletes. Many skilled U.S. competitors are traveling to South Korea to compete, but these five the possibly to stand out. Check the full Olympic schedule to find dates and times of their events!

Mitch Levy has been a sports fan his entire life, which led him to spend nearly 30 years in sports broadcasting. Read more of his sports blogs or check out his Twitter for recent sports coverage.


Originally published at mitchlevy.org on February 14, 2018.

Super Bowl Prediction

Super Bowl weekend is upon us and there are only two teams left in the hunt. The New England Patriots are fighting for ring number six when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be playing for their first Super Bowl trophy.

The Eagles’ victory over the Vikings will go down as one of the greatest in the franchise’s history. While Nick Foles is no Tom Brady, Foles shocked me with a trio of touchdown passes in the NFC Championship game against, what I believed, was the best defense in the NFL.

Yes, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the conference championship games. I never expected the Jaguars to give the Patriots that kind of problem in Foxboro. But when the dust settled, the annoying Pats were right where everyone thought they’d be.

So, what kind of game do I expect on Sunday? That answer is mired in the combination of Tom Brady’s offense in Super Bowls and the Eagles’ defense when they fly away from Philadelphia. TB12 plays somewhere between well and out of this world in Super Bowls. His worst statistical performance was 266 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interception, 82.5 rating in a 2007 loss to the New York Giants. His highest rated Super Bowl was a 110.2 — ironically against Philly in 2004. Like him or not, Tom Brady is going to play well on Sunday and the Patriots are going to score.

The Philadelphia Eagles defense was 1 of the very best during the season. Maybe defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz got sick and tired of hearing about the Vikings D leading into the NFC Championship game. I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know: Take the Eagles out of Lincoln Financial Field in 2017 and points are scored against them. In fact, on the last road trip that the Eagles experienced, Eli Manning threw for 434 yards and the anemic Giants tallied 29 points. (Manning’s 2 best games in a forgettable season were against Philadelphia — 366 yards on September 24.) Seven days earlier, the Rams struck for 35 against the Eagles in Los Angeles. Throw in Philip Rivers’ 347-yard outburst in LA and a Kirk Cousins 300+ yard game and you see the point. Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to score with perfect conditions in the Minneapolis dome. They just are.

Will Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense be able to match them? Maybe… for a while.

Mitch’s Silly Prediction: Patriots 34 Eagles 24

(Since I don’t believe in parlays, give me a 3rd of my bankroll on the Patriots minus 4 ½, a 3rd on over 48 total, and a 3rd on the Patriots money line at minus 200)

Mitch Levy has been a sports fan his entire life, which led him to spend nearly 30 years in sports broadcasting. Read more of his sports blogs or check out his Twitter for recent sports coverage.


Originally published at mitchlevy.org on February 1, 2018.

10 Most Popular Songs on the Radio in 2017

Each year brings an abundance of new artists and songs. According to Billboard, the following is the most popular songs in 2017, which are mainly pop tunes.

 

1. Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”

The biggest hit of 2017 was by Ed Sheeran. Sheeran has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past two years, including his latest album which he released in March 2017. “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” were released in early January. Within two weeks, “Shape of You” was number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

2. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber — “Despacito”

“Despacito” was initially released in early January by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, but did not receive much attention until Justin Bieber created a remix. In the remix, Bieber sang in Spanish for the first time in career and generated over 20 million views on YouTube during its first 24 hours.

3. Bruno Mars — “That’s What I Like”

In his third studio album, Bruno Mars released the single “That’s What I Like.” This album, was released in 2016 but gained popularity throughout the following year. The single was also nominated for Song of the Year, Best R&B song, and Best R&B Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

4. Kendrick Lamar — “Humble”

Rapper Kendrick Lamar released his fourth studio album, which includes popular songs “Humble,” “Loyalty ft. Rihanna,” and “DNA.” The single “Humble” was Lamar’s second number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 of 2017, following his feature in “Bad Blood.”

5. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay — “Something Just Like This”

This top tune is an electronic-rock song that was released in February off of the Chainsmokers’ album. “Something Just Like This” was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy Award and was also the theme for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Chainsmokers found further success in 2017 with their hit “Closer,” which was the seventh most popular song.

The following is the remaining five songs in top ten most popular in 2017:

  1. Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert — “Bad and Boujee”
  2. The Chainsmokers & Halsey — “Closer”
  3. Sam Hunt — “Body Like a Back Road”
  4. Imagine Dragons — “Believer”
  5. Post Malone featuring Quavo — “Congratulations”

This new year is sure to bring various new songs and hits. Some artists find success year after year, but 2018 could bring a unique mix to the ten most popular songs.

Mitch Levy has spent nearly 30 years in radio and sports broadcasting after earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse. Read more of his advice for the radio industry or check out his Twitter!


Originally published at mitchlevy.net on January 4, 2018.

From Unemployment Line to Seahawks Offensive Coordinator

Radical change is underway over in Renton and it is time for Pete Carroll to think “outside the box” when deciding on his new O.C.

While my resume may in fact be somewhat unorthodox, I am uber-confident that I could guide Russell Wilson and the offense to unprecedented heights — even if John and Pete AGAIN pretend to address the offensive line. Just a few of my qualifications and theories:

 

Levy Family Runner-up in Madden ‘15

“Smash Y Corner” and “HB Slip Screened” my way within a terrible officiating non-call of the family title. Browns corner Joe Haden clearly made early contact with my receiver, Doug Baldwin, in the end zone with :10 left. Regardless, engineering 176 total yards for the Seahawks in a controversial 10–6 loss to my 10-year old’s Cleveland Browns was a major step in the right direction.

Up-Tempo Up-Tempo Up-Tempo

My very first phone call as offensive coordinator would be to Paul Westhead. (Those of you under 35, look him up.) My new QB coach and I would insist on getting in and out of the huddle quickly on the rare occasion that we did huddle. Allow Russell Wilson to improvise and not worry about quick 3 and out scenarios — especially just after our defense was on the field for a 7-minute, 13 play drive that yielded a touchdown.

The Recliner

With all off the success I’ve enjoyed second guessing Darrell Bevell from my family room, it would only be natural that I transport my favorite chair to the Seahawks’ sideline at Century Link Field. I could call screen passes to J.D. McKissic from the chair. I would insist we actually take a peek at Jimmy Graham in the red zone from the chair (if he’s back). There would NEVER be 2nd and 10 draw plays from the chair. I could even bench Germain Ifedi from the chair.

Screen Passes

We would spend 90 minutes of every practice perfecting the screen pass. I’m not referring to “bubble screens” and “smoke screens” to wide receivers. I’m talking about our mighty offensive line just letting in Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and the rest of Rams front 7 — similar to the way they do when attempting to block them — and tossing the ball over their collective heads to 2018 1st team All-Pro J.D. McKissic. I’m going to make McKissic A LOT of money… from my chair.

 

Mitch Levy has been a sports fan his entire life, which led him to spend nearly 30 years in sports broadcasting. Read more of his sports blogs or check out his Twitter for recent sports coverage.


Originally published at mitchlevy.org on January 10, 2018.