I have listened to far too many hours of former police commissioner Ed Norris faking his way through sports talk and heard more Vinny Cerrato cackles than any man should have to endure. I must tune in though. Criticism of local sports talk radio is part of my job here at RSR, just ask the folks over at 1570 AM.
Since Mark Viviano left “The Fan” and opted to instead focus on his duties at WJZ as the guy in the suit that gives sports information to the thousands of 60+ year olds that make up the audience of people who watch the local news, I have had a love-hate relationship with local sports talk radio. Viv’s show was a must-listen for me, even if his co-host, Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe tried to ruin every day.
Now I find myself checking in and checking out of the shows on “The Fan”. No news is broken there and you get better opinions from a variety of other sources. Plus, the idiocy of some of the callers sometimes makes it difficult for me to stop myself yanking my steering wheel and slamming my car into the barrier that separates the inner and outer loops of 695 in an attempt to avoid becoming dumber by listening to guys like Jim in Salisbury ramble on about nothing.
To fill the void of sports talk radio in my life, I’ve instead turned to podcasts. Ravens fans should immediately subscribe to Rich Eisen’s podcast on NFL.com, it’s a must listen for football enthusiasts and provides an informative viewpoint from an experienced national voice blended with some pop culture interviews and analysis from players, coaches and NFL Network personalities.
As an overall sports junkie, Dan Patrick’s Show has quickly become my favorite three hours of listening. I tuned into DP when he was syndicated on ESPN Radio, but hadn’t listened regularly since he fled the “mothership.”
What makes Patrick so good?
It’s tough to even know where to begin to answer that question.
One of my favorite things about Viviano’s show was that he never tried to be a sensationalist. Rather, Viv would get to the bottom of stories and often point out that common sense aspect that irrational fans would often miss. Patrick does exactly the same, he doesn’t get mixed up in the sports drama of the world or make up an opinion to drive calls and stir debate. Mike Francessa has you covered if you’re looking for that. Patrick is logical, well spoken and intelligent — which is rare in this medium.
Additionally, you get a fair viewpoint from DP. I wrote earlier this week about the “bias” that many fans have tied to Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf over his broadcast career. No one would accuse Patrick of being biased. In fact, fans of Ohio’s sports teams often complain that he doesn’t give his hometown enough credit for their successes.
Most recently, Patrick has questioned Ohio State as the number two team in the BCS Standings, asking why undefeated teams seem to always be above teams with one loss and citing strength of schedule as the reason for this complaint.
A-list guests are never in short supply on the DP Show. Monday’s typically feature former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, who gives his take on the week’s NFL action. This week some of his guests have included Pat Haden, Mariano Rivera, Grant Hill, Lane Kiffin, Justin Tuck and Brian Kelly. His regulars include the aforementioned Eisen, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio.
Patrick gets the big names and he asks them tough questions. That’s why you see so many people crediting his show for breaking news. His relationships with athletes and stars help to keep the guest list full. Patrick is a celebrity in his own right, just check out his IMDB profile.
The Danettes also help to keep things light and loose. Seton, Pauly, Fritzy and McLovin give the DP Show that barstool feel and makes it more personable for the listener. Their features like Stat of the Day, Mock Headlines, Five Good Seconds and Cougar of the Week are must listens. Plus, Occupy Gameday might be the coolest thing ever.
If I haven’t sold you yet, on Thursday Ron Burgandy is co-hosting for two of the three hours. Yes, Ron Burgandy — not Will Ferrell (or Bruce Cunningham for that matter).
If you’re a local sports talk radio junkie but have grown weary of it, try Patrick’s show for a change-of-pace. You can listen anytime on DanPatrick.com, subscribe to the commercial free podcast on iTunes or watch the simulcast on DirecTV.
Go ahead, give it a shot and listen to the best in the business — Dan Patrick.