The Hall Of Famer

August 20

The news came down late Thursday afternoon, and it made me smile.

Gary Radnich is part of the Class of 2010 for the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Based on his past on-air comments, I’m probably happier about it than he is. He’s not a big fan of awards banquets, and there will be one for Gary, Jon Miller, Dave Morey, Isabelle Lemon, etc. on September 25th.

Why am I happy ? I’ve been on the air with Gary for more than eight years, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving, and he’s probably as close as I’ll ever get to any Hall of Fame. I’m comfortable with that, and glad that his brilliance is being recognized. In more than 30 years in broadcasting, I’ve never seen anyone quite like Gary Radnich.

If you worked with him every day, you would understand. It’s in the way he keeps the conversation going, the way he is able to maintain such a high level of energy and keep everyone in good spirits, in the way he interviews people ( one of the best interviewers in the business, IMHO ), and in his trademark irreverence. It’s in the way he does all this while juggling his television career. As he says, “it’s a lifestyle.”

Then, of course, there are the trademark sayings that have been part of the lexicon for Bay Area sports fans. “Who does that, who has time ?” “Nobody cares !” “Look at me, and look at me good.” “You gots to get down.” “Gets me MY money.” To borrow another Gary phrase, “I’ll say this in a nice way;” they’ve almost become cliches they are so familiar.

Then there are his legendary segments with the great Tony Bruno, which have produced some of the funniest moments I’ve heard in radio. I’ve had the privilege of sitting in the rumble seat for the last few months, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in this business. I’m not sure if “Pimp or Ho,” “Hot Latina Women,” or the “All-White Basketball League” is the best ever; you may debate among yourselves.

On a personal level, it’s in the way he has treated me with respect and has always been encouraging. In addition, I will never forget his legendary speech at my wedding two years ago. It’s not airable, but it was a tour de force that added to the special day.

I would not be writing this blog, would not be sitting in this chair, would not be doing what I do at KNBR, without Gary. And that’s another part of his influence that can’t be forgotten; he has been very generous with his air time for co-horts such as me, Dan Dibley, or Patrick Connor. He know that the show rolls better if there’s a conversation with multiple voices and multiple viewpoints, and he’s had no trouble giving other people a chance to shine.

He’s secure enough to take a shot from Fitz and others, and doesn’t flinch when someone uses the age card; “ooooh, I’m 60 and I lost my lunch.” “If you’re over 40, stay off the court.”

But make no mistake about it, Gary is still controlling the game and dropping dimes.

Now, instead of Rick Barry, we can call Gary the Hall of Famer. The question is, what will the bust look like — will it have a big head ? Which team’s cap will he wear when he’s inducted ? If he shows, will his speech be off the cuff like his sportscasts ? Does he get to wear a BARHOF blazer ?

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5 Responses to “The Hall Of Famer”

  1. mike koller Says:

    Ray,
    To be perfectly honest I have always thought you could have your own show, if any of you guys (dibley,patrick,mike) could do it it’s you. Sometimes I disagree with your opinions(today you were alittle defensive about the guy wanting a bat) but on a whole you could probably carry off your own show. I would listen.
    Mike K
    Disco Bay

    • raywood Says:

      Thanks Mike. Don’t remember the “guy wanting a bat” phone call but it’s okay to disagree. It would be pretty boring if we didn’t !

  2. Paul from Antioch Says:

    Good knowledge. I record the Radnich Remix and watch “Uncle Gary” with my 5 year old son every weeknight and have incorporated Garyisms into my daily life and work e-mails. The e-mails bring laughter from my co-workers familiar with his work.

    Congratulations Gary, well deserved.

    Well done, Ray

  3. Jim from Napa Says:

    Thanks Ray for sharing; this is a great write up. You guys make such a great team and I love Gary to death.

    I have to be honest; I probably need a life but when you host the shows during the holidays I always make it a point to call you. I love when you hosts the shows. Laid back and fun; Love when Patrick is there with you too.

    Keep up the great work Ray! Jim from Napa

  4. alan Says:

    Dear Ray:

    I finally find the blog about Gary. I loved it. What a great honor for you to be in that seat, especially during the Bruno segment. Yes, Gary is smart enough to realize, like Jack Benny, Mary T. Moore, that you need to surround yourself with great people, and theirfore the star shines brighter.

    ALAN
    LOYAL LISTENER FROM SAN ANSELMO

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