OTC: Mizzou Fumbles Badly In Hiring John Kadlec’s Radio Replacement

“I went to my first (Missouri football) game in 23 years last year. I picked Oklahoma. What a great game that was.”
Howard Richards, the new Mizzou football radio analyst who will replace John Kadlec this season, in an interview with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: First Frank Haith, now Howard Richards. What qualifies Richards as the person to add color to the Mizzou football broadcasts? He hasn’t been to a Mizzou game in almost a quarter century??? He has missed almost the entire history of MU football from where most of the Tigers’ listening audience draws their love of Mizzou football. It is like hiring Tom Hanks fresh off his stint on that remote island in Cast Away. So he must be a tremendous analyst/broadcaster right? Of course not. This is Mizzou. Read on.

“I don’t know if I could have found a better opportunity to start my broadcast career.”
Howard Richards, 810 AM
GH: So…not only has he managed to miss the past 23 years of Missouri football, he has also never worked in broadcasting. What in the name of John Hamm is going on in Columbia? First we are forced to suffer through the tortuous tenure of Up-The-Gut Kadlec and now we get some guy who wouldn’t know Brock Olivo from Lou Brock? Say it ain’t so, my one-time pillar of J-School excellence.

“Always in the back of my mind, I wanted to be in broadcasting. It was always a goal of mine, no matter what I was doing.  With the time spent on campus at Mizzou preparing for this type of career, putting your educational foundation to work makes sense and I’m looking forward to this new challenge in life.  I wouldn’t want to begin at any other juncture than at Mizzou.  I’m excited to work with our student-athletes and be able to share my perspective on football and life with them.”
Howard Richards, former MU offensive tackle in late 70s and played six years with Dallas Cowboys, on replacing John Kadlec as Mizzou’s football radio analyst, Mizzou Press Release
GH: When Paul Splittorff started his broadcasting career he went from being a starter in the Royals rotation to working high school broadcasts in Blue Springs, MO. He worked his way, painfully at times, into one of the better color analysts in the Midwest. That Mizzou would think Richards is ready for Big 12 play is simply stunning. Depressing is a more accurate term.

“At times it was (dangerous). Bullets would fly at night. Sometimes I would ask myself, ‘Why am I here?’ … It made it more enjoyable that you would go in a more stealth manner.”
Howard Richards, when asked by Kevin Kietzman if his 13-years working in the CIA was dangerous, 810 AM
GH: Did Mizzou just add Phillip from Survivor Redemption Island to do their football broadcast?

“I am extremely excited about having the opportunity to work with Howard. His playing resume speaks for itself, and he brings a level of credibility to the broadcast that Missouri fans expect.”
Mike Kelly, play-by-play voice of the Tigers, Mizzou Press Release
GH: Mike must have a far lower opinion of the expectations of Tiger football fans than I. There is no way in hell Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Nebraska or any school in the state of Texas would hire some former player who hadn’t been to a football game in 23 years and had no experience as a broadcaster. I’m not so sure about Kansas…have you seen who they hired to coach their football team?

“There were a lot of quality candidates. Howard definitely stood out, however, and I believe he’ll work hard and do very well for Tiger fans and for the program.  I’m very excited to begin working with him.”
Mike Kelly, play-by-play voice of the Tigers, Mizzou Press Release
GH: Man, I would love to see the list of “quality candidates” that lost out to this guy! He may prove to be the next John Madden – and I hope he does. But I will bet you right now this is a one-and-done deal for Mr. Stealth.

“What I need to do to get ready for the 2011 (Missouri football) season is get to know the players and get to know the coaching staff.”
Howard Richards, 810 AM
GH: Geez, this guy might not make it through the non-con games.

“Howard it has been a pleasure to have you on the show. You sound like one of the most interesting people anyone could every meet!”
Kevin Kietzman, as he concluded his interview with Mizzou’s new football color analyst, 810 AM
GH: KK was blown away by Richards’ stories of his role with the CIA. I would have liked KK to focus the interview on the job Richards somehow was hired to perform – MU football broadcasts on the radio. How interesting is he going to be to listen to while describing James Franklin running Pinkel’s offense? Does he even know who James Franklin is? How about Pinkel? If you can’t tell, I’m flabbergasted by this hire.

“I love that interview! I love that guy!”
Kevin Kietzman, after concluding his interview with Howard Richards, 810 AM
GH: That interview was a giant Alex Gordon swing and miss for my ears. Not once did KK bring out any of the concerns I list above, despite the fact Richards divulged much of this information during KK’s interview. You would think that Kietzman would understand more than most that being a great guy has no bearing on whether or not you can do great radio.

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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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13 Responses to OTC: Mizzou Fumbles Badly In Hiring John Kadlec’s Radio Replacement

  1. Ptolemy says:

    I would criticize this hire, but my team (Kansas State) hired his brother to succeed Bill Snyder. I am kind of intrigued by the CIA angle.

