Got this email this morning from a long time reader, George, who gives his take on the state of afternoon drive radio in Boston. For the most part, I think it’s pretty much dead-on:
Bruce – the Michael Felger role in Sports talk is very interesting. I hate this guy which is unfortunate because I like the energy he brings but too often I feel like 98.5 has become the MSNBC to WEEI’s FoxNews. Felger was the guy once battling the old titans Borges and Cafardo during the Bledsoe vs Brady wars in 2001. He became popular somehow using this contrarian status and pushed the boring Greg Dickerson out the door. Now if Holley could only push Tanguay permanently out the door at Comcast we’d have a tandem.
But now Felger has become the Chris Russo of the Boston sport market. He’ll have Borges on to call the Patriots and BB a liar but never refutes anything Borges says. He is anti-Celtic and NBA and a full fledged Patriot basher. For some reason he is pro-Red Sox except when he thinks they are cheap. Cheap is his big thing, everyone is cheap. And finally the Bruins, he’s a shill on that station which has way more Bruins calls than it should. Hockey in July is borderline inappropriate. The Bruins have a spot in this town and a small but rabid fan base. And that base calls the radio, but it is not reflective of the market in general.
As for Felger and Mazz: It’s a terrible combo, because Mazz has become the contrarian as well. It worked at WEEI where the backrubs of Boston teams had become common. But its boring radio to have two guys bashing the local sports scene. Tony’s big thing is to bash the Red Sox, that’s where he differs from Felger.
So overall given the success of the teams, I find the late afternoon shows very disappointing because they don’t really attack the issues objectively. I think Holley, Zolak, Gresh and Dale do a much, much better job on a daily basis analyzing the issues, whereas Felger is pretty much the same schtick every day. “Patriots are cheap, Brady wants out, blah, blah, blah.” “Bruins are losers, but I love them and will talk about them for hours.” “Basketball is stupid and I don’t understand it but I’ll talk about it.” The only debate of interest ever is with the Sox because they will take different sides, Mazz is always anti-Sox and is still talking about Teixeira.
At the other end, the Big Show is too complimentary and I think their deals with the local teams is the problem. They give the Sox and Pats a pass too often, don’t talk hockey, and well, the Celts talk is biased when they are playing well and non-existent when they aren’t.
What are your thoughts on the afternon drive shows?