Tag Archives: Radio

is a sad salvation

Sam Huff is off Redskins radio, Herzog thinks he was fired

Sam Huff is out of the Washington Redskins radio booth, leaving Sonny Jurgensen as the lone member of the Sonny, Sam & Frank glory days of Redskins radio. (After nearly 50 years as a player, coach, and broadcaster, Sam Huff retires from Washington Redskins) For a generation Washingtonians watched the game with “the sound turned down and the radio” to hear Huff and Sonny Jurgensen add commentary to Frank Herzog’s play-by-play. The trio was broken up in 2004 when Herzog was dumped for V.P. of branding or some other B.S. title, Larry Michael.

Herzog went on WTOP radio this weekend and suggested that Huff was fired - Hall of Famer Huff retires, Herzog questions move. It seems Herzog’s claims were based on his intiution that Huff would never give up and not any actual conversations. Perhaps Herzog was just trying to get some attention, but it is worth considering.

Huff had a reduced schedule last season, a concession to age. Barry Svrluga, described it in
Sam Huff won’t broadcast Redskins opener for first time since 1974:

Linebackers, over time, lose a step. The proof shows up on game film: Tackles are missed, yards are gained, games are lost. Radio announcers, too, wear down, and the proof is right there for fans to hear. Such inevitable drop-offs are almost imperceptible from game to game or even season to season. Yet at a certain point, they are undeniable.

Huff will still join Jurgensen and Michael in the booth for the Redskins’ eight home games as well as two on the road, against the rival Giants and Cowboys, but his curtailed schedule is an acknowledgment, in a roundabout way, that he has lost a step in recent years. “Everything ends in sports,” he said recently, and lowered his voice. “Everything ends in sports.”

That doesn’t mean he’s at peace with the decision. “I don’t understand it all,” he said one July day, not long after the Redskins’ flagship radio station, ESPN 980, announced his reduced schedule.

Huff’s departure from the booth is shocking only in that it took so long for it to happen. Dave McKenna wrote about Huff’s decline for years in the CityPaper. From November 2007: The Final Countdown? The decline of Sam Huff and Redskins radio

This Hall of Famer has spent most Sunday afternoons this fall appearing befuddled by the simplest on-field action. It’s impossible to ignore all the accusations that the game he once mastered has passed him by, and even diehard Skins fans have stopped defending his flawed performances. Many hope he goes away before he puts a permanent hurt on his local legacy.

In September 2010, McKenna wrote about Huff again Sam Huff: From “The Violent World” to His Own World

…has seemed wobbly in the booth for a while.

But by now that wobbliness has reached a level of consistency that makes the audience stay tuned so as not to miss whatever wackiness will come next.

He’s thrown so much crazy stuff out there this year, partners Larry Michael and Sonny Jurgensen have to be on clean-up alert whenever their beloved cohort’s microphone is on. During an exhibition game against Baltimore, for example, the refs dropped a penalty flag as the Ravens offense was approaching the line of scrimmage.

“Its gotta be holding!” said Huff. Michael and Jurgensen pointed out the ball hadn’t been snapped.

So, the end of Huff’s tenure has been a long time coming, but it is reasonable to say that his status as a Redskins icon kept him around longer than merit as a broadcaster and analyst.

NOW WHAT?

I don’t know how long Jurgensen is going to keep going and Michael is probably here forever unless he parks in Dan Snyder’s special parking space or something similar. Back in 2010, I suggested that John Riggins and Joe Theismann would make a great Redskins radio team. That seems highly unlikely though, because I don’t see Riggins coming aboard. Riggins has shown a great deal of antipathy for Snyder, but also seems to have removed himself from football completely (John Riggins on Alfred Morris: “Never Heard of Him…I Don’t Watch Football” – Hogs Haven) in favor of his outdoors show, Riggo on the Range. Theismann, who had national announcing jobs for years, might be willing to move into Redskins radio booth if offered. Rick “Doc” Walker has worked the sidelines for a while and could make his way up to the booth as well.

SONNY & SAM, MORE THAN TEAMMATES

The Redskins produced a long documentary on Huff and Jurgensen, who arrived in 1964 from the New York Football Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. They’ve been best friends since those trades.

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CarTalk Trotskyists retiring

Dewey Cheetham & Howe, CarTalk Plaza
I’m bummed out that long-running (and most popular) NPR program CarTalk is ending original broadcasts in the fall.

‘Car Talk’ Guys Are Retiring, But Their Best Stuff Will Be RebroadcastNPR

June 8, 2012; Our Fair City – Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, the comedian mechanics who host NPR’s Car Talk, will tell their listeners this afternoon that as of this fall, they’ll no longer record new programs. But their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed by NPR drawing on material from their 25 years of show archives.

“My brother has always been ‘work-averse,’ ” says Ray, 63. “Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him!”

“It’s brutal!” adds Tom, 74.

Time to Get Even Lazier – Staff Blog, CarTalk

I wonder how long it would have taken listeners to notice that old episodes were airing again.

The *real* story is NPR simply can’t handle any more letters from people complaining about “those Trotskyists on CarTalk.” Or at least, that’s how Bob Garfield of On the Media referred to them few weeks ago at the Bart Richards Award. I’m still trying to get video or a transcript.

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RIP Pat Boland

Longtime radio broadcaster Pat Boland diesCDT
Pat Boland, a name and voice familiar to the Penn State and State College communities succumbed to brain cancer. He was 42. I remember Boland mostly for his radio work with Phil Grosz of Blue White Illustrated and pre- and post-game of Nittany Lions games.

h/t @scrappled

UPDATED 07.06.2011

Radio reporter Boland loses cancer battleCDT

Local radio host passes awayThe Collegian

JEFF RICE: Goodbye to a friendCDT

Broadcaster Boland Remembered for Unfailing Fairness, Sharp HumorStateCollege.com

Longtime Centre County Broadcaster Loses Battle With CancerWJAC

Boland’s blog

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What Ken Beatrice has been up to

There are apparently sports talk radio warz going on (visit DC Sports Bog if you really want to find out more) which has me thinking one thing — I miss Ken Beatrice!

For the uninitiated, Beatrice was a long-time host of a sports call-in show on WMAL (back when it was a real local radio station) and later WTEM. He patiently took callers questions (including mine) night after night, but also in his office before the show. With an enthusiastic and thick Boston accent Beatrice was an oft-imitated voice in the D.C. area. I listened to his show regularly, whether coming home from football or basketball practice or going to sleep (when Ron Weber and the Washington Capitals weren’t on). Beatrice was easily parodied (Mike O’Meara had the best), but never outworked and his bond with listeners was strong, even after a mean-spirited Tony Kornheiser article that exposed Beatrice exaggerating his resume. The definitive biography of Beatrice described in this 2000 CityPaper farewell column by Dave McKenna. Nobody who has come since on DC sports talk has come close to matching what Beatrice did.

Earlier today, my brother forwarded me an article from the Arlington Catholic Herald about Beatrice, who is now a lector during Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Warrenton. it is good to hear Beatrice is doing well and is getting to express his faith and I wish him well. I have to admit that if I was listening to him, I’d probably wonder when he was going say YOU’RE NEXT! “I never touch the curly fries” and of course, “BYE NOW!”

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