Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Denver's Sports Radio: Bring in the Young Guns/Needed Shake-Ups...

If you have gone through my previous rants blogs about Denver Sports Radio, you will see one thing, I guess I don't respect my elders any longer.  Many of these men have had years and years of great Denver Sports talk, but many of them are years and years beyond their time.  Their hours on-air are because they still have long-time sponsors to help keep them out of where they should be, enjoying retirement.  I point to Gil Whiteley, Irv Brown and Joe Williams whom consume 3 hours of Denver Sports Radio on Mile High Sports Radio from the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. timeframe.  These men should help a young guy that deserves to host a show and brings more to the table by telling their long-time sponsors that they should stick around with a guy that takes over their time slot. But who are the guys that could settle in to take over for these legends of Denver Sports Radio?

Mile High Sports has done an excellent job of developing young talent.  One of the best young guns in Denver, Nate Kreckman, cut his teeth producing for The Press Box show before Mark Kiszla ruined it and it was manned by Jim Armstrong and Tim Neverett.  He then teamed up to make radio magic with Joel Klatt and since then went to ESPN and once Joel left Denver, Nate has become the best in Denver sports radio.  There are other guys that deserve their shot like Kreckman got and they are:

1. Chad Brown-Brown is amongst the best guys in Denver for sports talk and is only a segment filler.  He deserves a show and deserves hours on radio, not just minutes.  His knowledge on pro football is unmatched in this market.  While he is not a Young Gun, he has not been doing radio much and needs more air time!!!

2. Joshua Dover-Dover started as a producer and honestly, I knew from the second he started to interact on-air with the likes of Danny Williams and Cello Romano, he was more than just the glue that held a show together but was a quarter-inch fillet weld that was stronger than the metal he worked with.  Or you could call him the nails that held wood together but that sounds a little homo-erotic and this blog doesn't need to go there.  Dover makes every show he produces better.  He makes every show he has hosted or filled-in take that next step.  Dover took the third spot in the booth for Denver Sports Nation and helped take that show from a weekend show to a nightly 8-10 p.m. show.  Unfortunately due to sponsorship dollars, Denver Sports Nation hasn't been on-air for the past month and a half.  Dover brings a strong work ethic from attending practices, pressers and other events and doing the leg work necessary to get it done in this business.  Dover brings a basketball knowledge that really is missing in today's Denver market that is filled with talking heads without a lot of sports IQ.

3. Benjamin Allbright-Allbright is co-hosts with Mario Vetanze on Level Up.  Vetanze is near the level Allbright is on this list but Allbright brings a lot of football knowledge to the table from studying tape.  His QBR Rankings are very impressive and while my initial interaction with him was an argument over the legitimacy of Tim Tebow not being in the NFL (I believe he is as good as many back-ups), I have a great affinity for his work.  He has a smooth voice that is perfect as a guest, but would be great as a nightly co-host or even host.  In a football crazy town he is someone you want on the dial.  Allbright is fairly new to the sports radio scene but has become someone you have to notice with his work ethic.

4. Matt McChesney-McChesney has a very effective training/teaching method that has helped make his business, Six Zero Strength, a great training center for the young high school to professional athlete.  McChesney brings a no bullshit approach to the table and while it may rub some people the wrong way, it is honesty I enjoy.  Matt brings a long-time local football knowledge with NFL background.  He can talk anything from prep football to NFL football.  Like Allbright, that matters in Denver.

4b. Tom Nalen-Like Brown, Nalen is older than the rest of this group but he counts as a guy that deserves a shot again.  He had finally started making that transition into a VERY good radio guy when ESPN didn't step up to the plate and keep him with Kreckman on the Locker Room.  Nalen brings humor and football knowledge.

4c. Mario Vettanze-Mario hosts Level Up already on the weekends.  He got his start by buying a segment with Danny & Cello on Morning Mayhem.  He is entertaining.  He can talk about any subject and talks a lot of football and basketball.  He has helped Allbright take that next step from just a guest to a host.  Mario is entertaining and a cut from the same cloth as Danny Williams, but better looking.

Honorable Mentions
Benjamin Hochman-Hochman has been cutting his teeth for years and had his own show a couple times.  It's time to give him more radio time by putting him full-time on either The Press Box or with Nate Kreckman.

