Please come inside
Ladies & gentleman" -- Saliva
Welcome to the Through the Ropes blog. I've finally come out of my 1980s cocoon (although I still listen to Dokken on vinyl) and have entered the 21st century. I envision this blog serving two purposes -- to support the Through the Ropes radio show with information on upcoming broadcasts such as scheduled guests, follow up on conversations from past programs and allow the fans to post comments about TTR and anything else boxing related.
The second purpose is to provide fans with a view of what it's like to live the dream. You see, starting when I was 14 or 15 years old, I was a boxing fanatic. I watched every round of boxing that was televised. I was probably the only kid in my high school who could name the 9th ranked featherweight in the world (WBC & WBA). I always dreamed of working in boxing but had no idea as to how it would happen.
When I graduated college, I sent Don King a letter every week for six months. I was willing to do anything from matchmaking, to bookkeeping to sweeping up the floors. He never responded. I must admit, it was deeply satisfying to interview him in his office, have him on my show and to ring announce one of his cards.
It took longer than I would have liked for the dream to become reality, but through a serendipitous set of circumstances, perseverance and abundant talent (actually, it was mostly luck) I found myself with a nationally syndicated radio show. That in turn seemed to open the door to my ring announcing career.
Perhaps I haven't been at it long enough, but I haven't become a crusty, grisly old veteran of the game who no longer finds it fun. In fact, quite the opposite. While I try to be as professional as the jobs demand, that 14 year old inside me still pops up from time to time saying, "I can't believe I just spoke to Sugar Ray Leonard!" or "I'm about to make the introductions on Friday Night Fights!" I still get a huge charge out of everything I do in boxing and hopefully that enthusiasm shows.
So, what I'd like to do is take you behind the scenes with me when I go to an event and meet the people we'd all like to meet. I hope I'll be able to effectively communicate just what it's like for a guy in my position, but one who still loves the sport the way he did when he was a kid.
You'll also get the inside skinny on what it's like to host and executive produce the most widely listened to boxing radio show. Some weeks, it's easy and fun. Others, it's maddening.
And just like on the show, where we distinguish ourselves by opening up the conversation to the fans, I hope you'll leave comments, feedback, compliments and complaints.
I'm still a boxing fanatic and want to provide the best radio show (and now blog) that I can for my fellow fans. So please don't be shy.
Oh yeah, this week we have Juan Diaz scheduled and I'm waiting to hear if Sam Peter is available. I'll update the blog once the guest list is finalized.
Through the Ropes is heard live on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m ET/6:00 p.m. PT on 75 affiliates of the Sports Byline Broadcast Network, www.fightnews.com and www.sportsbyline.com. If you ever miss a show, you can download the podcast. Subscribe to the podcast by visiting www.sportsbyline.com and clicking on Through the Ropes.