Monday, June 04, 2007

Welcome To Cavaliers Media Watch

So, there's this basketball game on Thursday...

In case you've been under the proverbial rock since Saturday night, you know the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers have made it into the NBA Finals.

They'll play San Antonio starting on Thursday night for a shot at giving Northeast Ohio its first major pro sports championship since roughly 1864.

(OK, it's 1964, but to much of the area, it feels 100 years longer.)

We suspect, at press time this Monday morning, that San Antonio will become roughly a second home for Cleveland TV and radio personalities for the next week or two.

The station which will actually carry the games, ABC affiliate WEWS/5, hasn't been shy about its Cavaliers Love, and is cashing in early with this series upcoming on its own airwaves.

Sunday, NewsChannel 5 sent reporter Carolina Leid on the first plane to San Antonio, where she filed a "local flavor" piece about the Home of the Spurs.

We got the idea from seeing her Sunday night that Ms. Leid will have an extended stay there, probably through the first two games at the visitor's site.

A scan through the other local channels, and we didn't spot any of the other stations sending staffers this early. Perhaps they looked at the NBA playoff calendar and realized that Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday night.

We suspect we'll find out about radio plans soon enough, and expect both Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, the Cavaliers flagship, and Good Karma sports WKNR/850, will send a bunch of folks to San Antonio some time between now and Thursday. For one, 'KNR middayer Tony Rizzo will likely be there for his "day/night" job at WJW FOX 8...

And speaking of WTAM, we'll echo what we heard FOX Sports Net Ohio's Jeff Phelps say on the network's game-less (blame TNT for that) post-game coverage of the Game 6 clincher early Sunday morning.

If anyone connected with the team over a long period of time deserves this, it's veteran Cavs radio broadcaster Joe Tait.

As Phelps noted, Mr. Tait has watched "an awful lot of bad basketball" since signing up as the local NBA team's voice not long after its conception in 1970.

Only the incredibly awful team ownership of Ted "Mr. Softball" Stepien drove Tait from Cleveland, in a 2 year-exile to Chicago and New York. The most inept owner in Cleveland sports history dumped Tait, called any team announcer "a dime a dozen", and then found out from whatever fans the team had left that Tait was more popular than he was.

After the old Richfield Coliseum was fumigated from the stench of Mr. Stepien's ownership, one of new owner Gordon Gund's first moves was to bring back Joe Tait, and he's been calling the team's games ever since.

And now, he has at least a chance of calling the team's first NBA Championship...and certainly, its first Finals Series.

Joe Tait is likely not THAT long from retirement...if only because he's over 70 and has called Cavs games for over 35 years.

Not that LeBron James and company need any more encouragement, but it'd be nice if they "won one for Joe Tait"...


david5258 said...

thankfully we don't have to be insulted by TNT for the finals. as good as a player that barkley was, he was totally INEPT as an analyst who could not and would not recognize King James talent. all season barkley took delight in ripping lebron and the cavs. as dick vitale used to say.."ITS PAYBACK TIME BABY!!!!"
BTW, Watch the game on ABC and LISTEN TO TAIT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of 45/49...what a great move to replace Vincent Duffy with Eric Mansfield. With Duffy as host of NewsNight, the show was deathly boring. Watching Duffy was like watching a 2-year old play dress up--trying to be something they're not. What he probably thought was charming came across as pure arrogance. And that lisp that sounded like a speech impediment???Mansfield is a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't watch News Night because of its old host. He was annoying, cloying and had a constant smirk on his face that said, "look at me, Mom, I'm on Teee-VEEEE!!!" Mansfield is going to be able to take that show to a new professional level that its old host didn't have the talent to.

Anonymous said...

Duffy as host got on my nerves and I felt like I was watching a SNL parody of a local news round up--so I would flip the channel and just watch SNL reruns instead. Those at least would keep me awake.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping Joe Tait proves to be ageless and keeps calling games for a long time to come. I had goosebumps listening to him call the final quarter of game 6.

