It amazes me that there are only three (3) hours of hockey programming in the Columbus radio market per week. Three hours!!! You have the "The Todd Richards Show", the "Sunday Morning Skate" (97.1 The Fan) and the "Hockey Hour" (610 WTVN). Each of these shows is one hour in length. And..... that's it. There is nothing else. No matter how hard you search, to get your hockey fix you'll have to go to another radio market (most likely out of state or even out of the country) or subscribe to XM/Sirius satellite radio.
The biggest argument that I've heard about the dearth of hockey programming is, "If they win more...". I'm sorry, I just don't buy that as a logical answer. There is a rather large fan base that is clamouring for intelligent puck talk in Central Ohio. A case in point would be the Blue Jackets game on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012. Over 14,000 fans showed up to watch the last place team (by a country mile) in the NHL play the San Jose Sharks. On a Tuesday night! How can anyone say that this isn't a "hockey market"?
Columbus, Ohio is the 15th largest city in the United States with their radio market ranked 35th nationally. And what do we have on the radio pertaining to hockey? One hour on Wednesday evenings and two hours on Sunday. It's a shame and a travesty. This market CAN support more puck talk. The fans deserve it. Contrary to popular belief, Columbus is so much more than OSU football/basketball. Why are the radio stations so afraid to program more hockey?
College football/basketball will almost assuredly be "top dog" in Columbus sports radio to infinity and beyond. I get that. No really, I do. What I don't get is the fact that the NHL, with one of only 30 franchises smack-dab in the middle of Columbus, is an afterthought. It just doesn't make sense. I challenge anyone to give me a logical reason why there isn't more intelligent puck talk here.
There are many who think that I rail on local radio because I have some personal agenda. That is simply not true. There is one reason, and one reason only, that I beat this drum. That is, you should always strive to be better. There is one "radio personality" in particular that I have hammered lately, with justification. Scott Torgerson on 97.1 The Fan/WBNS, more commonly known as "The Torg", took to his facebook page on February 1st with the following entry...
I have highlighted the pertinent post. For someone who represents the "Flagship Station" of the Blue Jackets radio network to post something like this is classless. How can you honestly post that "the best part was Boyle kicking Brassards ass!" Is it that the radio station has no clue? If so, shame on them. Especially in this age of the internet. What about the Blue Jackets? Were they not outraged by this?
But wait, it gets better. On his radio show on Monday (2/20/12), he said (paraphrasing), "I'd rather have no NHL team than a bad one". Seriously? I thought I had heard wrong. But, no. Many other fans heard the same thing and immediately took to Twitter to repeat what he had said and to chastise him. Once again, I remind you that this is the "Flagship Station".
At first, I had to laugh at this. I have never once said that he can't have an opinion about the Blue Jackets. Spirited, intelligent discussion is healthy and fun. Besides, what does he think, that I'm jealous of? Him? Yeah, not so much.
Then today, he posted this jibberish...
All-righty then. Can anyone translate this into English for me? I just don't know what he was trying to say here.
At this point, I think he has me confused with someone who disagrees with his opinion of the Blue Jackets. This couldn't be further from the truth. What I have a problem with is billing yourself as the "Flagship Station" of the Columbus Blue Jackets radio network, while having an on-air personality openly celebrating a player on the team getting his ass kicked. And then to add fuel to the fire of having no class, you say that you'd rather have no team here than a losing one. Where is the "outrage"?
Incredulous doesn't even begin to describe what I'm thinking at this point. The fact that he seems to be allowed to go on spouting off with this garbage says to me that no one with WBNS (who employs him) or the Blue Jackets organization sees this as a problem.
As I've said all along, strive to be better at what you do. What's hitting the airwaves from the "Flagship Station" isn't cutting the mustard. If they want to settle for being mediocre, that's fine. But you would think that they would want to be as "professional" as they can be. Especially with the All-Star Game being hosted in Columbus next year and the whole NHL descending on our fair city.
I think the Ramones said it best...