Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ranking Denver's Sports Talk Shows...

I have been an avid listener to Denver Sports Talk Radio since I was 18 years old and driving to the School of Mines daily. On a side note, I have been listening to Nuggets games on the radio since I was 14.   In 1999 when I started listening to sports talk, the only sports station was AM950 The Fan.  In the last half a dozen years, Denver's Sports Radio scene has taken off.  There are 3 major radio stations in Denver committed solely to sports on the FM dial alone, 93.7 Mile High Sports, 102.3 ESPN and 104.3 The Fan.  850KOA touches on sports with their Dumb Daves show and AM1600 also adds national shows to the mix.  When 102.3 was 87.7 it had a great local line-up and looked promising but needing more money, Lou from Littleton lost the local scene.  Mile High Sports has really stepped up and taken over my radio dial in the last year and a half.  The Fan went ESPN and came back local but their show mixture is not what it could be.  I have listened to every show based in Denver and in the current landscape, this is what I rank them from top to bottom:  (Please note after my rankings, I  have added suggestions for a mega station of Denver Sports that is my dream listening and also touched on some other local radio sports talent.)

1. Morning Mayhem on 93.7 FM/1510 AM from 9-11 AM-Cello Romano and Danny Williams
These guys are sports music to my ears.  It helps they are two guys that are like me; Fans that love the local sports scene and are in their early 30s and are young, hip and entertaining.  They are homers,  but they also keep it real.  It's like listening to two best friends where one is the joker, inappropriate type (Danny) and his friend that is the laid back, keep him in check type (Cello) that is sports talk listening gold.  They deserve a spot in the premier slots of early morning or afternoon drive and could use at least another hour.  I started listening to them by chance and have been hooked ever since.  I usually don't stream online for listening, but these guys have my attention 9-11 daily.

2. Drew and Scott from 11 AM-1 PM: Scott Hastings and Drew Goodman
I have always felt Scott Hastings is a knowledegable and intelligent guy that can talk sports, be funny and have enjoyed him being in the Denver scene for years.  His roots in the south, work as color on Broncos game previously and working with football guys in the past makes his NFL/college ball talk amongst the best.  Goodman was great with the Nuggets on PSN and has been solid with the Rockies as well.  My biggest issue is he can't say a negative word about the Rockies, but he knows baseball and basketball.  These guys are on my radio if I am driving around lunch.

3. The Morning Edge-Matt McChesney and Andrew Fogoros
Funny, entertaining and when I go in early, these guys are what start a great day.  I wish they would get more than an hour because they are good and need more time and less commercials.

4. The Press Box-Peter Burns and Mark Kizla
Peter Burns is a great addition to the Denver scene over the last year. His ADHD probably is what makes him most entertaining. I can't read Kizla's columns and believe Burns carries this show.  7-9 is too short for them but then they'd be cutting in to two other great shows.  

5. Afternoon Drive with Mac and Goodman-Mark MacIntosh and Eric Goodman
I am torn on this show.  I like it better than the other two afternoon/evening drives home because they talk sports and also allow people to call in and give their take.  It is a simple show with two guys in their middle age that keep each other in check and are a solid program.  They don't shine, they are just solid.

6. Brandon Spano Show
He is on too late, but is a great local late night guy. If I was single, I would listen to him all the time. Touches on many local thinks including boxing and MMA. The perfect late night show.

7. CJ & Kreckman-Charles Johnson and Nate Kreckman
This pains me.  I love Charles Johnson as a Buff and thought he did well with Klatt.  I believe Kreckman is one of the best sports guys in Denver.  He's funny, knows his stuff and keeps me entertained.  He was a rock start on his own as the working man and had one of the best shows on air when he worked with Joel Klatt.  This show just doesn't seem to have much pizzazz with them together.  It is bordering on uncomfortable racial talk and CJs kackling laugh is frustrating.  Kreckman needs to go back on his own or partner up with a guy that he can cool down like he did with Klatt.

8. Clough Talk-Sandy Clough
This guy knows sports and was part of Clough and Evans when I really enjoyed their morning show together when I would be driving to school in the early 2000s.  He unfortunately is an ass hole and thinks too highly of himself and his callers are treated poorly.  When he is talking sports, he is good.  His biggest problems are his dead air thought breaks of 5-15 seconds he has constantly.  I at times have sat there and been like, did something happen only to hear him speak again.  Intelligent but an "idiot" for not knowing how to speak with listeners.

