Let’s put up my crazy radio schedule for the next couple of days, mostly for my own amusement. This, of course, is for THE SECRET OF GOLF, my new book on Tom Watson’s rivalry and friendship with Jack Nicklaus. I’ll try to update as the days go on with some of my more comical errors — I suspect there will be plenty of them.
(All times are Eastern)
Wednesday, June 17
And we start again — still a little blurry eyed from yesterday’s media flurry, from a tennis loss in 100-degree heat and, especially, from the somewhat anticlimactic Cavaliers loss in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. More to say about that game as the day goes on but at this point the thought is this: In real life, there often comes a time when you’ve given all that you have to give. In the movies, in books, in imagination there’s always another reservoir of energy, of enthusiasm, of hope, of brilliance. And sometimes — Willis Reed, Kellen Winslow, Serena Williams, Harry Truman, Harry Houdini, David Eckstein — it does feel like that limitless reservoir is for real. Sometimes not. LeBron James was brilliant by other players standards Tuesday night, but not by the otherworldly standards he had set in this series. It seemed to me, from the start, that Golden State was just a lot better than this Cavaliers team. That was what happened Tuesday night — and Golden State didn’t even play that well. LeBron had given all he had to give.
On to the radio to talk Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and golf!
7:35 a.m.: The WKNY AM Drive Sports Show, WKNY-AM, New York
— Picking up where we left off, talking some Chambers Bay, a little Tiger, lots of rivalry stuff. I’ve now mentioned the “symmetry” or Arnold Palmer being 10 years older than Jack Nicklaus and Jack being 10 years older than Tom Watson numerous times. I’m not sure I’m using that word right. It might not mean what I think it means.
Also — my voice sounds weird in the morning. I mean it sounds weird all the time, but in the morning, even after I’ve been up for a while, it sounds like I’m half asleep. There’s nothing really to be done about it.
8:15 a.m.: Comment Please, WNPV-AM, Philadelphia
— I’m going to keep telling people that the secret of golf is in THE SECRET OF GOLF in a blatant attempt to get them to buy the book. As I understand it, there are no money back guarantees.
OK, so here’s a question: Who is that “I’m so sick of sharing” Taco Bell commercial for? Who is watching that commercial about a guy whining that he’s sick of sharing things (leading into his very own Taco Bell nacho sandwich-type-substance) and saying: “Yes, that’s me.” I understand that great advertising is beyond my own meager understanding, but I don’t get that one at all.
8:30 a.m: Wake Up Zone, WGFX-FM, Nashville
— Many authors don’t like to admit this (I certainly don’t), but as a rule we spend way, way, way, way way too much of our time watching our Amazon number. If you’re not an author, you might not even be aware that Amazon has a number they put after “Best Sellers Rank.” Barnes and Noble has a number as well, though it does not appear to be quite as well maintained as the Amazon ranking.
Anyway, every author I know checks those numbers religiously and pathetically. I’m usually pretty good about breaking habits, but I have been unable to quite break that one, and this is especially true while I’m doing this radio marathon. I figure, “If I’m doing 54 radio shows in two days, I sure hope it’s for a good reason.”
In any case, the Amazon number is 348 and the B&N number is 515 or 523, depending on how often you refresh your computer. I’ll keep you updated, not because you care but because, yeah, I can’t help myself.
9 a.m.: The Sports Junkies, WJFK-FM, Washington
— Some Tiger talk here; they were saying they took a poll and asked people if they would rather see Tiger contend this week (not likely) or blow up (likely). A huge percentage apparently said they would rather see the latter. I’ll admit that baffles me, not because I am naive about how many people dislike Tiger but because I would think EVERYONE is bored to tears by watching Tiger Woods blow up. Sure, it had a car crash type of vibe for a while, but now? Who wants to see an all-time great athlete play terrible?
9:15 a.m.: Mornings with Chip and Chad, KTXX-FM, Austin
— Margo just brought me a sandwich. Not making the same food mistakes I made yesterday.’
9:45 a.m.: Golf Talk America, PGA Tour Radio
— A new radio show added in the last minute, great to talk with the guys over at Golf Talk America. One of the hosts said he read half the book by the pool yesterday and was so engrossed in it that he got sunburned. Honestly, I hope that someone puts that blurb on the paperback.
