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.
Last year at this time, NFL fans were wondering if there was even going to be an upcoming season. Discontent between the NFLPA and the owners had grown to epic proportions and things looked bleak. Thankfully, a week or two after the Hall of Fame game was cancelled, cooler heads prevailed and both sides realized they could cut the profits pile fairly and the season went off without a hitch.
This year, we don't have that worry. There is labor harmony between the players union and the league. As for the NFL officials union and the league though, not so much.
As of this writing, all the regular NFL officials are locked out, much like the players were last year. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league are playing hardball with the officials union. With the first week of pre-season games this weekend, the NFL has hired and begun training a full complement of replacement officials to work the games, and get ready for the regular season.
If you have been reading my stuff for long, you know I usually side with the owners in most strikes and lockouts. This is no exception. In fact, I feel the officials are being pretty much completely asinine by not signing on the bottom line of whatever contract the league puts in front of them.
The reasons for this seem pretty obvious. First of all, NFL officials are utterly replaceable. There are MILLIONS of NFL fans who probably know the game enough to get on a field and make calls, just from watching games for years. With proper training, the NFL could weed this bunch down to a few hundred who would eventually be just as competant as those who are there now.
There are also hundreds of officials who are already working, in the Arena league, in college football, high schools and so on, who have already had a basis in training that the NFL could tap into. If the current batch of officials want to be greedy and not agree to what the league is offering, well then I say, "Good luck then finding a better part time job for four months that will pay you a minimum of $80,000. Don't let the door hit your asses on the way out".
In doing research for this, I found that the 1st year salary for a rookie NFL official is $80,000. Veterans earn well over $100K. NFL officials are not happy that the 1st year salary of a rookie major league baseball salary is $120,000. That's about as much as a ten year veteran NFL official.
Well, here's the deal...major league baseball umpires work at least 3-4 times a week for half the year, with much more travel. NFL officials work one day a week for four months. You do the math. That should explain the obvious difference in pay. It is understandable. NFL officials should see the obvious differences and take that into consideration. There is not even a comparison. These are apples and oranges we are talking about.
The NFL is the only sport where their officials usually have a second job. Referees in the NBA, NHL and umpires in MLB all work their jobs year round, with a little break in between seasons. Most NFL officials have second jobs, many of those are pretty high paying.
It all adds up to a pretty good gig for NFL officials, and they ought to realize it. Just because the league is not giving them the raise that they got in 2006, the last time their agreement was updated, is not enough of an excuse. True the NFL is raking it in hand over fist, and has become a hugely profitable entity. It would nice if they were to share the wealth with everyone involved, but they aren't compelled to do so.
Personally, I would like to see the NFL get younger with their officiating corps. Why not hire and train dozens of in shape 30-somethings who will be much more effective in running up and down a football field, and also more able to take a pounding from bruising, much larger players than there used to be? It is scary to be watching a game on Sunday where a 240 pound running back breaks through the line of scrimmage into the secondary and knocks down a 60-something little old out of shape man, who spends two-thirds of a calendar year working as a lawyer or sitting behind a desk.
What 30-something dude wouldn't like a job where they work one day a week for four months and get paid at least $80 grand???
It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the NFL did just that, and started over from scratch with a new bunch of refs and officials. On the other hand, having the current officials come to their senses and agree to come back would lead to much better consistency and less controversy once the season starts, and that would be good too.
Hopefully, the officials realize how good they have it and that being paid what they are, plus a small raise, is better than not being paid at all. I would miss Ed Hochuli turning, pointing and yelling, "first downnnnn!".
to donate to clinical research for my blinding eye disease, please go to www.curechm.org and click the donate now link.