By Shane from Centerpoint
Paul Finebaum is not your typical sports radio talk show host. The majority of those who get paid to sit behind the microphone avoid controversy like it’s the plague and the resulting broadcasts are usually a benign mix of stats and information they read from the newspaper. Not Finebaum. He thrives amid dissent and disparagement, especially when providing news and opinionated commentary on the hottest sports topics of the day. He also orchestrates an interesting and unique cast of characters on his mostly caller-driven show, blending aspects from both into an award-winning product known throughout the South.
Now – with the recent announcement by the Paul Finebaum Radio Network that they’ve been picked up by Sirius/XM satellite radio – we’re about to find out how well the show plays to a national audience.
Will college football coverage that’s limited to the SEC draw the interest of a national fan base that has so many other choices? It should help that the SEC holds the perception of being the best college football league in the country.
Most of the people who become “regular” listeners to Finebaum say that it takes awhile for his style to grow on them. Will those who catch his show once return enough to get hooked?
Does anybody believe that normal people will find Charles from Reeltown to be an informative, entertaining caller? Surely, everybody will think he’s an act, because nobody’s going to believe that a person could really be that stupid. Nevertheless, most people love clowns – don’t they?
What about Tammy, Auburn’s version of Elly May Clampett? This woman holds the world record for decibel levels attained during a telephone call. Sports fans who turn on their satellite radio and hear Tammy will probably laugh really hard – after they recover from the culture shock.
One thing’s for certain, it won’t take long for the national audience to completely understand why Alabama fans call Auburn fans red–headed stepchildren. Joe the Whiner from Trussville will show up every day as a living example for all to hear. Warning: Joe has a voice that resembles the high–pitch whine of a dental drill.
With Paul about to present the Sons of Saban (SOS) club to this larger market, the SOS might just grow into an army? I predict that men and women will jump at the chance to apply for membership.
On a serious note, Montgomery, Alabama’s I-man brings his legendary A-game to the airwaves everyday. He is, by far, the most knowledgeable caller to ever grace the F-bomb’s airwaves and should be credited as such. If you don’t believe it just ask him.
One other regular who stands a chance to have the biggest impact of all is only known by one name – Legend. Legend is a true student of the game. His football knowledge rivals that of a coach and his insight is truly something to behold. After all, he is the reigning PFRN “Caller of the Year”.
The truth is that all these callers – and many others too – play Paul’s game. He carefully directs the action and magically combines caller commentary with the show theme. Actually, Finebaum’s ability and wit seem to peak during caller interaction.
Lastly, I know there is one area where Paul excels in which he has no peer. Finebomb’s interviewing skills always exceed expectations and his knack for getting the person being interviewed to open up to the audience and provide a unique insight is uncanny.
Will the Paul Finebaum Radio Network survive the long term on satellite radio and become as popular around the country as it has regionally? I personally believe the show will stick. The only thing that could possibly hold it back is too much Charles from Reeltown.
Shane writes a weekly column for the Call News and the Capstone Report.