8.12.2008

Why KNBR is All But Unlistenable

For some bizarre reason or another, there are no good FM radio stations in the Monterey Bay area. There are some that play decent music some of the time, like KPIG or KZSC but the former has a love affair with the twangy bag of shit that is country music and the latter is just too all over the place. It'll be emo stuff one hour then roots reggae the next then euro-speed-metal then bluegrass.

The result of which is that I listen to almost exclusively AM radio and the predominant station is KNBR, the flagship station of the San Francisco Giants, Forty-Niners and San Jose Sharks.

The only problem is that there are large blocks of time during the day that I just cannot stand to listen.

There's the nine to noon block where Gary Radnich, the yellingest asshole in radio, lords his voice over all. His promos are shouted, he shouts all the time, he's bitter, old and the opposite of entertaining. He should really just piss off and go cry into his beer at the corner dive bar. I honestly have no idea why or how anyone can listen to him.

Then there's Fitz and Brooks, the tall black guy and the short white guy. They can be listenable but far, far, FAR too often Brooks goes off on a lame tangent about something he thinks is funny when it isn't. And then there are the interminably unfunny jokes about being short (how's the weather down there? do people try to toss you when you go to bars? blah, blah, blah). My irritation meter hovers around 70% and flashes over the line too easily.

And then there's the afternoon team of the Razor and Mr. T. The Razor is the ever-annoying Ralph Barbieri who is about the worst interviewer I've ever heard. If he could jackoff some of the guests he has on, he would. He is the worst kind of pathetic suckup to athletes and then comes up with utterly ridiculous ideas (he suggested to Barry Zito that he give some money back to the Giants because he wasn't playing well earlier this season and asked him if he would do it). He cuts off callers before they've gotten their point across and ends his show with the worst tag line in the history of radio "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly" which isn't a bad quote but its a horrible tagline. Mr. T is Tom Tolbert who is alright but has a pretty over-inflated ego that gets in the way of his being actually funny. Plus he's an ex-basketball player, one of the only sports that I pretty much will not watch but that's a post for another time.

Damon Bruce has some good sports stuff but he comes across like a spittle launching barfly. He'll shout you down even if he's agreeing with you.

The only hosts I can actually listen to without cringing often are Murph and Mac in the morning. They have a good rapport, good banter, include their producer and assistant often and have solid sports insights. Its a shame they stop at 9 and Radnich comes on because that's when the radio gets turned off.

Of course, the other good times on KNBR are when Kruk, Kuip, Dave Fleming and Jonny Miller are broadcasting Giants games.

Another major pet peeve with KNBR is that it often feels like there's forty five minutes of commercials per hour. It is almost ridiculous how often they do a two minute bit and then break for ten minutes of the same lame commercials (the yellow pages one makes me instantly change the station, it is so stupid and aggravating). I am also a huge proponent of not having the radio hosts do the ads.

All of this wouldn't be so bad if there were another game in town that was halfway decent. But there isn't, its KNBR or nothing. And, too much of the time, nothing is better than the steaming something KNBR serves up. It would nice if we could get KFOG over on this side of the hill.

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