Reed Marks and Zack Fogg-Bring back the damn Honey Bear and Reed Marks.  They were late night gold together and were not meant for the mornings.

James Gomez-He was quality on his own on weekends.  Interacted well with producer when he needed some filler.  He should be prominently featured as why The Fan Late Night is good!

Andrew Fogoros-He was great morning radio with his longtime best friend, McChesney when he was the Morning Edge.  Unfortunately, things just didn't work out in the afternoon when they took their voice to Colorado Springs.  Fogoros is all over the map and that's what you want in the mornings.  The Edge was about a million times better than what I get in the morning from 6-7 a.m. on Mile High Sports.  His show is meant for the morning and needs to come back.

Adam Kinney-He finds his way in most media pictures during interviews because he doesn't rest.  He is a great host with Joshua Dover on Denver Sports Nation.  He has good takes and knowledge from the ground work he does.  He lacks a hip hop knowledge which ruins his Hinkley alum and basketball cred though.

Will Petersen-I enjoy him when he is on with boss, James Merilatt, and Josh Pennock.  They should all have more radio time and take away from some of the less talented groups.

Chris Dempsey-Football, basketball, college.  He has covered these all for the Denver Post in some fashion. I enjoy him when he fills in and does the weekend shows

There is a long list of guys that should be brought on during their respective sports seasons for more than just a segment, but given a show that changes based off the barometer of that team.  Guys that don't get enough air time but would be great to hear more during the teams they cover seasons:
David Martin ( - Martin is not paid by the Rockies or the Post so he doesn't have to kiss their ass like so many of the other media guys.  His voice is honest and knowledgeable.  I have enjoyed every segment with him because I learn a lot about a team I hate to love.  While the Rockies rank far below my long beloved Broncos, Buffs and Nuggets, the Rockies are the guilty pleasure that I like to learn about and Martin helps me get some insight I miss on my own.

Nate Timmons, Andrew Feinstein and Jeff Morton-All of these guys are an interesting read and voice when they speak Nuggets.  I have followed the Nuggets as long as I have the Broncos and these guys help me catch up on what I missed during the football season with the Nuggets.  I will turn them on early in the season so I don't have to watch 82 games and bore myself to death.  These guys, along with Dover and Adam Kinney

I am not sure.  Denver radio has not given the Avalanche much talk.  Mark Moser was a phenomenal host before he took over the radio play by play/color/everything role for the Avalanche.  I guess I will go with him since I am still awaiting a blogger to demand some air time and my reading/listening time.  Challenge laid out.

So how do these guys get more time?  First, as I illustrated to begin with, the guys over retirement age need to go.  Then, there needs to be some shake-ups to make this happen.  Here are my suggestions:

Mile High Sports (94.1 FM/1550 AM 96.9 FM Boulder)
5:30-7:00 A.M.: Bring back The Morning Edge with Fogoros and McChesney
7:00-9:00 A.M.: The Apprentice and The Mentor with Joshua Dover and Eric Goodman
9:00-11:00 A.M.: The Press Box w/o Mark Kiszla but with Benjamin Hochman and/or Chris Dempsey along with Brandon Krisztal and Oren Lomena
11:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.: Spano, Petersen and Pennock-Spano is a bad impersonation of Sandy Clough on his own but I enjoy him with these guys
2:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M.: Denver Sports Nation- Pay Dover to do double duty
4-6 P.M.: Danny and Cello
6-8 P.M.: Renaud Notaro: He has good guest hosts and deserves a longer running show.  Have him team up with the revolving sports guys mentioned above
8-10 P.M.: Level Up w/ Mario and Allbright
10-Midnight: Honey Bear and Reed Marks w/ Krissi Bex

The Fan (104.3 FM)
6:00-9:00 A.M.: Vic and Gary w/ Nate Lundy (I won't quit asking for it
9 A.M.-Noon: Evans and Sandy Clough.  Bring back good radio!  Clough is an ass on his own and needs one guy to fill dead air.  He is crowded in the booth being a 3rd wheel.
12-3:00 P.M.-Scott Hastings w/ Big Al and D-Mac: This is not a drive time show.  Drive time radio is supposed to have knowledge and pizzazz.  There is only pizzazz with these clowns.  Big Al has became lazy as a radio guy and needs Hastings to kick his ass in gear.
3-6 P.M.: Chad Brown and Nate Kreckman
6-8 P.M.: Cecil Lammey w/ Tom Nalen
8-10 P.M.: Fan Late Night w/ Gomez and Drotar

ESPN (102.3 FM)
Quit questioning our intelligence.  You pay two radio guys full-time for a Denver Sports station.  Let them go to stations that matter and just go national.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Calling out Mile High Sports! Where are you?!

