BACK IN THE BOX! Returned last season as the host of "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for Rochester Americans broadcasts on Sports 1280 WHTK, as well as studio host for game broadcasts and intermission updates. Looking forward to starting a second straight season this upcoming year.
Weekend morning newscaster on WHAM.
Sometime fill in host for Bob Matthews or John DiTullio, as well as hosting call-in shows during Yankees and Red Wings rain delays.
Graduated from West Irondequoit high school (in 1984) where I was the sports director at the student run radio station, WIRQ, as well as the "voice of the Indians" football and basketball radio broadcasts.
Graduated with a B.A. degree from Florida Southern College (in1988). Announced FSC basketball games on local cable TV. Also announced local high school football games on local cable TV.
Have worked for WBBF-AM, WPXY-AM, Sportsradio 990, and then moved on to Clear Channel in 1997, where I have worked for WHAM and WHTK since as a board operator, producer, newscaster, traffic reporter, weatherman and sports host, as well as all-around good guy.
I am also psyched to be back on the air hosting "the Penalty Box", the post game call in show for the Rochester Americans radio broadcasts on 107--3 FM and 1280 AM.
I recently also started reading newscasts on Newsradio 1180, WHAM. It is a good opportunity for me, although I never saw myself as a "news guy". I am still enjoying the opportunity.
There has been quite a sense of loss in the sports world within the last week. It's funny how it comes in waves doesn't it? They say bad news comes in threes, and that is pretty much what we have had in the last week or so.
it started last weekend, when the Chicago Bulls were playing game one of their first round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls were leading by double digits late in the game with around a minute and a half left when star guard and last years league MVP Derrick Rose's knee buckled and he crumpled to the floor in obvious agony.
A blown out knee--anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, the whole nine yards--was the result. Rose's season is over, as well as half of next season at least, and his career may never be the same. Of all the athletes who have had this surgery, there really has been no one who has ever come back and had the same explosiveness they had before the injury. Rose is young and strong, and may be good enough to modify his game and still be successful. Perhaps he could still be a hall of famer, but he also may never be the same.
As a Bulls fan, it was devastating. They worked so hard to gain the top seed for a second straight year, and did that without Rose in the lineup for 27 of the 66 games. I try to reassure myself that the Bulls were 18-9 in those games where Rose was in street clothes, but after watching the Sixers dismantle my Bulls in a game two victory, I am not too optimistic.
Then a few days later, on Tuesday, we found out about the suicide death of former NFL star linebacker Junior Seau. Seau was only 43 years old--two years younger than I. He was one of the best defensive players in the league for much of his 20 year career. He was a 12 time Pro-bowler. He was a standout college player for USC.
Seau played in front of tens of thousands of fans every weekend for nearly 25 years. He retired once, in 2006. It lasted all of four days before he came back out of retirement when he signed with the Patriots. He then played on that team that lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl in 2008.
When the cheering finally stopped, that is when the battle truly began for Seau. There is speculation that concussions or repeated head trauma may have led to suicidal thoughts. That is certainly possible, but I doubt it. I think some players just have a hard time adjusting to life without sports. They play a game where the excitement and adrenaline level is like crack cocaine. It is addicting and there is no way to fulfill that addiction when it is over. I think that is what happened to Seau. He couldn't stand the thought of a life without football. Couldn't stand the thought of a life without that adrenaline rush, cheering of crowds and bonding with dozens of teammates over a common goal.
Without any chance of finding a way to recapture those feelings and that magic of competition, Seau chose to take his own life. It is a shame. It is a tragedy, but as a sports media person who knows of the competetive nature of some of these sports stars, I can understand it.
The third sports tragedy happened Thursday night in Kansas City. That is where the best closer in the history of the game known as baseball was shagging fly balls in the outfield before the game like he always does, when his spike caught the wrong way and Mariano Rivera had blown out his knee.
Rivera is 42 years old, not anywhere near as young as Derrick Rose, and even though he swears he will come back from this, I have my doubts. I think this may be it for Rivera. Legs are as important as arms for pitchers, for without the leg strength to get the proper torque needed to throw the ball, Rivera wouldn't be the same. I for one, don't want to see him come back if he is going to be a shadow of his once great self.
So, even though it is not official, it is probably the beginning of the end of the greatest closer ever. Mariano Rivera will be the standard all great future closers will be measured by,
So in the last week, we have been hit with the probable end of one career, the end of a former superstars life, and a third superstar athlete whose career may be changed forever, never to be the same again. It all reminds me of my favorite poem.
I learned this poem when I was in Mr Clar's 11th grade English class. As a sports fan, it resonated with me then, and I pretty much memorized it. It is from the great English poet A.E. Housman, and it is entitled "To An Athlete Dying Young". I'd like to share it with you here. With all the tragedies of the past week, it's relevance is even greater and timeless, when it comes to sports.
The time you won your town the raceWe chaired you through the market-placeMan and boy stood cheering byAnd home we brought you, shoulder-high To-day, the road all runners come,
How strong and powerful and poetic huh? It tells how it is often better for an athlete to die while in their prime than it is long after their playing career is over and they are old. There is some basis in truth to this. Roberto Clemente is thought of with a kind of reverance that Hank Aaron is not. Thurman Munson is thought of in a different way that Carlton Fisk is. Len Bias is thought of in a different way than Larry Bird.
"Smart lad to slip betimes away from fields where glory does not stay, and even though the laurel grows, it withers quicker than the rose". Beautiful! The athlete dying while at the height of his glory gets that reverance that others do not.
"Now you will not swell the rout of lads who wore their honors out, runners whom reknown outran, and the name died before the man". It is so true. Ask Dale Earnhardt. Or Nick Adenhart, or Regie Lewis or the great horse Barbaro.
I think Junior Seau may have realized this, perhaps a few years too late. He could not bear the thought that he had worn his laurels out.
Rest in peace now Junior. Rest in peace, now that earth has stopped your ears.