10:10 a.m.: McGraw Milhaven Show, KTRS-AM, St. Louis
— Always love doing McGraw’s show; I knew he was going to ask me about the Cardinals hacking story. He had to ask. But I don’t really know what to say yet. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, well, two things I’ve learned, they are:
1. The so-called facts that first come out for any major story are always wrong or, at the very least, exaggerated.
2. Coming out with too strong an opinion before the facts are in leads to bad things, including an unwillingness to cede ground.
Obviously, we know the FBI is looking into the Cardinals hacking the Astros, and that’s bad. But that’s really all we know so far. If it turns out that the Cardinals did hack, if it turns out that it goes up in the organization, if it turns out that there were crimes committed … but those are a lot of ifs.
I will say — and did say on the show — that IF these things are true, yeah, they are way worse than DeflateGate. Maybe it’s good for perspective. That, at worst, was really about deflating footballs so that they were slightly below league specifications. It still amazes me that it was turned into a war crime.
10:35 a.m.: The Musers, KTCK-AM, Dallas
— Beginning to get blurry … and it’s early. Did I say Jimmy Spieth or Jordan? Jimmy Spieth? Really? I did get to finally tell the dishwasher story. Tom Watson claims he has never used a dishwasher, something he learned from Byron Nelson. He said that by not using a dishwasher you can spend more time with family, washing dishes, drying them, working for a common goal. Yeah. I’m pretty sure you can do those things AND have a dishwasher.
10:50 a.m.: Backspin Golf, WLXG-AM, Lexington
— OK, if you’re in Lexington you’ll want to check out this interview Sunday morning, not so much for the golf, but because I finally get to talk about what I’ve always wanted to talk about publicly: The correct way to spell our dog Westley’s name. He is named after the main character in The Princess Bride who spells his name Westley. But on his doggie certificate (or whatever that’s called) it’s Wesley. This has been a huge debate in our house, whether or not he’s named specifically AFTER Westley from the movie or if the movie character merely INSPIRED his name. As you can tell by my own spelling, I’m firmly in the Westley with a T camp. But the argument rages on.
11:15 a.m.: The Beat of Sports Shows, WYGM-AM, Orlando
— One of my favorite shows; they are aware of this blog though, and so asked me what kind of review they’re going to get. That’s pretty meta. I told them they would get a (deservedly) good review, but I’m ripping the next hosts. Sorry St. Louis.
11:30 a.m.: Total Information AM Weekend, KMOX-AM, St. Louis
— Time traveling again; this one goes live Sunday morning. I’m really wondering now when the babbling begins. I feel it’s close. I have a feeling that by the time I get to Oklahoma City I’ll just be muttering “Watson-Nicklaus, Turnberry, chip-in, secret, duel, sun.” Over and over again.
11:45 a.m.: Sports Open Line, KMOX-AM, St. Louis
— Aw, I can’t rip Mike Claiborne, he’s a great friend from way back.
12:15 p.m.: Sports Town, Boston Herald Radio, Boston
— Amazon: 377, so holding pretty well. Barnes & Noble: 489, so moving a little up the charts. You don’t care at all, but at this point, realistically, I don’t care that you don’t care. The walls are closing in.
12:45 p.m.: Happy Hours, WNST-FM, Baltimore
— Pushed off to Friday; Nestor Aparicio is traveling the country, going to all 30 ballparks, to raise awareness for the international bone marrow registry. He was driving back from Cooperstown and, as I well know, there are not too many places to stop on the drive back from Cooperstown.
1 p.m.: David Glenn Show, WCMC-FM, Raleigh
— I’m currently writing a Joe Charboneau blog post in between radio segments, which is kind of funny. So I’m concurrently trying to think of Super Joe opening up beer bottles with his eyelids and Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus playing in the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry. I guess my point is these last 10 or so interviews could be bizarre.
1:20 p.m.: KXNT’s Morning Show, KXNT-AM, Las Vegas
— Dayna and Carlos offered to take me around Las Vegas next time I’m in town. What they don’t realize is … I’m going to take them up on that. I love Las Vegas. I’m going to show up, call them up, and say: ‘OK, you promised. I’m here at the airport.’
