Thursday, April 26, 2012

ESPN New York...1050...oops...98.7

Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president/production, business divisions, unveils the station's new logo at a special meeting of all staff and talent on Thursday.  Picture courtesy ESPN New York
The news broke today that ESPN New York, the radio station that has been at 1050 on the AM dial, is moving to 98.7, replacing WRKS (Kiss 98.7), an adult urban music station.  Kiss will merge with WBLS (107.5 FM) to make one station.  In other words, Kiss is being absorbed by 'BLS.

Beginning Monday, ESPN will begin simulcasting with their programming being heard on both 1050 and 98.7.  In September, the simulcast will end and 1050 will become an ESPN Deportes station - a very wise business decision.

For some of us in the Hudson Valley though, this isn't great news.  1050, never a powerhouse signal, at least came in up our way.  In my own quick test today, 98.7 was full of static by the lower reaches of eastern Dutchess County, while 1050 was fairly clear.

Equally interesting is the buzz that the Yankees would move to 98.7 beginning next year, considering their contract with WCBS (880 AM) is up at the end of 2012.  That could spell the end of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman as the Bomers' play-by-play team.

Back to that in a moment.

ESPN New York made some changes in their programming.  Yes, "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and Colin Cowherd will carry on (terrible decisions - New York should always have a local element in the morning).  Mike Lupica will switch from 2-3 to Noon-1.  The Ruocco and Lundberg clusterbleep/farce is gone, but fear not, Ryan Ruocco will continue to have a job, joining Steven A. Smith for a two-hour thing from 1-3.  And Robin Lundberg will be heard on the weekend.


Their one wise move was to make Dave Rothenberg the weeknight fixture, but in my opinion, Dave and Steven A. would be a good listen in that 1-3 slot.

With this configuration, I'll be listening to Mr. Diet Coke (Mike Francesa) on WFAN.

Next Up? Washington!

How does this guy fit in here?  Mickey Rivers in his prime.
What a wonderful, fun hockey game to watch tonight.  Game 7, at Madison Square Garden as the Rangers beat the Senators 2-1, was incredible.  The defense - who SHOULD have been a collective first start of the game, led by Mark Staal and Dan Girardi, were off the charts, blocking more shots than any team I've ever seen.

Henrik Lundqvist made some solid saves, and made us all forget his ridiculous conspiracy theory statements.

Now the Washington Capitals come to the World's Most Cheesy Arena (sorry, that's what it is going forward - this is New York, not some rah-rah-yee-hah pep rally town).

Dear God, I can't stand the Dolan's/Cablevision.  Where and when did New York become so...stupid?

But no point in complaining tonight.  The crowd - whom I and others RIPPED in Game 5, was off the charts tonight.  Well done.

Now comes Washington, with their fancy Ovechtrick.  Which team is going to show up?  The one that is filled with talent and outplayed Boston in the first round?  Or the one that underachieved?

We shall find out in Round 2.

Oh, and Mickey Rivers - yes, THE MICKEY RIVERS (aka "Mick the Quick") just responded and retweeted me on Twitter.  So I've got that going for me.

Which is nice.

Of course, if I could remember how to copy it I would post it here.

The whole playoff beard/peer pressure thing is annoying.  Yes, I grew facial hair.  Currently, it's a goatee and - FULL DISCLOSURE - I've shaved it down at times (sorry, deal with it).  See, here's my beef.  I'm a journalist in addition to a fan.  So I struggle with this concept, but on the other hand, members of the MSG broadcast crew have gone for the facial hair.

But I keep getting grief from Ken Brosuk and Paul Silverfarb (well, mostly Borsuk) if I dare to shave it.  But there are conditions, such as if I have something to do where I don't think the facial hair is appropriate.  Or...well...this conversation with a certain 10 year-old:
Sean: You need to shave.
Me: It's a playoff beard, er, goatee.
Sean: It's furry.
Me: I know.
Sean: You still need to shave.
Furthermore, I think I look old and, well, like bleep.  I tried taking pictures this morning and tonight and, well, those suckers won't be seeing the light of day.

You see, the Rangers won the cup in 1994, and I shaved every day.  Just saying.

I also acquired a new Rangers sweater courtesy of Chris Kaelin.  The good?  It's a nice navy blue.  The bad?  It's got that liberty logo on it.  But it was free, and I couldn't look the gift horse in the mouth.  So I wore it for Game 6...but didn't tonight.  So, there.  No lucky sweater.

I don't get why some people think it's so bad for grown men to wear jerseys/sweaters.  My take is that it's harmless - especially if it's being worn to a game or something like that.  I don't wear them on any old day for the most part, but that's just me.  And hey, they can be quite comfy when doing yard work (especially a football one).

Sometimes people need to chill.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Couple of Quickies

Two people are on my mind for this post: Ron Artest (he doesn't deserve the respect of his new-fangled name) and Henrik Lundqvist.  Two people who couldn't be more different.

