Back in 2003 when I first started RSR, then known as Ravens24x7.com, my very first interview was with Scott Garceau, then the voice of the Ravens. Scott has always been the consummate professional so when he moved on from television and took to the radio airwaves on 105.7 The Fan, listeners weren’t sure what to expect.
Over the years since, Baltimore has connected with Scott’s charisma and sense of humor. He’s also made me a weekly regular on his program. Today, I thought it was time to turn the tables and make Scott, once again, the interviewee, fourteen years later.
Tony Lombardi: How did you enter the world of sports media?
Scott Garceau: I Was 19 years old when I got a chance to broadcast high school basketball and football games for my hometown radio station in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Among the basketball teams I broadcast were the Iron Mountain Mountaineers with guards Tim Izzo and Steve Mariucci.
TL: What are some of the more significant changes in your profession that have forced you to adjust along the way?
SG: I was 21 when I got my first TV job in Marquette, Michigan and had to learn how to type. Manual typewriters. I shot film before video tape and had no teleprompter. We’ve come a long way adapting to social media and the 24-hour news cycle. We used to find out at 6:00 and 11:00, now it’s instant and right in our hand. The dissemination is much improved, not sure the journalism is.
TL: What brought you to Baltimore?
SG: I left Albuquerque for a chance to work in a major league sports market. Also Channel 2 at the time was the flagship TV station for the Colts and Orioles.
TL: Talk about the origins or your time at 105.7 The Fan. Initially you were paired with Anita Marks and then Jeremy Conn. From the outside looking in I thought that both were odd pairings. Describe both and then tell us how your partnership with Jeremy has grown, evolved and why it works so well today.
SG: Bob Philips had approached me about the possibility shortly before I left WMAR-TV. I wasn’t sure I wanted a full plate immediately but after a couple of meetings I agreed to give it a shot for a year. It was a bit uncomfortable with Anita initially because her show was now our show. We’d have some fiery disagreements on-air but we got along fine. Some days the yin and the yang worked better than others.
Jeremy was one of several co-hosts they paired with me (on a trial basis) after Anita left. I guess management liked what they heard and he got the spot. We got along from day one, he’s a funny guy who makes me laugh, but he’s also a sports nut and knows his stuff. He’s young and knows everything about music and movies. I’ve got a good handle on the history of Baltimore sports having covered it for almost 40 years. I think it’s a good combination. We check your ego at the door, we work well together and don’t have to fake that we get along.
TL: Share something about yourself and Jeremy that your listeners would be surprised to hear.
SG: There’s not much left that we haven’t discussed on the show. Jeremy thinks he’s a world-class badminton player, lost a high school football game to the Hickey school 108-0 and has a bad back, bad feet and bad picks. For me I grew up fearing a lady named “Big Debbie” who beat up half the men in our town. I also don’t like walking on the beach after spending 4 hours in sand traps. And I haven’t taken a sick day in almost 40 years.
TL: You have some callers who certainly have established reputations that have evolved over time, particularly with your encouragement. What immediately comes to mind when you hear the names of these callers?
• Ed from Arbutus
• Dave from Salisbury
• Bob from Parkville
• Bobba Bowie
SG: Ed—“Thanks for taking my call” Love his takes, organized and usually spot-on. Coaches insight and he lives for his Baltimore teams.
Dave: Conspiracy freak often thinks the league, umpires everybody out to get his teams. Dave wanted to hit Alex Gordon with a baseball bat simply because Gordon made a good catch against the Orioles.
Bob: Often starts out with “hope you’re having a nice day” and ends screaming about some player who’s on his lawn. I do enjoy his historical background on sports and sometimes music, just wish he could smile more often.
Jab: The keeper of the MASN cup (Orioles/Nats series). Jab is a sports junky who loves Buck and the O’s, but he’s done with the Chargers and their Hollywood ways. Good caller!
Bubba: “Ya got da lineup?” Who doesn’t like duckpin bowling! He’s good for the game especially when he sings “Hail to the……” and the phone always craps out.
Mo: Baltimore, like us, has fallen in love with Mo. Blind and battling cancer he keeps smiling and giving us his lock of the week and pick to click’s. His eleven years have been a battle and he reminds us each time he calls what is really important in life. God bless Mo!
TL: After talking to these callers so frequently, have you personally met any of them? For those you haven’t met, how do you picture them based upon your conversations?
SG: Have spent time with some like Bubba, “Elkton John” and Jab. I have a feeling if I met some of our callers it might ruin the image, that’s what’s great about radio.
TL: What is the most common misconception about your job?
SG: Probably that it isn’t work. I mean who wouldn’t want to sit around and talk sports with friends for 4-hours a day. Have to admit it beats underground mining that my Dad did for over 35 years.
TL: How long do you expect to stay in the 2-6PM sports talker’s chair?
SG: It’s been 9 years for me; my first day was the day 105.7 The Fan signed on. As long as it remains fun and they want me around I’ll keep showing up. And what if I left and had to get a real job?
TL: You made a brief appearance in ESPN’s 30 for 30 episode, Baltimore Boys. Talk about what you remember back then and your overall takeaway from the episode after watching it recently.
SG: I remember the incredible excitement those Dunbar teams created and the pride East Baltimore had for the Poets. I remember the discipline and respect that Bob Wade demanded from his talented teams. Muggsy Bogues may not be the best prep player I’ve ever seen but he’s hands-down the most exciting.
TL: A few quick hitters. What are your knee jerk responses to the following?
You’re a lifetime Packers fan. Favre or Rodgers?
For the passion and toughness Favre my fav but A-Rod is the better of the Hall of Famers. Bart Starr has 5 rings he was pretty good too.
Favorite all-time Oriole?
Brooks the original Mr. Oriole.
Favorite all-time Colt?
Johnny U player, Artie character. Don’t tell Matte.
Favorite all-time Raven?
O.J. Brigance. Ray between the lines.
Most difficult interview you’ve experienced.
Governor, Mayor and all involved the night Baltimore got dumped for the second time in expansion for Jacksonville.
Jeremy Conn in one word.
Best thing about Baltimore.
Second best quarterback to represent Baltimore in the NFL.
Joe Flacco: Elite or not?
Elite Brady, Brees, Rodgers that’s it. Elite to me means the best not top 10. Joe is in a bunch of about 10 who are franchise QB’s and he’s a SB MVP.
Manny Machado: An Oriole in 2019, yes or no?
$300-400 million reasons likely NO.
Ravens final record in 2017?
Started at 8-8, now 9-7. 10-6 anyone?