Monday, June 30, 2008
I am posting this three days after it happened so I could sit down and let it sink in to decide if I am mad or disappointed and who to direct these emotions towards. I am not in the bargaining room with either of these and have no clue what they were offered but I do know that Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero stated that neither player had intentions of resigning with the team and wanted to test the market. As Malkin apparently considers his options to play in Russia, is giving up on both of these two something we really should do or were both just so unhappy in Pens uniforms that it didn't matter what the team offered, they were gone? And in light of these news items, what will this Stanley Cup finals team look like next year? And is Barry Melrose making quite an impression already or what especially since Tampa also just picked up the rights to Minnesota Wild's Brian Rolston for a conditional draft pick as well?
One aspect of this deal I did not mention yet, Tampa has only a few more hours left to sign Malone and Roberts before they officially become unrestricted free agents on July 1st. So its entirely likely that Pittsburgh ends up with a draft pick and neither man signs with Tampa Bay when it's all said and done so could it be a great deal for Pittsburgh after all. To me, if I am Tampa Bay, I would definitely give Ryan Malone a great offer as I think he can skate in and make a great impression from the first time he gets on the ice and in every game. I also think Scary Gary Roberts can be a great asset to a team as well looking for an experienced defenseman. My question is, what are the two guys looking for and what are teams willing to pay them?
I will conclude with this statement, this is exactly why I refuse to spend a lot of money on a specific player's jersey. Yes, I understand free agency is a great asset to players and allows them to do what they feel is in their best interest but that doesn't mean I have to like every aspect of it. In fact, last time I paid a lot of money for a sports jersey was a Shaq Orlando Magic jersey and Penny Hardaway jersey as well and how did that work out for me? I do wish the best for both men and thank them for their contributions towards this team as a Pens fan but part of me can't help but wonder how much better this team could be with them still members of the team. There is a lot of time between now and the start of NHL season so who knows, maybe the Penguins can acquire some players of their caliber as well to help soften the blow. And what about Malkin, does this now make it a stronger case to sign and secure him to a long term deal or where do they go from here?
Sunday, June 29, 2008
12 Reasons Why...Being A Talk Show Producer Can Be Fun But Hard Too
1. Introduce us to the man they call T-Bone please?
First off appreciate you calling me “man” that’s not often said! Im producer/comic relief/whipping boy for the Mac Attack on 610 AM WFNZ in Charlotte. Airs Monday-Friday 11am till 3pm, you can check out the best parts of show on podcasting on WFNZ.COM. My parts arent usually on there because ya know….they are not the best parts!
2. What is your educational background and what specific programs or schools did you attend, especially the ones that helped you get your current job?
I made honor roll in 6th grade. After that it was downhill! I attended a small broadcasting school in Charlotte called the “Carolina School Of Broadcasting” and from there landed an internship with WFNZ in 2005 and I have been there ever since.
3. What is your job title and give us a sample of a day in your work shoes?
Im producer of the show. I usually start out my morning by checking email and then nudie sites. Don’t tell the bosses. I get to work around 8am or so and get the guests booked, make sure the open for the show is done, get audio clips. My producer duties are a little different than most producers because Im pretty much the de facto co-host when it comes to pre show stuff. I spend hours talking with Mac about topics, going over stuff we are going to debate on the show. People don’t realize how much time goes into a show. it’s a lot more than 4 hours. Although some days it seems like we put about 4 minutes into it!
4. What made you get into sports talk radio?
Well as silly as this will sound, it started when I was about 4 years old. I used to do wrestling matches with myself and pretend I was the wrestling announcer. I wanted to be Howard Finkel! Someone out there has to know who the Fink is! My Dad was a big influence when I was younger, I was so far advanced in terms of sports knowledge we used to debate stuff over cheerios when I was like 7. Im from Connecticut so every time I was in the car my Dad would have Mike and The Mad Dog from WFAN in New York on and I knew from a young age I wanted to do what they do. Im still a long way away but we will get there someday.
5. For those not familiar with The Mac Attack on 610 am WFNZ in Charlotte, tell us something about the show and why we should listen to it everyday from 11am until 3pm and can even stream it online at http://www.wfnz.com/ .
This T-Bone guy on there is tremendous, that’s really the only reason. In all seriousness the show is only 18 months old and its already the highest rated mid day show in WFNZ history. It just keeps getting bigger day after day. Its very much caller driven, It can be very sophomoric at times but if your looking for a combo of sports, entertainment, and guy talk you wont find a more entertaining fast paced show. We also have one of the most talented guys in the business Chris McClain hosting. Being serious here, the guys amazing at what he does.
6. Who was your favorite interview or still is if its a regular contributor? Who is someone you hope you never do another interview with again or was a huge train wreck?
