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 had planned on giving my preview and predictions on this weeks NFL conference finals all week, but things change. I will still do them, but shorten them quite a bit. First, I need to comment on the big news of the past couple of days. Of course, I am talking about Manti Te'o.
Te'o had a well publicized love affair as I am sure you know with a woman that, as it turns out, never existed. I'm sure most of you have read, or heard all about it by now. Basically, Te'o had met this woman online, and continued their relationship over the course of a couple of years, all without presumably ever meeting her face to face.
Ridiculous you say? How can that be possible? You wonder aloud. You scratch your head. You ask your co-workers, friends, and significant others, and most of them pretty much all agree, and do the same thing. Lots of head scratching going on for sure.
Well, I'm here to tell you, it is entirely possible, and many of those people you talk to know that it is as well. They would never admit that they know that of course, probably for the same reason that Te'o is in the predicament that he is...EMBARRASSMENT.
The thing is, the world is changing. The advent of the internet has given rise to a new world of dating and building relationships. Devices like Skype and webcams allow couples to talk to each other in real time over their computers, watching each other the entire time. It's quite an amazing thing really.
With all the websites available, all the facebook accounts, the chatrooms and dating sites, it is getting increasingly easy to meet someone online and develop a relationship, distance apart be damned.
The thing is though--social convention has not really kept up with the times. Despite long distance internet romances becoming so much more ever-present, the people in those relationships often don't admit to them. They are often embarrassed among their friends and people in their lives, and that is just an average Joe.
Now imagine that you are one of the best defensive players in the country in college football. If you have one of these relationships, you are not letting anyone in on the details.
I have heard it speculated that Te'o was in on this hoax. Some things do sound strange, I admit, such as how he referred to his girlfriend twice in interviews after he and Notre Dame found out that she didn't even exist. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps out of the embarrassment he felt, he wanted to perpetuate the story, maybe hoping it would never get out and become a big story.
I'm guessing that he somehow met this girl online. Perhaps he was "introduced" to her, or perhaps he stumbled onto her somehow. Through time, the relationship probably evolved through online chats and e-mails to long phone conversations. Whoever was perpetuating this hoax became a part of it, talking to Te'o on the phone to get him to believe she was real. After a couple of years, that person probably got tired of the charade, and decided to "kill her off", figuring that was somehow easier to take than admitting to a fake relationship after all that time. I'm sure neither Te'o nor his hoaxer ever planned on things becoming that intense. Now they all have a very public fallout to deal with.
How do I know, and why do I give Te'o the benefit of the doubt? Because it happened to me. I know how easy this whole thing can happen.
Because of my work schedule, for years I work nights and get out at 10 or 11 pm. It's tough to meet women the "normal" ways with that kind of schedule, so once I got my first computer in 1999, I started trolling online chat and game rooms.
It wasn't long until I started talking to a woman in Kansas who I started having feelings for. She told me she was a couple years younger than I and was single and available. After talking for a few months, a guilty consciensce apparently got the best of her and she admitted she was a few years older than I and also married. Funny thing is, after all that time talking and getting to know her, I forgave her and to this day, she is still a dear friend who happens to live in Kansas.
A year or two later, I started "dating" a woman in Northern California. After a few months of playing online games together and talking on the phone a lot, we became "exclusive" and planned to meet soon. While this was happening, I actually met and started dating a girl in my "real" world. I don't remember how now, but somehow my girl in California found out about it, and that was over. Apparently, two-timing is still the same even when you have never met the other person face to face, as I found out. I still wonder what might have happened with that girl if I hadn't dated someone else. Would we ever have met? Would we fall in love? Would we ever really be together? Or would I have ended up where Manti Te'o is now?
Finally, not to be deterred, I met this wonderful woman from Denver in an online chat room and we started messaging and talking for months. She was there with me on the phone the night my father had a fatal heart attack and I had to try to perform CPR on him. Eventually, after a few more months, she agreed to come for a visit to meet me, and we hit it off. I visited her friends and family in Denver, and about 10 months after we started talking, she uprooted her life and moved to Rochester to live with me.
That lovely woman is now my wife. I'm sure Manti Te'o was hoping for the same kind of happy ending. As we all know now, it wasn't to be.
I feel for the guy right now. I believe that he is the true victim in this whole thing. Some mean people chose to screw with his heart for some reason, and now he is paying the price on a world stage. That is such a shame, and my heart breaks for him.
I so hope I am not wrong and we find out that Te'o was part of the whole thing in order to help his Heisman cause or stir sympathy for himself or whatever the reason. If that is the case, my heart will just be plain broken.
Now as for the NFL conference finals this weekend to see who goes to the Super Bowl....
In the NFC, it's the classic battle of a dominant offense versus a dominant defense when the Falcons play host to the 49ers. Usually in these cases, the defense wins out and I think that will happen again. In this case though, it's because of the San Francisco offense that I think they win.
The Niners are far more dangerous with the dual threat Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, who can beat you with his arm and his legs, as proven by his 180 yard record setting rushing performance last week against the Pack. The 49ers defense should be able to cover Jones, White and Gonzalez enough and bother Matt Ryan into mistakes like he made last week.
The key for the Falcons is establishing a running game like they did against Seattle in order to avoid being one-dimensional. With the top ranked rush defense of San Fran, I don't think that will happen. Late turnovers will be the difference--San Francisco 31--Atlanta 20.
In the AFC, it's the Pats and Ravens again. Last year the Patriots squeaked by the Ravens thanks to a Billy Cundiff missed field goal gimme. They shouldn't have to worry as much this year. Even with Rob Gronkowski out for the year with a broken arm, the Patriots offense is playing better than ever, and that should be the difference. New England has a much more dangerous rushing attack this year than they had last year with Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen, and because of that, Tom Brady is playing at an all time high level.
I'm going with the Pats easy 37-17, which should set up a VERY intriguing Super Bowl matchup between New England and San Francisco.
So grab a case of brewski's, get your snacks ready and order the pizza. Sunday should be a lot of fun!