By Emmet the fan.
I am a Triple Little. I would like to apologize for that, if I may, right from the top.
When I grew up in lace-curtain West Roxbury so very long ago, the most you could ask for in life was to become a Triple Eagle. That meant you went to BC High School, then Boston College (I applied in 1958. Still waiting), then on to BC Law. My Uncle Joe, the white sheep in the family did BC, then BC Law with honors, but he missed the high school. Slacker.
Now I have become a Triple Little which pales in comparison, of course. Those of us who have become addicted to the sarcastic ranting of one Tony Kornheiser, refer to ourselves as “The Littles,” at least in relation to the boss.
Perhaps I am so impressed with Kornheiser because he has read my column on national radio, twice. Perhaps not.
Kornheiser was a clever, sarcastic sportswriter for the Washington Post, sometime around the Civil War. For reasons unknown he left the New York Times for the Post. I always assumed you left the Times only when you died. I caught a few columns and liked them. When he appeared on ESPN radio it became “must listening.” When he went to FX radio, I actually bought a receiver. I used to time my Florida bike trips around his show to ease the pain in my aging, alabaster columns. He ended up miscast on Monday Night Football, where he was decidedly not everyone’s “cup of tea.” Many wanted an ex-jock instead of an intelligent commentator, which tells you a lot about the football audience.
Now he is a television star on Pardon the Interruption with pal Mike Wilbon, every night at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN. But he is best on his morning show on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C.
He is the consummate wise-ass, sarcastic commentator, which is why I listen. Forget that guy selling beer. Tony is the “most interesting man alive.” He is also the worst dressed man alive, despite his exorbitant paychecks. I often call in “Blue Eyes” to check his latest stripes, checks and plaid mixtures.
I love his sports radio show because he will simply not allow call-ins from those “bloodthirsty shut-ins who live in their mother’s basements,” as one Boston scribe called them. He avoids most athletes because you have seen how boring they can be. Instead he loads the show with newspaper people (the greatest on Earth).
I am a Triple Little because I sometimes listen to the show streaming in the morning on the Washington station, then watch PTI at night and more often than not, on my iPhone for the podcast as I drift off to sleep. When I am worried and I can’t sleep, I listen to Tony instead of counting sheep. I like the radio show better that TV because, well, there is more Tony. The show can start with a 10 minute diatribe on the Washington Redskins and whether quarterback RG3 (Robert Griffin) should be allowed to live another day. That might be followed by a segment with Bob Ryan “The quintessential sports writer” on the status of the NBA. Ryan is a pompous sort but he knows so much (and remembers so much) that we forgive him.
That might be followed by Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post who explains in great detail what the change in Cuban relation will mean to us all. Brilliant. Then we might call in Anne Hornaday from the Washington Post for a review of the latest movies. Other Washington Post talent could include Liz Clarke and Jeannie McManus. Other delicious guests could be Mike Freeman from Bleacher Report and Luke Russert from NBC News. Our Tony loves the films, but rarely stays for the ending. He loves parties, too but is always the first one out the door.
The football picks are wonderful with James Carville (Cobb Manor favorite) for the college games and that film-watching maniac Ron Jaworski for the pros.
Kornheiser is opinionated and bombastic but he has the very good grace to share the mike with these all-stars.
Not only is Kornheiser the “most interesting man alive” but “The Littles” are close behind. The closing “mailbag” segment from the public is hilarious, now including song parodies. If all these bright people are out there, how do we elect Newt Gingrich?
Like me, Tony is old, getting older. He always includes the “Old Guy Radio” segment with songs from his youth. He admits that he cannot wait to drive through traffic at 20 miles an hour get back home, open his fresh Box of Triscuits (sea Salt and black pepper) crack a bottle of wine and boil a few eggs.
He keeps threatening to quit because he is so old.
What the hell am I supposed to do then?
Fall asleep listening to Jim Rome and his “Smackdown?”