By: John Molori
April 12, 2005

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THIS WEEK:

- Dickerson's days
- Eye Opener
- Rising Stars, Falling Stars: Who was hot and not for NESN on Opening Day at Fenway Park?

Dickerson talks frankly about family and future

He has his own nightly show on Fox Sports Net (FSN), is the top fill-in host at Sports Radio 850 WEEI and co-hosts two highly successful WEEI weekend shows. At 33, his resume rivals that of someone ten years his senior. Greg Dickerson's rise has been meteoric, from a Worcester IceCats PA announcer in 1995 to one of the most recognized faces and voices in Boston sports media.

Dickerson was recently named to replace Bob Neumeier as co-host of WEEI' s "Red Sox Baseball Today," Sundays at 9:00 a.m. "I didn't want to work seven days a week," says Dickerson. "But it is such a great job. I just couldn't turn it down. People hang on every word about the Red Sox and the program is the "˜must-listen-to' show at the station. WEEI pays me a nice addition to what I make at FSN, but this was not about the money."

As co-host of FSN's "New England Sports Tonight" (weeknights at 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) and co-host of WEEI's Saturday "Wallach and Dickerson" show, Dickerson's plate is quite full. His inability to say no to an opportunity is a personal one.

He states, "My father (Randy) was a workaholic. He was senior vice president of human resources for many companies including Bradlees and Stop and Shop, and regularly worked 10-hour days. My brother has three jobs. I was on unemployment for three years, so I love to work. I am not the best-looking or smoothest guy in the world. I have to work hard to succeed in this business."

Dickerson is WEEI's top fill-in host, yet has been passed over for the lucrative midday co-hosting slot twice. "I very much wanted that job," he says. "Bob Neumeier and Michael Holley both have great track records, but if offered the job, I'd have taken it."

If hired, Dickerson says he would have continued "New England Sports Tonight" and "Wallach and Dickerson." He is philosophical about future opportunities. "I think they have to get Dale out of there," he jokes. "I suspect that in three years, it will open up again. Clearly, I can't work alongside Dale, so I guess he has to go."

With the addition of "Red Sox Baseball Today" to his work slate, Dickerson is now on the air seven days a week. He is frank in discussing how the business impacts his personal life. "It definitely puts a strain on things. My wife Shannon is the most wonderful person and I really feel bad that she married me. I am addicted to this business.

"We want to have kids soon, but I don't give my wife nearly enough time. I made a commitment to her in church and I should put more into it. I spend time with her Sunday night, and then really not again until the following Saturday morning. It's very difficult."

This personal strain is very much a part of Dickerson's mindset as his FSN contract expires next month. Dickerson's agent Ken Fishkin is handling negotiations. Fishkin would not comment in detail saying only that negotiations with FSN had yet to begin. A call to FSN general manager David Woodman has gone unanswered.

Says Dickerson, "I've thought about quitting. I don't want my marriage to be a statistic. Gary (co-host Tanguay) is as real as it gets in a business full of people who are fake and treat each other like (expletive deleted). He is a great friend and I love our crew, but maybe it's time to grow up. We'll see."

Title Top Ten

NESN and the Red Sox marketing staff presented a masterpiece for the team's Fenway Park Opening Day Pregame Ceremony. It was simply some of the best television that I've seen in quite a long time. Here are my top ten moments.

Past Red Sox championship banners being unfurled across the left field wall, then covered by a gigantic 2004 World Championship banner with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops playing live in the background.

Former Red Sox players participating. The likes of Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Tommy Harper, Bill Lee, Oil Can Boyd, Luis Tiant, Butch Hobson, Bruce Hurst, Sam Horn and Bob Montgomery paid tribute to the team's glorious past.

Kevin Millar breaking from the pack to go over and hug Luis Tiant. It shows that this current team really does respect their predecessors.

NESN's cameras following Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky as he received his championship ring and joyously hugged every member of the team.

Boston sports legends Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Richard Seymour and Tedy Bruschi tossing out the first pitches. Seeing Bruschi healthy, active and smiling was extra special.

The entire Yankees team, including general manager Brian Cashman, assembled in their dugout watching the pregame ceremony. The empire may indeed be evil, but it is also drenched with class and respect.

Johnny Pesky and Carl Yastrzemski raising the 2004 Championship flag in centerfield. No two men more fully personify the history of the Red Sox.

Wounded American soldiers, wheelchairs and all, carrying the World Series Trophy and the 2004 championship rings across the diamond. A great moment for these real heroes.

Red Sox fans cheering mightily when Yankee closer and 2004 ALCS goat Mariano Rivera was introduced. The standing ovation was Boston at its best and no one got a greater kick out of it than the wide-smiling Rivera himself.

The return of former Red Sox players Derek Lowe and Dave Roberts. They got the loudest cheers wearing their old Boston jerseys for one last hurrah. They deserve credit for showing that departure doesn't have to mean disdain. Are you listening, Pedro?

Rising Stars

Chris Snow- Globe beat writer did a nice pregame interview with Eric Frede on the field at Fenway. Shared some good insight on Terry Francona's health. Snow looked comfortable on-air and is the best young writer in Boston.

Eric Frede- Fresh off the NCAA Frozen Four, Frede did a great job with pregame interviews. He set the scene from the Fenway field and was as energetic and enthusiastic as the day itself.

Don Orsillo- He is now the singular television voice of the Red Sox and the rise in confidence is apparent. Orsillo handled pregame master of ceremonies duties flawlessly and called a terrific home opener.

Falling Stars

Kevin Paul Dupont- He is quite simply the best hockey writer, and one of the best pure writers, on the planet, but Dupont seemed apathetic and added little insight alongside Eric Frede in a pregame interview.

Master of Ceremonies positioning- Don Orsillo and Joe Castiglione were awkwardly separated as they introduced the pregame festivities. The slightest movement knocked one or the other out of camera shot. Very annoying to watch.

Ring Ceremony- The video of each player's ring on the scoreboard was a nice touch, but recipients should have been verbally introduced as well. The Red Sox coaching and training staff came out of the dugout almost anonymously.

John Molori's columns are published in The Providence Journal, The Boston Metro, The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, The Salem Evening News, The Newburyport Daily News, The Gloucester Times, The Lowell Sun, Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Sports Review, New England Hockey Journal, PatsFans.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com, RedSoxNation.net and MethuenOnline.com. Email John at JOMOL3@aol.com.


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