9. RenKnowItAll-Renaud Nataro
Listened to him when he was on 950 back in the day. He is good. Smooth voice. Just tough that he is on once everyone gets home. Would be a good fit with a guy like Kreckman.

10. Irv & Joe-Irv Brown and Joe Williams
Have been on radio before I was born I believe. They are solid, but they go off on tangents only the 60+ audience understand. I still check in on them but past their prime.

11. Les & Tom Nalen
Les was good with JoJo and G-Man.  He unfortunately is cut from the Clough cloth.  He just thinks he knows more than everyone else.  Nalen is a smart guy and is gaining traction and is better than Alfred any day of the week in the fact he has a brain.  Just not a great spark together.

12.The Drive with Big Al & D Mac
Big Al was a great Bronco and Buff and fit like a glove with Scott Hastings.  He is steadfast and fails to look at the whole picture on issues.  I can't stand listening to him because he is not intelligent.  D Mac has tried so many things and each time I try to give him a try and he has no appeal.  The guy has lost a lot of weight and works out and I respect that, but he is more fit for some triathalon show than sports.

13. Klatt & Evans-Joel Klatt and Mike Evans
Evans has lost his touch.  He was great with guys like Clough and Mark Moser.  He is a puppy dog to Klatt.  Klatt gets more and more arrogant by the day and job that he takes.  He toes the company line for the Rockies as well and is a know-it-all type that does not fit with a weak co-host.  Bring back Kreckman and Klatt and I'll listen.

14. Nooner-Gil Whitely
Can't stand his voice. Knows his stuff.

There are a few guys that I'd like to say need mention.  The funny thing is they are all producers that make shows better with their takes or have made shows better.  Brandon Kriztal left Denver recently and I found him to be very entertaining and a solid guy when he was on air.  He will be missed, but these young cats are all Mile High Sports guys that round out what I believe would make for great radio and do when they fill-in or are on during the weekend or just streaming online.  From top to bottom; Josh Dover, Josh Pennock, Zach Fogg and G The Producer (who has a super late show I have listened to while running during warm late nights).  Dover is a basketball nut and it's no surprise with his Indiana upbring.  The guy adds a lot from the 6 am to 11 am.  He is keeping Gil employeed until 1, but to be honest I would like to see him take that spot over or extend Morning Mayhem to 12 and have Dover and Pennock from 12-3 getting rid of the Depends.  Pennock makes his 1-6 shows better and without Fogg, Spanos, G The Producer and Renowitall shows aren't as good as they are.  I hate to sound like a Mile High homer, but they have got a great formula going: Solid young producers that add commentary to their shows with some great shows, minus their mid-day oldies that I respect but just think there are better options in-house and they take phone calls, give stuff away and don't treat their callers like crap.  I was a 102.3 and 104.3 listener over what MH Sports  had out there for the first couple years Mile High Sports got started, but they get better every time I listen to them.  I am leaving one guy off from above I'd like to add, Cecil Lammey.  Energetic, fantasy, draft, combine and NFL football and his basketball knowledge, this guy is super talented and when he had his own show, I couldn't get enough.  So he is a local to keep in mind when he is on talking football of fantasy during the weekends or doing spots on the local ESPN shows.

And here are my line-ups I'd like to see with only two competing stations since 102.3 ESPN has really dropped the ball with only two local guys:

Mile High Sports
5:00 AM-7:00 A.M.: Morning Edge-Make McChesney and Fogoros come in earlier and cut out some commercials.  McChesney has a lot of work at SixZero so he can't really work the other slots.
7:00AM-10:00 AM: Burns and Kreckman: Both young, off the straight path guys that could make a program take off.  I would also take Dover or Jim Armstrong here if Kreckman would be the afternoon guy with Klatt.  Kizla is not my favorite and but, but, but I just think someone else would make this a more entertaining show.  Lance Britton daily or a sub anywhere else would work and if Smug Ass Peter Burns doesn't like any of these guys, Lance Britton is his voice twin anyway.
10:00 AM-1:00 PM: Dover and Cecil Lammey. This would be the great bridge to the afternoon shows and give Dover a show he deserves.
1:00-3:00 PM: Mac and Goodman:  Take away the Depends and insert the Cialis/Viagra guys.
3:00-6:30 PM Afternoon Insanity with Cello and Danny
6:30 and after-Keep it the same but add more Fogg and Pennock

6-9 Clough and Evans.  These two are good together and it has been stupid for them not to get back together.
9-12 Big Al and Scott Hastings.  While Big Al is not my favorite, this show was awesome.
12-3 CJ and Drew.  These two would be a better fit together IMO
3-6 Nalen and Klatt.  Nalen wouldn't take Klatt's crap.  I honestly would also take Nalen and Drew and CJ and Klatt or put Kreckman on with Klatt and figure someone

This all said one of my favorite shows ever was Jim Armstrong and Tim Neveritt, if they could take over in the mornings anywhere they'd be my show.  The above also shows you that even a guy I don't like in another show would be great with the right co-host like Klatt, Evans, Clough and Big Al have been and could be again.  Obviously to me The Fan  has dropped the ball and 102.3 early Ticket days fell apart quickly.