Anonymous said...

Love the fact that the Cavs are in The Finals.

However, thinking of all the stupid, rah, rah news packages that are ahead on the local TV news is disconcerting.

I see it has already started.

Here are some "stock" package ideas for local news departments:

-Boy, that Cavs gear is flying out the door of local merchants!

-Clevelanders living in San Antonio.

-Former San Antonio residents living in Cleveland.

-Cost of game tickets

-Cleveland's scalping laws

-The cost of a trip to San Antonio, flight, hotel, tickets, misc. items.

-Economic impact of having the Cavs in The Finals.

-Endless live shots from The Winking Lizard in Gateway.

-Anything LeBron!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Who is worse to watch on Friday nights? Feigler or Duffy? One should stay on radio and the other only in paper. Is Cleveland/Akron so devoid of talent that these are our only two options for local shows?

Anonymous said...

When the clock hit zeroes, the person I was happiest for was Joe Tait. I hope he gets to enjoy every second of this, win or lose.

I wish I could have heard him call that fourth quarter. Or, at the very least, I hope the Cavs would post that audio on their Web site.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind, I found the audio clips. WOW! The ol' man sounds like a kid in a candy shop and a blank check.

Anonymous said...

I watched the first three quarters of the Cavs game on the horrid TNT broadcast.

When the 4th quarter rolled around it was getting late and my wife and kids were in bed. Because the only way to listen to Tait is LOUD (plus the nice rumble of the crowd) I actually elected to go into my garage, sit in my car and listen to Joe Tait and the Cleveland crowd at about 110 decibels.

I had goosebumps. He was so excited and as the clock was coming down to the final 5 minutes you know he wanted to say it was in the bag but couldn't.

He was awesome! How many radio sports announcers can make a 40 year old leave there house and sit in a humid hot garage to listen to the game on the radio at ear splitting levels? A one of a kind.

Anonymous said...

Joe really is awesome. I wish the tv didn't have the delay. Back in the day, I always turned off the sound and turned up Tait. He's as good as there ever was.

And he's a good person, too. Count me as another feeling very glad for Joe.

Anonymous said...

Joe Tait is the man Enough said!

Anonymous said...

Lebron James has 3 years left on his contract.
I would not be surprised that if Lebron leaves, Joe Tait will hang them up.

As long as #23 is here, we've got a shot, but if he goes, it will be another long rebuilding phase, and I don't think Joe wants to go through that again (Lord knows he's seen enough of those).

All that being said, WHEN the Cavs win the NBA Championship, Joe will sound and feel 20 years younger for the next few years.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear Joe Tait call the most meaningful games in the history of the organization. Might want to roll tape on that for a keepsake...
I gotta tip my cap to WKNR. Thought they really capitalized on the hype/anticipation of Saturday night's game. I was working in the yard basically all day and had them on. Now, some might say that 11-hours of pre-game talk(more or less) is a little over-the-top... I think they were giving sports fans exactly what they wanted. TAM's coverage kicked in at 3 but by then I had already been with KNR since well before Noon. So many people wanted to talk Cavs, think Cavs and get psyched for the game and KNR pretty much was their fix. Nice job. I thought it was real "johnny on the spot" radio.

Anonymous said...

Can't help but think what Salem would have done if they still had 850.

Sabo, Bender, Catan, Gibbs, and Mularz, all day.

Well, maybe not all day.

More like from probably 5-8 with infomercials from 8-11 and Karlovec on the Wine And Gold Show.

Good times, good times.

Anonymous said...

Hey newsnomore, read your list of Cavs stories you don't want to see. Got any ideas on stories that should be done, or maybe you dont have any and thats why you are news NO MORE

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha


purple raider said...

The Cavs deserve this.

Joe Tait deserves this.


