ESPN 1050: This is the best you have?

I don’t spend much time listening to sports radio. First off, I’m not in the car all that often. Second, when I am in the car it’s usually with my kids. Third, well, I’m just not into it. No disrespect—there are some excellent hosts out there, especially on my local station, WFAN.

That said, whenever I go to the gym on weekday mornings, I somehow find myself tuned into 1050 ESPN. The reason? Because I seem to enjoy horrific wrecks.

For the most part, ESPN Radio is excellent. Mike and Mike have established themselves as stars of the medium and Michael Kay is infinitely better than Mike Francesca. It’s a strong lineup, and the guests are always top choice.

Between 10 and 11 am, however, ESPN hands the mic over to two men who drive me insane. I listen, cringe, turn away, turn back, cringe, feel my head pounding, turn away. It’s so bad it’s good, so I absorb the badness. Then, as I’ve said, I run for the door.

Today I went to the 1050 website to learn the identities of the purveyors of swill:

1. Robin Lundberg

2. Ryan Ruocco

When their voices have oozed through my speakers, my first reaction is generally, “These guys seem very young.” Which, it turns out, they are. Ruocco graduated from Fordham in 2009, and Lundberg looks to be about the same age—maybe a tad older. What strikes me is their utter, jarring lack of sports knowledge. I know … I know—they’re young. But I’ve gotta believe most die-hard sports talk listeners expect the so-called “experts” to be experts. WFAN’s Evan Roberts, for example, is a young guy. Mid-20s, I believe. But ask him about 1970s and 80s baseball, he seems to have a very strong grasp.

These clowns, on the other hand, are all about bad one liners, lame cracks, deep-as-a-dime analysis, etc. It’s maddenings, because I’m sure ESPN employs 8,000 people with more knowledge, more understanding, more … everything.

Anyhow, I’m just venting.


13 thoughts on “ESPN 1050: This is the best you have?”

  1. I’m not a fan of Mike and Mike. Too much ass-kissing its guests. Steve Czaben of Sporting News Radio is the best. His show is very entertaining.

  2. Mike and Mike? Talk about homogenized radio idiots. The next interesting thing they say will be the first.

    Golic knows nothing about any sport other than football. “Greenie” is the epitome of the empty suit and only parrots what the WWL’s take is on the day’s events.

    The “humor” is based around Golic being fat and Greenie being a metrosexual. We’ve all seen “The Odd Couple”, we know how this show ends. It’s like any generic Morning Zoo, I’m actually surprised that they don’t have the Free-Form Friday Fart song, play “Manic Monday” at 6 am on Mondays and leave on Fridays to “Workin’ for the Weekend”.

    Ugh. Golic and Greenie make my teeth hurt. Terrible, terrible radio.

  3. Mike & Mike is possibly the worst radio show in the history of the universe.

    How can anyone find these two interesting? It’s the radio equivalent of Around the Horn or a Skip Bayless show. Zero analysis, silly devil’s advocate opinions, no depth.


  4. If you had an Android phone, you could download an application that would let you listen to just about any radio station across the country. All you need is an adapter to plug into your cigarette lighter-thingy, and voila.

  5. Steve Czaben is the man! Not sure if he still does “The Sports Reporters” with Andy Pollin on ESPN 980 in DC, but I used to listen to those guys all the time when I was living down there (always stuck in traffic, of course!) and I’m not even a DC sports fan.

  6. Erroneus, it says Rocco graduated in ’08. Not to nitpick but just clearing it up. I love how Lundberg’s bio says “…creative instincts and good looks..” Good looks? Really?? Dude is on the radio, he could look like Rocky Dennis, still wouldn’t change the fact that he lacks experience and shouldn’t be in his position. Just goes to show you the staggeringly large emphasis on the ‘E’ in ESPN.
    I don’t know if Bomani Jones is on ESPN Radio anymore, but I enjoy his show The Morning Jones on Score Sports Radio. *Sidenote: he talks about Prince a lot*

  7. Lundberg is a complete idiot .i thought that moron smith that used to do overnight was but this guy sucks knows nothing interrupts everyone just terrible

