Re-signing of Rondeau Brings Peace of Mind

I will admit I was very wary. I will admit that I had nightmarish visions. When they announced recently that KJR was taking over the coverage of the Huskies, I was afraid that the glorious Rondeau era was going the way of one-platoon football.

Gone would be the Saturday afternoons of listening to his melodious delivery, well-researched analysis, good nature and a true sense of sportsmanship.

For countless years, he has somehow managed to exude these qualities, yet his delivery has been masterfully mixed with a fervent passion for the Dawgs. It has struck a perfect balance. Not too mention KOMO itself, who always seemed to have a polished and classy approach to producing and broadcasting the football games.

But the torch was now being passed to KJR, and like I said, I was wary. And this wariness soon gave way to horror, as I contemplated what new changes the gang at KJR might have in store. Sometimes I love those guys, and sometimes I have to turn the radio off. Be it sophomoric antics that finally get to be too much, or when I realize that they have gone a full twenty-five minutes without talking about anything even remotely related to sports.

Would any changes be in keeping with their on-air demeanor?

I had a nightmare of them hiring Howard Stern to do the Huskies' play-by-play. I foresaw his sidekick being some stunted 40-year old with his hand perpetually cupped under an armpit, arms flailing away with glee. Before home games, I could envision thousands of Husky fans approaching the stadium, while some sort of loud-mouthed, ogling, blaring, obnoxious, skin-to-win, pre-game show took place by one of the gates.

Reflecting on this, I was sad to see KOMO go.

Then I looked to the flip side, as to what the KJR influence could mean to the Husky experience. For football junkies, on KOMO the only on-air Husky fix was to be had Monday nights (and that but for a fleeting hour). However with KJR, during football season, we will be able to turn on the radio anytime of the day, and be able to hear something about the Dawgs.

With KOMO, pre-game coverage wouldn't really get down to it until an hour before kick-off. With KJR, they will be opening up the show at 8:00 AM, and lasting well past the end of the game. The coverage from around the Pac-10 and country should be thorough.

A good pre-game mix of Softy (Dave Mahler) and the Groz (Dave Grosby) could be interesting. Those two guys don't seem to cross paths on-air enough. I think that Softy's creativity and Groz's common sense could mesh well and bring some fun and worthwhile analysis.

Hopefully plans are being made to bring Hugh Millen into the works, as his insight is as good as anything you'll find anywhere. Can you imagine Millen working alongside Keith Jackson on ABC Saturday broadcasts? That would be almost worth watching it on TV, rather than at the stadium.

But the heart and soul of it, is Bob Rondeau. And the news this week, that for the next five years, he is signed, sealed and delivered, is beautiful music to the ears. Hopefully he'll be working alongside Chuck Nelson and Bill Schwartz. This could balance KJR really well, and the results might be very enjoyable. That could set the tone to what the whole Husky experience means for Saturday afternoons in the fall, circa 2002.

That is, unless Softy entices Rondeau into an on-air belching contest.

At that point, life as we knew it would be over.

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