1:35 p.m.: Lunchtime Live, KXFN-AM, St. Louis
— Could it be? Yes! Lunch break!
2:30 p.m.: Hard Count with Dirt & Sprague, KFXX-AM, Portland
— Tuna fish sandwich. Chips. Diet Coke. And more talk about Tom and Jack. I might be seeing a finish line ahead.
3:15 p.m.: Query & Schultz, WNDE-AM Indianapolis
— I have now said “Thank you for having me” like 50 times. Is that the proper etiquette? Should I be thinking them for having me? Are they having me?
3:50 p.m.: The Drive Home, KBME-AM, Houston
— Hey hey hey! Up to 239 on Amazon! No. 1 golf book! Will this give me a boost of energy going forward?
Answer: No. It will not. I’m hearing my own voice say things now with my mind going somewhere else. Not good. How many more? Five more. We can do this.
4:05 p.m.: The Daily Wrap, KFNX, St. Louis
— Another “Thanks for having me?” Check. Did get to talk the Cardinals hacking thing again. Seems to me everyone is looking for a good name for this thing. Hack-gate … come on, that’s terrible. I’m thinking something like House of Cards or Sneaky-Leaks or Hey Now Luhnow. Or something.
4:30 p.m.: Gametime, WNKT-FM, Columbia
— Thanks for having me Columbia. I realize now, I’m just doing my impression of Michael Schur when he says “Thanks for having me” on the PosCast. And I know he doesn’t mean it.
I would say of the 50 interviews I’ve done, probably 15 have read the book. That’s a MUCH higher percentage than I would have expected, not because I doubt the effort of hosts but because I know how hard it is to find time to read books, especially for authors who are only coming on for a few minutes. I guess I want to say how much I appreciate those who read the book, starting with Heath Cline in Columbia since he asked some really good questions. And I should say one of the guys in St. Louis read it too — not sure which one — and had some great thoughts about it. Thanks to all.
Three more. Downhill now.
5 p.m.: The Bald-Faced Truth, KXTG-AM, Portland
— I’m now telling people to complain if they don’t see the book in their local bookstore. What the heck, right? I’m almost done.
5:30 p.m.: The Sports Reporters, WTEM-AM, Washington
— I’m getting giddy. The end is almost here and … DOH! … let’s add NBC Sports Radio at the end of the day. It’s OK.
Fun stuff in Washington. I’m noticing that I’m becoming more and more certain that Tiger is going to be terrible at Chambers Bay. I think that’s what happens when you talk a lot; you become more and more certain without any new information to justify that certainty. I hope I’m wrong. I think Tiger misses the cut badly. At least I think that now.
7 p.m.: Al Eschbach, WWLS-AM, Oklahoma City
— Hey, Al gave me a cool tidbit — he says that the Simon in Simon & Schuster, my publisher, is the family of Carly Simon. I had no idea. I’m also vain enough to think that song was about me.
All right, one more. Jon, you owe me buddy.
8:35 p.m.: Jon Stashower Show, NBC Sports Radio
Tuesday, June 16
7:25 a.m.: The Thom Abraham Show, Big Dawg Productions, College Grove, TN
— Fun interview, talked a lot about Watson at Turnberry the last time — how inspiring and heartbreaking it was to see him almost win The Open Championship a couple of months shy of his 60th birthday. Mistakes: Kept to a minimum, I think.
8:30 a.m.: Mornings with Al, WYRQ-FM, Minneapolis/St. Paul
— Al seems like a nice guy, says it’s raining a lot up in Minnesota. I stumbled on Arnold Palmer’s name for some reason. It’s just not that hard of a name — too early to be making basic mistakes.
8:45 a.m.: The Mac Attack Show, WFNZ-AM, Charlotte
— Got in a little Charlotte talk; was able to complain about the heat (it’s like 100 degrees here) so that was fun. Lots of talk about Chambers Bay and the complaints. Nicklaus used to say he would read the newspapers early in the week to see who was complaining about the golf course … and then he would cross those complainers off the list as contenders. I’ve always liked that.
Error alert: Said that Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay in 2010. That’s extremely wrong — he played and shot 83 his one round. That’s a little bit different.
