OTC: 610 Sports Victory Lap / USA Womens’ Soccer Choker / Damon In HOF?

“Our whole (610 Sports) crew took a victory lap at the 810 Zone Saturday night to celebrate Nick (Wright) winning afternoons (in the last ratings book). The boss was there. … We took a couple of laps – Friday and Saturday night.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: 610 Sports is taking to the KC sports talk Radio Wars on like it was a Jihad. They are celebrating every book’s victory as if Jerry Green was their new owner. They have even made it a tradition to stomp right into the enemy territory of an 810 Zone to do their partying with their listeners. Crazy? Way too premature? Sure. But you know what else it is? Something I could see Kietzman, Boeger and Leabo doing back in 1999 at KCTE.

“Nick wasn’t the only success story for us in June.  Our new 9a-11a host, Danny Parkins scored a win over WHB in our target demo of Men-25-54.  And, for the second month in a row, the station overall had more listeners and higher audience share than 810.”
Ryan Maguire, Program Director at 610 Sports
GH: These overall numbers and also Nick Wright’s afternoon numbers still carry some taint from the Royals’ radio broadcasts – despite all the 610 Sports hoopla. Is Wright really beating Kietzman? He said exactly that on his radio show last Thursday. Will 610 look bad once football begins if Kietzman’s station clobbers the new kids on the
block? A bit – but what does 610 have to lose? They are the Royals looking for
any reason to tip one back and feel good – even if it is just a summer romance.

“In regards to 610’s constant self-promotion and their non-stop talking about ratings, it has completely turned me off to their station. I simply don’t care. I just want to listen to
sports. KK’s show is boring (but it IS July and the NFL is still locked out).
When college football and the NFL return, I imagine KK’s show will be more ‘listenable’
than the street-ghetto Wright.”
Reader Matt, GHKC Email

“(Lou Holtz) is so old. The whole interview he did with me, he could only open one eye!”
Nate Bukaty, on his interview with the former Notre Dame coach in Lake Tahoe, 810 AM
GH: I listened to almost none of the 810 interviews from the annual American Century party for celebs and the chosen few from 810 who get to make the trip to paradise. I have plenty of national shows to give me this pabulum. But Nate’s and Aaron Swarts’ tale about their interview with Holtz was funny stuff. Read on.

“It was like a sniper got him right in the knee. Wow, he went down!”
Nate Bukaty, on Holtz falling as he walked over to do the interview, 810 AM

“Watching (Holtz) eat – food was falling out of his mouth while he was trying to read the paper at the same time. I didn’t know if the guy was having an eating contest with himself or what. It was like Joey Chestnut in there.”
Aaron Swarts, 810 AM
GH: WHB was having technical issues in replaying the Holtz interview and so Swarts improvised by doing a Holtz impression that was hysterical stuff. I catch myself laughing while listening to the Border Patrol often – but almost never to any other sports talk show on either station. I believe that is a problem.

“Don’t let your golf game determine your attitude. Let your attitude determine your golf game.”
Ken Brown, former European Ryder Cup
player, via Mike Tirico, who said Brown gave this advice to Darren Clarke, winner of the 2011 British Open, ESP

“So don’t let anyone blow this out of proportion. The U.S. women’s soccer team is a fabulous group, easy to cheer for, and a symbol of the value in supporting gender equality in amateur sports. It’s just sort of like the free bread before dinner: not what we’re really
interested in, not why we care about sports.”
Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star
GH: Melliger’s Sunday column is sure to generate a lot of negative feedback from soccer fans. But the man writes the truth. Soccer is a beloved sport by most of the world and even has some ardent and passionate fans here in the states. But it ain’t our bag. Why does that bother those Americans who love the game? I could care less that as a fan of
track and distance racing, few share my passion. I understand it is not for all
and really not at all entertaining for those who don’t follow the sport. Do
bowlers get pissed when people make fun of bowling? No! They just slam another brew
and toss another ball down the lane. Why are soccer fans so touchy?

