Certainly the most significant departure from the station since I've been listening. I've told the story of my Rich conversion before:
For quite some time after I became a listener, I didn't much care for Rich. He seemed like a peevish presence on the Musers' morning showgram, and I never paid much attention to Tickers.
Then one Saturday I was out running errands and Race Week came on. I have zero interest in NASCAR or any of the other vehicle racing regimes, but I found myself listening to the show, I mean actually listening to what Rich was saying. By the time the show was over, I realized that I had been listening to a broadcast talent of a very high order. Rich conveyed his enthusiasm for the sport with such energy and sincerity that it kept the ear and mind of the listener engaged – this listener anyway. The expertise was also quite obviously genuine.
Think about what that show requires: that is a solid hour of one guy talking. He will do an interview for each show, but for the most part it is one voice delivering news and what struck me as very sly commentary. No ranting Hicksatorials, just the occasional aside that conveyed what Rich thought about what was going on.
After that, I paid more attention. The first time I heard him do a Mustangs game, I was amazed. That was some of the best play-by-play for any sport that I had ever heard, and I've tried to stop by on weekends ever since. I suppose his style doesn't suit everyone, but I thought it was perfect for radio. And again, his voice crackled with enthusiasm and drama.
From there, I came to admire his other work on the station, including not only Tickers, but his teaming with Donovan as a fill-in program, usually for BaD.
I also came to think that he was one of the smartest guys on the station. I don't know that this is particular evidence of it, but his promotion into management as assistant program director did not come as a surprise.
I recall writing that there were two people at The Ticket with the greatest potential to break onto the national scene. One of them was Rich Phillips. I still think it is possible that he could become a national voice in racing broadcasting, and I'm wondering if some national networks might someday consider his SMU work as an audition for national football or basketball play-by-play. And there's every possibility that his versatility extends beyond those two sports.
|Rich Phillips gigantically Pshopped onto Kevlar Jeep, |
courtesy The UnTicket (without permission)
In any event, in my estimation Rich is a big talent who will be missed by The Ticket. I think listeners will miss Rich more than they realize, although they can still catch him on the SMU broadcasts for at least another season. And I'm sure Rich will miss The Ticket as well.
Except maybe Gordon. He may not miss Gordon
Congratulations Rich, and very best of luck from your friends and fans at My Ticket Confession.
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