Friday, September 08, 2006

Portland.... Thank you and goodbye!

It has been fun. Almost four years in Portland/Vancouver have come to an end. In our business, it isn't often you get to leave on your own, without a box waiting at your cubicle and security escorting you out of the building, and maybe in the end that is what I am most thankful for. I not only walked out on my own, but I did so to go to a great opportunity in my hometown at 950 KJR in Seattle.

But what about Portland? It has been exciting, frustrating, entertaining, enlightening, and more than anything.... fun. Sports are all about fun. Sports ARE entertainment. Someone in upper management told me once that sports radio needs to have more "entertainment" which was management code for "act like an FM ass" on the air. I like to have fun, I like to throw a few back, talk like a guy, act like a guy, and make idiotic comments about the hot woman driving the beverage cart at the golf course, just like anyone else. But I always felt as if that type of "entertainment" was not what the Portland sports fan wanted from their only all-sports station's only local show. I may have been right, or maybe I was wrong. It really doesn't matter now. I just want you to know that everyday I worked my ass off to make sure you, as a true sports fan, knew what was going in the world of sports, especially locally. As the so-called "lead host" for the station, it was my responsibility. There are many other staff members at the Fan who are also commited to doing the same. You may have liked what I did, you may not have. But do know this: I spent a lot of nights at the Rose Garden or driving to Eugene or Corvallis because I felt that to talk about something, you have to be AT the games or practices, as much as possible. You have to talk to the coaches, the players, and the front office staff to really understand what is going on. I did that, and hopefully it showed in what I did on the air everyday.

There are many who say Portland is a bad sports town. I am not sure about that label. It is a great Blazer town, even when things aren't going well, people are still in love with their one major league franchise. It is also a great college football town, even though the two state schools are at least 90 minutes away. The problem is Portland is a one sport town in regards to major league teams. Does that make it a bad sports city? Not really. It just means there are fewer options for the sports fan, and as a result, there isn't a lot to keep the fringe fan interested in sports.

What is important is the community itself. There are some incredible people here who I had a chance to meet during my time. People who invest in the community you live in, people who I had the chance to work with to make this a better place. People like Harvey Platt of Platt Electric Supply, Mike Scanlon from the Rose Garden, John Canzano, Justin Marquardt and Ryan Duchene from Caddies 4 Cure, Gary Schuler from Dick Hannah, the Maletis family who donate millions to local charities through the LPGA tourney, Gregg Leblanc and Tori Harms of McCormick and Schmick's who stepped up everytime we needed something to make a fundraising effort just a little more appealing. These are all great people who I am proud to have had a chance to meet, and will miss dearly.

Believe it or not, I will also miss the Blazer front office. Guys like "The Henchman" (aka Art Sasse from the Blazers) and the conversations and e-mails we had. I like The Henchman because he knew how to play the game, and he does it very, very well. I will also miss Blazer PR guy Mike Hanson who is the poster boy for corporate stress. I will miss seeing the hotline ring or my cell phone buzz when Hanson called to point out an "error in what I said, not because I am mad or anything, but because I just want to make sure you have all the information to be accurate on your show." I will say this, and I can only speak for myself and my experiences, Mike Hanson NEVER lied to me in my four years here, and for that, I will always be thankful. Of course, the same can't be said for some of the people who rank higher than him in that organization, but their record speaks for itself.

Lets do the Playmate thing, since my favorite guest in studio, not including Rowdy Roddy Piper who is in a league all his own, was Playboy Playmate Sarah Jean Underwood.

LIKES: The Hot Seat Bar and Grill, Langdon Farms, Camas Meadows, any McCormick and Schmick's, the Vancouver School District and the best principal in the history of elementary schools Joe Lapidis, Columbian sports writer Nich Dashel's afro and his Pac-10 coverage, Kerry Eggers old school attitude, Dwight Jaynes, Jason Quick's bulldog reporting, Maurice Cheeks, the Nike employee store, W+K ad agency, Mike Williamson and the Winter Hawks, John Cunningham and the PGE Park crew, Marv Albert doing tailgater traffic, a certain KGW sports reporters pretty eyebrows, Blazer dance team members Ione and Melissa, callers like Buddy Jay, Ozone, Angry Kevin, Joel P. Fan Club sudden death guy, and MIR. Finally many of the people I met here.

DISLIKES: Listeners who still don't understand that we are paid to give an opinion, the "can't do" attitude that exists in Portland, "rack me" or Rome and his "clones," Oregonians who don't understand that life exists across the river and that those sports fans in Clark County are as apathetic about the Ducks and Beavers as the Oregon fan is about the Dawgs and Cougs, candy asses who hide behind e-mails and forget that we are a TALK show format where you SPEAK verbally via the phone, and the rest of the people I met here.

Thanks to my good friend and former host of the show John Lund who helped open the KFXX door for me. Canadian PD and the guy who hired me Alan Davis. My first co-host Marc Amazon. My first three producers, the Jasons----Puckett, Parrish and Peterson. Swag and his willingness to take beating so we could laugh. Former Herd producer Ryan Lindsay who made me a better host, even though we didn't work together on a regular basis. Big thanks also to Suke, my co-host the last two years. Really, it is hard to thank everyone who I worked with, since in four years, I had three different show combinations, plus the now-cancelled BLOG (formerly 2-3 on Friday's with John Canzano). Canzano has been great to work with, and side by side as we chased down stories and entertained each other along the way.

One other thing. Since Entercom management is saying that there will be a rotating crew of hosts coming in to work with Suke, if you want in, send your resume to Dennis Glasgow at dglasgow@entercom.com or show producer Jason Swygard at jswygard@entercom.com

Seriously, they SAY they are searching for my replacement, although rumor has it that since Canzano turned the job down, the guy is in the building already and has a nickname that sounds like "ropp" or "mop." But you never know. They are looking for guests hosts, so drop an e-mail and resume to the above addresses. They will appreciate it. After all, I recived a lot of e-mails from guys who said they could do a better job than me. OK, prove it!

For everyone else....

THANK YOU AND GOODBYE!
Ian