Friday, July 8, 2011

Rise Guys are gone and mornings won't be the same for Kings fans

I have to admit, one of my biggest enjoyments as a Kings fan was listening to The Rise Guys in the morning on KHTK as they broke down the games.

It was always fun to listen to them after an especially excruciating loss or an exhilarating win.

They were refreshing and funny and insightful.  And that's a rare commodity in this town, especially at a sports station that specializes in a boorish afternoon host with no sense of humor and a squad of dull lackeys who man the pre- and post-game radio shows.

Whitey Gleason, Phantom, and my old cohort Mark Kreidler were the only place to turn to get a sense of the real pulse of this NBA town.

The point guard for the past decade has been Whitey, an every-man fan who ran the show with skill, satire and precision, dishing out assists to his partners.  Phantom was always the sardonic realist,  his bone-dry humor always piercing the conversation. And Kreidler, who just joined the team this year, was the intellectual rationalist.

It was fun.  And interesting.  And the only real place to turn for entertaining Sacramento sports talk.

Now they are gone (at least Whitey and Kreidler), off to San Francisco radio and a new adventure.

And we are left with Don Geronimo in the morning.  He'll be moving from his afternoon slot.   And for me at least, I'm a little underwhelmed.

I used to be a big fan of the Don and Mike Show.  It was must listening for me in the mid-nineties.  It was silly, immature stupid fun.  I thought listening to Don weave his stories was endlessly fascinating.

Unfortunately, that may not be the case anymore.

Although he's still a compelling voice in radio, his schtick hasn't evolved much and the naughty boy act seems a little old and fraying.

I'm sure he'll still have an audience in the morning.  And maybe he'll be bigger than ever.  That's not the point. The point is the loss of a show that gave Kings fans somewhere to turn when they woke up with a hangover after watching the team fumble away another loss.  Or someplace to exult when somehow there was hope again.

My Kings mornings won't be the same without the Rise Guys.