Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Sports Hub

I love August; it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s still at least a good month of summer left, baseball season is just beginning to heat up, and football is warming up. Sitting by the pool, flipping between the Sox and the Pats, steaks sizzling on the grill, now that’s my idea of heaven.

And this year we have a little added bonus.

98.5 The Sports Hub debuts as the new player in the field of Boston sports media this coming Thursday, August 13th, which coincidently is the date of the Patriots first preseason game. The station will feature a sports talk format, and will be the new home of both the Patriots and the Bruins. Don’t worry, Gino and Gil will still be the voice of the Patriots, although the rest of their lineup is still a work in progress.

Regardless of who or what they fill the airwaves with in between games, it will still be great to have an alternative to the same old same old of local sports radio, and a strong signaled FM alternative, no less. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to listen to the Sox games on FM for the last couple of seasons on North Shore 104.9, and the difference is incredible.

Hopefully, audio quality won’t be the only improvement we see. Although WEEI has been a pioneer in sports radio, I haven’t been able to listen to them for quite a while.

My stray from WEEI started off slowly, with me flipping to either WBZ news or an FM music station whenever the talk got so hot that I could envision the spittle flying from my radio’s speakers. Each time it would take longer and longer before I would switch back, until finally I stopped switching back. It’s been about 4 months now since I’ve listened to WEEI. I just can’t take all the ranting and raving, yelling and screaming, punctuated only by long interminable commercial blocks, and way too short and underdeveloped sports flashes. It offends my modest sensibilities, and quite frankly, it gives me a headache. I find the sports news better on WBZ-AM anyways. Hopefully WBZ-FM will stay true to form. It would be great to hear Gil doing the news segments, and I’d love to see them pick up Troy Brown for a little football talk. Oh, the possibilities…

So, as I said before, it will be great to have an alternative in sports radio. WEEI likes to say they’ve trounced all their competition to date, I say BS. You have to be able to get a station in order to listen to it, and none of the alternatives to date have been even close to listenable in my area, so there hasn’t really been anyone to give them a decent run for their money.

That changes this week, and with the bar currently set so low, and football season about to get underway, I think The Sports Hub will find a place in this town.

Remember, the Pat’s first preseason game is this coming Thursday, August 13th @ 7pm on both WBZ-TV 4 and 98.5 WBZ-FM. Don’t be looking for it on WBCN, because you won’t find it. Speaking of which, BCN will still be available streaming on the web and on WBZ-FM HD2 (98.5-2), for those with an HD radio.

That is all.

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