Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Love Ya, Cleveland (Magazine)

Since we don't usually buy Cleveland Magazine, we didn't know that a prominent local sports media personality is featured this month until we saw Bruce Drennan on the magazine's cover at a local newsstand.

Sure enough, the very interesting tale of the sportscaster's recent fall - and rise - is featured in a story titled "The Reconstruction of Bruce Drennan", which can be read online here.

The magazine also offers a podcast featuring the Drennan story.

The basics of the story are well known to OMW readers.

Drennan's sports broadcasting history in Cleveland started at the old WBBG/1260 in its "Super Talk" days. It includes stints at 1100, both at WWWE "3WE" and at WTAM, and broadcasting work for the Cleveland Indians - most famously, alongside Joe Tait in the Tribe TV booth for Len Barker's perfect game.

But his most recent on-air gig before the federal gambling raid on his house was the mid-morning slot at then-Salem sports talk WKNR/850. He then was sent to a federal minimum security prison in Morgantown WV, taking a plea deal for not paying income tax on gambling winnings. He wasn't charged with the actual gambling as part of the deal.

But the Cleveland Magazine piece contains some very interesting background surrounding Drennan's recent career resurrection as host of SportsTime Ohio's popular "All Bets Are Off".

For one, it notes that STO executives met with Bruce as he was awaiting his time in Morgantown, while he was host and program director of Internet sports talk outlet

The meeting boosted Drennan's spirits, as he was well-aware of their interest in using him after he got out of prison. The article suggests, however, that Drennan did not have a "gig waiting" when he returned to Cleveland - that he'd have to show the STO folks that he was repentant and not defiant, which he did, and they hired him.

We "get" Bruce Drennan, and we don't. He's actually a pretty solid "nuts and bolts" sports talker, and his schtick, well, is what it is. Bruce is Bruce.

But whether you like him or not, Cleveland apparently "lovvvvvves" him back just as much as he proclaims he loves Cleveland...

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