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Friday, October 7, 2005

Philly Sports Talk Gets Overdue Change

So, sports talk really can involve teams beyond the Philadelphia skyline. The Major League playoffs are underway, and despite the Phillies not being involved, people actually care about it. College football actually can garner fun, enjoyable discussion. Hearing opinions from players and coaches, without the host kissing their ass or mocking them, does have value afterall.

That's right, folks, a new sports station is in town. And while I have no connection to WPEN 950 AM, I'm thrilled to have an alternative to the ego-maniacs on 610 WIP. Now we just need the two stations to swap Jim Rome and either Missanelli or Eskin, and we're set.

Jody Mac is in his element with the wider-ranging format. I’ve always liked him except for being a Cowgirl fan, but he even said that's been tempered. I usually only listen to the radio 3 to 7PM if I'm in the car, but Mac's got me flipping it on at home.

I gave Rome two or three days and couldn't stomach any more. First of all, the weak "initiation" of Philadelphia into "The Jungle" was just pathetic. (People actually thought bringing up booing Santa Claus and launching snowball's at Jimmy Johnson's head was a put down to Philly. Please! It's a tired rant.) Rome just tries to create an "exclusive club" atmosphere, and it stinks. It's like trying to hang out with your older brother's group — even after you get passed the razzing, you just have a bunch of inside jokes you never care about or hang around long enough to get.

He kept begging Philly to give his show time. Why? He didn't invent sports talk. His whole premise of "have a take, and don't suck" is terrible. It's monologue after monologue. As much as I like that all of WPEN shows incorporate e-mail, Rome's show is essentially callers reading e-mail to him. He actually brags that there is no back and forth. The biggest problem with "have a take, and don't suck" is that the host does suck.

Though I listened more than usual this week, my main listening time is 10AM to 1PM, and Tony Bruno has the best show I’ve heard in years. It's funny, has energy, and offers solid sports talk. At noon, 'PEN switches to Rome, cutting off Bruno's last hour, and that needs to change.

I actually e-mailed Bruno on Tuesday to find out why he allows that. Shockingly, I got a reply from the man himself:

I don't let them do it..the company which pimps Rome's show went in and got all 3 hours of his show cleared. I need the folks in Philly to complain and get that hour off. I don't want to use Rome's bogus tactics of ripping the station on the air. Tomorrow, I'm going to have Andy Reid on in my last hour and the folks in Philly won't hear it. It's the only time Reid can do it..but I'm going to promote it all morning so the people will realize they won't heart THAT..but will hear Jim's tired, scripted takes..


I've already started hitting the internet to hear Bruno's last hour. Fox's James Brown follows Bruno online; he's not great, but better than Gargano or Rome.

Picks. Well, my credibility can't get any lower. The comeback starts now. PSU +3.5 and the Pats +3.

Bird watching. Birds -3 is a steal.

The Week in Review:
· Andy Reid's status as a genius is fading fast. His quarterback's dealing with potentially season-ending injuries, and he has the guy dropping back to pass more than ever.
· Someone please take Temple football out back and shoot it. (Idiot Alert: This is along the lines of metaphor; don't actually shoot anyone.)
· Hockey's back with all kinds of new rules to attract more fans. It didn't look any different to me on Wednesday night. (see The Casual Critic's latest for more.)

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