It's 4:54 on a Wednesday morning and time to do some radio. Not nearly as much radio as I did yesterday. The rhythm is this.
On Mondays, I do a regular radio show. I start talking at 5:30am and finish at 9:05 or so. And then on Tuesdays, I start at 5:30 and, like yesterday, don't finish until 10am. That's four and a half hours of my bullshit. But I get a break on Wednesdays in that I only go until 8 or so. That makes it easier, I suppose. I'll be meeting with the team on marketing by 8:10 or so this morning. One day we'll go out there and try to sell radio.
Monday 3.5 hours
Tuesday 4.5 hours
Wednesday 2.5 hours
A lotta people got a Blackhawks hangover. You don't realize it but they start playing in the playoffs in April and if they win the Stanley Cup, as they did late on Monday night for the third time in six years, they don't finish until mid-June or later. That's a lot of pizza and beer and holding up your end of the conversation during the breaks between periods. And if you're a morning host or producer, you know what a drag it is to wake up at 4:22am after going out for a Hawks playoff game. It wears you down.
Which is something that you want to avoid as a morning host. One of the cool things about doing what I do really is the quality of life. You wake up every morning and you can't wait to turn on the microphone and start mixing it up with people. It's a living, breathing thing that draws you in and makes it a lot easier to not have the kind of money you'd certainly like to make. So there.
But when you're burnt out, it's just not the same. You know when you're so tired that all food pretty much tastes the same. That's what happens when you're burnt out. You go through the motions of giving the traffic in a cheery voice and you look at your guest in the eyes and you're wondering if you made the bed or not. Because, after all, that's where you'd rather be. In bed.
And the Hawks run has given the whole station a little burnout. Make no mistake, as the little radio station that could, we're big freaking sports fans. All of us. Station manager Debbie Wargo and morning show producer/sports director Ryan Walsh went to all of the Stanley Cup finals games on the station media passes. They left at 3pm for the 45-minute drive to the United Center and then milled around talking to people and taking pictures and eating the great dinner they give to media... and then sat through the three plus hour games and then the press conferences and you get it.
That all paid off the next morning when Ryan gave his report and played the interviews he did with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Joel Quenneville and so on. Our morning show sounded bigger that it is and there's a lotta diehard Hawks fans like us out there. But make no mistake, as much as this was a historical event - winning the Cup at home for the first time since 1938 - I'm glad we can move on.
....Last night, Alexis and I and daughter Jeanie took my dad and his wife Kalli out for dinner. It's my dad's birthday today and he'll make the yearly trek to come on the radio with me to mark the occasion. I'll make the yearly jokes...
"Up next is Captain Kangaroo. Or is it Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days? Poke chop? Herbie Pudlo? It's my dad's 76th birthday and he'll be in here to tell us about traveling the country playing softball in the 75 and over league."
I like that stuff. It's hokey morning local morning radio stuff. You bring your dad on the air for his birthday every year. One year, on a Saturday for some reason, I lined up relatives from all around the area to call in and wish him a happy birthday live on the air. Didn't do that today. Been too busy with my nose in the Blackhawks den.
So what do you think we gave him last night for his birthday? You guessed it. A Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion tee shirt. Wonder if he'll wear it this morning.