The Patriots bringing in Johnny Football for a pro day, then re-signing Patrick Chung was The Hoodie at his best. This has been the most interesting offseason since, um, the last offseason (the Brady paycut [Which somehow was criticized? God, I love the sports media!], Welkahpoloooozzzzah, Everything Gronk, and finally Aaron Hernandez, double murders, and Angel Dust … Unreal.).
Wait, Angel Dust was part of last year’s offseason discussion??? OK, OK: 2013 > 2014
Before some media takes, let me serve up a quick self-promotion alert: I wrote about the Bruins and Peak Talk for the Metro today. Read it.
OK – onto a few media notes. Feel free to say hello on the Twittersphere, @Hadfield__…
Early thoughts on the “Big Show Unfiltered”: It’s OK. And OK may be enough for Glenn Ordway & Co. – much to my surprise, I willingly listened to commercials, which truly distinguishes the program from, say, a podcast. I felt like I was listening to a radio. Only on the Internet.
Anyway, about the commercials, which, before going any further, need to be discussed … Because Connecticut School of Broadcasting is still a thing!! I’ll be completely honest, for the longest time I thought it was a joke, a scheme, or even the basis of the movie “Accepted.”
(Side Tangent: “Accepted” is a B- Comedy featuring Justin Long (Drew Barrymore’s old BF, also the guy in the Apple commercials), Blake Lively (before she was BLAKEEEEE Lively), and Lewis Black.
And, yes, even two-time Academy Award nominee, Jonah Hill.
Good stuff. Hollywood is the greatest. But, yeah – I 1000000% believed GO CSB was a fictional place where dreams go to die.)
OK, back to “Big Show: Unfiltered.” This iteration is basically a DIY, rough cut version of the original “Big Show.” Can they grab enough momentum to simulcast beyond Sirius? I’m not sure. I mean, clearly, there’s an audience for Pete Sheppard, Ordway and the guy that does the great Terry Francona impression, I’m just not it.
(I know, I know – this is despite Sheppard’s abrasive Tony Massarotti impressions; if nothing else Pete’s going for it … whatever “it” is.)
“Sometimes it takes some time to remember where you were headed in the first place and the people you intended to go there with.”
For me, early questions about “Dale & Holley” Part Deux mostly revolved around whether bringing back what was never really broken as an admission of past failures … or just WEEI’s acceptance that they are, for the time being, the alternative – as opposed to the FLAGSHIP STATION! …?
One thing’s for sure: It’s not the sexy move, or a game-changer. This play for WEEI is a means to survival through reliability. And, all things considered, with the revival of “Dale & Holley,” the Boston sports fans are winning here.
(Yes, that’s right – I’m going positive, which almost feels borderline crazy to do in terms of media analysis.)
Look, upon conception, our hope for “The Sports Hub” did not necessarily circle around a precipitous demise for the men of Entercom (although, in some circles, seeing hubris wilt and decay was a nice byproduct). All told, reasonable sports fans just wanted WEEI to be better, and, typically, competition breeds excellence or, at the very least, improvement in quality.
Well, it took longer than expected, but, finally, mercifully this has happened.
Think about it: The morning at WEEI is better. I still can’t believe “Dennis & Callahan” made it through the storm unscathed, although who knows, maybe, at times, the two hosts were “hiding under their desks.” Either way, their improvement is palpable; heck, you could argue it’s undeniable. Kirk Minihane has proven himself a worthy foil to John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, and it’s kind of compelling radio.
(An aside: This will sound like I’m an ageist, but I could do without the obsession over Johnny Manziel’s girlfriend. Really, guys. You’re old, and it’s weird. But seriously, try harder.)
The afternoon, meanwhile, over on ‘EEI is a relic in the best possible way, and a sound option for audiences to check out instead of their counterpart, “Felger & Mazz,” which has evidently decided to become a different show than when it began its run. Dale Arnold, almost immediately, has rediscovered his rapport with Michael Holley. Something Holley never could harness with Ordway, or what we can now the Misguided Mike Salk era.
(Another aside: Consistently adding a third man to the “Dale & Holley” rotation is a nice twist, too. But how about less Christian Fauria and more Matt Chatham, please. Thanks.)
Up on the dial, “Toucher & Rich” didn’t land the Torey Krug-80s hair metal voice over segment, at least not as much as the comparable “Rad Marchand” skit from a few years ago, but the fact they’re still churning out stuff like “Motley Krug” is a good sign. It’s what they do best.
And the duo poking fun at Johnny Gomes’ “Just PUSH PLAY, the story is already written” comments was perfect. To their credit, they absolutely nailed the Ultimate Warrior-Haxsaw Johnny Gomes comparison. The dialect is eerily similar.