9:15 a.m.: Manda Factor & Gregg Hersholt, KOMO-AM, Seattle
— They’re having beautiful weather in Seattle, of course. I love Seattle weather. I don’t think the rain would bother me at all. It looks like everybody’s going to ask me for a U.S. Open pick — I think Jordan Spieth seems like a good choice, right? He’s got that local Chambers Bay caddie (I’ll keep using that). No blunders of note, and Gregg mentioned that it would make for a great Father’s Day gift, so win-win.
9:35 a.m.: The DeFo Show, WINZ-AM, Miami
— Entered into an amusing lead-in where a golf announcer is talking about how Tiger Woods will need to make this putt to make the cut. Lots of Chambers Bay talk — I wonder if this week will be quite as insane as so many are expecting there or if it will actually turn out well. I guess we’ll see.
9:50 a.m.: Syndicated, WHEB-FM, Portsmouth
— I’m saying “fun” too much. I’m talking about how much fun it was to write this book, how fun it was to get into the story of the 1977 Masters, how fun it was to … well, it was fun. But I’ve got to stop saying that. What’s another word for fun?
10:05 a.m.: Indiana in the Morning, WDAD-AM, Indiana/Pittsburgh
— I certainly do not blame people for not reading my book before the interview. There are a lot of books and a lot of interviews, and there’s no way to keep up. That said, it’s great to talk with someone who has read the book. Todd Marino obviously read it and had some really good thoughts about it; that made the interview — dare I say it — a lot of fun.
10:20 a.m.: First News, KARN-FM, Little Rock
— I guess there was some Little Rock mix-up. I think they called while I was doing another radio interview early in the day, and so didn’t call now. I really like Little Rock a lot. I actually had fantastic ribs there once, and I have no idea where it was; usually I’m pretty good about remembering the names of restaurants, but I don’t remember this restaurant. Who has the best ribs in Little Rock?
10:35 a.m.: The Program with Soren Petro, WHB-AM, Kansas City
— Great catching up with my old friend Soren. Thought there would be a Royals question in there somewhere, especially after I wrote this. But Soren, pro that he is, focused on the book. He asked me if Watson’s peak game was better than Nicklaus’ peak, an interesting question since Watson beat Nicklaus in their three most famous duels.
But the thing about Nicklaus’ career is that he was good for SO LONG that it’s impossible to pick a peak. The young Nicklaus had a game that overpowered golf courses — that led to Bobby Jones’ famous “you play a game I’m unfamiliar with” comment. The early 1970s Nicklaus was a combination of smarts and brilliance. And the Nicklaus who Watson dueled with was simply the greatest thinker the game has ever known. His ability to invent and reinvent himself — all while staying more or less the same — is unique in golf history. It’s the very thing that Tiger Woods struggles with. But Woods is not alone. Few great golfers have ever had a second chapter.
11 a.m.: Wes McElroy Show, WRNL-AM, Richmond
— Taped interview with Wes, who seems like a great guy. It’s always fun to do taped stuff where you’re sort of pretending that you’re talking on a different day. This will run on Thursday, first day of the U.S. Open, so we sort of had to say “today” when we meant Thursday. I kind of like that; it’s a bit like time travel.
11:15 a.m.: Big Board Sports, WOFX-AM, Albany
— Beginning to get hungry now. I probably should have eaten something.
11:30 a.m.: Taped Interviews, WHAS-AM, Louisville
— One of the things I’m noticing about doing so many radio shows back-to-back-to-back is that there’s obviously a different vibe to each of them. And that means being a different kind of guest, I think. For instance, this one with Suzanne Duvall in Louisville was more of an NPR thing. That meant a little bit quieter voice, a few more thoughtful comments. Others are definitely more sports radio, a bit louder and chummier and all that. I’m trying to adapt — I’m not sure, though, that I’m a five-tool radio host.
Noon: ArtScene, WVIA-FM, Scranton
— Taped interview, we actually ended up talking quite a bit about journalism and where it’s going — like I know anything about that.
12:25 p.m.: Colorado’s Morning News, KOA-AM, Denver
— Taped interview, we talked as if it was the morning of the U.S. Open. Fun stuff because we talked about rivalries and how unusual is to have rivals who become great friends. It doesn’t seem likely that Rafa and Roger will be, in April Zesbaugh’s words, hanging out and braiding each other’s hair.