Mile High Sports has been on the 94.1 FM frequency for the better part of seven months.  The initial signal was so bad you couldn't drive anywhere without static.  As a long-time listener and caller, I (and many others) have given Mile High Sports the benefit of the doubt.  Well, that honeymoon period has come to a close.  It's time to pick apart this issue and get something to happen.

While the signal is better than its inception, the fact is, it's still shit.  Here are some of the main issues:
  • 94.1 Mile High Sports often becomes 95.7 The Party on 94.1.  While I appreciate getting caught up with the modern hip-hop/pop music once in a while, I prefer to make that choice myself.
  • Signal is spotty: I may get the signal for a few blocks and then can't hear over the static just down the street.  There are patches like this ALL over the Denver metro and suburb area with this station.
  • Denver based station should be heard in Denver: I have "TRIED" to listen to the station from Lincoln Avenue to Highway 7 and from Wheat Ridge to DIA (and many places past these areas).  It doesn't matter whether I am in Reunion/Commerce City, going down Monaco, driving through Broomfield, I deal with static and having to switch the station.  For many other Denver Sports Radio listeners I know this is an issue for them as well.  This is not an issue with any other station I listen to. 
  • It's Broke, Actually Fix It!!!: I have heard sporadically that they are trying to improve the frequency.  Other than the first month when it went from horrendous to crap, I haven't noticed much improvements.
  • Have Issues? Let us know: Mile High Sports on-air staff is very friendly with the Twitter-verse and giving their listeners a voice. Unfortunately, anytime anyone brings up this issue, the President of Mile High Sports, James Merilatt completely ignores it and doesn't comment on it.  I have seen some of his own on-air people get chastised for even discussing the signal's issues.  Man-up and say we have a problem and when it is completely out or not working, put the information on your website and twitter page. 
I am an avid Mile High Sports radio listener.  However, with these issues and with their giving more talented hosts the boot (see Joshua Dover, Adam Kinney, Matt McChesney, Andrew Fogoros and Reed Marks as for instance), I have been looking around to frequencies that are dependable.  Hell, I get a Fort Collins based 105.5 FM clearly everywhere in Denver.  Additionally, there are some hosts that don't do their homework  and rather than give informative opinion, they just talk non-sense.  Do some research, like two of the best in keeping with modern thing in Dover and Kinney, or I can just turn on two idiots like D-Mac and Big Al to go brain dead with bad opinions.

But I digress, this is about fixing the biggest issue, 94.1 Mile High Sports station's signal and  Denver's best live and local sports station.  A station that brought people like me to MHS and away from ESPN Radio single man crews and 104.3 The Fans hours of crowded booths and repeat radio.  Truly listen to your listeners Mr. Merilatt and fix the signal.  Otherwise, sports podcasters and other stations will take away mine and many others listening time.

(Note: Mile High Sports is offered on the AM dial of 1550 and when I really enjoy a topic, I will just flip over to that, but why should we have to in Denver?!  Additionally, this signal has issues of its own in areas around town.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Time to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder BUFFS FANS and say Thanks!!!

2014 came with the typical hope for our Colorado Buffaloes football team.  It started out with a nightmare when CSU decided to take the ball the last quarter and a half and run the ball down the Buffs throat.  Hope was lost for many.  After a disastrous start to the UMass game and eeking out a victory, many believed the Buffs would get rolled by Arizona State and Hawaii may be our loan chance at 2 wins.

