Airwaves: Giants the hot topic on Bay Area airwaves

Coming from all over the place on the airwaves:

– This was a popular week for fans to call in to KNBR (680 AM) about the Giants. Now everyone is concerned about the length of Tim Lincecum’s hair. When he was throwing great for the past two years, no one ever mentioned his hair as an issue. Talk about fair-weather fans.

– F.P. Santangelo did a great job this past week in manning the 9 a.m.-noon show on KNBR while the Big Dog, Gary Radnich, was vacationing. F.P. is very much like Tom Tolbert. He’s an ex-player who “gets it” when he’s on the air. He is knowledgeable, funny, honest and a regular guy that callers can identify with. F.P. really showed his baseball knowledge this week when he pointed out numerous times that Lincecum was having issues this spring because he was spending too much time working on his change-up, instead of his bread-and-butter fastball.

– Ted Robinson is great on the 49ers’ radio broadcast.

– One suggestion to NBC and its “Sunday Night Football” broadcast: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth are awesome. However, I do not like them standing when a guest comes by to visit. On the broadcast last week, while the 49ers were beating up the Minnesota Favres in the third quarter, Tony Dungy came by to say hello. The production people had the three of them standing while conversing. I could not tell how far away from their notes, etc., they were, but it just looks uncomfortable to be standing like that.

– Giants Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller gets better with age. I have no idea how this guy with the golden voice and unbelievable baseball mind can travel as much as he does without wearing himself out.

– No one in the Bay Area can break down the issues, good and bad, that the Giants are having like Ralph Barbieri. This KNBR icon is so on top of the Giants, as well as all current topics, it is scary — in a very good way! I don’t think “The Razor” ever has an off day.

– Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Comcast SportsNet California have announced their college football schedule for the fall. On Saturday, the networks will kick things off with a Northern California doubleheader. At 1 p.m., Cal will host UC Davis at Memorial Stadium. Hey, coach Jeff Tedford, do not lose this one. Davis has good players and a great coaching staff, so be very careful. The second game of the doubleheader will have Stanford hosting Sacramento State. Hey, coach Jim Harbaugh, cover the spread, I am betting the house on you!

This is great programming by Comcast bossman Ted Griggs.


McElhatton was an icon in local media


The Bay Area said goodbye this week to a great broadcaster when the retired Dave McElhatton passed away at his home in Southern California. Talk about a broadcast mainstay.

McElhatton was at KCBS and KPIX for 50 years. He made the then unheard of switch in 1975 from radio to television. He spent 25 years on the radio side and 25 on the TV side, before retiring in 2000. I never knew him as a radio personality, but I sure did as a TV anchorman.

I could list five pages worth of positive attributes that this gentle man brought to the table. However, the two areas that always jumped out to me about Mac were his trust and longevity.

This was a guy on TV giving you the news, good and bad, that you totally trusted. He was believable and everyone, I mean everyone, liked the guy. He just had that demeanor about him. This was also the case within the walls at KPIX. When I worked there in the late ’90s doing various NFL shows, etc., it was obvious this man had no enemies in the building, only dear friends.

Also, he loved the Bay Area. Born and raised here, he never wanted to leave. Part of the electronic media world involves people stabbing you in the back to get ahead and broadcasters always looking for the next job. This was never the case with Mac.
He was happy in the job he had and never seemingly wanted to leave. He was a real pro that many younger broadcasters and announcers can learn a thing or two from. I am sure there is much sadness this week in the present and past KCBS and KPIX families.

From Wendy Tokuda, to Kate Kelly to John Catchings to Roberta Gonzalez to Al Hart, they all will miss their ex-colleague, who had been suffering from a stroke-related illness.

But they will also have a warm spot in their hearts when they think of the joy and happiness that this man gave to them. Those moments in life can never be taken away. Mac, I didn’t know you well, but may you rest in peace and thank you for giving the Bay Area a chance to be part of your life.


Who said it


Tom Brady

“I hate the [New York] Jets, so I refuse to support that show,” stated the Serra High School and current New England Patriots quarterback when asked if he had been watching the HBO show “Hard Knocks” involving the Jets. Someone must have caught him in a bad mood, because you really don’t hear this guy make comments like that. I will guarantee you someone in the Patriots organization is watching it, taping it and writing a ton of notes.

Rex Ryan

“Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so whats the difference?” responded the New York Jets coach when told of Tom Brady’s disparaging remarks about his team. HBO, as stated last week in this column, is really getting its money’s worth of free publicity and advertising from this year’s show. I hope it is paying the outspoken coach a residual fee to keep flapping his jaws. Great stuff for the NFL and HBO.


One to watch


The PGA Tour began its version of the playoffs this week with The Barclays, which wraps up with the final round today from Paramus, N.J. The top 100 in the FedEx Cup points after the event will be eligible for the Deutsche Bank next week in Norton, Mass. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in Lemont, Ill., and to 30 for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. CBS (KPIX, Ch. 5) will air today’s final round beginning at 11 a.m.


Sports by numbers


Age of L.A. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who announced he will return to the booth for 2011


Years Scully has been in broadcasting


Years Scully has been with the Dodgers



On Target


The “mother lode” from Bristol, Conn., ESPN, is capitalizing on Jon Gruden big time. During the draft, it taped a film session that “Chuckie” had individually with the top four quarterbacks in the NFL draft. Now, ESPN has taken it a step further with “Gruden’s Champ Camp.” This week featured a film session with Super Bowl winners Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints. Awesome stuff as the duo watched various tapes and had a real football conversation. The real football fan eats this stuff up.

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


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