On the Radio Wars post that turned into a Damon Bruce appearance

BASG RSG Damon Bruce KNBR 1050It seems like a lot of people tuned in to listen to BASG and me on The Damon Bruce Show yesterday. The responses and outpouring of support was phenomenal, and we had a great time doing it. BASG’s write up of the experience was spot on, and if you haven’t had a chance to read it or listen to the podcast, you can check it out here.

This all started when I wrote a post calling out Damon for his takes on the San Jose Sharks as they compare to the two teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Final. Some blows were thrown by both of us. Much of the response on Twitter once we announced we were going in studio seemed to be from people who thought this appearance would turn into a royal rumble between Damon and me over the Sharks. Many other readers thought it would be our chance to challenge Damon regarding a lot of the gripes you’re used to seeing when perusing the comments section of a Radio Wars post.

To be clear: I wasn’t fishing for a chance to check out the offices of Cumulus when I wrote my Sharks piece. Truth be told, it was the last result I expected to come from it. I couldn’t honestly tell you what I was trying to accomplish when I sat down at my computer that day. I had heard some takes about the Sharks I disagreed with, and I set out to dispel some fallacies.

Damon wasn’t too keen on what I said, and understandably so. He said his piece. He has his medium; I have mine.

By the time Dan Wilson got in touch with us about coming on the show, everything had been smoothed over. Save a few debates over the definition of the word “trolling” and some discussions over what troubles the Sharks, the segment was going to be about this website and the climate of sports writing in the Bay Area. It went exactly as I expected.

The direction of the segment also meant we weren’t going to get into the topics I’m sure most of you hoped we would. Sure, BASG egged a little comment on Gary Radnich out of Damon, but for the most part, the host steered the ship. Considering this was my maiden voyage on KNBR, I didn’t mind.

What we have here at Bay Area Sports Guy is unique in the field of journalism. It gives us a forum to write, free from the binds of corporate agendas and, as was discussed during the show, censorship. It means we have a chance to write about more than just sports, and you guys all seem to love these Radio Wars posts. But just because we write about radio hosts — sometimes critically — doesn’t mean we hate them. It’s quite the opposite, honestly. After what I saw yesterday, I have a great deal of respect for what all of these radio personalities do. It’s high pressure, hard work, and extremely scrutinized.

I’ve made it clear on this site before: Damon Bruce is one of my favorite personalities in Bay Area radio, and one squabble over a hockey team isn’t going to change that. I started listening to his show because he is (to borrow my moniker) ruthless. He doesn’t hold back, as evidenced by how badly he roasted me last Friday. Does it mean I won’t challenge him again in the future? Absolutely not, but yesterday’s appearance wasn’t about me challenging Damon or vice versa.

Yesterday was about bringing power to independent voices in the realm of sports writing. If you’re reading this now it’s because you want a fresh perspective. We want to keep bringing something new to the table, and we want more people to know about it. Word of mouth is how this site grew to this point, and word of mouth is exactly the tool talk radio hosts use.

Published by

Kyle McLorg

Kyle McLorg (formerly Ruthless Sports Guy) is a Candlestick Kid, and that passion shines through in his writing now. When he's not picking apart the 49ers, Sharks and Giants, you can find him trying to keep his dog (half-wolf) out of trouble at the dog park. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_McLorgBASG.

5 comments
Spartan Sports Guy
Spartan Sports Guy

Damon deserves kudos for stepping out of the box and bringing in two guys from a non-traditional media outlet. The same way he separates himself and his show from the average run-of-the-mill radio show his guests are often separate from the normal media entities. It's easy to say "Matt Maiocco will be on to talk 49ers" and tons of people will tune in to listen because they see his mug on tv every night. But to bring in a couple of bloggers building themselves up in a grassroots sort of effort takes some stones. Normally the guests are a way to keep people tuned in, and yesterday the benefit was actually probably in favor of the guest. BASG probably gained a lot of new followers yesterday.

Pulgas de Brent Burns
Pulgas de Brent Burns

I've said before I have some issues at times with his way of approaching issues, but the one undeniable thing is he generally brings fresh content. He doesn't repeat content or use gimmicks. If you listen for three hours you'll get three hours of content. It also won't be just the stuff you hear on every show. He'll cover the major stuff, but more days than not a he'll do a handful of segments on stuff like SJSU, on a less mainstream sports story or like yesterday.

I think love him or hate him it's hard to deny that he prepares for his show very well, especially as a solo act.

paperback writer
paperback writer

What?!?! You guys did not give him his poll winning trophy? (The miniature Hoover vacuum ). LOL

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@FFUC "If you listen for three hours you'll get three hours of content."

While I may not care for every topic Damon covers, I'd rather hear something I haven't heard. I guarantee you that if you listen to Papa and Lund for their full 3 hours, you will hear the same stories over and over.

In fact, BASG should put together a fun little Radio Wars article. Pick any random day and highlight everything Damon touches on. On a different random day, do the same for Lund and Papa. I would already bet that Damon's list would have 9 or 10 things on it, both local and national. Lund and Papa would have 4 or 5, at most and get repeated at least 3 times. Of course, idiot pop culture references would be tossed out. Let me know if I can help with that. :)

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@FFUC "If you listen for three hours you'll get three hours of content."

Exactly! I cannot name any other local with this ability. Even on a slow sports news day, Damon pulls this off. I also enjoy Tolbert for this. Tolbert may not cover as many bases, but when it's a slow news day, Tolbert will hit the top story for 2 or 3 or even 4 segments, especially if it's a hot topic getting a lot of calls. Both hosts let reaction help direct how long they will stay with a topic before moving on. And they actually move on without going back to it an hour later. Many times, I've sat in my truck, switching from radio to IHeart so I could listen to Tommy continue railing on a great topic with a fun POV.

It's the polar opposite on 95.7. I never have to get worried about being sucked in to a topic, because once it's time for a commercial or some stupid bit like take it or leave it, I know they're already on to something else, no matter the listener reaction. Just a couple weeks ago, I was listening to the Rise Guys have a good debate on MLB replay during my commute. You could tell the guys had more to say, but it was time for a commercial which always means a topic change, as regulated by PD Barrett, so I head into work. Besides, I know if I want to hear more about replay, I only need to tune in an hour or so later so they can rehash it instead of covering the topic fully and keeping me tuned in.

At least the endless teases on 95.7 let me know what the next topic for one segment will be. Here's a perfect example of KNBR doing it right...

Typical 95.7 tease: "We know one wide receiver who could make all the difference for the 49ers. We'll tell you about him next."

Typical KNBR tease: "Coming up, Vernon Davis may be the answer at wide receiver for the Niners. That and your calls next on the Sports Leader."

A lot of sports fans are tech savvy and on twitter and have already heard something about VD at WR already. It's just lame to do the whole mystery thing. If you have to tease to get to your next segment, just let people know what it is. This isn't the 90's FFS. I've even noticed that TV news has backed off their teases lately. It's just silly to hype something like "a local sports venue has bad plumbing problems... we'll tell you which one next." Then, people just grab their digital devices and read all about it before they're back from commercial. Why can't 95.7 run a lucky break for the PD spot? Anyone of is on this forum could do so much better.