By: John Molori
June 06, 2006

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- Run, Teddy, run!
- And the winner is
- In Memoriam

From ‘Ted Nation' to ‘Ted Commonwealth?' Emmy roundup; Remembering Ross

Move over Senator Kennedy. There's a new Teddy in Massachusetts politics. Ted Sarandis, the former host of WEEI's "Ted Nation,” has thrown his hat into the ring for Massachusetts Governor's Council for the November election.

"This committee plays a real role in government,” says the 50 year-old Sarandis, whose foray into politics has gained attention in and out of the sports world.

"The eight people on the council vote for judicial nominations. The chicanery that has been in this process gets overlooked. There are currently too many inside deals and incestuous relationships with the legislature.”

Sarandis, running as an Independent, is out to clean up some of the muck and mud in Massachusetts politics. He states, "Judges who sexually harass their employees can stay on the payroll.

"These judges have lifetime jobs. They take thirteen weeks vacation and have another three weeks for educational sabbaticals, and they are not accountable. When is the last time you saw an active judge at the state or federal level give an interview? They are so arrogant and out of touch.”

The platform on which Sarandis is running is threefold. "I am proposing an eight year term limit for judges, an anti-nepotism law and I also want a hard and fast law stating that legislators running for office cannot accept one dime in political contributions from judicial nominees.”

Members of the Governor's Council have a two-year term. Sarandis calls the current council a "mediocre core group.” Since leaving WEEI's evening slot in September of 2005, Sarandis has done guest shots on CN8 and WBZ Radio and remains the radio voice of Boston College men's basketball.

WEEI is the flagship station for the BC hoops network produced by a partnership between Fenway Sports Group and ISP Sports.

Sarandis will return to that role in 2006-07 and will call television play-by-play on five independently produced New England college basketball games. He recently did all of the voice-overs for the New England Emmy Awards that will air this Sunday night on CN8 at 6:30 p.m.

Closer to his heart, Sarandis is also working on a documentary based on his recent trip to Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. He was among fifty business and media people chosen for the trip as part of the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference.

"It was incredible,” says Sarandis, an avid military buff. "We landed on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, rode in a convoy and fired a 50-caliber assault rifle and an M-16. It was amazing to roll around in the desert with the soldiers.”

Sarandis reports first hand on troop morale and the image of the U.S. in these war-torn areas. "The troops know they are doing the right thing and the locals think highly of having the U.S. military there.

"They want us there. It's not perfect, but we are making progress. I think we are only being beaten in the information war. Our troops are doing great things with a great level of spirit. You just don't see that kind of camaraderie in the workplace.”

Camaraderie certainly does not describe Sarandis's relationship with many of his former WEEI colleagues. Fellow hosts regularly gibed his work and personality on the air and he had undeservedly become the butt of jokes, specifically on Glenn Ordway's afternoon drive time "Big Show.”

Word is that Sarandis expressed his dismay to programming chief Jason Wolfe on numerous occasions, but nothing was ever done.

In November of last year, Sarandis would not elaborate on any bad blood with WEEI, but did say that Media Blitz's assessment "accurately characterized” his reasons for leaving.

Since announcing his run for Governor's Council, Sarandis's name has again permeated the WEEI airwaves. Morning host Gerry Callahan has enthusiastically backed Sarandis in his political bid. Meanwhile, the "Big Show” has produced a Sarandis political parody bit.

Says Sarandis, "I am very pleasantly surprised at the response from WEEI. I am going into this election as an underdog. I hope that being a fellow sportscaster will cause those guys to advocate for me. Regardless, I am going to continue to hammer home my message.”

Auntie Emmy

The votes are in and there were certainly some interesting winners at the 29th Annual New England Emmy Awards, which will air this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on CN8.

In the Sports Series category, NESN's "Charlie Moore Outdoors” and " Stories from Red Sox Nation” beat, among other shows, UPN's "Red Sox Report,” CBS-4's "Patriots GameDay,” and WCVB's "Totally Patriots.”

Given the stranglehold that the Patriots and Red Sox have on the Boston market, Moore's win is refreshing and brings the popular fishing guru some true media cache.

In the Sporting Event or Game category, Cox Cable in Rhode Island took home the hardware for PawSox Baseball upsetting Celtics Basketball on FSN, College Hockey on CN8 and Bruins Hockey on NESN. It was FSN's 14th consecutive nomination for Celtics hoops, a feat worthy of note.

Like Moore's win, the Sports One Time Special voting was all wet. WB56' s coverage of the Head of the Charles Regatta won the honor besting NECN's " Sports Late Night” Year in Review and NESN's "Cam Neely Call to the Hall” and "Red Sox Opening Day.” Cheers to the voters for once again looking past the mainstream and into the river.

WB56 took the Sports Feature or Segment award for "Miracle On Ice,” beating features from WCVB, CN8 and CBS-4, while NECN's "Phantom Punch” triumphed over entries from WB56, Fox25 and UPN in the News Specialty-Sports category.

The nod for Sports Reporter went to Butch Stearns of Fox25 who won over an impressive field including Dan Roche of CBS-4, Mike Ratte of WB56 and ex-FSN host John Holt of WFSB in Hartford, CT.

Cheers to good guy Stearns whose overall exposure has been cut since losing his Sports Sunday late night show in May of 2004. His casual accessibility and on-air style is still a welcome sight for viewers.

In Memoriam

On May 16, 2006, Dan Ross passed away too soon at the age of 49. The Northeastern grad is best known as a record-setting tight end with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, but was also a talented sports analyst in the region.

I had the pleasure of working extensively with Ross at WNDS-TV 50 (now MyTV) in Derry, NH. Ross also appeared as a guest analyst on numerous radio and television programs. He was always accessible, articulate and affable.

Ross set the NFL record for most receptions in a Super Bowl (11) while with the Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. 49'er Jerry Rice and New England's Deion Branch have since tied the mark.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and was the first Huskie playe r to have his number retired. Ross also played for the NFL' s Seahawks and Packers as well as the USFL's Breakers.

Ross's knowledge of football and sports in general was terrific. Moreover, he communicated this knowledge in a fan-friendly, down-to-earth manner. Ross was always available for an interview and always prepared for any discussion.

His camera magnetism, knowledge and on-air style were network-caliber, but his love of family and many business and recreational activities kept him closer to home.

Dan Ross achieved immortality for his exploits on the field of play, but should also be remembered for his infectious smile, wit and personality. He will be missed.

John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly,, Boston Sports Review, New England Ringside Magazine, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life,,,,, and Email John at [email protected]