April 17, 2014

Jim Rome Takes Over Cleveland

Photo From ESPNCleveland.com

Photo From ESPNCleveland.com

Yesterday, Jim Rome made a visit to ESPN Cleveland WKNR.  He did his show from their studios in the Galleria and spent the entire day with Cleveland based guests and praising one of his most supportive affiliates.  I listened to the entire show yesterday and for us Clevelanders it was a veritable smorgasborg of Cleveland related talk.  Rome talked to Mike Brown, Jim Brown (not related,) Earnest Byner, Bernie Kosar, and Grady Sizemore.  It would have been a completely perfect day if Rome had found a way to track down Cleveland Cavalier Delonte West.  Rome bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t track him down on the air.  But it was eventful day nonetheless.

Rome talked to Jim Brown about civil rights, the movie business and even tried to get him to revisit his very public feud with Tiger Woods.  Jim Brown likes to speak his mind, but he seemed to not want to do it on Jim Rome’s terms.  The rest of his time on the show was mostly talking about his foundation working with fringe gang members to avoid trouble.

Grady Sizemore spoke about the Indians and his most interesting answer was when Rome asked him why he continues to play through an elbow injury in meaningless baseball games.  Grady’s answer was interesting because it was basically, “I keep playing because I can.  Why wouldn’t I play through an injury when I can be on the field?”  While I don’t think it casted the organization in the best possible light because it seemed like they didn’t have a plan, you have to give credit to Grady for being a really tough guy.  Now, I am sure a lot of people (our own TD included) think Grady should have shut it down at some point this year, but you have to put that on the organization and not the player.

Earnest Byner was a great guest.  He spoke about how much he loved playing in Cleveland.  He spoke about “The Fumble.”  After explaining how dealing with that fateful play had helped him become the person that he has become, Earnest was asked by Rome if he would choose to have the fumble take place all over again knowing what he knows now.  Earnest Byner provided a big laugh when he responded in the negative.  His take was that while he recognizes how that day has impacted his life and how he has been a better person because of it, he still would never wish to have it happen again.  Rome also did Byner a solid by comparing his infamous moment with Jim Everett to “The Fumble.”

Bernie Kosar was also entertaining with his in-studio appearance.  He talked a bit about the current Browns.  He talked about his time at Miami.  I don’t want to take Bernie for granted, but it was a lot of the same old stories that we have grown to love.  When Rome asked Bernie who he thinks should be the quarterback for the Browns this year, Bernie was somewhat noncommittal.  He made sure not to get himself into trouble by picking a guy, but he did point out that a lot of the sentiment in the city is that people want to see what Quinn can do.

The highlight for me was Mike Brown.  There were some interesting nuggets in there.  When Brown was asked about Shaq and how he was going to get along with the team and whether he was actually going to defer to LeBron, Mike had a complex answer.  He mentioned that he has no problem with guys who say all the right things even if they secretly want something else.  Then he gave an example that might have some Cavs fans happy.  He mentioned he plans on playing young guys like JJ Hickson and D-Block a good amount this year.  He said that even if those guys don’t make the Cavs the absolute best at the times they are on the floor that it was his goal to give them minutes.  He expected his veteran power forwards to be good mentors and support the young guys even if they were looking to steal the young guys’ minutes on the floor.  So, get ready to see some development of the young guys this year Cavs fans!

All in all it was a great show to listen to for us Clevelanders.  It is a testament to us as sports fans. It is a testament to the ownership of WKNR, Craig Karmazin.  It is a testament to Rome himself for caring enough to come and visit our oft-maligned city so many times in his career.  It is nice to have our loyalty rewarded for once even if our sports teams can’t seem to ever deliver.

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    sounds like a great show to listen to! Is it on itunes to download as a podcast or something?

  • http://www.60bpm.com Robbie

    I can’t stand to listen to Rome, but I would have yesterday if I’d known he was here. Oh well.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    He needs to just go to Sirius already. Howard from 6-12, Rome from 12-3… Just makes perfect sense to me.

    He’d have to read less ads, would get more air time, and would make my day a lot better. The last being the most important.

  • david

    love his show, listened to a bit of it yesterday. it was awesome hearing mike brown talk up delonte, guess thats why west never left the floor against the magic

  • deebo

    Listened to the entire Rome show while driving from the Columbus area up to Cleveland to visit family. One of the better drives I have had on that oft traveled route. It was great to hear our city and our teams talked about in positive ways on a nationally syndicated program. Too often the slant in the national media is skewed in a less than positive way and rely on the same old cliches about Cleveland — i.e. hearing “Cleveland Rocks” in every nationally televised game one of our teams plays in… Anyway, great show, great interviews. The Byner one really hit home after recently losing my job and trying to work though some resulting difficult personal and professional times.