  2. KCPRGuy says:

    And I can’t even tell you who is on KU’s radio broadcast with Bob anymore as I didn’t have a need to listen past kick-off this past year. Heard the interview with Howard and his stories just fell flat with me. That’s probably not a good sign for a radio guy.

  3. Pearl Licor says:

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  4. Emil Dirico says:

    Great review! You actually touched some nice things on your blog. I came across it by using Yahoo and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the RSS feed, it’s very great :)

  5. Cliffy says:

    Was the hire a surprise? Yes. Should he be judged before we even hear what he can do? No.

    Over-react much?

    • Greg Hall says:

      I agree that my comments are not based on his radio work but merely his resume. But the reason for my harsh review is because his resume is so lacking. Again, I hope Richards proves me wrong but he will have to rise above a great many obstacles to do so. Why would Mizzou gamble with such an inexperienced hire when churning out professional broadcasters who are Mizzou fans is what they do?

  6. harley says:

    every hire at mizzou is an adventure. From larry smith to pinkel….from
    the mop head from duke to haith….who makes these decisions…
    they must come from somewhere.
    And they hire consultants to help them find the right guys for these
    positions.
    Cadlec was probably one of the lowest key announcers in amercia…
    but mu is a tradition school and don’t unleash anyone unless they
    do something wrong (excet for norm)….the guy would make some of the
    lowest key comments ever (that was a great run…there’s lots of heart
    in the runner…etc.)….but we loved the guy and with our recent history
    it’s been a blast listening to the games.
    As I have mentioned you need lots of meds to be a mu fan.
    Up/down…win big games…lose to low teams….crazy calls…mistakes…
    wow….its enough to make a grown man cry.
    Lets see what happens with this new guy because if they have another
    good season noone will even know he’s on the broadcasts.
    Has anyone heard how my guy franklin has been playing in pre season
    workouts…..they just nabbed the #1 offensive lineman in america and
    they’re in line for the #1 receiver in the nation….wow…lets see.

    • Greg Hall says:

      What Pinkel has done the past six seasons is impressive. He still needs to get that first Big 12 title but no one is taking MU lightly anymore. The same effort Pinks puts into recruiting should have been applied by Mizzou in the search for Kadlek’s replacement. I find it hard to believe Richards is the best they could do. I sure would have loved Corby Jones to have gotten this gig. At least Corby has been to Faurot a few times the past 23 years.

  7. smartman says:

    Christ Gregger! A little heads up next time? I find out about your new adventure from harley. I thought we were tight like that?

    Congrats on the new shingle! I’m sure the god couple at KCC are very concerned.

    This may be one of the worst decisions ever made at MU outside of offering my fecal sample a full academic scholarship. Or it could be a covert operation to infiltrate the J-School.

    Time will tell but I’m thinking a pain quotient similar to listening to Nick The Shituation Wright.

    Remember boys and girls tweetin’ ain’t cheetin’ and sending naught pics on your phone is called cock-us-ing with your constituents.

    Good Luck and God Bless Greg! Glad your back filling a void in my wide world of sports!

    • Greg Hall says:

      Thanks, smartman. This place would not be the same w/o you and harley.

      It would be nice (deserved?) if KCC would quit deleting the links to my new site that readers I know have posted in their Comments section. Anything anybody can do to spread the word that the OTC is up and running here at http://GregHallKC.com would be appreciated.

  8. AaronB4Mizzou says:

    Glad I found the new website Greg, I’ve always enjoyed reading your take on things.

    I was pretty surprised by the hire as well. I’d never heard of him, but most of the old timers hold him in high regard, so that’s a positive. He does have experience working in media…when he completed his degree he worked for KRCG TV in Jefferson City. One of this jobs was getting game tape and breaking down the action. He also appeared on air some. Granted, that was over 20 years ago.

    I can’t answer for the 23 years ago thing. A good chunk of that time was spent in the CIA, but it doesn’t explain why he’d only been to one game since his retirement from the CIA.

    The interviews he did for the Columbia radio stations, 1400AM & 1580AM were much better. They didn’t just ask about the CIA like KK did. He’s going to be a bit raw in the beginning, but I believe he’ll end up doing just fine. He’s apparently someone who puts his all into a task, so that will hopefully bold well. He won’t be unprepared.

    Remember, don’t mess w/Mizzou’s color guys. Between Mr. CIA and Gary “how you doing” Link, Mizzou is in good hands.

    • Greg Hall says:

      AB, I hope you’re right about Richards. There is just so little evidence to make us believe he is going to be a hit in the radio booth. Tiger football is a BIG deal. The state has begun to rally around Mizzou football like I remember in the Dan Devine years – even more so. I want my radio guys to be every bit as entertaining as Pink’s spread offense – the one with that Huskers-killing Chase Daniels at the helm. Or come to think of it that Huskers-killing Brad Smith.

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