Funny thing is, after a disastrous start against Arizona State in a losing effort, some belief, hope and faithfulness was brought back in the CORE of the Buffs fan base.  Buff fans saw a team that played a Top 25 program head to head the rest of that game.  The effort put a scare in a Sun Devil team that would have beat the Buffs of the past into the ground and hung 45+ points and beat the Buffs by 30+ points.
After a ho-hum second half against Hawaii, again doubt crept in again.  But, after a game the Buffs completely outplayed CAL in a heartbreaking 2 OT Loss and then the multiple officiating bullshit non-calls that cost the Buffs a victory against Oregon State, the Buffs faithful seem to finally be standing SHOULDER to SHOULDER again.

In consecutive weeks, we have seen heart breaking narrow defeat.  The last time the Buffs had not lost by more than a score in consecutive weeks in conference play was 2010.  In the Pac 12, we hadn’t seen such effort and opportunities in games.  While Oregon State and Cal are the lower end of the conference, the simple fact is, even those teams often whooped up on the Buffs as evident by a 7-6 Oregon State team in 2013 and a non-qualifying Utah team controlling most of the game last year.n

Ufortunately 2014s second half gauntlet is upon the Buffs after this mid-season Bye Week.  But instead of running away from it, the Buffs seem disappointed they have to wait a week to take on who’s next.  This isn’t your decimated, down trodden 1-11 2012 Buffaloes that other than a last hurrah seemed like they just wanted the season over.  To read what these guys are saying, no wonder MacIntyre is pissed and chased down the refs.  They are fed up with getting disrespected, doubted and treated like shit by some of the “fan base”, the local media and at the university.  This is a team that’s close to that next step.

I am not old enough to see the years it took Bill McCartney to turn around the program (born in 1981) but I saw the success and have heard and read plenty.  Recalling history, I look at McCartney’s 3rd season in 1984 where they Buff went 1-10 to the 2014 team led by Mike MacIntyre.  They took a step back record wise, but they started to come together as a group and get the guys and the mentality in that McCartney needed to compete.

That group believed they were going to be great.  This group believes it.  You can see the frustration, hear the frustration and feel the frustration when your coach has taken enough of the disrespect and getting so close he goes to bat for his guys and EARNS a $10,000 fine that I am sure the more wealthy FANS/boosters were happy to pay.  This is a team that isn’t lying down.  They have 6 games, they have HOPE and FAITH that they are going to be the TEAM that turns things around.

While the 2014 Buffs odds are stacked greatly against them making a bowl game, you can believe that they are going to fight the rest of the season to take that leap in 2015 to a bowl team that strikes fear into opponents.  I have hope and belief they will get another win or two or maybe more, but even if they don’t I will stand shoulder to shoulder with this program like I have seen many of you finally start to do again, because we believe in this team.  We love this team, we love this program and we love the fire that our coach and team are showing in 2014.

So instead of a "thankless job", some hack journalist like Mark "He Who Shall Not Be Named" says has affected him, I say and many of us say Thank You Mike MacIntyre for taking on this job and doing the things to show that all of OUR Buffs football team is improving.  Thanks to Tad Boyle for going out of his way to show support and effort to the program after taking over the "thankless job" that was Colorado Basketball.  Thank you to Rick George for having the vision and balls to do what it took to build an expansion to Folsom that will put the Buffs on a level playing field with MOST of the Pac 12 in football and other athletics by getting the support in such a short time.  Thank you for listening to our complaints and rectifying them.  The amount of things that get resolved within a week or two (concessions, beer gardens, etc.) have been worth a hand shake, man hug and clap at the least.  Thank you to the young men that we cheer for and are proud to see join the fraternity of Buffs players.  The effort it takes to play in a power conference college football program is unmatched by any sport or level.  The effort to do so on a program that has had a losing culture and needed a complete reconstruct is even greater, but you persevere and fight to see the Buffs roam again.

I am proud to be a Buff fan and instead of being curious if we will see MacIntyre to the end of this contract before he is fired, I am more worried that in a couple seasons we will have to fight his hometown SEC boys from trying to pry him away from us after bowl games in 2015 and 2016.  Great work, keep it going.  Many of us hope, believe and have faith that the Buffs will return to the success of years past much sooner with the efforts you have all put in.  Shoulder to Shoulder we will fight for the Buffs like you have for this program.  THANK YOU ALL AND GO BUFFS!!!