And really, in the end, isn't everything about our own personal selfishness?
Don't get me wrong, Olson certainly has a place in the Hall, and the voters made a great choice inducting him, but dang if it doesn't limit one of our fallback topics on the Wildcat postgame show on KNST.
I do (or at least have done, who knows what the future holds) this postgame show with Ryan Radtke. After a Wildcat basketball game, we open the phones and let fans discuss what just occurred. Why am I explaining this? You know perfectly well the concept of the postgame show.
Well, on more than a few occasions, another topic will override the actual game. This seemed odd to me last year, when Arizona was involved in a close contest almost every time it took the floor. But still, folks would call about other things. It would go something like this:
Ryan Radtke: "Cats top Oregon State by 11. Jason Gardner and Luke Walton led the way with strong performances. 880-5678, 880-KNST the number for you to join us. Keith, you're on Wildcat Talk."
Keith (or caller who likes to hear himself talk): "How Sweet it is!"
Radtke and Schu: Pause, no response.
Keith: "Uh, uh, Oregon State reminded me of the German troops at Normandy. They saw us coming, but there was nothing they could do to stop us."
Radtke: "Uh, right."
Keith: "It's wins like this that make me shake my head about how Lute Olson isn't in the Hall of Fame. He is the greatest general since MacArthur."
At this point we've either faded out or Radtke just drops ol' Keith, but inevitably a call like that will bring up a flood of responses in agreement about Olson's rightful place in the Hall. So herein lies our dilemma. Now that Olson is in the Hall, that topic is pretty much shot. Not that we want to talk about it show after show after show, but given the likelihood of Arizona's success this season, I'm guessing we're going to be talking about a lot of routs, and fallback topics like this are sometimes what enable us to survive in the wee hours, when the only calls we might otherwise get are people complaining that we've pre-empted Art Bell.
There are about five or six recurring topics on the postgame show, and as the summer progresses I'll be happy to share them, and share my takes on them along the way. But now that Lute's in the Hall, we can scratch that one
from the list.
Locally, the media across the board did a very nice job covering Olson's induction. Even FoxSports afternoon talk show host Rich Herrera showed great restraint the day of the announcement. Months ago, Herrera started a
promotional campaign in which fans could fill out postcards in an effort to sway voters to select Olson. However, in the campaign's early stages, he'd often say things like, "Olson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and we're
going to get him in with the help of this postcard drive." Absurd to be sure. Promote it for what it is, an outstanding marketing ploy to learn more about your listeners, utilizing names and addresses as an impetus for future promotional efforts. On that level, a fabulous idea. As far as actually playing a role in getting Olson nominated, its impact was barely nil.
But to Herrera's credit, even when he was baited with thanks from Olson and Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood, he avoided false acknowledgement of the postcard campaign. It seems that Herrera has toned down his act a bit, which might be a good idea given the general makeup of Tucson. He would often brag about being a former broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics. That indeed sounds impressive, but he was about as much a broadcaster for the A's as I am for the Wildcats. I co-host a postgame show. So did he. Brian Jeffries is the broadcaster for the Arizona Wildcats. Ken Korach, Bill King and Ray Fosse broadcast A's games.
To his credit, Herrera does have the best list of guests on his show in the history of sportstalk radio in the Old Pueblo.
The big city approach has always been a tough sell in Tucson. The more hometown Herrera becomes, the better off he'll be. And by the way, of course the number he gives is the local Tucson number, since Tucson is the only place the show is broadcast.
Onto other issues, thank you Lennox Lewis.
I missed Lewis beat Mike Tyson to a pulp. Not sure I would have watched anyway, to be honest. For years, I've had a hard time supporting Tyson in
any endeavor. He's his own worst enemy, and to be honest, I don't think he's been near the fighter he was since Cus D'Amato died, and then he fired Kevin Rooney, and that has to be, what, 10 years ago now. The recent Tyson was a guy who acted like the classic school bully. He'd try to beat you on intimidation instead of boxing skill, and the promotors let him fight a bunch of stiffs along the way in a desperate effort to build on his psycho, loose-cannon image.
This fight concerned me, because I thought there'd be a real chance of it being rigged, and if Tyson had won, I would have been all but certain of it. Set up the rematch and fight three times and these guys are pulling down 100 mil each by the time it's all said and done. Obviously, in boxing you can get in a shot and take someone down, and Tyson is certainly strong enough to do that, but the fight, I think, went exactly like it should have. Lewis is bigger, Lewis is stronger, Lewis is the better boxer, and he could probably keep Tyson away all night with the jab. The old Tyson didn't care. I really believe the new Tyson, or the Tyson since Buster Douglas, doesn't like to get hit. Hit him, and like the bully, he'll fold.
In many ways it's a shame about Tyson. I think he's done some really, really stupid bad things, and I think the people around him have compounded that by leeching off him at every turn. And I think on occasion, he's been in situations where people, seeing a chance at a quick payday themselves, have accused him of stuff that probably never actually happened.
More importantly, as for Lewis, he might be one of the five or six greatest heavyweights ever, and because away from the ring he's so mild-mannered, one wonders if he'll ever get his just due.