“Americans had every opportunity to win today but backed off and tried to protect a 2-1 lead and it back fired. Still another gutsy effort.”
Jack Harry, Twitter
GH: Gutsy effort? The USA team was ranked number-one in the world and taking on a game but inferior team from Japan. The USA team had scoring chance after scoring chance foiled by poor shot making or bad decisions on whether to pass or shoot. It looked like the Americans would win in a huge rout. So how did they show guts choking away what appeared to be a sure win? Harry is trying to cover his ass with comments like this to appease any soccer fans he may have offended with his first sentence. That is simply
weak, Jack.

“Right now, no. In the future, very possibly.”
Bobby Valentine, on Johnny Damon
being a candidate for the MLB Hall of Fame, ESPN
GH: Damon is 335 hits away from 3,000. Remember those Royals’ TV ads with him and George Brett early in his career? Looks like Damon just might join Brett in Cooperstown someday as some had predicted.

“We’re talking about a guy who played 140 games (a season) on average.”
Orel Hershiser, on Damon, ESPN
GH: That is a helluva stat. Think how productive Mike Sweeney could have been if he was as durable.

“The thing about Johnny Damon and him not getting (HOF) votes is that he looks really ugly at times when he’s playing the game of baseball.”
Bobby Valentine, ESPN
GH: Brett saw Damon throw in spring training and said, “He throws like a girl.” He still does.

“He just doesn’t come to mind when you think of a good-looking All-American baseball type. He runs the bases very awkwardly… He swings awkwardly, even though he gets it down with really good mechanics at the key moments.  He plays outfield kind of awkwardly but gets the job done.”
Orel Hershiser, on Damon, ESPN
GH: Damon does almost everything awkwardly – including speaking, shaving and how he has bounced from team to team. But his numbers, titles and talent are hard to argue against. I hope he makes it to Cooperstown.

“In terms of where he ranks in my book, not very high. Jim Thome’s had a terrific career. I’m not saying no but…”
Mike Greenburg, on whether or not Jim Thome deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, ESPN Radio
GH: Thome is four dingers away from hitting 600 for his career. If he would have played in New York or LA everybody would be saying he’s a lock – especially Greenie. As a Royals fan, I would vote for him twice.

“Probably because my mom had a husband.”
Snoop Dog, when asked by Howard Stern why Snoop’s relatives never told him the guy who came over to his house when he was a kid and took him for rides was his real dad, Howard Stern Show on Sirius
GH: I listened to a lot of the History of Howard Stern on Sirius last week and over the weekend. It was great radio. Stern’s movie, Private Parts, is one that gets almost no mentions but deserves a place in everyone’s private DVD collection. Howard is not for everybody but he definitely speaks to me.

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About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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30 Responses to OTC: 610 Sports Victory Lap / USA Womens’ Soccer Choker / Damon In HOF?

  1. Merle Tagladucci says:

    re: “In regards to 610’s constant self-promotion and their non-stop talking about ratings, it has completely turned me off to their station. I simply don’t care.
    Reader Matt, GHKC Email”

    Well said.

    Imagine if after making his memorable sack in mop up duty, Rudy Ruettiger had run over to the GT bench and started flapping his jaws about how he was the man. Or if Jimmy Chitwood had hit the game winner for Hickory and started dancing a jig right there on the court. Or if Daniel Larusso had crane-kicked Johnny Lawrence to win the All Valley Karate Tournament, got handed the trophy and then grabbed the microphone from the ring announcer to tell everyone how great he is. And then in Karate Kid 2, if everywhere he went in Tomi Village he reminded people he won the All Valley Tournament. And then in Karate Kid 3, if every time a customer walked in Miyagi’s Bonzai store, Daniel-san greeted them by saying, “Hi I’m Daniel Larusso, defending champion of the All Valley Tournament. I beat Johnny Lawrence. Nobody had ever done that before me. What can I help you with today?”

