Tuesday, March 05, 2002

More news from Boston: Eddie's back. Eddie Andelman, a local sports talk radio pioneer, is back on the air, in his new gig on "1510 The Zone". Eddie's been stirring up trouble since 1969, when a radio producer heard him arguing about sports with his buddies, and put them on the air as "Sports Huddle". On the air, he's a fountain of jabs, jokes, and gimmicks, intoning "Do you beeeeleeeive?" and inventing new cheers ("Jambalaya!") to cheer on folks he likes, relentlessly knocking folks he doesn't (consistently knocking Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe for not having "it" --- an apparently indefinable quality, since Eddie has never defined it), blasting local fans for their negativity (where on Earth could that possibly come from?), and generally carrying on like a guy whose entire radio career is a lark which he could throw away tomorrow (which he actually could; when not on the air, he's made a fortune in real estate, though he still negotiates a $300,000 annual salary for the radio gig on general principles).

He's coming off a three-month enforced hiatus, after he didn't renew his contract with his old radio station --- the first all-sports radio station in town, WEEI --- and management there decided not to see if Eddie would spray them with insults on their own air, the way Imus did when they canceled their contract to carry his show. (They covered the insults on the Boston broadcast with a tape loop saying "Imus sucks", over and over. And over. Is Boston the only town where the sports media itself is as much of a soap opera as any of the teams?). He's still working on new gimmicks and getting settled, but with new Red Sox management in place, a ridiculous trumped-up controversy swirling around slugger Manny Ramirez, and the future of everything from the stadium to the manager very unsettled, he'll be in full cry.


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