Will new head football coach Al Golden's embrace of the U-M 'culture' put smiles on 'Cane fans faces? It can't hurt!
Today was actually a good day for sports radio in South Florida, something that can't honestly be said many times with a straight face in the course of a year.
Especially when compared to what I had gotten used to as a kid growing-up down here in the 1970's before leaving for Bloomington, and being able to listen to all the great Midwestern sports shows out of Chicago's WMAQ (Chet Coppock -"Positively C-O-S") Cincinnati's WCKY (Bob Trumpy), Cleveland's WWWE (Pete Franklin), St. Louis & KMOX, Louisville & WHAS and of course, the many clear-channel flame-throwers from the East Coast, where everything always seemed so much more exciting -or worse.
(Cleveland's 1100-AM WWWE is now Newsradio WTAM 1100.)
Yes, the radio stations and call letters with station IDs and promos I knew as a kid when winter came to South Florida, and I stood outside my apt. for hours at a time, listening to sports adventures far from the tedium all around me in North Miami Beach, once the Dolphins season was over.
Hell, my first year at IU, when I had to repaint my dorm room back to its original color before finally heading back to Miami and my three summer jobs, so the building manager could check off that I had caused no damage, I painted it while listening to a Braves-Pirates ballgame out of Pittsburgh on KDKA.
And trust me, that ballgame was booming out of my stereo speakers as I made my way around the room, with two electric fans blowing like crazy to get that fresh paint smell out of my dorm room.
And yet as I wrote quite incredulously in emails to friends the next day -but never posted here- in the first two hours after Randy Shannon was fired as head football coach at the University of Miami (U-M) after their horrifyingly-flat loss to the University of South Florida before a nearly empty Joe Robbie Stadium, not ONE of the four South Florida sports radio stations had any original local programming to gauge fan's reaction.
Not WQAM, their flagship station, WFTL, WAXY or WINZ.
Zero for four is a strikeout in any league.
Trust me, I know this not because I read this anywhere but because I was checking on two different radios at the same time, endlessly scanning, ready to tape anything of substance.
But there was nothing to tape because it was all syndicated fare.
On one of the biggest sports stories of the year in South Florida, local radio was sleeping like a baby.
Not that you would ever know that from the Herald or Sun-Sentinel's media coverage of the story.
Former Miami Dolphin and current Washington Redskin linebacker Vonnie Holiday remains a classy and articulate guy who knows his sport and what's what with the collective bargaining agreement - "If it's not broken, what are we fixing?"
Also noteworthy and worth listening to is Orlando Alzugaray's later interview with former U-M Hurricane and current Houston Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston on the changes at the U-M with new football coach Al Golden; why recruits haven't improved at U-M; the return of Art Kehoe to the program; and what it will take for the Texans to get over-the-top and make the playoffs consistently.
Winston, always a standout on the field and in the classroom, is forthright about the same things that have bothered me and many other longtime Hurricane fans for a LONG TIME even while many foolish Hurricane fans have been making excuses for consistently being flat, out-coached and out-muscled for far too long.
Eric Winston GETS it!
Hear these two excellent January 31st interviews with Orlando Alzugaray from Radio Row in Arlington, Texas at: http://www.jamescrystalradio.