Last night, around 7:30pm, Shane Corn lost his battle with lung cancer.
Better known as “Shane from Centerpoint,” and a regular caller to the Paul Finebaum Show, Shane personified what so many Auburn fans hated about Alabama.
And he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
For years Shane was a daily caller to the show, one of the most successful in sports talkshow history. Paul Finebaum’s show is about the callers, and Shane was a cornerstone to the foundation that made Paul’s show so successful.
In a sense, Shane was a trailblazer, clearing the path for the nutjobs who would later call in and make a name for themselves. Names like:
• Phyllis from Mulga
• Jim from Tuscaloosa
• Charles from Reeltown
…and the list goes on and on.
Not familiar with the show? Well think back to the glory days of 1980’s professional wrestling, when the Macho Man Randy Savage was facing off against Jake the Snake Roberts, following Andre the Giant’s match with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The WWF didn’t produce characters as unique as the ones that appear on Paul Finebaum’s show.
And of that bunch, Shane from Centerpoint was Hulk Hogan.
Shane was a sports blogger before blogging existed. He was persistant in his passion for Crimson Tide football as well as his belief that anything orange was evil. So persistant was he that he proved his point last summer, when a rival Auburn caller made an ass of himself on the open airwaves, relishing in Shane’s recent grim diagnosis. The caller’s subsequent scorn, ridicule and eventual ban from the show could not have been a more perfect illustration of Shane’s point. And the caller in question is now a bigger joke than he ever painted Shane out to be.
Shane had a dream of being a sports journalist, and had several opportunities to write columns for various small market news outlets around the state. His “Shane Sez” article appeared on the Finebaum website for a time, then took its place in other periodicals.
Most notably, Shane’s articles once appeared on this site. He wouldn’t miss an opportunity to plug capstonereport.com while talking to Paul (with millions listening) on a given afternoon. Say what you may about the man, but his influence was so great that to this day, years after his last article appeared here, readers still associate this site with him, often mistaking my work for his.
Shane wasn’t afraid to take anybody on. When Paul opened the phone lines for callers to talk to his biggest guests, it was like dropping chum into shark infested waters. Eventually you knew Shane’s call was coming, and mercy wasn’t coming with him. I swear on the air he once made Tim Brando cry.
My only encounters with Shane came when we appeared on a live webcast with this site’s owner leading up to the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, and also at the 2010 SEC Media Days.
But when listening to Paul’s show, Shane’s calls led you to give the volume a little boost. Whatever he had to say, it was going to be worth hearing.
As with any zealot, it was easy to be critical of Shane. I have to admit not agreeing with everything he said myself.
But either Shane bought in to what we all think he thought he was, or he really was what he thought he was. The guy didn’t care what you or I thought, but went about his business with a rare blend of sarcastic humility that somehow left him standing once the dust settled.
Ironically, at this moment he probably knows the truth about Cam Newton, and Chet Williams’ non-profit pay-for-play schemes, and Roy Kramer’s union with Phillip Fulmer to sink Alabama…and any of a number of other conspiracies Shane was so good at orating. And while I don’t believe this is spiritually possible, if there is a way, you can bet any info ascertained will find its way to the right destination for maximum impact. And you can also bank on any LSU lockeroom secrets on January 9th somehow finding their way into Alabama coach Nick Saban’s hands.
More probable, if you could see Shane today, you’d just find a guy in the midst of the peace he so needed after battling cancer. And even more than “the truth on Cam”, Shane now realizes what we will all realize one day: college football is just a game, a blip on the radar of eternity.
But in the here and now, he is gone. Our prayers are with his family, and our hearts are a little heavier today knowing that “Shane From Centerpoint” will never grace our airwaves again.