I have also added Lance Britton to the mix in my time slots above.

Monday, January 7, 2013

RGIII and his bum knee...

Robert Griffin III is the only person that can tell what his pain threshold is and the only person that can tell the doctor's that I am cleared but can't do what I need to to help is win.  Shanahan is notoriously old school and treats injuries poorly (i.e. Terrell Davis in Denver) but had RGIII said, I am not going to help you but hurt you, he would have had to sit him.  I put 90% of the blame on RGIII and only 10% on Shanahan.  I know how it is as a competitor on the football field and wrestling mat and as a coach in both instances.  As a competitor, you don't want to quit and as a coach you want your guy to play through pain.  Sometimes as a coach, you have to turn that compassion button on and realize that you need to make the choice for the player and this is where I fault Shanahan.  When it's clear he can't get it done, pull him.  The tough part is he re-aggravated an injury, but was just as hobbled last week. 

Obviously, hindsight is always 20/20 but as long as RGIII doesn't require a leg amputation he should be back healthier at the beginning of the season.  RGIII needs to learn a few things.  He often tackles himself and causes injuries by sliding awkwardly and putting himself in bad situations by taking more punishment than he needs to.  He is not the size of Cam Newton or even Tim Tebow, so he needs to realize he needs to give up that extra yard if it means saving your ass. 

Here is to hoping RGIII's recovery is as prompt and successful as Adrian Peterson's was.  I am a huge fan of this young man and hope that this allows him to learn that pain that limits mobility is not going to prove anything besides detremintal to your career, so be careful.  Though I do not blame Shanahan, if this is something that causes RGIII to miss most of next year, look for Dan Snyder to be his typical impulsive self and make a switch.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Broncos can afford to lose McCoy over Del Rio...

Mike McCoy is a hot coaching commodity for all those teams looking for a Head Coach after 9 teams cut ties with their HC on Black Monday.  The front is much more quiet on Jack Del Rio.  I say thank goodness.  The Broncos Defense is the best I have seen it... ever (at least in my life).  The Broncos defensive team speed and playmaking ability is off the charts (or at least at the top).  Having a HC and DC (that is a former HC) that are defensive minded sure doesn't hurt.

The Broncos Defense were:
  • 2nd in YPG Allowed with 3rd in both Passing & Rushing YPG
  • 1st-T with 52 sacks
  • 2nd-T with 5 Int Return for TDs
  • 3rd-T for Forced Fumbles
They are the best team in the playoffs on defense.  Del Rio is a huge reason for this.  Dennis Allen did the Broncos a favor by taking the worse HC job in the NFL with Oakland.  The NFL is doing a favor to the Broncos by currently ignoring Del Rio and being enamored with offensive minded HCs.  Del Rio was a solid coach for Jacksonville, just as John Fox was for Carolina.  They both got let go at their old jobs because their GMs and owners refused to do what it took to win and did not put the right talent around them.  Fox had the immortal Jake Delhomme as his best QB and no REC other than Steve Smith and a boring defense that he helped be solid.  The only playmaker was not shown the money and the team took a huge hit.  Same goes for Del Rio, they neglected their defense and drafted poorly.  The only player worth keeping during his tenure there was MJD.  They were awful drafting RECs. 

McCoy has been a solid OC, but let's be honest, he looks way more attractive because he has Peyton Manning.  People say he adjusted his offense to Tebow last year for the Broncos to have success.  Yes, but it was like watching a cowboy break in a wild stallion.  Put him on a rope and only let him go so far.  I will always believe Tebow could have been even more successful if the Broncos had thrown in more misdirection and opened up the playbook instead of slamming McGahee up the gut every first down.  I digress.  McCoy is solid, I believe he'll have success elsewhere but the Broncos are so successful right now because they have a HOF QB and two of the best defensive minds in the NFL.  The hope is we can have the same DC for two consecutive seasons finally and keep Del Rio.