Well that’s easy, anybody that comes on the show is my favorite guest. I will just name you some of the guys that are easy to deal with (not naming our regular weekly guys because obviously those guys are at the top) and then one that wasn’t.
Clark Kellogg CBS NCAA Basketball
Steve Lavin ESPN
Tommy Smyth ESPN Soccer
Spencer Tillman CBS NCAA Fooball
Ed Cunningham ABC/ESPN College football
Stephen A Smith.
7. Who is the one person you have never had on the show but would love to hear interviewed one day?
Roy Williams from UNC. Never been on our show and with the all the Heels fans we have out there I think it would be a great interview for the show. I put my hatred aside for that answer. Im now drinking heavily.
8. You can only follow one team ever again, which team do you pick?
New York Yankees. They are playing every day from April till October so it would still keep me busy.
9. What is it that T-Bone loves him some of? And what is something you could definitely live without?
I already got warned before I was sent this to keep it clean so my answer for number one has already been deleted. I love entertaining people. I don’t mean like dinner parties, I just mean I like making people laugh, I love saying things sometimes that get a “did he just say that?” reaction. I like being the center of attention and I think to do a good job in this business you have to be that way. I could definitely live without UNC, Carolina Panther, and Dale Jr fans. Can there be a reality show where we put all of them on an Island and one fan base cant return? I think Junior fans would survive, I have seen how they live at Race Weeks here in Charlotte.
10. You wake up tomorrow and are offered your dream job, what exactly did you just get granted?
My dream job is too one day host my own show but in a lot of ways Im living the dream right now. I just take it one day at a time, do the best I can and maybe one day an opportunity will present itself. Until then I will keep being the best I can be day in and day out. Keep in my mind my best isn’t very good.
11. After all this and listening to you on The Mac Attack and people are still wondering who you are, what do you hope people say to describe you?
Regardless weather you love me or hate I want to be described as entertaining. I also want to be a guy that people say “I met T-Bone last night and hes just a regular guy”, I pride myself on being the same person I was when I was bagging groceries at Food Lion. The day I get an ego is the day I leave the business.
12. Your Free Space to say anything you want with only one rule, keep it clean. So, what ya got?
I just want to say if any listeners read this we really appreciate the support and if we get a few new listeners out of it then its well worth my time. Couldn’t do what we do without you guys. We come into your lives 20 hours a week and you still want more from us and that’s a great feeling.
I will leave you with 3 sports predictions.
1.) Chargers get to the Super Bowl this year.
2.) Bobcats make the playoffs next season under Larry Brown.
3.) Coach K retires soon.
Well, what did we learn from this interview most besides I think everyone not at ESPN has little to no respect for Steven A Smith? Despite the fact that he took a shot at my Carolina Panthers and our fan base while working in Charlotte, he is still a fun guy who helps provide a very entertaining and amusing show along with the show host Mac. If you get the chance, please check out the show and show them some love like they showed us. Thank you again T-Bone and keep up the great work.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Beltran and Manuel get tossed from last nights game but just who's fault was it. In case you haven't seen it yet, the Mets seem to be centered around controversy a lot this year with managerial changes, home runs called fouls and now this. Some seasons are long seasons in Mets Land. I am afraid if I put the video directly on my page, MLB will have an issue with is so not wanting to get shut down in my first 24 hours, I rather post the link for now.
If your a Syracuse Chiefs fan, you need to be out at their games the next couple nights. Tonight Lillian Garcia of WWE fame will be there and signing the national anthem and that girl can sang. Tomorrow night, they are doing a giveaway with the above listed shirts for those who purchased Don'te Leave tees to receive lower level seats and grab up one of these sweet shirts. Josh Shear at syracuse.com reported this a couple days ago and I could not help but laugh and wish I still lived up there for this one. Love Donte or hate him and I hope most at least respect him, this is funny especially since they tore up their crappy turf over the offseason and the Chiefs are playing on grass. Take in a great ball game over the next two days and enjoy these great experiences as well. Play Ball.
This is a column that for now at least, i will call my One Stop Shop where I will discuss numerous stuff that don't need a full piece themselves or allow me to make quick sarcastic statements for my own enjoyment. Here is the first edition for your pleasure, enjoy.
- Recently the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners fired their current managers and which team seems to be benefiting the most. Well in a head to head match up so far at Shea Stadium, Seattle has been easily the most impressive(dang it) though last night the Mets did at least get a consecutive streak going. Yeah, two members of the Mets team were tossed in the same game over the same incident. Let's Go Mets and let's hope the spankings end soon.
