Game Time: Time To Take Over
My name is Sean Pendergast, and I am a sports talk show host at 1560 The Game.
I realize that sentence has the sound and feel of a self-introduction at an AA meeting (and carries with it more similarities than you'd think), but I figure simplicity is best as I begin contributing to the blogosphere here on the Houston Press website. My entries will, for the most part, be sports-related (not always, though) and pertinent to Houston (not always, though).
Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, please know that I have taken a vow of silence on the dog-and-pony show that is the Astros "managerial search" until it's over. I see you working, Drayton. Go find a jillion candidates, parade them around for the press like cattle at the livestock show so your ball club keeps a few inches in the local paper in the middle of football season and an Astro-less MLB postseason. You can swindle me into your ten dollar nachos, but I'm not falling for this. Wake me up when you've chosen the poor shlub who gets to manage this team to 65 wins next year ... or at least wake me up for the swimsuit competition. Manny Acta in a one piece ...that'll be interesting.
If you follow sports at all, you know the big story this past week has not been the MLB Playoffs or the Red River Shootout (and yes, it's a SHOOTOUT; please, stop being so sensitive, people), but instead the revelation that ESPN, in addition to televising sporting events worldwide, is also running what amounts to a corporate brothel (in Bristol, Connecticut, of all places!).
It started with the revelation that Steve Phillips of Baseball Tonight had been suspended for having an affair with a production assistant, a juicy nugget to be sure ... until you realize that (a) she looks like the lost Golic brother and (b) from a sanity standpoint, she makes Ron Artest look grounded and stable. The revelation of Phillips' sordid private life then degenerated into Deadspin channeling their inner Bobby Bacala and "planting a bullet" on ESPN here,
here and here (the revelation of "road beef").
Back in July, I was in Connecticut on vacation and I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of ESPN. For a lifelong sports fan, it was an absolutely mesmerizing experience getting to meet many of the personalities that are integral to the way I spend roughly 23 hours every day. I just wish I knew then what I know now, because for sure I would've asked to see the Human
Resources department ("..and if you step this way folks you'll see the file cabinet where we keep all complaints labeled 'Eric Kuselias, creepy'..."). At the very least, I would've let Sage Steele or Chris McKendry grab my ass.
If it's ok with all of you, selfishly, I want to use this space to make an appeal to my employer, 1560 The Game. Namely, my boss, John Granato:
I realize we're a small, independent, local radio station. To be sure, we've accomplished more in two years than anyone thought possible and it's largely because of your leadership. I know you've seen the recent stories about ESPN. You know they are the "worldwide leader in sports", not only in slogan but in practice as well.
In your heart, I know you're a pragmatist, John. If we want to grow our station to be the worldwide leader, we need to start acting like the worldwide leader. We're in a copycat business, and ESPN has created the blueprint. We need to think big, maybe even bigger than ESPN, so with that in mind, I would like to suggest the following initiatives at 1560:
Psychological testing on all interns and production assistants. If we're gonna be conducting our affairs like ESPN, it would be nice to know that our wives or significant others don't have to worry about a rabbit boiling in a pot on the stove or our jilted lovers driving driving into and over our expensive landscaping.
Company reimbursement for LASIK surgery for anyone making hiring decisions. Let's face it, the most tragic part about the Steve Phillips story is not that he flushed his career down the toilet, but that he did it by having an affair with Bobcat Goldthwait's sister. We can't let poor vision impact our renewed mission.
Implement a "ROAD BEEF" Directory. While most of our work is done here in Houston, occasionally we do go on the road to do the show in other cities. It would be nice to know who the "road beef" is in each of these places before we hit the road. It will save us a lot of time and reduce company expenses of having to buy drinks while "prospecting" said road beef.
Stripper poles in the jock lounge. Because there's never a bad place to have stripper poles.
These are just a few of the suggestions I have in mind.
Like you, John, I am a shareholder in the station. We have the same goals. But to be the man, you have to beat the man. ESPN has now shown us their cards.
How do you get to be the best? By becoming the worldwide leader in depravity. They're good, but we can be better.
Are you with me???
Warmest regards (and GFY),