Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why Detroit sports talk radio blows: Reason #98

Normally, I can at least tolerate WXYT's Sports Inferno, and sometimes enjoy it, mostly due to one of the few islands of sanity in the overheated sports talk wars, Terry Foster. But this morning, the Sports Bic Lighter just doesn't get it. In this case, what they don't get is Tony Kornheiser.

I caught a little of the MNF game after the Tiger tilt. Despite the Worldwide Leader making their MNF debut out to be the next coming of the most entertaining booth in history, I'm not going to watch much of an uninteresting, unnecessary, and unimportant preseason exhibition game. But I did tune in just to check out Kornheiser.

He did just fine. His appearance was going to rate high in my mind anyway, because as we all know, the less of the Norman Einstein quoting Joe Thiesman we hear, the better. But the Sports Infermo guys are going off on Uncle Tony because he's not your typical analyist. As if there isn't enough of boring, clueless, illiterate, and loud former football players on the air already. You mean they want more of the grating Theisman? Or miss the past his prime, and hugely annoying video game pimp, John Madden? It's basically the same lame arguement many gave when Dennis Miller was doing MNF. As a caveat, I have to admit that I enjoyed the Miller and Dan Fouts give and take.

Don't Foster and Mike Valenti get it? Sports fans are going to watch MNF, no matter what. The Worldwide Leader wants to attract the more casual fan, let alone keep everyone watching when the (Place any awful matchup here) game is 24-3 in the 4th quarter. Do you want to hear Theisman pontificate endlessly on the greatest 2nd string QB ever (At least for this week), or would you rather hear Kornheiser compare a coach to Bob Newhart? 10 times out of 10, Kornheiser wins, hands down.

Then, things get stupid. Mike Valenti says that Kornheiser is taking a job away from a more qualified analyist. Who might that be? Theisman's old partner in crime, Paul Maguire. Maguire? WHAT? That has to be a joke, but no such luck, as Valenti doesn't have a sense of humor. Has he ever watched the Worldwide Leader's Sunday night broadcasts? The doddering Maguire is even more clueless than the preening Theisman! Come on, and please let me give you a clue. The Worldwide Leader's SNF broadcast crew was an assault on all that is good in the world... It was actually one of the Seven Signs.

In Valenti and Foster's closed off world, MNF is a solemn, religious thing. What they fail to realize that is not true to the spirit of the original MNF. If there was a more irreverent pair than Howard Cosell and Don Merideth, both of whom could make any boring ass blowout game entertaining, I haven't seen one. After watching football all weekend, I for one, don't mind a little levity and personality in the booth during the last game of the week. What I don't need is Joe "Theisman as in Heisman" lowering my IQ to Woody Paige levels by just showing up on my TV. Tony Kornheiser is the anti-Theisman. And that's a good thing.

Unfortunately, the Detroit airwaves are polluted with clueless hosts who don't understand that the sports world needs MORE anti-Theismans, not less.


  1. I always thought the best booth -- bar none -- would have been one that included both Howard Cosell AND Dennis Miller.

    Can you imagine such a thing??

  2. If for nothing else, I already like Kornheiser because he doesn't YELL WHEN HE'S TALKING UNLIKE THEISMANN AND MAGUIRE.

  3. A couple of days late with this, Big Al, but I'm glad you wrote about this.

    I don't get the animosity toward Kornheiser. For Valenti to complain when Tony says he knows nothing about football is to play right into his schtick. And it's baffling that he doesn't get that. If Tony had to really break down football, he could. But that's not why he's there, and he knows it.

    When did this become so serious? And what's wrong with someone providing an "outside" perspective in the booth?

    I complain about announcers too, but it's not going to stop me from watching a game. It wouldn't stop anyone from watching a game. So why bother stomping up and down? Does it matter that much? It's ludicrous.