Evan Krawczuk’s football career was over.
But his career in sports was really just starting.
Krawczuk, a 2017 Springside Chestnut Hill Academy grad and Widener University student, suffered a bad concussion last year during the season. It wasn’t his first and it was decided the Mayfair resident, who played three sports in high school, football, baseball and track, should hang up the cleats. He stayed on the sidelines, though, and worked as a reporter for the team. And now he’s back in his old neighborhood working on a new sports show.
Krawczuk is the onsite producer for the The Mayes and Eytan Show, a sports talk show hosted by Eytan Shander and Harry Mayes. The show airs live on 97.3 ESPN Radio in South Jersey from noon to 2 p.m. weekdays and is available live on the station’s app.
“It’s helped me a lot,” Krawczuk said. “The biggest thing Eytan taught me is to be conversational. I don’t just interview the guys in the booth, I actually talk to them and have a conversation. It’s really helped me.”
Krawczuk was talking after a recent episode of the show that was recorded live at Dunphy Ford, 7700 Frankford Ave. Mayes and Shander appear each Thursday at the show. They also do a Friday remote at one of the casinos in the Philadelphia area, either at Parx Casino, Oaks Race & Sportsbook or at the South Philly race and sports book.
The remotes give Shander and Mayes the best of everything. They can get out and deal with their fans who have listened to them for years, both on their radio shows and podcasts, while at the same time doing the job they love.
“This is a lot different than our old gig,” said Mayes, who was a mainstay on the Philadelphia airwaves for 13 years before moving to the South Jersey-based network. “We might take two calls a week now. And I don’t think we’ve talked about the Eagles in weeks. We don’t force anything, we just talk about what’s going on. We don’t have to do the same thing over and over.”
The new show works for many different reasons, but one of the biggest things that make this venture work so well, especially based out of Atlantic City and Philly, is that sports gambling is now legal. The show doesn’t focus on lines and gambling, but they certainly offer their opinions and talk about fun ways you can turn a profit on sports.
“Harry has always talked about gambling, even when it was taboo,” Shander said. “Now, people are betting. You can do it from your phone. Everyone is doing it. So we cover that. And having Harry is huge because he really knows what he’s talking about. I do it, but he’s the guy for that.”
Obviously, the content has a big impact on the success of the show, but the other thing that makes the show work is the partnership.
After the duo left the Fanatic in Philadelphia last fall, they soon started their own podcast, Derailed, which they still record. It reunited two guys who loved being on the air together. They were paired together for a stint on 97.5, and the show received strong reviews. They were later split up, but they stayed good friends and enjoyed reuniting for various shows over the years.
Now, they’re doing five shows a week.
“This is different,” Mayes said. “When we’re together, it’s a different show. It might not be better than everything, but it’s a different show. We have a lot of fun together.”
“Harry worked with Tony Bruno, and everybody loved that show. I did shows with Geoff Mosher, and we worked really well together,” Shander said. “But when we’re together, this really works. It’s a different dynamic.”
And now they have the Northeast flavor when they’re doing the show at Dunphy Ford.
“This has been great, we’ve had some people come in and watch, and just being in a location like this makes it fun,” Mayes said. “We’re about a half-mile away from Frankford and Cottman, and everyone knows that’s one of the biggest sports areas in Philadelphia. People around here love sports.”
And the area is very happy to have the show in town every Thursday.
“We like to try different things and having them here has been great,” said John Applegate, a salesman who also does digital marketing for the dealership. “I love talking sports with them. People love it. We like to give people something special, and that’s what they are.”
The most fun way to see them is to do it live. But it’s pretty easy to listen to them, not just on the website, but also by downloading the station’s app.
Not only can you hear them, but their show is followed by the Sports Bash, hosted by Mike Gill, the program director. Like the Shander and Mayes show, Gill mixes in gambling talk with old-fashioned sports talk.
If you’re down the shore over the summer, you can listen to the show on 97.3 FM, but you don’t have to be on vacation to enjoy the show.
“Streaming is the way to go, you can listen to us anywhere,” Shander said. “I watch King of Queens from my phone. People stream everything and as long as you have your phone, you can listen. The app is great, you can listen anywhere. People say, ‘You’re in South Jersey,’ but we’re a Philly sports talk show and you can get us anywhere.
“We’re just really happy to be doing this. We’re so happy to be involved with Parx, they’ve been great and we’re also really happy to be here (at Dunphy Ford). This has worked out so well for us. I love doing the show with Harry, and everyone has been great. We’re just having fun, talking sports.”
To listen to the show, visit the station’s website 973espn.com or download the app at 973espn.com/app.