  • B-bo

    Cleveland-centric or not, there is nothing short of being strapped to a table with headphones duct-taped to my ears that would make me sit through the insufferable joke that is Jim Rome. I can’t for the life of me see what appeal he has to anyone besides the know-it-all blowhards who get tipsy at the sports bar and proceed to berate/lecture anyone in earshot.

  • AMC

    Rome’s schtick is not for everyone, but I’ve always been a big fan. I listened to the whole show on the internet via KNR’s website and it was tremendous. If you were listening carefully, Bernie actually did say he though Quinn deserved a shot to see what he could do. Rome also pressure Jim Brown into announcing who he favored, but Brown wouldn’t budge. Just an excellent show to listen to if you’re a Cleveland fan.

  • Harv 21

    ” …talked to Mike Brown, Jim Brown (not related,)…”

    Question: why would anyone assume they are, or care? Always wondered why this is a sports article staple phrase.

    Must be Friday…

  • http://duindiemusic.blogspot.com Du

    People that do not like Rome have never given the guy a chance. He comes off as arrogant but it is more that, unlike a lot of radio guys, he is not afraid to speak his mind about athletes…so many of whom are overpaid primadonnas with no work ethic and a huge sense of entitlement.

  • Ricky

    You can’t just listen to Rome’s show once, you have to give him a solid 2 weeks of listening just to get what the show is all about. And if you still don’t like the show after 2 weeks, even Rome will be honest and tell you, that you have to give it another 2 weeks

  • Ricky

    Scott, Rome almost went to satellite radio a couple years ago but he stayed with Premeir Radio Networks for another few years. ESPN should just give him Colin Cowherds timeslot, because then he would be on satellite radio and regular radio at the same time, and everybody wins, especially those who listen to Colin Cowherd

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig

    @Harv I was kidding…

    @Scott, I prefer Opie and Anthony 6-12 and then Rome 12-4… that would be a perfect day for me! :-)

  • ryan

    jim rome = annoying….all his guests = awesome!

  • mgbode

    i don’t like Rome’s schtick, but he is a fantastic interviewer….one of the best sports interviewers out there.

    yesterdays show was great because interviews are practically all he had time for (and they were cleveland-centric ones at that)

  • tim

    “Rome talked to Mike Brown” why did he have the bengals’ owner on? (kidding!)

  • Jeff

    I have always been a Clone ever since first listening to Rome. I love the guy. I love his takes on issues in sports. I don’t always agree, but at least he has thought out his position and he takes one. I can’t stand guys like Joe Morgan or Joe Buck who are always so vanilla and kiss butt all the time. At least Rome takes a stand, even if you don’t agree with it, you should respect him for it.

    I was working all day yesterday and missed the whole thing. I wish I would have known he was C-town, I would have made an effort to change my schedule.

    And yeah he is one of the best interviewers in sports today.

  • B-bo

    So Ricky, at what point is it ok to just say “the guy is a condescending gas bag with no personal sports talent or experience who enjoys attention”? A month? 90 days? Until the next summer olympics? The guys at my old job listened to his ramblings, and after two weeks of that I invested in ear plugs. To each his own, I suppose–I just dont understand the appeal.

  • Bridgecrosser

    I’ve been across this country and I think the Rome show is in the top echelon. B-Bo who is so great that you like? The whole point of talk radio is to have opinions.

  • Duh

    Hasn’t anyone considered the obvious yet? Rome rips Ohio sports constantly, while kidding the butt of all things USC. Don’t you feel it’s just a LITTLE hypocritical and fake that he came to Cleveland and acted like he was giving back to the city? Sorry, but I’ll actually call it like it is: Rome is a puke. He doesn’t like Ohio sports, and he only pretends to in events like this for money.

  • B-bo

    To be honest, Bridge, I don’t listen to anyone much when it comes to sports talk radio. Around here all you can find is Rome, Cowherd (who almost makes Rome seem bearable. Almost), or local shows which, owing to geography, focus on Tampa/Florida sports. Of course there’s Mike & Mike, who are probably the most tolerable to me because they can discuss sports without insulting the intelligence of their listening audience or stroking their own egos, and at least one of them was actually an athlete at one point unlike many of the others mouths out there. They can be very “Boston-to-NYC”-centric at times, but they are a part of the “worldwide leader”, so that’s to be expected. So I suppose when I do listen to the sports talk genre, that’s what I listen to. Do I consider them “great”, no–just more tolerable than the alternatives available.

  • doug1121

    Rome’s a good interviewer…and he’s pretty funny at times…what ruins the show are the callers, all of whom seem to want to out-douche the previous caller with an over-the-top “take.” Even Rome says, “More of me and less of you is a good thing.” That’s about right.