- A few quick hockey notes for my fellow puckers. Barry Melrose is back on the bench and which is more likely, the Lightning make the playoffs or he brings back that mullet he had back in the day? Will Evgeni Malkin stay with the Penguins or sign a blockbuster deal to be a star in the new Russian League CHL set to start up soon and what will the NHL do to prevent more possible huge offers to contracted talent? And last but not least, will Mats Sundin end up next year in a Rangers uniform as a loud weeping sound is collectively heard from Toronto fans who also saw him allowed to talk with Montreal previously as well? With the Rangers as successful as they were in the NHL playoffs this past season, the true question is does he want to win the Cup or remain a Leaf?
- Hey Shaq, Sheriff Joe apparently doesn't appreciate your freestylin gifts now does he? Hey, how many records did you sell when you tried that career previously, well besides the one I bought(I was young and naive and stupid)?
- Imus is in the news yet again for his foot in mouth disease. I have a question, is anyone honestly shocked at this, please raise your hand if you are(just don't get caught because as I can verify first hand, raising your hand at computers makes the family give you weird looks)? Don't they have a saying for this? Something like fool me once.....?
- After my previous posts merely hours ago, Portland decided to buy a draft pick from New Orleans and they now also have the 27th pick in the draft. Donte if he falls, maybe?
- My non-sport stop of the day is in the world of country music. Is it just me or is Taylor Swift becoming a tame country version of Alanis Morissette with her hit after hit about guys who did her wrong and paying for it? And how many of those guys are kicking themselves right now for it?
- For my wrestling freaks for watched Raw this past Monday night, am I the only one who really fears the spear now more then ever? Seeing Batista and Edge literally going head to head still gives me a huge headache and can't even imagine the ones they had when it was over. And why couldn't I win at least $100,000, dang?
- Recently I have noticed how many women are working at ESPN and love it. My question though is why with all this great female talent, is there not one lady with her own show, especially on ESPN Radio? You don't think replacing Mike and Mike with Bonnie Bernstein and Erin Andrews would increase the ratings, especially the televised portions? I know many fill in at times and do quite a bit of feature work but hopefully someday soon maybe we will see one of these talented women get their shot to shine.
- Speaking of talented women, how many of you know that this could possibly be the last year for women's softball in the Olympics? I was watching Real Sports and they had a feature on this and became even more angered by this decision by those geniuses at the IOC. Now this topic I could spend a whole article on but it would be profanity laced, especially if I thought the IOC was making a political statement with this move while saying people should not boycott the China Olympics due to the political atmosphere in China. I will be honest, I love the view of women's softball but I also know they have a talent I could never do. Jenny Fitch could pitch me 100 softballs and I might foul off one.
- Belated shout out to the Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse team for their national championship. Since I just started this blog, I couldn't really do it much sooner. Thank you Coach Desko for a great season. Also much love to the Orange women's lacrosse team who went deep into the playoffs as well. Nice to see one of the Orange programs are still successful.
- And last but not least(though I hope you enjoyed this feature), in the world of MMA, who do you think holds the lead in the world of MMA, Elite XC who has a deal with Showtime and CBS or UFC who has their deal with Spike and offers some star studded pay per view events? UFC may be the bigger name but my personal choice is Elite as I enjoy all the matches I have seen from them so far and like their play by play guys better as well.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
- So I am sitting here in frustration and know that if I go to bed not at least listing something I worked on, I will not sleep. In summary, I will give a quick bulletin about what I discovered when researching some of the NBA teams drafting in the teens that could potentially pick up Syracuse Orange forward Donte Greene.
- First off, Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune lists Donte going to Golden State in his mock draft with Portland drafting Brandon Rush of Kansas. However he did state that if Rush is gone, he lists Greene as a possiblity at this slot and quotes Portland's GM Kevin Pritchard as saying, "Greene, Pritchard says, can help an NBA team right away. He can certainly help the interior-challenged Warriors."
- Then we have Paul Cozo of The Arizona Republic who also believes Greene will go at #14 to Golden State and even agrees Rush will go to Portland. Cozo uses this quote to support his pick of Greene, "The Warriors can never have enough big wing players. He is a proven shooter. He won't help their rebounding or defensive needs, but he's a safe pick with upside," the San Francisco Chronicle's Janny Hu said." So Donte will end up in Golden State, right? Read on.
- Speaking of Janny Hu, on the San Francisco Chronicle website there is an article about the Golden State Warriors draft. In this piece, Hu uses quotes from Golden State Vice President Chris Mullin(former St. John Redmen) to imply Mullin is mulling over a trade(oh come on, you know that's funny, maybe not). Hu states that Mullin believes, and I quote Hu here, Golden State is "one good player away from being a legitimate playoff force, and with the draft unlikely to provide such a piece, he has two realistic avenues to secure one - trade and free agency. " Wow, not strong support for Donte there it seems and thats supposedly straight from Mullin's mouth. Or is it a decoy to keep teams from drafting the guy he really wants? Hmmm.
