Media Review: Paul Finebaum on WJOX

I listen to the Paul Finebaum show as much as possible. Whether it is during football season or out of season, Finebaum is the most interesting and informative show on the radio. Finebaum covers sports and politics with aplomb.

The Tuesday show was textbook Finebaum; it combined a sports topic of the day, with a foray into local politics. Both topics were interesting and made the entire four hours entertaining. Oddly enough, the callers contributed substantially to the program (something unusual for talk radio.)

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When Athletes Attack was the major sports topic of the Tuesday show. The discussion centered on the arrest of Alabama’s Jeremy Elder, and the discontent brewing in Knoxville over players getting in trouble with the law.

However, the show deviated from sports talk, and focused on damning political revelations published in Tuesday’s Birmingham News. The News reported a charity with links to Mayor Larry Langford had engaged in financial mismanagement of donated money. The most salacious element was an allegation the charity paid $30,000 to a gay porn star for computer work.

Hilarity ensued with callers sharing thoughts on RAM upgrades, and a host of other jokes.

A highlight of the program was a classic clip from last summer where Jim from Tuscaloosa engaged in a verbal battle with Langford. Langford, always eloquent, called Jim a turkey.

The classic call combined with many entertaining and enlightening calls from the audience made me appreciate the callers for once. I’ve often been critical of callers on local radio programs. They range from annoying to inaudible—I’m not sure which is worse. But Tuesday, the callers were funny.

Unfortunately, the guests were buffoons.

Donald Maurice Jackson appeared on the show to discuss the Elder case. Listening to Jackson, you’d think this was the OJ Simpson case. Whatever. This is the guy who blamed Alabama’s free throw shooting problems on every high school, junior high school and elementary basketball coach in the state.

Jackson has problems placing blame where it belongs.

He’s a lawyer. That explains it all.

Another guest of the day was John Adams, a Tennessee columnist who called for UT coach Phil Fulmer to resign. Adams wants Fulmer out because of all the arrests, and discipline problems in Knoxville.

Yawn. Does anyone think Fulmer would be catching heat if he had defeated Nick Saban or Les Miles this year?

Of course not. Fans only care about these issues when they are losing to rivals.

There was one comment made on the show about Alabama fans wanting to call on Fulmer to be fired, but being unable to do so because of Alabama’s current discipline problems.

I don’t know one Alabama fan wanting Fulmer fired. I want Fulmer to continue in Knoxville. Why? I want him to face actual Alabama football teams unhindered by past troubles. I want Fulmer to stay in Knoxville where Alabama and UT can face each other on equal terms.

Fulmer must face Saban, Marc Richt at Georgia and Urban Meyer at Florida every season. Fulmer is obviously inferior to those coaches, and the UT program is fading as Georgia and Alabama are heating up.

The hypocrites wanting Fulmer out can shut up—we aren’t buying your fake concern over morality and discipline. We know it is all about winning, or in your case losing.

The biggest criticism of the show Tuesday was the online streaming. I listen to the broadcast most of the time from my desk via The partners streaming the broadcast on the Internet do a decent job; however, the volume on commercials for Fox 6 programming are deafening. The audio is so much louder on commercials than the show’s regular audio that it impairs listener’s ability to enjoy the show.

Due to the ear-splitting audio, I’m forced to mute the program from time-to-time.

I also keep the mute key handy for certain callers.

The callers I don’t (usually) mute or wouldn’t mute if they still called are:

1. Don from Downtown. (Whatever happened to him?)

2. Jim from Tuscaloosa (That throwback call Tuesday was great stuff)

3. Shane (good call Wednesday regarding FG)

4. Calvin (freaks can be entertaining…that’s why there is a circus)

Callers I despise include Dawson (he gives pastors a bad name) and I-Man (he gives dumbasses a bad name). If there were bigger time burglars in this world, I wouldn’t want to meet them or have to listen to them on talk radio.

Even with dullards like those two, the show remains the best in Alabama.

Any suggestions on a show to review next?