05 February 2007

Radio Row at the Super Bowl

Email written in response to today's column about radio row at the Super Bowl by Steve Czaban on his website:


I really could not agree with you more about what a horrible waste of time
Radio Row is/has become.

As you know, I'm a sports radio connoisseur/junkie and I can say that it
is, largely, a horrible waste of time.

On an average day, I'll now listen to some programming of all three
national sports networks as well as at least 4 different local shows
across the country.

Do you know many times last week I heard the same guest on any particular
day? Even worse, you could hear the same guest on the same network on
different day parts. GAH!

The best show that I heard all of last week was Dan LeBatard's show. Why?
He went out of his way to NOT ask his guests about the Super Bowl and talk
to them about just about anything else in the world. Also, no predictions
the whole week. And to top it off, they broadcast from outside the Versace
Mansion the night of Shaq's party there.

Contrast that with the anticeptic nature of the Four Letter. Same old
guests, same old talking heads, same old cliched analysis. The last time I
have to hear from Little Sean (TM Deadspin) will be too soon.

Shouldn't Radio Row be time for a show to be creative, instead of B-level
football star plugging and then making innocuous small talk? To his
credit, at least Andy Polley wisely got the plug out of the way first,
rather than having to cram it in at the end and run over a break.

There were some shows that were so out-of-character and fraught with
technical issues that I just gave up listening by the end of the week.

All in All, it's probably great for the talent to schoomze, eat free ice
cream and get to hang out for a week on a semi-vacation. But, for the
average listener, it just comes off as one big circle jerk.

04 February 2007

A former editor does some editing

Some of you may have seen my letter to George Solomon in today's WAPO sports section. It seems to be that he/they took a chunk of my email about coverage of the NHL, specifically the All-Star game, and I think gave it an un-intended tone.

Here's what they used:

Hockey fans know their sport is down at the moment and that it has many problems. That said, it's very irksome and tiring to constantly see the only national attention given to it is negative.

Here is the entire email:
Thanks for apparently being one of the few Post columnists who knew that
the NHL All-Star Game was on TV and where to find it on your cable. That's
more than I can say for some of your superstar columnists, who seem to
think that the only thing to say about the sport these days is to take fun
of its admittedly-poor television package.

Hockey fans know their sport is down at the moment and that it has many
problems. That said, it's very irksome and tiring to constantly see the
only attention given to it on national outlets like ESPN is negative.

As someone who has taught journalism in the past, I'm sure you know all
about "gatekeeper theory." While its not the media's job to cheerleader
for what they cover, I think they do have to realize just how much
influence they have over their audience. Seeing and hearing respected
national columnists do nothing but belittle a product cannot help
something that needs all the positives it can get these days.
This was spurred after mainly after a week of "What channel is the NHL on?" one-liners from radio and TV people, notably Wilbon on PTI. Yes, it was my ox being gored. But it's funny to hear Wilbon make the same remarks when he chastises anyone and everyone who make generalizations about the NBA (which is now his main area of coverage for ESPN).

03 February 2007

Who needs football when hockey is on all day?

Currently in the process of watching my fourth hockey game today.

1) Caps vs Penguins. Caps lost again, but at least didn't get blown out. Another victory for Sir Sidney over Alex O.

2) Edmonton vs Colorado -- game 1 of the CBC triple header. Oilers win on the road.

3) Toronto vs Ottawa -- battle of Ontario + Coach's Corner. TO wins in the shootout.

4) Vancouver vs Calgary -- 2-1 Canucks as this is written. Luongo took a wicked slapshot off his mask a few minutes ago from, I think, Dion Phaneuf. Amazingly, he stayed in the game.

Tomorrow afternoon, CBC has an afternoon game with Sir Sidney vs Les Habs before the Super Bowl.