I was living in New York during 9/11, and one of my few good memories of those terrifying times was sports radio. I had Mets fever during my six years in New York and listened on a regular basis to Mike and the Mad Dog (R.I.P.). You may recall that professional sports suspended all games, briefly, after the attacks. Sports radio went on without sports. Without any games to dish about - and unable, as we were all unable, to think or talk about anything else - Mike and the Mad Dog did their show about the crisis for a little while there.
And they were brilliant. They would call up some terrorism expert, for example, crank the guy up and let him run, grill him with feisty questions, then let him go. The second the expert and his stentorian tones were gone from the airwaves, Mike and the Mad Dog would immediately start to pick apart his account, with the same verve and vengeance they typically brought to the self-serving after-game comments of jocks and coaches. It was far and away the best radio reporting on news I can remember hearing, ever.
I have been reliving those days in covering the Obama campaign with The St. Louis American newsroom. Our brilliant and hilarious Sports Editor Earl Austin Jr. has Obama fever in a big way. Every day now, instead of doing insightful and wickedly funny color commentary on the latest big game or trade, he is doing it on the presidential campaign. Until today, his best line was about the Sarah Palin announcement. Comparing Palin to John McCain's pattern of young trophy brides, Earl said, "That's his profile," as if describing a hitter known to be a sucker for the high and inside fastball.
I think he had something even better today about Colin Powell's announcement of support for Barack Obama. Earl said, "To make a sports metaphor, it looks like Colin Powell was the player to be named later to complete the Joe Lieberman trade. I think we came out ahead on this one. Can anyone say, Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio?"
Broglio card from The Vintage Card Trader.