Birmingham Jew attempts to solve Football Riddle in the South
Sports fans, this blog is a work in progress. I'm posting as it evolves so if you like what you read at all, come back August 4 or so for hopefully the perfected version, the final draft.
A. Billy Fox and Raymond Parker
I guess a little of it is genetic disposition, calling in talk radio. When we lived in Gaffney, South Carolina my Dad was a regular on Big WAGI FM. Raymond Parker had a live community program two hours every weekday morning. Other than Bob Prevatte's Weekly Fall Friday Head Coaching report on the Gaffney Indians, I guess my Dad was there more often than anybody else. For about five years he would call in from some big national city to give Raymond and Cherokee County S.C. a report on the annual Southern Baptist Convention.
He and Raymond weren't one in a timin. You could hear em clear in a big circumference for fifty miles including Greenville, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C.
Opening day of Major League Baseball Dad would go by every year after he dropped me and my brother or sister off for school and take a shot at Quoting Casey at the Bat for Raymond. About the third verse every year he'd get a little fuzzy, Raymond would say how much he appreciated the first two verses and for Billy to come back next year when maybe he could go the distance; in the meantime he'd most likely see him in a few days to talk about some other goings on in town.
With that in the blood sooner or later I was destined to call the Paul Finebaum show.
Or as Linda's friend says, Karl Childer's date says in Slingblade, if you like pricin items as much as I do, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Paul Finebaum, born in New York of Jewish ancestry, educated in Knoxville, longtime sports columnist for papers in Alabama, and the last several years a Radio Jock Talk show host now on the verge of iconography with his recent elevation to ESPN afternoon primetime radio and TV, has a new book coming out August 4.
I've called his show on several occasions since October 2012; had a good start with Bama QB Greg McElroy as One Rhodes Scholar to another. Paul said: "This ought to be good."
I'm gonna blog review his book mostly sight unseen, so come back to this post often the next six weeks or so.
A better though much less read book will come out later this year on SEC Football as religion. It's author Remillard has an easily googled review of Randall Balmer on his new bio of President Carter.
Here is about the best call I can make; I've already peaked on his show, but wanted to show proof of participation as this blog in progress evolves.
I come in about the 13th minute on June 30:
B. Finebaum, Rick Bragg, etc. Paul's place
in the World of Southern Lit
Roughly, Paul Finebaum comes in something in the bottom tier of a mid Major. He's no Roy Blount, doesn't come Close to George Singleton thought the world's of Singleton's Half Mammals of Dixie overlap. Finebaum may best Lewis Grizzard by a tad with Finebaum's better tales, but that jury is still out. In a few years where the consensus rank Finebaum's My Conference, your Conference against Warren St. John's Yellowhammer book may be the defining rank.
Paul did make a feature in the New Yorker and you can't take that away from him. I'll link that article of which Finebaum seems to be very proud at the end of this blog.
C. Nick Saban
Paul was doing quite well as a Birmingham Post Herald and syndicated talk show host a long time before Nick Saban came to town, but his recent fortunes have gone to much higher places, the one above the stratosphere--isn't that the ionoshphere--in the last seven years of the Saban era at Ubama. If somebody did a content analysis of the Finebaum show the four hours it is on air every weekday afternoon, you'd hear the name Nick Saban at least three times on average every minute. So forty minutes to the hour, for four hours, what's that, that's 480 a weekday afternoon, and a heckuvalot in a year.
Ron Higgins who has covered the SEC for 35 years had this to say about Saban last week from SEC Media Days second week, this one at ESPN compound in Bristol Connecticut: Quoting a recent AP story: Higgins said You'd have thought Alabama woulda found somebody a little more stable, quicker--lamenting the string of coaches since the Bear who have averaged out at 3 and half years or so till Saban--than they did but Nick was absolutely the right guy for that job. You have to win there, you have to let everybody know your the boss.BEcause everybody in that state thanks they're a football expert. That's part of the DNA in Alabama. All the fans think they know Football. All the FOOTBALL WRITERS think they know football.You have to basically tell them all to go to Hell