Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We're all just in it for the free chicken fingers

It's frustrating being a sports radio guy sometimes. I love my job, but I hate some of the stereotypes I have to overcome because of others in my line of work. The perception from lots of people is that sports radio hosts are screaming lunatics alternating between trying to get someone fired and kissing up to jocks. Other stereotypical sports radio sins include giving ourselves cheesy nicknames (there's actually a guy in this state who calls himself "The Bad Boy", which is just awful), using information from newspapers without ever crediting them for their reporting, and never covering anything unless there's a free meal involved. Most damning of all is the perception we just kind of make things up as we go along without a lot of thought involved.

I mention this today because of last week's AP poll. This year, I was offered the opportunity to be the North Florida voting represenative in the poll, which is something I've always wanted to do. Unfortunately, since I no longer work in North Florida on a daily basis, I wasn't eligible to accept the invitation under poll rules. Very few radio guys get this shot. Kirk Herbstreit is officially on the ballot as a radio guy from Ohio, but that's obviously not why he has a ballot. Besides Kirk, there are two other radio people who get to vote this year. So naturally, one of them had to turn into Toonces the Driving Cat the second he got behind the wheel. Taylor Zarzour, sports director for WPTF radio in Raleigh, thought it would be a good idea to leave Auburn and Tennessee out of his top 25 while bragging on his bio about what a big Bama fan he is and ranking them 23rd. FSU and Notre Dame are on his ballot too. It gets even more embarassing - when asked why he had voted so ridiculously considering the poll rules say not to be a homer, he took down the pro-Bama stuff off his webpage as an attempt at a coverup. Great - just great. Thanks for the credibility boost for our medium, Taylor.

Maybe Zarzour was getting polling advice from suspended Michigan running back Kevin Grady. A report released last week indicates that Grady was so hammered when caught for DUI earlier this year that when asked if Mickey Mouse was a cat or a dog, he actually answered "dog". Drunk driving is in no way amusing, but other details in that report are.

Speaking of running backs, FSU finally got their touted juco Tavares Pressley cleared to play. They need him to live up to the hype badly, bcause Antone Smith has been a huge disappointment so far in his career and Preston Parker should be a wide receiver once his suspension is done.

Big injury for the Bucs, as guard Davin Joseph breaks his foot. Out a minimum of a month, but I would guess week six of the season is about as soon as you'd see him. This was going to be the first year in a while the Bucs didn't have to start a rookie on the offensive line. Now their third round pick Jeremey Zuttah will probably have to be out there.

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