by West Coast Craig

DATELINE SUNSET STRIP: I’ve got another Los Angeles sports related story for you today, one that came to me when the Matts inexplicably mentioned the Los Angeles river last week. It flashed me back to something about the San Antonio River, and remembered the late great Jim Healy.

Healy was a sports radio guy in Los Angeles for forever, and I was fortunate enough to get turned on to him not long after I moved out here, and before he went off the air in 1994 (dying of cancer two months later). His was a drive time show, it only lasted 15 minutes, and you had to remember to tune in at 5:45 or something ridiculous to hear it….but you were always rewarded for your effort. It’s hard to remember a time before the internets, when ESPN hadn’t quite driven out the sports from the local news, and when a show like Healy’s–which was basically him just reading headlines, offering his opinion, and then playing dozens of stock sound clips to punctuate his jokes–could still exist. This was an art form very similar to what we do on here, only we have Google and YouTube, Healy gleaned his info from the paper, the entertainment trades, and his ever growing network of tipsters. It was Healy’s reporter who caught the infamous Tommy Lasorda Kingman rant. Nowadays a flip-out like Christian Bale’s gets a lot of coverage (and funny Matts videos), but imagine a time when the only place you knew about such explosions, much less got to actually hear them, was Jim Healy’s show…especially if they involved Lasorda’s incredulousness over Kurt Bevaqua, or maybe Steve Garvey’s hitting. You can’t blame him, though, he was under a lot of pressure. Huh?

You don’t get radio like this anymore, the shows sprinkled along the AM dial are usually retreads of every other sports radio show, and I’m not sure why. Our own Rex O’Roark just wanted to be on the Jim Rome Show, but somehow the message didn’t get through.  Wouldn’t it be great if the two worlds, an irreverent sports radio show and an irreverent Met fan site, could somehow come together? Hey Benoit, what do you think about fan sites? There’s a lot of talk about getting on a cable show, but couldn’t Matts Radio take on all these other primates? Don’t you want to hear an Angry Ward morning drive? An afternoon Cookie show? A Matt and Matt evening call-in pet advice show?

Okay, okay, maybe it doesn’t really make sense, I’d like to expand on this idea, and maybe mention who I think is going to repeat as WBC champs, but time is short and I must be going. In the meantime, if you want to hear what entertaining sports radio was like once upon a time here in Los Angeles, check out Jim Healy.

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About West Coast Craig 226 Articles
West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.