    But see, Daniel-san would never do anything like that. Neither would any of those other heroic gentlemen. And you want to know why?

    Because they won with class.

    • LibertyCat says:

      That was a great post, Merle! I wish there were a Like button on this blog site.

    • Phaedrus says:

      But what about the next karate kid. Did she have class?

      • Merle Tagladucci says:

        Of course Phaedrus. All of Miyagi’s pupils were trained with the same core set of values. As he always used to say…

        “Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?”

  2. Ptolemy says:

    Great call on the panties-bunched-in-the-rectum attitude of soccer fans.

    On Stern’s Private Parts, the similarity between the Ross Buckingham character and KMBZ’s Mike Shanin is uncanny. I’ll bet Shanin has done summer stock.

  3. Jip says:

    I think if Damon has 2-3 more solid seasons, he should be a lock. His career numbers are very, very good and he has a lot of postseason success as well.

    Question is, which cap? His longest tenure with one team, and his best statistical season, was with the Kansas City Royals.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I think Damon should go capless and instead his bust can sport that caveman look he had in Boston.

      • Fake Ned Yost says:

        Could you have a Baseball Hall of Famer who wouldn’t go into the Royals Hall of Fame? I’d find it hard to believe he’d ever go into the Royals HOF.

  4. Kyle Rohde says:

    Greg, soccer fans get offended more than track/distance fans like you because it’s the most popular sport in the world to watch. Running isn’t that popular anywhere else in the world as a spectator sport either.

    However, Formula One racing and bicycle racing fans seem to be fine with being second-fiddle here in the US, even though they’re hugely popular around the world. I’m a huge F1 fan so know that well.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I relate it to music. My favorite band might make you hurl. But every successful band has a huge following. (How else do you explain Beiber Fever?) The French seem to be the only people who get Jerry Lewis. To each their own.

  5. BlackJack says:

    As a soccer fan, I could care less why you or any of the other soccer hater haters don’t “get” the sport. The problem is that we do not see any front-page newpapers articles or radio talking heads bashing other sports, like track & field or bowling. The bottom line is that this sports is already the most popular in the world, and the fact that it is gaining traction in this country scares the soccer haters, who feel threatened that an “un-American” sport like soccer could begin to eclipse the other boring, bloated, spoiled-millionaire sports like baseball and the NBA. So we are reminded, like every 10 minutes, by the media that soccer is insignificant in this country and will never be a “major” sport. The argument just becomes weary and tedious….

    Thanks for playing, have a nice day.. :)

    • The Word says:

      BlackJack said, “who feel threatened that an “un-American” sport like soccer could begin to eclipse the other boring, bloated, spoiled-millionaire sports like baseball and the NBA.”

      Are we talking the same sport here? Baseball and NBA are boring but soccer isn’t? And it’s not a bloated, spoiled-millionaire sport?

      In Europe, soccer is the most bloated, spoiled-millianaire sport out there. Players with 500, 000 sports cars with 100, 000 worth of cociane in their trunk and a former Spice Girl in the passenger seat.

      Who the hell are you kidding?

      • blackjack says:

        Uh, hello dude(?) American basketball (NBA) football (NFL) and baseball (MLB) are the only sports internationally who see fit to have work stoppages/lockouts because the employees/employers are too spoiled to agree on who get their fair share of billiones of dollars. I will concede to you that the soccer players of the upper tier European leAgues get paid every bit as much as the NFL/NBA players here, but there seem to be a coinspicuous absence of the entourages, pregnant women, DUIs, rapes, bar fights and general sense of entitlety that exists in the No Felon Leagues of the great US of A. Professional soccer overseas is not perfect, but there certainly seems to be more of a “purity of sport” attitude and lack of off-the-field shananigans that take place here with American professional sports.

  6. nick says:

    GREG HALL: “I catch myself laughing while listening to the Border Patrol often – but almost never to any other sports talk show on either station. I believe that is a problem.”

