Ever have one of those nights that started out innocently enough???
So, this has been a pretty incredible week for me anyway, but I’m not sure you could’ve topped last night. I was at my kid’s baseball game, (they won, by the way) and I wanted to make sure I was home to watch Mike Moustakas’s first game at 9. I get in the car and tune in 610 Sports for the pregame show. Nick Wright, the afternoon drive host is on saying that he’s sitting outside the 810 Zone on the Plaza in the 610 Sports van.
My ears perk up.
He put out an open call to any listeners that wanted to come by. So, on a lark, I did.
What followed was a night that might’ve reignited the Kansas City Sports Radio Wars.
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t have a dog in the fight. Well, that’s not entirely true, I’m a huge fan of The Border Patrol on 810. But with Fake Ned’s new popularity, I feel it’s his duty to sample the entire menu. (Yeah, I just went third person on myself. So there’s that.)
So, if I got a chance to shake Nick’s hand and better explain my Open Letter to him, that would be cool. I got much more.
This turned into a 610 Happy Hour. At the 810 Zone. On the radio, Nick acknowledged that it’s probably not something he should do, but who cares. “What, like people don’t know there’s a WHB without us telling them?” he said? Plus, their chicken wings are to die for.
Full disclosure here, I married a broadcasting major. She never went much past college radio, but she has taught me a couple of things about radio folks. Rule #1? Radio folks love to talk about radio.
While I met Nick at the bar, in strolled his producer Carrington Harrison, a tall strapping lad. Then in walks Bob Fescoe, the host of the morning show. Then in walks Danny Parkins, the host of the mid-day show. It suddenly became their after work happy hour and I was only too happy to listen in.
I only bought one beer for the staff, and that was for Bob Fescoe, specifically so I could hear his version of “Credential-gate” when he was still working at 810 WHB. He tells the story pretty well. In summary, he was the beat reporter for the radio station and following the firing of Allard Baird, he asked a question that didn’t sit well at the press conference. He got his credentials revoked which is actually a pretty big deal. They basically took away his keys to the summer house in Boca. From then, Fescoe’s career has arguably never been the same. He’d argue that it has gone up, but he’s still clearly on the outs with 810 and the Royals. The story was worth the beer even if his buddy did break some unwritten bro-code and put his beer on my tab too. Realizing that the bar was surrounded with 810 gear and nerdy listeners, they both exited after 1 drink.
I got to watch the first half of the Royals game with Nick Wright and Danny Parkins. That was pretty cool. So often we listen to radio shows and wonder what eyes they see it through. Both these fellas are extremely intelligent when it comes to sports. Parkins looks like a cross between a Mad Magazine cover and an MIT grad. He was wearing a Syracuse ballcap backwards, too. I introduced myself by telling him I’ve never heard his voice before. Which is unfortunate, because he has a great radio voice. He immediately hated me.
Nick is an interesting study. The best way I guess I could summarize it is that he’s just an odd duck. Which is not uncommon for folks in radio, but he stands out even more than most. His appearance is atypical. He’s skinny, has a huge nose and an incredibly unique voice. It’s part street rapper, part Howard’s mom from The Big Bang Theory and part… undefined. It’s not a radio voice. But that seems to work for him.
I got into the drinks a little bit and none of our conversation was really on or off the record. It’s just a couple guys at a bar.We did talk alot about the state of Sports Radio, my letter, and where do we go from here.
We talked about ratings and twitter and the interaction of the public with the media and books and black dudes playing Big Buck Hunter and hot chicks and a bunch of other stuff that guys at a bar talk about.
I did make note to quote him on one thing. The discussion centered around my letter to Kietzman. I admitted to Nick that I don’t listen to his show, but I do plan to give it a long look. So I asked him the same question that was at the root of my letter, “What are YOU going to do through the Dog Days of summer and if there’s an NFL lockout?”
Nick gave the perfect answer, “Try to be entertaining.”
It was the only 4 word answer he gave to any question.
Oh. And then this happened:
Troy Olsen “KC RoyalMan” was also there and I found his choice of sandals abysmal. The rest of the evening we just sat and watched the game. We witnessed Mike Moustakas’s first hit. Danny Parkins explained the theory of relativity to me and we talked about radio. It was pretty cool.
610 Night at the 810 Zone did also show me that the Radio Wars in Kansas City never really stopped. They had just cooled a bit. Perhaps this is a sign of a new era in the war? Time can only tell. The only thing I know is that Bob Fescoe’s buddy owes me a beer.