Of course, while all this is going on I’m trying to catch up on the Cardinals story — the FBI investigating the Cardinals front office for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros database. I tweeted that they will find out that the Cardinals just wanted to play Global Thermonuclear War, but I have a feeling this won’t be viewed as a joke by those who love and hate the Cardinals (and everyone, more or less, loves or hates the Cardinals).
12:40 p.m.: Spiegel and Goff Show, WSCR-AM, Chicago
— Canceled. Apparently some Chicago team won some sort of championship or something.
1 p.m.: Weekend Indiana, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis
— Cool taped interview, talked a lot about what inspires people to be great at things. But, more importantly,my wife brought me lunch. Looks like I have three minutes to eat …
1:15 p.m.: The Rich Gaenzler Show, WHLD-AM, Buffalo
— Man, I love Buffalo. After Cleveland wins a championship, I desperately want Buffalo to win one. … Got three bites of my sandwich. Now I have … oh, wait, next call.
1:30 p.m.: Mackey & Judd, KSTP-AM, Minneapolis
— OK, these guys were awesome, they’ve been following this little running blog and they offered to let me have a couple of bites of my sandwich and then let me talk about whatever I wanted (LeBron, of course). What a blast. Now, I have four minutes to eat my sandwich, no, wait, three minutes …
1:45 p.m.: The Drive With Danny & CDot, KCSP-AM, Kansas City
— Talking a little Royals baseball and this Cardinals thing … are there really people out there comparing this to DeflateGate? Really?
2:05 p.m.: The Bob Valvano Show, WHBE-AM, Louisville
— Hey, talking a little sports with Bob Valvano … I know how hard it is to get a golf story in there in Louisville with this Cardinals things going on. He did a nice job balancing the Cardinals story with the sportsmanship of Watson-Nicklaus.
There probably isn’t another major city in America where this Cardinals story would so resonate as Louisville, which as I understand it is powerfully split between Cardinals fans and Reds fans. Both will have strong feelings on this one for sure. I’m interested in what we’ll talk about on Lance’s show in Cincinnati in a couple of hours. I KNOW how that Cardinals story is playing in Cincinnati.
2:35 p.m.: Hardy Workin’, WXGI-AM, Richmond
— Another fun taped interview — some Royals talk, some LeBron talk, some Cardinals talk. Now I have FORTY FIVE MINUTES to rejuvenate. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. Probably spend all of it worrying about tonight’s game.
3:30 p.m. In the Cell with ML, WSKO-AM, Syracuse
— You know that feeling about taking a nap that just’s a little too short (or a little too long) and you wake up the opposite of refreshed? Yeah, that’s a 45-minute gap on radio day. Good one with Syracuse, lots of talk about what is the secret of golf (it’s in the book, if you haven’t bought one yet). Now, the Mad Dog. Gotta get my adrenaline going for Chris.
4 p.m.: Mad Dog Unleashed, Sirius XM
— As always, it’s high energy with the Mad Dog.
4:20 p.m.: The Lance McAllister Show, WCKY-AM, Cincinnnati
— Hey I got to talk a little bit about The Machine! That’s great. Love Cincinnati. Can’t wait for the All-Star Game. I will eat Skyline at least four times.
I’m noticing that these things are now coming fast and furious. I’m supposed to play tennis tonight — team is counting on me, I think, meaning they need me so that we don’t forfeit — and so I’m going to do the last interview in the car. I wonder if I’ll have anything left.
4:40 p.m.: The Marc Bernier Radio Show, WNDB-AM, Orlando/Daytona Beach
— OK, I’ll admit it. Now I’m tired.
5:05 p.m.: SportsTalk, WNML-AM, Knoxville
5:25 p.m.: The Ted Ramey Show, San Francisco
5:40 p.m.: The Press Box, WFMB-AM, Springfield/Decatur
— I’m not going to lie: I’m out of things to say. Both here on and the radio. And to think we do it all again tomorrow. Maybe the Cavs win and I can talk more about that.
6:15 p.m.: MC Sports Daily, KCSF-AM, Colorado Springs
7:05 p.m.: In the Huddle, KXTG-AM, Portland