Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Well folks, by now, I bet you figured it out.
I’ve been nothing but tail-lights leaving the FSR parking lot since about the end of the 3rd quarter.
Sorry. A.L.E. theory. To the bitter end.
Actually, I was willing and prepared to run out the string here with Scotty and Solly. But the skipper came over to my locker, asked for the playbook, shook my hand, and said “go ahead and start enjoying the holidays.”
I’m sorry it had to end, but then again, I prefer not to look at it that way. I see a new beginning. I see fun things available to me that I always wanted to do. This might be, as they say, the start of something big. Somewhere. Sometime. Maybe soon. But maybe not. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I have been floored by the volume, and passion of your emails the last few weeks. And I am sure to be getting a lot more, since I’m guessing that only about 30% of you know what’s going on just yet.
I have also been amazed at the number of calls from industry people – people I have never met in my life – who said they were listeners and fans of the show. It seems like every day I’ve been telling Scott and Solly: “Dude, guess who called me today…”
While I am dealing with this change in stride, I know that you guys are not. For this, I feel bad, and wish something could be done. You had invited me into your cars, your homes, your bedrooms every morning. This is now gone. There’s a void. Five years (or more) is a long time.
For everyone who said: “I’m cancelling my XM subscription now” I say this: don’t. Don’t because it’s still the greatest thing ever invented for a radio fan. And well, if you cancel, and then have to un-cancel later, that would be a hassle, right? Just sayin….
Me and the fellas are taking the next week off, and then we’re back to our local schedule in the new year. We will start a daily podcast/czabecast that will hopefully deliver on the 3-5 big stories of the day. It ain’t much, but it’s something.
In the meantime, I would love to do one final “Behind the Music” Czabecast on some of the show’s highlights, lowlights, and car-crash stupid-funny-awful moments over the years. But I need your help.
I’ve forgotten most of them!
You people, never forget. I love that about you.
(Except remembering the A.C. Green interview and the headphone smashing. That, you can forget. Thanks.)
So go ahead, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just post a show moment here, and we’ll scoop up the best ones, and riff on them when we get back together.
Finally, a very kind blurb from SI.com’s Richard Deitsch about the show, by way of Michael Grant in Louisville. Again, two people I’ve never met before! Nice.
Then, I pulled a small sample of emails from the in-box.
Sorry I had to “ALE” it on you guys, but then again, if you didn’t figure that out and follow me shortly afterward to the exits, then I obviously taught you guys nothing.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
THE LAST WORD (Richard Deitsch, SI.com)
In what qualifies as a head-scratching move, Fox Sports Radio announced it was replacing Steve Czaban with Stephen A. Smith as the host of one of its national radio shows. Czaban, whose contract was not renewed by FSR after seven years, will continue to be heard during afternoon drive on DC's ESPN 980, WTEM after his last national show airs on Dec. 23. I heard Smith nearly every day when he hosted his talk show in New York City on 1050 ESPN Radio and a simple Google search will tell you how that experiment ended, and how this ultimately will in a couple of years. As for Czaban, I asked Louisville Courier-Journal sportswriter Michael Grant, a longtime listener of Czaban and Fox Sports Radio, to offer his postscript on the move.
Steve Czaban always reminded me of the high school friend you didn't agree with but couldn't stop listening to, either. He's a mixture of odd, crass, and intense, but also engaging, informative and funny. If you're anything like me, you value such voices.
I was tremendously disappointed upon hearing that Czaban will no longer be doing his national show for Fox Sports Radio because the airwaves will be an emptier place without him. His was one of the few sports-talk shows I listened to daily, and if I couldn't listen live, I recorded it on my portable satellite radio.
Czaban was a terrific entertainer but he also challenged listeners to consider different viewpoints, mostly about sports but also subjects away from it. (Who wants homogenized radio?). He was passionate about the NFL as he was about The Simpsons.
He also was strangely averse to text-messaging, MySpace and Facebook like some octogenarian technophobe, but I enjoyed such old-school quirkiness.
I've been an avid listener to sports radio since the embryonic days of the format in the 1980s and today's sports-talk show landscape is littered with too many wannabes, snoozers and flat-out losers. With Czaban, you never felt cheated. You never felt like he mailed in a show. He always sounded like someone who prepared and cared. Now Czaban is gone, replaced by (groan) Stephen A Smith.
Ironically, Czaban was an advocate of the "A.L.E." theory, which suggests "always leave early" from sporting events to avoid traffic. For me, "The Czabe" is leaving the national airwaves much too early.
You were the only reason I kept my magic radio and the last show on FSR worth my time listening to. I listened to the show, end of the live show and full replay, everyday at work for the past 4 years. I loved the show for everything. I loved the nuances of jerseys and uniform combos and how you'd crush the guys who complained about you not talking about sports.
I didn't need the sports, I wanted the funny stories of running over doors, hitting deer, drilling noises in the background from your lovely station construction and on the phone while ordering McDonalds at the drive in. My days are filled with sound bites from the show. One of my favorite shows was the all request line for sound bites. The Michigan State rant is probably my favorite although Ben Knop booing kills me every time.
I also loved "Bug Talk". I don't know what I will do without the show. I will be canceling my XM subscription and turning off FSR for good. I will not stop drinking the Leinie's though. I probably wouldn't have found that delicious nectar without your sponsorship and visits with Dick and Jake. It is a fantastic beer and I have made several other huge fans as well.
I can't listen to Same and Samer so I guess the freaks on Coast to Coast AM will have to take your place on morning radio! I really can't believe the Czabe is out. I will really miss your show.
Today is the day that I found out that your show was cancelled, and today sucks. Your show was one of the only things that I could count on to make me laugh out loud each and every day. Every morning I listened to 1 hour while I commuted to work, the 2nd hour on my lunch break during the replay, and the third hour I downloaded via the KLAC website while I was working. I am at a loss for words. The show was insightful, edgy, and hilarious. Better than any other sports radio show in my opinion. You guys spoke your mind and really talked on a level that I related to. Now that the initial shock has worn off, it's really just anger that I feel. This really just pisses me off. I wish you, Scott, and Solly the best, and I hope to hear you guys on a national radio show again in the near future.
A loyal Listener
Green Bay, WI
While my politics often fall to the left of yours (about the only thing I disagree with you on), I've always enjoyed your show and will miss having you guys on in the morning. My alarm is set for 6:00am where your show has always woken me up, allowing me to gradually get up while listening to the show...yes, the Daily Czabe was my "2 minute" warning letting me know that I had no choice to get up or else. My wife, Margie, has also enjoyed your show. She often gets up before me and is spending time getting ready while your show is on in the backgroun (while I still lay lazily in bed) always getting a good laugh from you and the boys. Like me, she was upset when I told her the news Tuesday morning after I had read your post on Czabe.com.
I could go on and on about the show but I won't. Instead, I'll mention one of my favorite pieces of the show. A year or two ago you, Scott and Galdi did 'espnews' on the radio. You all read over each other current sports news. It was incredibly funny.
Anyways, it almost had to go down like this. You never would've left on your own and everytime you've left a job you've gone on to better things. Chances are half your life is over. You might live past 84, but I doubt your quality of life will be as it is now. So in this last half, time is precious. You've been working your ass off, compromising your health. Now it's time for the Winter of Czabe. Go down to Florida and work on your golf game. P90x has no doubt enhanced your long game. I'm sure you have plenty of fans out there only too happy to pay your greens fees. Enjoy!