  8. Definitely, the thing most annoying about Ruocco is he came in on day 1 and acts like an elder stateman… the utter ARROGANCE. Ruocco is doing telecasts for not only big-time NBA games (that little twerp sits courtside, yes) but also WNBA which I can never figure out. Now Ruocco on the Michael Kay show is a joke. He never shuts up, drones on for hours and won’t let anyone get a word in. Don and Michael both hate him they basically both have said as much live on air. Annoying how Ruocco (which I am even annoyed I have to remember how to spell his idiotic name) sets up everything he says, like for example, “It’s funny that you mention that, because it reminds me, I was coming back from a game” God GET TO THE POINT! No one cares that you were about to say ANYTHING just say it and let Mike and Don talk! Steven A. Smith hates Ruocco too as he basically challenged him on-air. One sickeningly annoying phrase Ruocco used last week, someone had and I quote “intrinsic swag”

    Lumberg is equally as dopey and with no knowledge, but he is not featured nearly as much as Ruocco so is easier to avoid him on the dial or TV.

    Amazing that Ruocco does some big NBA games, like did a Lakers telecast. reminds me when Marv Albert started doing play by play, he I guess had to earn it and knew his stuff. Maybe for ESPN next we will get a homeless guy off the street kinda like the Cavs TV announcer who sounds like a crackhead in South Central LA haha

  9. I have heard a ton of Michael Kay’s YES Show during the day. The show is half gossiping and arguing and bullying the sidekicks such as Ruocco, Rosenberg and Rothenberg, who are all less informed than Michael Kay and Don. The other half of the show is ALL HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATIONS. Mike Francesca as arrogant as he is, his ENTIRE SHOW IS FACTS, and he knows his stuff. Michael Kay and Don LaGreca both start every opinion with “What if he was to do this? What would you think about that? Then mix in a semi-opinion, then back to another hypothetical, “What if he would have done this!!” Just STATE YOUR OPINIONS and don’t worry if the YES network fires you. Don LaGreca just rants and raves and drones on for 5 minutes finding exhaustingly-long ways to say simple things.

    The biggest problem with Michael Kay is that he is so overly loyal and subservient to the Yankees that his entire being is devoted to them, and within minutes, his talk always inevitably comes back to “The Yankees” no matter what. As a Yankee announcer, Kay says the word “Yankee” literally every 5-10 seconds, even when it is not needed. I can understand when he has to read promos but he incessantly uses the word Yankees CONSTANTLY which YES loves.

    He spends soooo much time promoting and building up the Yankees organization in a million ways. His entire being is focused on “Don’t screw up my Yankees thing” His YES show and CenterStage both are super-focused on the Yankees REGARDLESS of whether or not it is a Yankee network. Every single thing Kay does, says, thinks, feels, is all YANKEES. All he is, when you break it down, is just a pawn in promoting the Yankees, despite him denying this on-air.

    His show is not the worst out there, but it is only mainly good for gossip and light sports-talk. There are wayyy better sports talk shows around with hosts who have an ACTUAL OPINION, unlike Michael and Don and their clueless sidekicks they cycle through. Without the Yankees needing Kay as a YANKEE PROMOTER to BUILD HYPE, God knows where Michael Kay would be, and I doubt he would have any legitimate sports talk show. EVERY SINGLE SPORTS TALK HOST on NY1 which probably pays nothing, are wayyyy more knowledgable about sports than anyone on Michael Kay show.

    I have nothing against Michael Kay and find some of his thoughts on life interesting, but I don’t need to hear Yankees hype come out of his mouth every 10 seconds and it would help if he had an ACTUAL OPINION on something once in a while. He can’t have an opinion because he is too afraid to be fired by the Yankees, which would mean, every gig he has. He works hard but he also is clueless about sports compared to most hosts on WFAN, NY1, FSNY, etc.

    And all his supposed opinions or criticisms of Yankees players, managers, coaches, etc. are ONLY WAYS to blind people to the fact that his bread and butter is PROMOTE YANKEES PROMOTE YANKEES. So many people more deserving of his job, money and career. Michael Kay HIMSELF is average or slightly below-average on his own, and his sports knowledge is not even as good as any NY1 hosts. Kay deserves the type of talk show Russ Salsberg had on channel 9 or 11 all those years ago, brief and in a small market. 5 hours of Michael Kay plus 125 Yankee games plus Center Stage with his idiotic questions is ABSURD.

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