Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who Is Rich Phillips?

Of course I know who Rich Phillips is. He does tickers. He does "Race Week." He does SMU Mustangs play-by-play.

He is also in Ticket management. I have forgotten his title, but I remember being startled when Cumulus announced his promotion. I thought the Musers were a little uncertain how to react to that as well. And I haven't heard anything much more about it.

Some on-air guys grow on me. Some decline in my estimation. At first, I didn't care for Phillips. I thought he was kind of a dark presence on the Musers, ill-tempered, sarcastic, antagonistic. Yeah, Gordon needs to be smacked down now and then, but it seemed pretty clear that Phillips just didn't like him and didn't really care to disguise it. (And Gordon doesn't care that some of the Ticket guys don't like him.)

But the more I heard of his work, the better I liked him. I could not care less about NASCAR, but when I'd hit the car radio on Saturdays and the Ticket (of course) would emerge from the speakers, there was "Race Week," and I found myself listening to this stuff in which I had no interest. And I realized it was because Rich Phillips was a pretty good broadcaster.

And I caught a few minutes of something else I don't care about – SMU football – and Phillips was phenomenal. Informative, enthusiastic without being sycophantic. His big-play calls were sensational. Man, he was really, really good.

I heard him on with Bob Sturm on Cowboys pre-game a couple of weeks ago. Now if you're on with Sturm, you're not going to be saying much. But he was pretty good there as well.

So I'm asking myself – who is Rich Phillips at the Ticket? Is he in line for a host job? Yeah, I know there aren't any obvious vacancies coming up . . . or are there?

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