March 22, 2005
John Molori's Media Blitz 3/22
BY: John Molori
- Net gains
Revs celebrate a decade of media trailblazing
The New England Revolution enters its tenth MLS season as the only team in the league to have all of their games televised. This season, the Revs will have 22 games on WB56, 2 on ESPN2 and 8 on a local carrier still to be determined.
Brad Feldman, the team’s director of communications and play-by-play announcer, says that Fox Sports Net is the leading candidate, but CN8 and NESN are also possibilities. All of the team’s games will be on radio on either Sports Radio 850 WEEI or sister station AM 680 WRKO.
Feldman will simulcast the games on both radio and TV save for the two ESPN2 games, which will have national announcers. He will be joined in the booth by former Revs player Greg Lalas, younger brother of soccer superstar and ex-Rev Alexi Lalas.
Greg Lalas is an author, musician and soccer writer. His “Cheap Seats” column is a staple on MLSNet.com and he writes for Boston Magazine, Boston Globe Magazine and Striker Magazine. Lalas was an All-Ivy League soccer star at Brown, class of 1994. He replaces Adrian Healey in the booth.
Says Feldman, “This is the first time we’ve had an ex-Revolution player as an analyst. Greg is a real natural with a super personality. We had an instant rapport.” The broadcasts may also feature a sideline reporter also to be determined.
Since joining the organization five years ago, Feldman has been an Internet host, sideline reporter, analyst and now, primary play-by-play man. “It’s all about getting the team in front of the fans,” says the Johns Hopkins grad. “With the Patriots’ production team, we have a multi-media synergy that no other team can replicate.” The Revs open their 2005 season on April 2 at San Jose.
Last week, Glenn Ordway, host of Sports Radio 850 WEEI’s wildly popular “ Big Show” spoke pointedly about an item in the Boston Herald’s “Inside Track” section. The item alleged that during the taping of the Bravo Network series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” with the Boston Red Sox, one of the hosts lustily sniffed the protective cup of Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli.
In response, Ordway unleashed a tirade of criticism. He said that the incident was in bad taste and questioned how it helps “the gay cause.” I have no problem with Ordway’s assertion regarding taste, in fact, I agree. As a heterosexual man, I don’t claim to know anything about being gay. However, I question Ordway’s sincerity in caring about this “gay cause.” In fact, I am not sure exactly what that phrase means.
The fact is that “The Big Show” has long been a source of subtle and not so subtle homophobic humor. Ordway and his crew regularly jibe host Pete Sheppard intimating that his love of Tom Brady goes beyond football.
Regarding the alleged “Queer Eye” incident, Ordway stated, “The Red Sox should be embarrassed by this. It’s crossing the line.” Crossing the line? Was it crossing the line in 2002 when, following her appearance with Dale Arnold on WEEI's midday show, then Fox25 anchor Jodi Applegate was bombarded with sexist insults by Ordway and his cohorts?
In addition, Ordway’s “Whiner Line” was littered with vulgar references to Applegate’s anatomy. WEEI’s disclaimer says that “The Big Show” is not responsible for what is said on the “Whiner Line.” They may not control what is said, but Ordway’s producers certainly control what we hear.
Last week, cohost Bill Burt was right in cautioning Ordway that he might be getting upset over something that didn’t even occur. The “Inside Track” is Boston’s version of “The National Enquirer.” It’s merely gossip.
I contacted Bill Brennan, media relations person for Bravo Network, regarding the alleged incident. He stated, “That does sound silly. I haven’t seen anything in my clips about that. Hours of footage are cut down to 44 minutes, so a lot of things don’t make it in the show. I can tell you that I was on set all three days and did not see or hear anything like this.”
I am surprised that a pro like Ordway would make such silly statements based on mere gossip. Even if the incident did occur, who says it would ever make the airwaves? Ordway’s bluster is akin to a media writer critiquing conversation that occurs between breaks on “The Big Show.” How would Ordway like that?
Ordway’s soliloquy was a joke. He actually stated, “If a person happens to be gay, his goal is to be accepted in society.” He also stated that the stereotype of gay people is that “most are interested in the sexual aspect of (homosexuality).” Again, how does Ordway know all this, and where has his concern for gay rights been all these years?
Ordway stated that the alleged cup incident plays to the stereotypes of gay people and wondered if the "Queer Eye" show even appeals to gay people. Of course, Ordway and his mates all said that they don’t watch the show regularly. What would Ordway say if someone commented on his program without being a regular listener?
What Ordway fails to recognize is that these “stereotypes” are the basis for the campy and comedic “Queer Eye” program. The show is based on the concepts that gay men are better dressers, cooks, decorators, etc. These concepts are played up for laughs. Ordway has, himself, stated that his show is designed for entertainment with each host having a role.
The utter hypocrisy in Ordway’s gay crusade is that while he was supposedly defending homosexuals, the content of his show was speckled with homophobic jabs, however lighthearted.
When the issue of Terrell Owens’ 2004 Monday Night Football locker room promo came up, Fred Smerlas said that a Big Show producer wanted to go out and hug a blonde guy. A “Whiner Line” caller did a Top 10 list making fun of homosexuals, and another caller made comments about Kevin Millar in a mocking feminine voice.
Glenn Ordway is a terrific radio host, but he has little credibility in even caring about homosexuals and their images in society. His “guy radio” crew has done more to hurt his so-called “gay cause” than help. In short, “ The Big Show” speaking on behalf of homosexuals is like Michael Jackson giving advice on babysitting.
WEEI regular Mike Adams first met Dick “The Monster” Radatz in 1964 at the age of 10 when Radatz spoke in Adams’ native Connecticut. He covered Radatz at various Red Sox fantasy camps as a television sports reporter and, from 1996 to 2001, hosted WEEI’s “Mike and The Monster Show," Sundays at 9:00 a.m.
No media personality in Boston is more qualified to chat about the Red Sox pitching legend who passed away last week at the age of 67.
“I was working at WNEW in New York at the time and I would drive back to Boston just to do the WEEI show,” says Adams. “It wasn't for the money; it was to be with Dick. We used to go to each other’s houses and he would often come to Connecticut with me to visit my parents. I remember him calling me up and with that booming voice saying, ‘Hey Mikey, it’s the old right-hander!’”
Adams tells a story about Radatz and Luis Tiant at a Red Sox fantasy camp. He states, “Tiant used to sit naked on the pile of towels and smoke a cigar. One day, Radatz went over to him and yelled ‘Hey Luis, put out that (expletive deleted) turd you’re smoking. Tiant responded in broken English, ‘ (Expletive deleted) you Monstro! It’s better than your (expletive deleted) breath.’”
Radatz was friendly and outgoing. I once interviewed him for a program on Continental Cablevision (now Comcast). After the show, he invited me to play in a “Legends Game” alongside the likes of Bill Lee, Rico Petrocelli and other Red Sox heroes. It was a thrill.
Adams marvels at The Monster’s performance and personality. He relates, “In 1963, Radatz had an ERA of 1.97, 15 wins and 25 saves for a team that won only 72 games. As a radio host, he was so easy to talk to and, most importantly, he let people talk. He was just a really good guy.”
John Molori’s Media Blitz column is 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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