Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love is in the air on The Bruce Cunningham Show!


This week while driving around from one appointment to the next, I was able to take in several segments of The Bruce Cunningham Show. Bruce just isn’t my style. He knows enough about the wide world of sports to convince the average fan that he’s well versed in most.

Yet it’s difficult for many (myself included) to take him seriously because he errs so frequently especially when asked to drill down and explain nuances of a particular sport beyond Average Joe’s sports intellect. Many times the callers know more than he does.

Yet I still tune in whenever I’m in the car between the hours of 1-3PM.

And I wonder why?

You see listening to Bruce is a bit different than tuning into The Scott & Anita Show. With all due respect to Scott Garceau, in a sadistic kind of way I’m lured in to that show by Ms. Marks. Like a lion lurking in the tall grass for an unsuspecting gimpy gazelle to come stumbling by, I listen and wait for Ms. Marks’ next blunder to pounce on.

She usually delivers.

It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Cunningham isn’t that bad especially for Average Joe. He’s smooth albeit redundant and well-spoken despite the fact that he’s sports radio’s corniest talking head.

Yet I keep coming back.

To Cunningham’s credit, his show is as described – a forum for the fans. Much like the message boards that he often criticizes despite the fact that he’s a participant on such boards, Cunningham’s show provides a format that welcomes fans to voice their opinions without being abruptly cut off. And his listeners seem to sincerely appreciate the freedom to express themselves as evidenced by the many callers who define his show as “great.”

I would hardly go that far.

A great show is fast paced, entertaining and educational. That hardly describes The Bruce Cunningham Show, at least for me. That said the host has done a fine job carving out a niche that is working for him and 105.7 The Fan and apparently given my attentiveness I must at least find the show to be somewhat entertaining.

Bruce will chuckle in a geeky way at his own jokes when they are anything but funny; he’ll take out his imaginary driver and hit his imaginary balls down the imaginary fairway; with the help of his capable wingman Mark Zinno (not imaginary) he stays between the imaginary navigational buoys; and then ends his show with the cornball credo:

“Baltimore, I love ya madly.”

To my surprise, the feeling is apparently mutual.

13 comments :

thundrbandit13 said...

I think a more appropriate title to this blog would have been "Love and Hate is in the air on the Bruce Cunninghamm Show." I agree that Bruce's show lacks flow many days. It seems when he hits a slow spot his first reaction is to throw a shot across the Bow of the city of Pittsburgh and their fans, or to tell a story of days gone by.

He has a double standard of wanting his Pittsburgh fans to be respectful while he takes needless shots at a group that most likely accounts for at least 1/4 of his listenership.

It seems to me when his show hooks its way off the fairway into the rough he reaches into his golf bag searching for either the Pittsburgh slicing wedge or takes the sock off his "Billy Baroo" putter in the form of an old and oft repeated story of his glory days of radio gone by.

Listening to Bruce is like driving on 695 in the winter. You know there is going to be at least one fender bender. As you sit in the ensuing backup you curse the pace slowing gawkers but when you get to the point of impact you like everyone else can not help but to steal a glance,Which turns into an outright flow stopping stare.

Jojo said...

Nice description Thunder, especially regarding the double standard and the metaphor used to describe Cunningham's show.

Like Tony, I listen too when I'm out and about but what I'm really looking for is the laugh. It's like watching America's Funniest Home videos. That guy Saget who used to host it is a total cornball yet I'll watch it if it comes on while surfing around because something happens that is funny and usually at the expense of someone else.

In this case the someone else is Cunningham.

There's a new poll up on the home page of this website that asks you to vote for the best show on 105.7 The Fan. It's a tough call but when contemplating the options, it dawned on me that for all the FM signal power and the clean sound, this station is still missing that "must hear" program. Maybe they could mix it up:

Ed Norris with The Bulldog (call it crack radio)
Mark & Scott (call it intelligent radio)
Bruce & Anita (call it Dumb & Dumber or Starsky & Butch)

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 from Sykesville, Md
Tony, I share most of your views, however, Bruce is kind enough to stop in and Chat with the folks at our RAVENS NEST 14 mtgs from time to time and is apparently moving to our area soon!
Being Retired, I am always puttering around my garage or my pool, or sprucing up the garden.
Ever heard the term WHITE NOISE??? Well, I can only take so much of the other options in that time slot.. "C4 WBAL" and "RUSH WCBM"...
Out here in the boonies, the AM radio reception is OK in the day time and non existent at nite. However, the FM stations come in LOUD and
CLEAR 24x7. Which leads me to my closing remarks that PROFOOTBALL24x7 is still the BEST Sports web site around.
Thanks for you endless work, Tony, to make the site: better every day!!!