- For the sake of brevity, let's just say that from what I have seen, Golden State is not the only one considering a trade in this area. Jeff Rabjohns of the Indianapolis Star says Larry Bird is looking to trade as well but not trade away his pick, get an additional first rounder as well. Rabjohns does not specifically name who they are targeting but says Bird knows who he wants at their #11 slot and thinks he will still be there but can Bird change things around by getting that second pick? They list point guard and post player as top two needs in this piece so how about a 6'8 1/2 forward who can also shoot from the outside? Who knows, I am so confused anymore.
- The Sacramento Kings draft at #12 between Indiana and Portland and according to the Sacramento Bee and columnist Scott Howard-Cooper, they are looking at the forward position and have Donte listed at #3 at that position in his article behind Joe Alexander of West Virginia and Danilo Gallinari from Italy. Though if your feeling optimistic, let me share this quote with you and his description of Donte. Scott states, "Everyone raves about his range as a lanky perimeter-oriented weapon in the Rashard Lewis mode, but Greene made just 34.5 percent of his three-pointers at Syracuse and shot 41.5 percent overall." Dang those stats hurt though then again as many have pointed out, with Orange injuries, someone had to shoot the three and Donte was not afraid to take the shot.
- I would research Toronto and Philadelphia but honestly, after those posts and my lockup, I just am scared of either losing this work or seeing more confusing details. Can you blame me? I spent almost 2 hours working on that and in a flash, it was all gone. I think what I provided may help as it is and if so, please tell me how it did because I did the research and maybe its just me but the only thing I learned is, on draft day I will see where he lands but for now, I have no clue. My brain is fried like I was just hanging out with Spicolli at Ridgemont High and the contact buzz was enough to make me crave pizza and Dew(those are a few of my favorite things, and the movie was hilarious too, oh man that Phoebe Cates was so hot). Wait, what was I saying. Oh heck, go watch the draft yourself, I have a sudden urge for some brooklyn style pizza and stopping by the video store. Which would you watch, Phoebe in her prime or guys in suits delaying me until I see where Donte goes and then I turn it off anyway? After all that above, I pick Phoebe. Hey Axe, if your reading this, please provide me with a great synapsis of Donte's selection and I promise, I will treat you to some Tully's next time I am in town or if you prefer, details about Phoebe as she is exiting the pool sllloowwllyy walking towards Judge Reinhold. Good night and Donte, on behalf of the positive Orange Nation, we wish you the best of luck in the draft and in the NBA for whichever team decides you are the best fit for them. Thank you for your hard work last season and God bless.
As for the sports topics, there is a very likely chance that some of that will be centered around my favorite teams which include Syracuse Orange (hence the orange in the name), the New York Mets and as far as minor league baseball the Syracuse Chiefs and Kannapolis Intimidators, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins(with a minor in Carolina Hurricanes and try to follow the Syracuse Crunch and Charlotte Checkers which are two levels of minor league hockey). I also enjoy professional wrestling and MMA and occasional other sports as well. If you dont like MMA or wrestling, sorry but I have a wide variety of interests and enjoy them and from time to time may blog about them as well. As you may have noticed, I did not list an NBA team as I have little interest in their current product and unless a former Orange player is involved, I rarely even care.
For those of you who don't know me period, I am a 35 year old life long sports fan. I played 8 years of little league baseball and loved every minute of it and baseball is my favorite sport of all(I still get goosebumps sometimes when spring comes around). I am married with 3 kids and live outside Charlotte, NC in a small town called China Grove(cue the Doobie Brothers if you must). I was born in Germany, raised in Syracuse New York area before moving to Pittsburgh for a few years and then joining the U. S. Army for 4 years and settling here in 1996. Within 20 minutes of me are my parents, my brother and sister and their families and some of the other side of my family as well including my in laws. Anything else you need to know about me, I may be willing to share later or you will learn in my writing, I am sure.
Last but not least, lets explain why I am doing this. Those who know me, know I have two things I am very passionate about besides my family, writing and sports. I love writing anything just to vent the creative side of me and even have a book published titled Jake's Fate that I kindly refer to as my lesson in publishing 101 due to some mistakes I made. I am proud of the story and will probably attempt to get another published, hopefully improving from what I learned. But I have always wanted to write and be involved in sports and why not blog, everyone else is, right? I will share news I learned elsewhere(always crediting people properly when I use their stuff), share opinions but try to avoid personal attacks at all costs and hope those who read do the same. So, if you have a differing opinion on a subject, please feel free to share and you never know, I may not be too old to learn a new trick or two.
I thank you for taking the time out to read this and hope everyone enjoys this experience as much as I will, although now my wife will lose her computer for hours more but think she is used to it by now(love you baby :). Please, feel free to comment or email me with anything you like and I will do my best to reply in some form or fashion when I can. Take care and I hope you enjoy The Big Orange Bloggin Chuck.