Friday, May 9, 2014

Blurred Lines

I spend a fair amount of time listening to sports talk radio.  I'm not a sports nut.  It's just a nice diversion, and a break from every day death and destruction.  Modern sports talk radio has morphed in to something more.  It's movies, tv, food, drink, entertainment, etc.  I can handle that.

These days, sports talk radio is more like news talk radio.  Runs, hits and errors take a back seat to cheating, racism, drugs, criminal athletes and sexual orientation discussions.

That brings me to Ron Allen, my first boss in the business.  For years, Ron did a sports talk show on WARM AM 590.  He even dabbled in news talk for a while, with a noon time slot, as WARM was desperately bungling the search for a contemporary identity.  That was after my departure.

Above is a shot of Ron at Lackawanna County Stadium's opening night in 1989, doing what he does best.  Holding court.  The venue this time was the dugout.

I occasionally wonder how Ron would handle the current sports climate, with all those blurred lines that have taken sports into the realm of news.  I'm sure he would have had a field day.  I always got the feeling Ron wanted to be known as more than a sports guy. 

On the other hand, part of me feels Ron would be disgusted by the loss of purity and innocence in the sports world.  Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of that to begin with.

Ron seemed to be tiring of the grind toward the end.  He lost a bit of that nastiness and arrogance that made him the man you love to hate.  You might not have adored the guy, but when Ron brought his "A" game, there was none better.

Still, I'd love to hear what he'd have to say.