Speaking of “Toucher & Rich”, I thought Fred Toucher’s take on Richard Sherman’s column about DeSean Jackson’s release from the Eagles on Peter King’s Monday Morning QB site was not only thoughtful, but poignant.
In the piece, Sherman argued about, well, a few things: 1) That saying DJax is affliated with gang is irresponsible; 2) You don’t turn your back on people you grew up with; 3) Jackson’s teammate — Riley Cooper, earning an extension, a year after his racist remarks at a country concert went viral; 4) The Jim Irsay free pass.
Toucher’s main contention is that you do turn your back on friends at some point, basically, because if you hang out with shit for long enough, you’ll start to smell like it, too. It’s a fair counter; measured and realistic.
I didn’t agree, however, with Toucher’s co-host, John Wallach, when he said Sherman, who is no stranger to media relations, will have to learn to pick his battles. If we’re enabling the nonsense floated out there from time to time in sports media, then I have zero qualms dealing with Sherman going off the rails. Dude’s a top cornerback with a unique perspective to offer on the matter. I don’t have to agree, but I’ll certainly be interested.
“Everyone is just waiting for their next Wikipedia Edit.”
“I’m much more offended by Gerry Callahan’s gay-bashing.”
Those were my initial thoughts about when reading reaction to Boomer Esiason’s comments regarding Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave (which fell on opening day):
During a conversation on his radio show with co-host Craig Carton, Esiason, a father of two, said he would never have done what Murphy did.
“Quite frankly, I would have said C-section before the season starts,” said Esiason. “I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry. This is what makes our money. This is how we’re going to live our life. This is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.”
I don’t have children, I’m turning 28 years-old next week, which means I’m really only 23 years-old (Someone, I don’t know who, just decided it was totally acceptable for 20somethings to act like kids even as they broach their 30s. I won’t fight this. Thank you, mystery man.) But I have three sisters; I get the complications around reproduction, and can attest that Boomer is stating stupid words behind a stupid premise.
But you know what? PEOPLE ARE STOOOPID.
Rich people are stoopid. Everyone’s stoopid. Fuck, that ignorance – you know, being stoopid – is just as much a part of ‘Merica as saying ‘Merica!
We live in a world where athletes, not just college athletes, pro athletes, with a kajillion dollars, get Catfished! Yes, by Catfished, I mean keyboard romance gone awry, someone conned by an idiot imposter on an online dating site.
(Moreover, that “Catfish” is actually a television show – yes, a television show – is mind boggling. Knowing Nev Schulman has been out there, fighting to the good fight, trying to illuminate what is, in fact, real love, and what’s not, for over three seasons all because the South have yet to figure out how to do 12 seconds of Internet research through Google Images search, could be the most American thing ever.)
So, we’re all stupid, from time to time anyway. Then, let’s ask ourselves, why are talking heads, most of who are former athletes, the subject of this type of scrutiny? Even Callahan, a fantastic writer, whose views on the radio have become increasingly acerbic and forced, has a right to be stupid. Again, ‘Merica!
To that end, who cares what Boomer Esiason thinks about this topic? Like, really, this is what we’re going to get upset about. If you’re an ardent listener to his show, that’s one thing; but it’s almost as if the Internet pushes OUTRAGE Button, and all chaos breaks loose.
And Boomer, predictably, issued a subsequent apology, because apologies are part of the news cycle in 2014.
I’m all for calling an idiot out for saying idiotic shit on the radio, but where do you guys stand?
Memo to Danny Picard: Keep Going
Dig Radio Boston flounders; Danny Picard’s show, “I’m Just Sayin’”, keeps on keepin’ on. If nothing else, Picard hustles. In the past, his show has been simulcast on CSNNE.com, 1510 Boston, among other outlets. But now he’s back to hosting solely on his website and iTunes.
Earlier this week, Picard had an interesting rant about the move away from Dig, other subjects in the media (like the Jerry Remy-NESN story) earning too much attention, and even went on a tangent about his distaste for sharing a co-host during his weekend appearances on WEEI.
As a fellow writer, with much less success and longevity compared to Picard, I can sympathize with his frustration with breaking into sports media. There are very few Xander Bogaerts’ in the media. Youth is quelled by barriers. Hustle and passion are part of success – and, sometimes, the journey to prominence is better than the destination itself – but, at some point, you have to break through.
I still think Picard will. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. This is a town where Mike Adams has had a daily radio show for the better part of a decade.
As always, thanks for reading. @Hadfield__.