25. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , ,

It’s always fun to hear what the coach has to say after a big win.  This morning coach B talked about everything from the zone, his relationship with Steve Fisher, to his philosophy & history of working on the refs, to Mitch McGary’s status and much more:

As always, catch all of the WKTA podcasts here.

If you missed it, check out sights and sounds from Sunday’s big win.

You missed it.  I’ve got it. 

From this morning it’s author John U. Bacon who joined  guest host Larry (Pee Wee boys machine-pitch baseball coach) Lage and Ira in studio at WTKA to discuss his latest tome, the long awaited yet-to-be released Fourth And Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football.  

Bacs was kind enough to share an advanced proof copy of the book with me and I’m digging in right now.  I can already tell you my favorite chapter is entitled “The Battle for the Brown Jug” and the term “Brown Jugologist” made it through the first few edits. $$$

A few less jug-enabled media members have torn through the book as well and here are a few testimonials:

“John U. Bacon went deep inside the world of college football, penetrating the locker room doors to meet some players you won’t forget and, most amazingly, learn the secrets coaches protect more fiercely than the CIA. By getting so close to the heart of the sport, Bacon reminds us what we love about our greatest game.” - John Saunders, studio host at ESPN and ABC College Football

Fourth and Long“John Bacon’s exploration of the uncontrolled greed, intellectual corruption, and sheer mendacity that have captured college football would be depressing – if it weren’t so wonderfully reported, engagingly written, and utterly persuasive. If you care about college sports, Fourth and Long is required reading.” -Daniel Okrent, bestselling author, Nine Innings and Last Call


“No one knows the Big Ten better than John U. Bacon, so it’s no surprise he picked the perfect football season to chronicle in his groundbreaking book, Fourth and Long. Bacon has written a riveting portrait of a watershed season in the most venerable college conference in the nation. The Big Ten is at the vortex of so many issues in college sports, and Bacon expertly covers them all.”  – Christine Brennan, USA Today national sports columnist, ABC News commentator, best-selling author of Inside Edge and Best Seat in the House

“John U. Bacon has gotten to the core of the tug-of-war between players and fans on one side, and the people running college sports exclusively for their own profit on the other.  Bacon provides unique perspective that causes even the most ardent supporter of the status quo to question the future of this cherished American institution.” - Jay Bilas, ESPN basketball analyst and best-selling author of Toughness

As always, get your WTKA podcasts here and follow MVictors on Twitter here. 

More importantly, you can reserve your copy of Fourth and Long here and it hits shelves in September.

I was out of town last week and noticed today that Bill Simonson’s “The Huge Show” is occupying the 3-6PM slot once again on WTKA 1050AM.   I believe Huge last filled this time on WTKA was back in 2008 before he was moved to a tape-delayed segment from 6-8pm.

AnnArbor.com chatted with PD Ira Weintraub about the change this weekend.   The reason for the change per Ira:

“Budget cuts,” explained WTKA Program Director Ira Weintraub on Friday. “It was based on decisions made elsewhere and decisions made locally.”

Ira told me they still plan to preempt the show with their popular afternoon special events like Signing Day and Grill Wars, which is good.

“We’ve definitely had people that wanted to hear from Marcus [Ray] and Jeff [DeFran] and from Ben [Holden] and The Beatniks.”   Ira added, “We’re trying to do a few things to bring back some of the staples that were on in the afternoon.” 

According to Ira it came down to who to syndicate in the afternoon slot between CBS radio host Doug Gottlieb and Huge.   “I chose the regional coverage over the national coverage because we have national coverage for the previous 5 hours [John Feinstein 10-12, Jim Rome 12-3) and when it’s over we have a lot more national coverage.”

Ira added that given Simonson is back on live in Ann Arbor he expects he’ll bring more U-M-based content to his show.

Make take?

  • Huge is an acquired taste, often seemingly trolling the common denominator, but I’m glad they went with regional content vs. Gottlieb. And he definitely lands some strong interviews.
  • I’ll miss Steve Clarke’s midweek segment and Marcus Ray on Friday.  
  • I think having a consistent regional host in the afternoon, something missing for years, will help cultivate a stronger following.   Barring an influx of local advertising money, I don’t think we’ll get back to the WTKA afternoon heyday when a dedicated, Ann Arbor-based host like Dennis Fithian will man the mic.
  • Other upside?  Perhaps we can rekindle the Jim Carty vs. Huge feud:

Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson (The Huge Show
vs. 
Jim Carty (Ann Arbor News (formerly)/New York Times
)

OVERVIEW: Do you remember?  Yes, there was a spell a few years back when Huge was regularly teeing off on Carty on his radio show (which used to air live in Ann Arbor).   According to Carty it started after he declined to go on air with Huge because he didn’t care for the style of the show.  Despite an olive branch from Huge when Carty retired from regular journalism, I’m guessing each man still has a few things to get off their respective chests. 
EDGE:   Carty strikes me as a lawyer, not a fighter, and I’ve run into Huge a couple times—he’s a pretty big dude.  Sorry JC, Huge by KO.

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