BIRDLAND – Since my man Rodney Ho — (Love that cool hat!) – is out on vacation, I’ll take a stab at
this Sports Talk Radio blog stuff.
The editors over at TALKERS magazine, with input from “industry” leaders, have compiled their first annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” and there are four groups from Atlanta represented on the list.
They call it the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.” Growing up, my favorite radio guy was the great Pete Franklin on WWWE in Cleveland. He kicked ass and took names!!!
The Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York is No. 1. He’s a Franklin clone, but not nearly as good as ol’ “Pigskin Pete.”
The top Atlanta group of David Archer and Mike Bell, from WQXI 790 The Zone, checked it at No. 30.
Christopher Rude, the lovely Sandra Golden, Perry Laurentino and Leo Mazzone of 680 WCNN were ranked 62nd.
Golden is the highest ranking women sports talker on the list. Former Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken (Fox Sports Network) is only other women on that list and is ranked 93rd.
and Ryan Stewart (The Two Live Stews), Tony Barnhart and Wes Durham of WQXI were grouped together and ranked 81st. Here’s Rodney’s blog on the recent changes over at 790 The Zone.
Steak Shapiro, Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino of WQXI were ranked 97th.
Two clear local omissions were the Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff duo and the Buck Belue and John Kincade show over at WCNN. (Rodney warned me via email that Oliver & Chernoff would not be too happy with this little list of so-called “Heavy Hitters” in the sports talk game.)
Like most “lists” you’re going to have critics and this one is getting ripped to shreds online.
Folks have pointed out that that there are not very many African-American broadcasters on the list. Most the African-Americans are ex-jocks like Alfred Williams (KKFN, Denver), LaVar Arrington (WJFK, Washington, D.C.), Artrell Hawkins (Fox Sports Network), Blaine Bishop (WGFX, Nashville), Marcellus Wiley (KSPN, Los Angeles), former Falcons linebacker Ike Reese (WIP, Philadelphia) and Joe Morgan (Sports USA Media).
They have my man Stephen A. Smith (WEPN, New York, 57th), ranked too low. Bernie Miklasz (WXOS, St. Louis, 54th) and Randy Galloway (KESN, Dallas, 59th) should also be ranked higher.
There is no mention of rising star Bomani Jones (Clark Atlanta University alum). I’m sure you’ve seen him on ESPN’s Around the Horn and other shows. He’s the one with deep, silky voice.
Also, everyone knows that Roger B. Brown’s show — 18 years and running – on KKDA is Dallas is regularly “Hot Fire!”
I don’t know about you, but there’s a special place in heaven for folks who can do the Sports Talk gig. It’s one of the nicest hustles in all of the Sports Empire. You get to sit down, talk sports and get free food if you decide to attend the games. Some of them even do their homework and support their comments with facts and stats.
Don’t knock the hustle!
Ok, so I’m done being a radio critic! (Drop mic)
Back to the Countdown to Training camp . . . .
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog