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.
I want to talk about bullying, and I will, so just bear with me. First, I want to share something that happened to me today that is really strange, but amazing to me.
I let the dogs out this afternoon as usual, but for some reason, our Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix mutt would not come in. I didn't think it too unusual, but Gypsy seemed fascinated by one particular spot in the back yard. She stood there with her snout down by the grass, and continued to ignore me calling her to come in.
As I got more adamant and frantic with my calling her in, she finally lopes toward the porch door, walks in the porch and to the sliding glass door of my family room. What I didn't realize is that as she passed me, she dropped something from her mouth on the porch floor. As I went to let her in, I hear this shriek and flapping behind me on the porch floor. I turn and see this small dark object lying on the floor.
I let the dog in and, upon further investigation, realize this is a bird, and it's alive and looking around, but obviously can't fly.
I get my wife and she pushes it onto a dustpan. Not knowing what to do, we call around. My wife finds a number of a woman who takes in injured wild animals in Irondequoit. We call her and she tells us of an animal hospital to take the bird to that specializes in wild birds. In the meantime, we are instructed to put the bird in a box on some blankets, and cover the box, then take him in to the hospital in the morning.
What is amazing about this whole thing to me, is this dog we have. What dog do you know of that does not have a natural compulsion to kill birds and small animals? They bark, they chase, they defend their yard. They are NOT supposed to have compassion! Yet Gypsy does. Part of me wants to think she is being a wuss for not being like most dogs and proudly showing off her fresh kill. Then part of me is so proud of her for showing such.....is there a such thing as "canine-humanity?
It's almost like a cartoon dog movie. I can picture how it went....
Gypsy: What's the matter there friend? Why can't you fly away like the rest of your friends?
Robin: I I I'm hurt....can't feel my wing, and my leg doesn't work right.
Gypsy: Oh that is too bad for you. How can I help?
Robin: Don't eat me
Gypsy: I won't eat you...I'm not like a typical dog. Look my master is calling me, but I will bring you to my mom. She is real good at helping animals like us feel better.
Robin: Eaughhh...just try not to drool all over me like that. Oooh God, put me down!"
Gypsy: It's all right friend. It'll all be ok. I wont hurt you. Just gonna put you down right here. They might not want you actually in the house.
Robin: thanks for helping me there big doggy, and for not eating me.
I swear that actually happened. There were actual non spoken conversations that took place. I'm amazed that we have a dog that is like Florence friggin Nightengale. Unreal, but I am actually proud of her.
OK, now onto my original planned topic. Bullying is a new problem to our society that is threatening to rip us apart and ruin childrens existance as they know it.....NOT!
Well, it is a serious issue, but this notion that it is a somehow NEW problem is completely ridiculous. Bullying has been around since the dawn of time. In the garden of eden, Cain was a notorious bully. According to wikipedia, he used to regularly take Abel's lunch money and give him atomic wedgies.
Hannibal was a bully. Before he led his Huns on a rampaging tour of asia, he used to verbally mock his little hun classmates and was a reported master of giving indian burns. Size never was an issue for historical bullies either. Napolean Bonaparte used to bully kids in French class relentlessly. Adolph Hitler turned into a bully when in 7th grade, some of his German classmates mocked him for his little peach fuzz mustache.
No, bullying is not a new problem. It has been with us forever, and it will continue to be around forever. I had a bully. I think everyone had in one way or another. Well, that is, unless you were the bully yourself. In that case, hopefully you grew out of it, or in most cases of those who didn't, that you enjoy your job working at the gas station, Walmart, or you wear your police badge proudly.
My first bully, and really my only one, was in sixth grade gym class. I won't use his actual name here, as I don't want to give the little jerk any credit for his behavior, so I will call him Bob Wall. Bob was mainly a verbal bully. He would mock me. My clothes, my hair, my build or lack thereof, whatever he could think of. He would threaten me physically, but other than a few shoves in gym class, he never harmed me. But I was scared to death of this dude. He was much bigger than me, and I could tell that he LOVED the fact that he KNEW he scared the piss out of me...almost literally.
Eventually, that school year ended, and he went on to major in shop classes, so I rarely crossed paths with him. The bullying just faded away. In high school, my second bully came into my life. I will call him Steve Rankin.
I don't call him a bully though because I never really was "scared" of him. He was mainly just a pain in my ass. He would walk by me at the lunch table and slap the back of my head. He would see me about to shovel some food in my mouth and slap my elbow. Little stupid things like that. Hit and run bullying, I guess you could call it. He would obnoxiously mimic me if I tried to say anything to him. And so it went, for probably over a year.
One day, my friend and I were sitting at our lockers during a free period, when he walked by and kicked my feet that were sticking out as I sat against the lockers. After a year of this, I decided that was enough. I jumped to my feet and said, "Thats it! You wanna go? You wanna throw down? Let's do it!".
He turned and crudely mimicked me, then to my surprise, he put his head down like a bull and charged me, pinning me up against the lockers! With his head in my solar plexus, his fists were flying around my head, and mine were at his, as I was punching downward like I was trying to shoo a knat away from my belt buckle.
After about ten seconds of flailing, a teacher in a nearby classroom heard the commotion, and came into the hell yelling at us to stop. We both walked away in different directions. Here is the funny part though....from that day onward, all the stupid antics from Steve toward me totally stopped. It was as if he knew I would never put up with it anymore.
They say the best way to stop bullying is to stand up to that bully. All I can say is that yes, that worked for me, but I don't know if I would endorse that across the board. Sure it may work, but it also could result in a sure ass-kicking or worse than that nowadays. From what I hear, todays kids carry weapons, so standing up to a bully may not be your best choice.
You want to stop bullying? I don't think it will ever happen, as I mentioned earlier. You want to curb bullying? Well, it has to start early and it will take years. Bullying starts at home. Parents think it's cute when their little ones act like a holy terror. The kid sees that they are positively reinforced when they act out and they think it's alright.
Parents need to teach a sense of empathy at an early age. They need to take little Hitler to the side and say, "how would YOU feel if someone did that to YOU?" They have to teach that words hurt. They have to teach that threats are real and lasting, and affect others. They have to realize that rewarding bad behavior only perpetuates it. They have to realize that once their little hellion becomes a bully and doesn't learn these things, it is probably too late. Once a bully, always a bully.
I don't think bullying can ever be stopped, but the more people that try to teach their children NOT to be a bully at an early age, it can be cut down.
As Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young said, folks, "teach your children well...."