Dead silence. That's what's going on at my desk right now. And on a flippin Friday no less. The reason: ESPN radio has decided to let Linda Cohn fill in for Dan Patrick and the result is perhaps the most unlistenable three hours of radio since the Thong Song was popular.
I'm a sports radio junkie. I listen to the ESPN lineup from Mike & Mike to Michael Kay (but change over to 1530am out of Austin, TX at 10am - 2pm so I don't have to listen to that shitbag Max Kellerman for two hours or Stephen A's two hours of high volume vitriol) all day. I don't necessarily love the radio personalities out there but The Herd, Dan Patrick and Michael Kay keep me entertained throughout the day and the variety of opinions and angles is usually pretty interesting, if not groundbreaking. But ever since Dan announced that he's retiring, the 1pm-4pm slot has been filled by a variety of SportsCenter personalities from Radio vets like Bob Valvano and the insufferably holier than thou John Kincaid (literally "holier." Listening to Kincaid is like listening to Billy Graham at times) to radio novices like Wingo & Schlereth and the likable and listenable Scott Van Pelt. Other than Trey, Stink and Van Pelt, it's been a pretty brutal stretch (and I didn't even mention the Doug Gottlieb experience). I'd listen to Mike & The Mad Dog but for some reason I don't get great reception for 660am at work. Plus I can only listen to so many calls from Vinny, Vince and Vin from Staten Island talking about how the Yanks need a guy like Paul O'Neil or how Cashman should trade for Johan Santana ("uh, yeah, I don't get why they don't just package some guys and go after that lefty from the Twins, John Santana. The late 90's Yanks teams did stuff like that all the time." Yes, very true.). But since the content for radio has been so stellar over the last week or two, I can't tear myself away from the radio no matter what asshole is dishing me the information. That was until today. Linda Cohn is out and out AWFUL. She makes nails on a chalkboard sound like Mel Torme. But it's not really her voice that gets me, it's that she doesn't really get the radio medium. She can't rid herself of her SportsCenter "personality." She's a little too bubbly and her contrived subdued excitement about issues doesn't really play here. She's talking about dogfighting with the same tenor she uses when talking about the little league world series. She doesn't sound concerned, upset or even inquisitive when talking to guests about the issues. Her manner is just fluff on top of fluff. I can't stand it. So I turned her off. On a day when the Pats open their training camp, the Vick situation is at its apex, new Donaghy revelations are coming out by the minute, the AL East race is heating up with a couple huge series going on this weekend, the trade deadline coming up and college football just around the corner, I sit here in silence. I'd say that it's peaceful but it's not. It's painful. I can only hope that this pain is temporary and the Linda Cohn era is brief. The silence around here is deafening.