It happened again. I was out running errands for The Memsahib and "Race Week" was on. I know this site has been Rich Phillips-intensive the past few weeks, so I'll keep this short.
I'm listening to Rich doing the NASCAR stuff, doing an interview, just talking about races and The Chase (whatever that is -- feel free to educate me) and guys I've never heard of participating in a sport I care nothing about, but I didn't consider changing the channel for a second.
I ask myself: Why am I listening to this?
You already know that I think Rich does a great job with Race Week, but I never stopped to wonder what it is that's so appealing about his broadcast.
I think it boils down to one thing: Conviction. Rich's devotion to the sport rockets out of the speakers. It's not just that he's knowledgable, it's that he loves it, and his easy familiarity with the material makes it seem like a subject maybe you'd like to know more about, too. (And now, I do.) He's clearly not a hired set of smooth pipes doing an obligatory hour he was hired to do -- you know damned well he pitched this to management until they were sick of listening to him and gave him a shot.
And now he's got a show that deserves a nationwide audience for the millions who are themselves devoted to this sport. Mike R teases about syndicating Race Week, but I can't believe Cumulus isn't thinking about either syndicating it or clearing it in other Cumulus markets. (Maybe they have -- anybody know?) There's nothing local about it, at least no reason to have any local references (I thought I caught a reference to The Ticket on one episode).
And then I come back to the SRT8 after dispatching one or another of my duties, and there he is broadcasting SMU football, which was also a pleasure to hear.
I've had several opportunities to observe that Rich is an interesting co-host with Donovan and with Bob. He's the touchiest of The Ticket broadcasters (he makes Bob look like Winston Churchill in this regard).
I think they should let Rich take listener calls.
And . . . mark that.