By David Scott
Boston Sports Media
Two of the region’s louder, Loudmouths, have been added to the WBCN 104.1 FM Patriots Rock Radio Network and the CadiZolak is pulling into The Flagship’s dock as well.
‘BCN will announce on Monday that Andy Gresh (the Prince of Providence at WSKO 790-AM) and recent Track Gal bad boy, Ryen Russillo, are set to join the Network.
Guess that’s what Double R meant when he told the TGs, in his ill-fated chat with the ladies: “I have bigger things out there to think about right now and I don’t need the distraction.”
Those into conspiracy theories will be quick to point an accusatory finger at The Zone’s surging star. This week, he grabs headlines for a high school-like tiff with WEEI’s John Dennis and his daughter Emilee (we regret our prior spelling error of the 25-year-old’s name) and next week (with Monday’s announcement) we get the official announcement he’s getting a large profile gig with the Super Bowl champs (through their radio mouthpiece). Russillo may not be pulling the strings of his career-marionette, but he can’t object to the way the spotlight is finding his puppet’s face.
Gone from the roster, at least according to a preliminary release of bios, is former Pat Tim Fox, who had been part of the pre and post game shows since 1999. We’re guessing there won’t be much of a write-in campaign to Take Back Tim. And the additions are a positive upgrade.
Gresh will join returning Gary Tanguay on the pre and postgames, while Russillo will appear on the postgame only.
Scott Zolak will also join the pre and post Pats parties, crossing over from his TV role that has seen him grow and develop into a national, mid-major level talent. His CSTV spots, we’re told, have really helped his overall delivery and thought-condensing abilities.
Rounding out the crew will be Pete Brock and Ron Borges for the pre games and as always, in the booth, will be the P Men’s G Men, Gil and Gino. Surprisingly, there has still been no mention of a Pats radio sideline reporter – a role that would have suited fast-talking Russillo, or even the catlike quickness of Gresh (perhaps they could alternate home games as an experiment? Or pre-season, at the least? We’re just thinking out loud here, folks. Ignore us, as you usually do.
As for Gresh, we have but one warning: Keep the screaming down and the information up.
He knows his stuff and his funny enough to be able to add some comic relief. And WFAN doesn’t usually groom bad radio makers. Gresh is great at times and he needs to show that greatness in large doses. Lord knows the shows need it – Borges, Tanguay and Brock are stiffer than concrete and Zolak’s gotta keep it real for the boys in the locker room, so he can’t loosen up too, too much.
Which is fine.
Look at all the network pre and post-game or studio shows: There are defined roles for all of the participants. Terry’s the cut up. Michael Irvin is the bombastic one. James Brown is the straight man. You know what you’re getting from each.
Radio – in this expanded format especially – needs to try some of the same shtick. There just isn’t that much Xs and Os to last an entire week of 6-midnight sports talk on multi media platforms.
But we’re willing to give the line-up a chance and we like that some new blood is being thrown into the mix. But the talent isn’t always what drives the bus, so to speak. Sometimes a little creativity can go a long way.
And sometimes too – the Powers that Be want to “protect” their advertisers so they go with the safe approaches. Which is understandable (and reprehensible at some philosophical level).
But we’re not suggesting major overhauls. Just little tweaks to give the show some identity and something for the tailgaters to NEED to listen in for.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shots@bostonsportsmediadotcom