'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

"horrid TNT broadcast"

Why is it the emmy winning broadcast "horrid" to you? Probably b/c your feelings were hurt by Barkley's comments. Get a life. It's entertainment. It's an act. If you can't see past that than I feel sorry for you.

As far as TNT goes, it's product is infinitely better than the local yokel stuff. Marv Albert is the best voice of basketball hands-down. The New Jersey Nets are extremely fortunate to have him doing their play-by-play on a regular basis, while we're subjected to Fred "LeBron can do no wrong" Mcleod."

TNT's post-game is flat-out the most entertaining sports studio show on television. Name one better, you can't.

As for Tait, He needs a color analyst desperately. I really don't think Tait knows the NBA that well. He just seems bored by it. You honestly think Joe Tait could can pick most NBA reserves out of a lineup? He paints a very clear picture of the game, but w/o the analyst, you really don't know WHY things are happening. Every other team's broadcast duo has one, why is he somehow above it?

The answer is his ego. Anyone who's ever met Tait knows what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Stuck in between all this high praise of Tait is slams of a guy whose been gone for a month. I was never crazy about Duffy and couldn't stand watching him on TV either but I don't feel it's fair to kick a corpse. Heard the guy had a rough ride his last year at WKSU and was finally forced out by GM. Let's give the guy a break and wish him well and hope he fairs better where he landed.

Anonymous said...

I've met Joe Tait..Class Act..nice guy..there are very few play by play guys left who are as entertwined with their repspective franchises then Joe Tait..enjoy the ride while you can..cause I don't want to be the guy who follows ''The Guy''..that's going to be a thankless task..

I was moving my radio around Saturday night, seven hours from Cleveland, so I could hear Tait call the final minutes..with TNT turned down..

I am not orginally from Cleveland, but I know just how important this Finals Series is..Barkley made some comments about how downtown Cleveland looked on ''PTI'' this week..its time to show the world what a great city it is..does it have problems..of course..many of us on this board have either watched or covered them to some degree..

Just for one game, I want to see the Ehlo-era a tribute to the guys who played in the Eastern Conference Finals before, and who came so close, before this edition of the Cavaliers..

Anonymous said...

It's a Cleveland thing. Every national broadcast is "horrid", if you listen to enough people. TNT's broadcast is horrible. ESPN's broadcast is horrible. ABC's broadcast will be horrible. If you listen to people long enough here, you'd be led to believe that our local announcers are the greatest ever, never make a mistake, and every national broadcaster's announcer's are terrible, they all have it in for Cleveland, they never give Cleveland any respect, they always favor the other team, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it wasn't an OSU football game or all the Buckeyes fans would be on here screaming about Brent Musberger. LOL!

Joe Tait doesn't need an analyst. He does exactly what I want since I can NOT see the game -- tell me what's happening. I can read about the "why" later. Quite frankly, there is TOO MUCH analysis in many radio broadcasts, IMO, which gums up the entire works.

Long live Joe, and GO CAVS!

Anonymous said...

This may just be a crazy thought but...

The Cavs should bring in Howie Chizek to do the PA for one of the home games of the Finals.

Though not as remembered or revered as Joe Tait, Howie was there for the Daughtery/Price/Nance "would have got there if it weren't for Jordan" years, plus he also saw his fair share of putrid hoops as well.

david5258 said...

i have no problem with marv albert calling the game on tnt at courtside. what i do have a problem with is the post game crew, and especially barkley, ripping the cavs and lebron on a consistent basis. i have watched many tnt games while on the road for business and away from radiorange of the mothership. over the years, joe tait has been the consummate professional, painting word pictures of the court action and truthfully telling what is going on with the cavs. he is a man of honesty and integrity that calls it like it is. i also think it would be terrific to have howie do the pa for the finals games in cleveland and for the cavs to wear their price-duagherty-nance-ehlo era unis for one of the cleveland based games...lts--CMON CAVS-MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!