Artest got a seven-game suspension for his vicious elbow on James Harden of the Thunder.  SEVEN?  The guy who played the key role in Malice at the Palace?  The guy who has a rap sheet as long as I-80, which one can use in part to drive from New York (where Artest played college ball) to Los Angeles (where he currently plays)?  SEVEN?

David Stern deserves clown-like status for this one.  It's an easy call.  Artest should have been gone for the playoffs - at the very least.


Lundqvist is harder to call out, given that he is a quality guy who comes off very well in interviews.  But, for once, he goofed.  I give you the quote, direct from Greg Wyshynki's post on Puck Daddy:
"It's an absolute joke. Oh my god, it scares me. It's such an obvious play, goalie interference, and a kick. And they still call it a goal? That scares me, that someone can call that. It still upsets me," he said after the game.

"Someone wants them back in the game obviously. There's no other explanation. "
Now, I get it.  The officiating has been laughable.  But that does not - in any way, shape or form - mean that a player or coach can call the integrity of the league - ANY league - into question like that.

I'm sorry, but Lundqvist deserves a penalty for that.  It will likely only be cash, but still, a message has to be sent.  Lundvist is solid, and has been nothing short of awesome all year, but he goofed here.  It should only be a slap on the wrist, but he let his emotions get the best of him.  There's a guy in The Bronx named Jeter who can teach him a thing or two about this.

Oh, and Chris Neil, who has played like a thug in the Sens/Rangers series, deserves some grief as well, not only for his on-ice play, but for his threat against Michael Del Zotto:
“I’m sure I’ll catch him with his head down one of these times.”
Bad form.

Bring on Game 7!  All of them!

Oh, one last thing - I'm stepping out on a ledge here. I said it off the air after "The Press Box" the other night, and I'll go on record.  The Rangers are NOT losing Game 7 tomorrow night.  In fact, I think they're going to go win the Eastern Conference now.  The Rangers will need much more offense, and will HAVE to find a power play game.  But it's just a feeling.  I think they endured their gut-check in Game 6.

Now they go from here.

For a Minute, Forget About Politics

I love when people have a sense of humor.  The message here is irrelevant.  This is straight.  Up.  Awesome.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Levon Helm (1940-2012)

There hasn't been sufficient time to pay tribute to Dick Clark, whom the world lost yesterday.  There's so much to say; so much to write.

Yet today's passing of Levon Helm - the news just breaking - is equally profound, but on a different level.  The Band was legendary; a true Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member.  Helm and his mates (the classic lineup of Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Rick Danko) each found their own level of personal success.

Helm's post-Band career included his Midnight Rambles in Woodstock, NY, a concert at his barn featuring a collection of artists both well-known and well-regarded (but perhaps not as familiar).  He continued to record, earning Grammy's in the Americana category.

It's difficult to pick a single song to represent Helm, so I will go with the two most obvious.  Here is Levon singing lead of the amazing version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from The Last Waltz, November 25, 1976.

Of equal acclaim and amazement is "The Weight."  Utterly brilliant and beautiful.  This is the studio version.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Yankees are Throwing Back

They're wearing the one on the right on Friday (Photo courtesy of Dressed to the Nines)
Yesterday I posted a link to the Steelers' throwbacks in honor of their 80th season.  This Friday, the Yankees - yes, the Yankees - are finally wearing throwbacks.  It is extremely rare for the Bombers to do so, and I'm glad they're doing it as part of the tribute Fenway Parks' 100th anniversary.

The Yankees have had changes in their uniforms over the years.  I think it's great to embrace it once in a while.

Go to Uni Watch for the details.  Hey, any post that has Steelers and Yankees in the same place has to be good!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why, Stillers? Why? They've Revealed the Throwback

Was it because the Packers went with jerseys from a long time ago for their throwback?

Was it because you want to create attention?

Was it because you seriously don't have a clue?


You could have gone with the "Batman" look of the late 60's.  Hell, you could have evoked the 70's (oh, God forbid you go with the jersey that literally EVERYONE wants you to bring back).  But instead you went...with...this.

Thanks to Chris Creamer.  I guess...

Thinking Good Thoughts For a Couple of Musical Legends

Word has been spreading that Bee Gee Robin Gibb is in a coma and his family is keeping a vigil at his bedside.

Today, I read that Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist for The Band, as well as a successful solo artist, is in the final stages of cancer.

Gibb, as part of the Bee Gees, unfortunately gets lumped in as a disco artist due to the Saturday Night Fever success.  But, kids, you should Google the Bee Gees chart success and discover that they were quite the diverse musical act.

As for Helm, well, The Band alone speaks to his legend.  But his recent work, including his "midnight rambles" up in Woodstock, NY, had become a great addition to his legacy.

Let's think some happy thoughts for both of these gentlemen.


I want to ride my bicycle.  I want to ride my bike.

Hmmm.  Now where have I heard that before?

