Saturday, March 27, 2010

A little perspective, please

Written for your enjoyment by: Ryan McNaughton

Like most other Syracuse fans, I'm bummed. This isn't how the season was supposed to end, not when you're a number one seed. Not when your perspective Final Four opponent is knocked out in the second round. Not after blowing through their first two opponents in Buffalo. But c'est la vie. They laid a stinker at the worst possible time, and's over. In addition, my beloved Buckeyes decided to let Evan Turner try to do everything against Tennessee by mostly watching as casual observers. It was a rough 24 hours for yours-truly sports-wise.

But then I received an e-mail that helped put things in a little more perspective. I found out about the sudden passing of Geoff Sindelar. That name probably doesn't register to anybody outside of Northeast Ohio, but if you grew up in the 80's and 90's and followed sports radio, he was a titan. He used to fill-in for the legendary Pete Franklin on WWWE, then received his own show on WKNR, one of the first all-sports radio stations in the nation. The station would produce names you may recognize, such as Pam Ward and Marc Kestecher. It was later a station that I would have the good fortune of being on for eight years. My tenure began right after his ended, but his spirit was always around you. You see, much like those of us on this blog, he was a fan. He had his own successful business outside of radio, and treated his shows like a hobby. But the guy knew his stuff, perhaps more-so than those of us who actually used the gig to put food on the table. Sindelar was a sports collector, with his famous, "that's a good item!" line still being mimicked to this day, along with others like, "horse feathers!"..."that's crapola!"...and his favorite, "Karlovic!!!", in reference to his longtime producer. He referred to his callers as, "neighbors" or "gang neighbors," and treated them with respect, which is, sadly, more than I can say for many of today's hosts.

I've always done my best to look at the big picture while working in the media. While it has its own unique challenges, it's a job that most red-blooded men would kill to do. I had the good fortune of doing so for many years, and used the Sindelar formula to enjoy the ride and not take itself, or myself, all that seriously.

It's unfortunate that it sometimes takes the worst of news to put the world of sports into its proper place. Myself, and many former colleagues, have been reminded how to do so yet again. Rest in peace, "gang neighbor." You were a pretty good item too.

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