From left: Syracuse native and Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch, Damien Rhodes, Mike Bristol and Eric Devondorf recording an episode of the NAPA Syracuse Legends Show.
While countless radio programs provide chatter on the latest Syracuse University sports news, there is only one place where listeners might hear James Southerland talking candidly about why he chose to wear number 43: the NAPA Syracuse Legends Show with Mike Bristol.
Southerland, a former SU forward known for his three-point shooting explained on a recent airing: “with 43, you’ve got Southerland for three on the back of the jersey.”
Hosted by Bristol, the hour-long Syracuse Legends program airs every Friday at 6 p.m. on Central New York’s ESPN Radio affiliates 97.7 and 100.1 FM and 1200 and 1440 AM.
After two successful years, the show has also recently been syndicated to 99.1 FM and 1310 AM in Utica, 1350 AM in Rome and 1230 AM in Little Falls where it airs at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Bristol said he and Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine developed the idea for the show about two years ago. The show is a similar format to the now defunct Mike Bristol Show, which aired on a different station.
Bristol describes the show as different than most sports talk radio shows due to its more relaxed environment. The focus is usually having casual conversations with the guests rather than analysis and debate about sports headlines.
“It’s like an up-close HBO-special show,” Bristol said.
The guests, typically current or former SU athletes, are often in person at the studio, acting as guest co-hosts. Recent guest co-hosts have included Michael Carter-Williams, Dion Waiters and Southerland – all of whom played for the Orange basketball team in 2013 and went on to sign with NBA teams – and Eric Devendorf another former SU basketball player.
“A lot of these guys I’ve become friends with from working with coach [Jim Boeheim] for so long, and we have a more personal relationship, so I’m able to talk about more personal stuff,” Bristol said.