NYC Sports Talk Radio

March 31, 2016

I moved to New York City in 1992. Yes, I’m old. Back then I was a musician. Or rather a struggling musician. To pay rent, I gave trumpet lessons in Westchester (affluent suburbs north of NYC for those unfamiliar).

Driving from 3-6 I discovered WFAN, the NYC sports radio station.

I’ve listened to sports radio in many cities. I’m a huge sports fan, but I find sports radio to be mostly buffoonery. WFAN was a bit different. Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo hosted “Mike and the Mad Dog” during the crucial evening drive time in NYC. This was 1992, pre iPod, pre Sirius, radio was a very big deal. And then as well as today, lots of people are driving around NYC.

And for a sports fan, they were great. Not stupid sports stuff, interesting sports stuff. As the top NYC sports station, they had all the top interviews. Francesa was the more intellectual sports guy and Russo was the funnier one, but Mike was funny and Chris was smart also. If you liked sports and you were driving, this was what you listened to.

They started in 1989. They worked together for 19 years until 2008 dominating the drive time radio slot. In 2008 Chris Russo decided it was time to go off on his own with Sirius and the partnership was broken. That was big news at the time, but Francesa has done the show solo since then, still dominating NYC radio ratings. He is known as the “Sports Pope” on NYC.

This would seem like fringe news in most cities. Sports in New York are different than in other cities. You’ve heard of Comic-Con or other similar events? There’s an annual FrancesaCon. Not a joke, and no, I have not attended.

Recently, Mike and Chris agreed to do a reunion show. This was non trivial news. Madison Square Garden sponsored it to support their charity and it was hosted at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets sold out in minutes. Every major NY sports figure was a part of it. It raised over a million dollars for charity.

This must seem crazy in other cities. When they announced that that they were splitting up, people cried. Literally, on the air.

Francesa is still the top sports radio guy in the country, but Mike and The Mad Dog is the bar for all sports radio.


Bahamas Vacation

March 28, 2016

We went to Atlantis in the Bahamas. It’s a nice resort, though a bit big for my tastes. The water slides are way fun, but the lines get bad later in the day when the cruise ships come in (and for some reason the best raft slide broke down multiple times daily). We learned to go early and had big fun.

The best part was the dolphin adventure:

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It’s hard to show in a picture, but each person would be on a boogie board and a dolphin would come from behind and push you on your foot. At about 20 mph, which is really fast on a boogie board…

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U.S. Says It Has Hacked iPhone Without Apple, Ending Lawsuit

March 28, 2016

Via NYT, I’m assuming this is not good news..

It is unclear what useful data, if any, was found on Mr. Farook’s device.


Cookies…

March 17, 2016

I’m an Android guy, but I’m also a cookie monster fan…

Note the letter and number of the day at the end…


It’s Over. AlphaGo 4-1

March 15, 2016

AlphaGo won the final match, after what appeared to be an early mistake.

This match… the drama, the historic aspect, the quality of the games, the brilliance of AlphaGo, the brilliance of Lee Sedol, and then the amount of media coverage. I just want to say thanks to the entire DeepMind AlphaGo team. This is a gift to Go. This is going to do a lot to bring Go to new audiences. We could not have dreamed this up any better, and it delivered beautiful games. This match has done what Go always does: brings people together in friendship and cooperation, and that, like the game itself, is beautiful. -Chris Garlock, Managing Editor of the American Go E-Journal


Human Wins!

March 13, 2016

AlphaGo lost to Lee Sodol last night/yesterday. From the DeepMind CEO:


AlphaGo 3-0

March 12, 2016

The best of 5 match is effectively over, though they will play the last two which should still be interesting.

I was under the impression Lee Se-dol was the top ranked Go player, but he’s actually being billed as “the top Go player of the past decade”. The current #1 (who has beaten Lee Sedol) is already saying he can beat AlphaGo.