I'll Be Back

Not many have asked, but a few have (sorry, I really do wonder who gives a bleep about this blog anymore).  So OK, I give.  Yes, el bloggo will solider on.  Yes, I'll do more for Zuckerman and social media in general.

Yes, I'll be back.

I'm busy - crazy busy.  And that's a good thing.  Two to three jobs.  Traveling.  Being more active (helloooo bicycle!).  Getting out more with Sean in the nice weather.  Taking stock in me and those around me.

Doing "The Press Box" (7-9 Monday nights on WGCH).  Mick McGowan and Tom Oderwald were with us last night, and we had a blast, and that carried over off the air.  I'm doing my fair share of heavy laughing every week.
(L-R: Ryan DeMaria, me, Chris Erway.  Photo by Mick McGowan)

(Top Row, L-R: Chris Erway, Ryan DeMaria, Tom Oderwald.  Bottom row: Mick McGowan, me.  Photo by Bob Small.)
This doesn't mean I don't have some time on my hands, and I'll happily spend that staying busy - including time with friends and getting to ballgames, etc.  I have to stay busy.  I want to stay busy.

So I will.

And maybe, just maybe, when the time is right, I'll write away here.  I'm just super duper incredibly cautious about my topics lately.  While it might delight some of my peeps to no end if I were to spout, I'd rather not.  I'd rather stay classy.  I'd rather be...shoot me now...the nice guy.

Though I could spout off about the silliness of "Jackie Robinson Day."  Yet even that, in this incredibly pathetic PC world of ours, is dangerous.  One misstep and...

OK, I'll say it.  Stop having everyone wear 42.  Give one person the honor of wearing the number - make them the spirit of Robinson.  Have a ceremony.  Wear patches on the sleeves for one night.  Then auction off the jersey.  But most importantly - EDUCATE.  Tell kids why what the old boys club of baseball prior to 1947 did was WRONG.  Don't preach.  Just explain.  Folks, this isn't rocket science.

I took a large chunk of this past month to think.  Think about social media and my place in it.  Think about those who are obsessed (sometimes including me, and it hurt me).  Think about what I want (did I mention "travel?).  If anything, I lurked.  I read things.  I saw things I didn't like.  Hurtful things.  Snarky things.  It's the thing I most deplore about it. 

Facebook helped me get back in touch with a lot of people.  It helped me meet others and get to know some of my friends even more so.  And yet...yet...that wasn't always a good thing.

There are roads to drive.  Places to visit.  People to love, and who want to love me back.  I suspect it will all inspire me to write.  Then I just have to find the time.

Like now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

OK, I'm a Few Days Early

He's waiting.  April 15th is tomorrow, but since it's a Sunday, and Monday is a holiday (in the District of Columbia), Tax Day is Tuesday, the 17th.

And, of course, we think of this enormously great song - one of George Harrison's absolute best.  But, keeping it real around the Exit 55 Man Cave, I've elected to grab the alternate version from the "Anthology" series.

I would say "tax woman", but the Fabs did "Taxman."  Whatever the gender, the told me how it will be.  And yes, I guess I'm slightly thankful they did not take it all.  And so it goes...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What is It? The Steve Somers Interview

Several people have expressed excitement/interest that "The Schmoozer", Steve Somers of your fancy WFAN radio, was kind enough to join us to talk a little S-P-O-R-T-S.  So I've embedded the audio on

And yes, he called me "young", further illustrating a few things about me, none of which I'll get into here.  What?

But first, here's the show promo:

Here's the interview.

We thought he might say "What is it?" or one of his famous "Steve-isms" but I think that would have been too much, because I most likely would have fallen out of the window in our fancy studio already!  As it was, I had to turn the microphones off occasionally due to us all wanting to laugh.  And he was as genuine as he sounds on the radio.  He was kind enough to respond to our email thanking him.  He's the real deal, folks.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A Quick "Press Box" Announcement

I neglected to pass this piece of news along...

"The Press Box" has been extended to two hours!  That's right - since we felt so tight for time in the first two editions of the show, we have been granted a second hour to discuss the world of sports in and around Greenwich.

Now, there's a good news/bad news thing here.  WGCH, if you're not aware, is also a Boston Red Sox affiliate.  This, of course, is bad news for me...just...because (OK, I'm partially kidding).  The bigger problem is that the Sawx play a lot of Monday night games, so we have some scrambling to do.  We're not planning to skip any weeks, but we might have to reschedule to another night or time, or perhaps back down on to an hour.  We're still figuring it out.

Anyway, Chris Kaelin tells me that William Waesche, Paul Macken, and Walker Brady.  They will discuss Greenwich High hockey, as well as GHS lacrosse.  We'll also get into the mens' national championship (maybe the womens' game as well), along with baseball, basketball, hockey, and more.  We've got two hours to work with!

And, I hope I don't regret teasing this, but there is more news coming down the pike...