    The lack of humor (and sense of humor) is my biggest gripe with local sports talk. Slacker on 101FX is more humorous than The Program and Between The Lines combined.

    I chuckle more listening to Shannon & Parks or Michael Savage. Hell, Laura Ingraham is Paul F. Thompkins (very funny comdian, for those who haven’t heard of him) when compared to Kevin Kietzman.

    HUGE credit to 610 for at least trying to bring humor. Fescoe, Klingler, Parkins and Wright all at least try….to varying degrees of success. Old hosts Chris & Cowboy even had some funny moments, as juvenile as they were.

    Steven St. John has a great sense of humor and can be quite funny, which probably explains why I like listening to him no matter the time of year or what the subject matter is.

  7. Big Dub says:

    Humor is the #1 missing element from local sports radio. Everyone should take a few minutes to listen to some of the shows on 1310 The Ticket out of Dallas. That’s the type of programing I want to hear, even the ESPN shows are better for entertainment value.

  8. countzerokc says:

    I agree with BlackJack, soccer fans get pissed because whenever soccer is at the forefront for a story we get some old white guy asking is this relevant? Will it last? Here’s the thing, I don’t care if you don’t like soccer. I don’t like golf or Nascar, but I don’t see the need to tell somebody who likes those sports my opinion every time. What exactly does it accomplish?

    Here’s a point a lot of people overlook regarding soccer, it’s gaining traction in other media outlets besides dead tree media. It just set the record for twitter posts per second. Soccer clips from all leagues are all over you tube. The younger generation (which has grown up with the game) has no use for a daily paper. You can dismiss this as well, but it just shows an inability to recognize the rapid changes taking place today.

    That and take a look at population growth in this country, with a rise in Hispanic and other ethnic cultures in the the USA. People who have grown up with soccer as their national sport and you can do the math down the road. Why do you think ESPN is buying rights to World Cups, EPL, MLS and the like? They see a profit in it.

    I’m sure a lot of soccer haters don’t like it because the US isn’t at the top of the world in it. At least it’s not like baseball where you’re deemed ‘World Champions’ even though you just played North America teams. It doesn’t play that way in the world baseball classic though.

    So, before the tl:dr comes. It’s cool you don’t like soccer, as long as you recognize it’s cool that I do.

    • The Word says:

      “That and take a look at population growth in this country, with a rise in Hispanic and other ethnic cultures in the the USA.”

      So illegal aliens and other dirt poor foreigners is the reason why soccer is booming?

  9. Bob Loblaw says:

    I suppose I’m the only person who finds Petro to be hilarious at times. When he gets on rants, I find myself full-on belly laughing more times than not. Can’t say that about most other local sports talkers (with the exception of the Border Patrol, SOMETIMES, although I guess I find that show extremely overrated as I read your blog and the comments sections).

    • Greg Hall says:

      Petro is funniest when he’s trying to be serious. When he tries to tell a joke or be witty, he sounds like a lot like a baseball nerd.

  10. The Independent Rage says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Reader Matt. Taking “victory laps” around 810 zone is childish and very pro-wrestling-esque (except that pro wrestling isn’t serious nor real). Very off-putting. Someone should recite to the 610 boys the line from the old movie — “All glory is fleeting.”

    Also couldn’t agree more that the Border Patrol is the only consistently funny show in the KC sports radio market (unintentionally funny shows such as Fescoe’s don’t count). The biggest lesson all of the other shows could learn from Border Patrol: Stop taking yourselves so damn seriously. Of course, doesn’t hurt either that St. John and a few of his sidekicks actually have a bona fide sense of humor.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Jake said something Monday morning that resonated with me. He said that unlike other shows, the BP knows each other’s spouses, kids and parents. They frequent each other’s home. They are all good friends. That chemistry is evident on their show.

      KK calls Jack Harry a dear friend. But I never get the impression either KK or Jack are being themselves during their Wednesday segments. It’s as plastic as every other KK radio relationship.

