My wife and I left a little after 10 am yesterday for Healdsburg to hang out with my sister. On the drive up north we were listening to the San Francisco Giants pregame show, hosted by Marty Lurie. Since it was the pregame show and not the postgame show, Lurie had a familiar partner: Patrick Connor.
While listening through San Rafael and Novato, my wife started picking up on something I’ve noticed during these Lurie/P-Con shows — Connor can barely get a word in. Lurie loves to talk about baseball, which could why he stopped lawyering and became a full-time radio host. His ability to analyze the Giants and take calls for hours on end is how he got the nickname “Marathon Marty.”
However, it’s easy to tell who’s the partner and who’s the paralegal in this law firm. Lurie does everything he can to either talk over Connor, dispute whatever he says, or simply change the subject entirely without acknowledging Connor’s point(s). What results is Connor being reduced to interjecting with a “yeah” or “wow” or “uh huh” as Lurie pontificates, almost to prove he didn’t drop his headset on the table and walk over to the Public House bar for a beverage.
“If Patrick wants to talk, he’d have to call into the show,” my wife said at one point, and I had a hard time disagreeing. Lurie lets the callers prattle on and on for the most part, whether or not they speak slowly, stutter or bring the proceedings to a halt with some long story from 1964. Lurie can barely let Connor get three words out without piping in.
It wasn’t just Sunday, either. On Saturday morning I listened to the pair while walking to AT&T Park. After Ann Killion was on, Lurie and Connor had this exchange:
Lurie: “UCLA is in the background. I know that’s why she went on (Brandon) Crawford so well.
Connor: “Right, right.”
Lurie: “I know that, c’mon I know that.”
Connor: “I LIVE that…”
Lurie: “When Florida beat UCLA, she paid me five bucks every year Florida took care of UCLA in basketball.”
Connor: “I’m basically an honorary member of of the Bruin nation…”
Lurie: “I got my five bucks from her.”
Connor: “Between her and Brian Murphy, I feel like I live in Westwood…”
Lurie: “I got my five bucks from her each year the Gators took care of them.”
Why is KNBR forcing the issue here? It’s clear Lurie doesn’t want to share the microphone, and he certainly doesn’t seem interested in Connor’s opinion most of the time. When Mychael Urban hosted the pregame show, he and Connor seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Urban would laugh whenever Connor crossed the line with a risqué comment, and there was an actual conversation going on between the two. But with Urban now working for 95.7 FM “The Game,” the same chemistry just isn’t there between the marathon man and P-Con.
Playing Lee Hammer for a day
Connor seemed to have a blast doing his own show during football season, and perhaps he’s under contract to work weekends and would like to continue doing so for obvious reasons. That got me thinking…
Question: is there a big, loyal audience for the business shows from 8-9 am on the weekends (“Protect Your Assets” on Saturdays and “Gary Allen on Business” on Sundays) on “The Sports Leader”?
If I were making decisions at 55 Hawthorne (I know, good luck with that), I might move both business programs to the 6-7 am slots and give Connor his own hour between 8-9 am where he could talk about whatever he wants (like college football and/or the issues of the week). I would imagine that would make Connor happy, since he’d actually be able to talk. It would also make Lurie happy, because he could do his thing without any obstacles. Listeners would be happier, because it’s not exactly comfortable to listen to a pairing that doesn’t seem to get along all that well.
Besides the business guys, everyone would be happier (and since I’m pretty sure “Protect Your Assets” is nothing more than a paid advertisement, my idea is probably dead in the Cove already).
I understand that with Lurie often talking for four, five or more hours per weekend day, there’s a temptation to break things up by giving him a younger, more energetic co-host. But Lurie just bulldozes through the first couple hours, doing the same show he would if Connor was taking the weekend off. Maybe I’m wrong and they love working together, but it doesn’t seem that way to this listener … or my wife, who was clearly hoping I’d change the station by the time we hit Petaluma.