John in Canton said...

Listening to Bruce is like listening to your dad. He has strong opinions that aren't always supported by facts and his memory has faded and consequently he mixes up the facts.

But at the end of your visit, you're glad you went to see the old man.

Jethro said...

Bruce is like a slightly younger version of Jed from The Beverly Hillbillies. He means no harm and seems like a nice enough guy but he's just not that smart.

The difference is that Bruce thinks he is that smart while the rest of the world is on to him and snickering behind his back.

But if his show went off the air, I'd be disappointed. I get the feeling TL would be too.

Joan Jett said...

TL, leave Bruce alone. You are so in his head. I have no doubt he saw the title of this blog and now the theme of his show is "Hating."

So today on BC's show it's "Hate is in the air."

The Truth said...

TL, you are in denial dude. You are a closet Cunningham groupie and your ongoing prodding of poor Bruce is just you trying to cover up your man crush.

;-)

Anonymous said...

Tony, you're awfully critical of your peers these days. Are you angling to be the new Sun media reporter? Maybe you could give us some examples of Cunningham's witticisms for those of us who don't tune in. He seems fine on TV, albeit in a 5 min segment.

Ray Frager said...

Let me chime in for TL here while sipping on my Starbucks.

Among Cunningham's anecdotes:

After setting up the show's topics: "The ball is on the tee, the driver out of the bag, when we return we'll knock it down the fairway and get this thing started..."

"I love me some (fill in the blank)"

His constant ranting on keeping it friendly particularly with Steelers fans then he goes on to profess at length his disdain for the Steelers and their fans.

His corny jokes

His annoying smoker's chuckle

His irrelevant yarns about Mark Twain and days as a DJ

Everyone is his "great" friend (somehow I doubt it)

Call me I've got X lines open and that RARELY happens on this show.

Don't call now the lines are JACKED. The best thing you can do is put us on speed dial. I really believe that, I really do.

Thanks to Mark Zinno for keeping the show on track and between the navigational buoys.

I'm sure there's more. The guy is a clown and the irony is he really thinks he's a hip guy which in a strange way makes the show more appealing.

Overall he doesn't seem like a bad buy, just nowhere near as knowledgeable as he thinks.

Oh and of course this the ultimate cornball close of his, "Baltimore, I love ya madly."

Does any normal person come up with something like that? It seems so forced and insincere.

thundrbandit13 said...

Nothing like an anonymous poster who supposedly does not listen to the Bruce Cunningham show to question the take of Tony and as I count it 5 ear gawkers of the BC fender bender including one fellow radio media personality who share Tony's take on Bruce's inadequacies as show host. Come Bruce admit it you troll the message boards and blogs you profess to hate. Come out of the trees lining the fairway and show off that vintage 70's porn stache you sport so proudly.

Brian, Owings Mills said...

Bruce is ok, you just have to know going in what you are going to get. You don't pick up Home & Garden magazine expecting to find a breakdown of the AFC North.

You don't tune in to listen to Bruce Cunningham expecting to hear insightful analysis.

There's a reason for H&G and Bruce. You just have to know what you are getting before tuning in.

But back to insightful analysis, when is The X Factor coming back on?

Anonymous said...

For all those who criticize anonymous posters just for being anonymous like "thundrbandit13" did, ummm, virtually EVERYBODY who posts here is anonymous. Identities such as thundrbandit and "Ray Frager" and even "Bob from Arbutus" are also anonymous, you idiots! Plus, Tony owns his website. He can track down any poster's IP address if he ever cared. So we're all anonymous and yet none of us are really anonymous to Tony unless you take extra geek actions to do so. Do you get it now?

Don't Get It said...

No I don't get it