      Nick pretends to be one w/ his coworkers but he never misses a chance to cut them or pull rank to quite them.

      The rule is simple. Real is good radio. Fake ain’t.

  11. Arte says:

    Mike Greenberg doesn’t think Jim Thome belongs in the Hall of Fame? Mike Greenberg is an idiot.
    And Private Parts is a great movie. Paul Giamatti as Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton was tremendous. His rant at the end reminded me of Soren Petro. Trying to pretend he’s not bothered by Stern’s success. And then goes on a hilarious rant.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Stern’s “History” documentary on Sirius had a great segment on PP and the filming of it. No one but the director had heard of Giamatti. Howard said he was so much like the real Kenny they couldn’t believe it. He said he never had to even act w/ Giamatti because it was so real.

      Giamatti didn’t learn until halfway through the movie that Pig Vomit was based on a real person. He couldn’t believe anyone could be as horrible as the character he created.

  12. George Wilson says:

    The men’s final at the World Cup drew a US TV audience of 28 million. By comparison the final game of the World Series drew half of that and the last game game of the NBA Finals ten million less. MLS per game attendance is comparable to both the NHL and NBA. When Real Madrid or Manchester United bring their top players in the world to US tours, even though they are playing meaningless exhibitions, they regularly draw in excess of 50,000 and can sell out 90,000 seat stadiums.

    The biggest issue with soccer becoming as popular as baseball or football in the US is the caliber/star power of the players. Compared to the top leagues in the world, MLS is roughly equivalent to AA baseball or the NBA’s development league. Put a top quality soccer product on the field and Americans, just like the rest of the world, show up in droves.

    Little known fact. Even with the lack of world class level stars, MLS is one of the top ten leagues in the world in terms of average attendance. Imagine what could be done if the top stars in the league were players like Messi and Ronaldo.

  13. Java Man says:

    The only time I really remember laughing at KK’s show was about 10 years ago. A caller named MU Rock called in and was just blasting on KSU and Bill Snyder. A thing of beauty.

    • jjskck says:

      Don’t know if you know, but MU Rock was Steven St. John’s foray into talk radio.

  14. Esteban O'Riley says:

    Look into the eyes of almost any soccer fan who feels offended that every American doesn’t share in their giddiness for the game and you’re almost sure to find a bleeding heart, liberal….which only adds to my annoyance of this game. That being said, when we field a national team, whether men’s or women’s…I will support the team even though I don’t much care for the sport.

    • blackjack says:

      You have hit the nail on the head. For most soccer haters, it tends to be a matter of political motivation, rather than a disdain for the fundamentals of the sport itself. People who hate soccer, it generally is a perception that the sport is un-American, and by virtue is communist/liberal. Therefore it scares the bejesus out of midwestern right-wingers who feel their sense of patriotic entitlement threatened.

      Soccer is a great sport. You or I may not personally like it but it is here to stay. so might as well get over it.

      Thank you very much, have a nice day..:)

  15. smartman says:

    To each his own is correct. He who smelt it dealt it.

    The Tour de France is the most physically and mentally demanding athletic event in the world today.

    If you’re really a high-tech euro-snob racing enthusiast F1 is where all the action is. More innovation has found its’ way into our daily drivers from F1 than any other motorsports racing discipline. NASCAR and IRL are for retards.

    I love soccer but the quality of play in the MLS is horrendous compared to the game the rest of the world plays. There is no American Exceptionalism in soccer.

    Howard Stern is a perv. Haven’t found him the least bit original , funny or entertaining in over 20 years. Baba Booey my ass. His core audience is east coast roid head guidos that make The Situation look like William F. Buckely.

    I feel the same way about the 610 and 810 crews as I do Casey Anthony. Hopefully someone will do us all a favor and bust some caps in those bitches heads.

    I agree that Johnny Damon is a lock for the HOF. No way he goes in as a Royal.

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