Some changes in the air this week at the sports leader, the giant flamethrower: KNBR (680 AM). Boss man Lee Hammer announced this week that talented radio host Damon Bruce is moving from his evening perch to daytime radio. In the move, Bruce will now be heard on sister station 1050 AM from noon to 4 p.m. F.P. Santangelo, who we praised earlier this month on these pages, will take over the “Sportsphone 680” slot in the evening from 7 to 10 p.m. on 680 AM. Both changes begin March 1.
This will be a great gig for both guys. The daytime audience now gets to hear the very opinionated Bruce voice his animated, enthusiastic and well-thought out views. I wonder how he will do in the ratings war versus “Fitz and Brooks” (Bob Fitzgerald and Rod Brooks) on the mothership. F.P. will have a great lead-in, following either the very popular “Razor and Mr. T” show or a Giants game. It appears to me that KNBR 1050 and 680 both got stronger. Hey F.P., you owe me a beer. Hammer reads this gibberish.
- ESPN suspended “Pardon the Interruption” host Tony Kornheiser this week after some dumb comments about fellow ESPN worker Hannah Storm. Although Kornheiser was not trying to be mean, he came across as just that. On his Washington, D.C., radio show, Kornheiser said: “Storm was wearing a horrifying outfit and a very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapped around her upper body. She is what I call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.”
We all know Tony is a “say-it-like-it-is guy,” which is why he went from behind the typewriter to on the air. This type of error in judgment is why he is popular on the talk-show circuit. Although not condoned here, he needs to be smarter.
Here is some free on-air advice for Tony and all other broadcasters in the sports world, especially those in the national limelight:
- Never discuss a person’s race.
- Never discuss the act of sex.
- Never discuss religion.
- Never discuss gender preference.
- Never discuss political preference.
- Never swear.
- Never put a colleague down with words.
NFL Network the place for combine news
Finally, there is a reason to watch the NFL Network. They are the only network which will broadcast the NFL combine, which began last week. If your household or local bar gets the NFL Network, you will be treated to 30 hours of live high-definition coverage from the home base of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The network will have an army of 21 personalities chiming in. The very best among the group is analyst Mike Mayock. Mayock was a color man for CBS, Fox Sports Net, ESPN and numerous other outlets at the beginning of his broadcast career.
However, as a draft and evaluation guru, this former Boston College star has really found his calling. Listen closely to him when he speaks because he is seldom wrong. I worked with him at CBS and he is a relentless preparer and a stickler for getting his facts straight.
- Not to be outdone, Sirius NFL Radio will deliver 40 live hours of the combine.
- The NFL combine is a draftnik’s dream. You get to evaluate all the top college players without their helmets and shoulder pads on. They are observed and judged on their pure athletic ability in tests like the 40-yard dash, 225-pound bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and the three-one drill. What the public does not want to see is when each player is individually weighed and measured in their underpants in front of all the scouts and coaches. Trust me, it is gross and a true “cattle call.” That is one event I could do without.
- Will someone explain to me what the attraction to curling is? To me, it is shuffleboard on a slippery surface. Before I call it quits in the working world, I need to go to a curling practice. What do you do? Are there practice plans? Warmups? Conditioning? Someone please help me.
This week’s ESPN Radio celebration of the 10th anniversary of the “Mike and Mike” show was dynamite. It took place live from Disney World in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday morning and it was great radio. Not only were there great guests, but replays of highlights from the past. I applaud ESPN for sticking with this duo for a decade. However, the two guys that deserve the accolades are hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. They have withstood the test of time.
Who said it
“After practice yesterday, I feel like I can play five more years, two here and three in Japan,” the Los Angeles Dodgers star joked when asked about his future. This guy is a real goofball, but in a good way. He is a fun quote and a person people gravitate toward. If anyone can handle him, manager Joe Torre can.
“It’s cool to finally have one,” said the American alpine skier after finally winning a gold medal. Miller has won five career Olympic medals, one of each shade at the Vancouver Games. One thing about Bode, he is indeed a different cat. Maybe he is what the Olympics need.
One to watch
With the Olympics nearly complete, there is some top-notch NBA action today on ABC-ESPN to hold your attention. First, the Suns take on the Spurs at 10 a.m. on ABC. Then, Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets head to L.A. to face off with the Lakers at 12:30 p.m. on ABC. ESPN closes things out with two quality matchups as the Heat take on the Magic at 4 p.m., and the Hornets meet the Mavericks at 6:30 p.m.
Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.