World Cup Soccer Has Impact Straight from the Top
June 30, 2014

On Wednesday morning, our little town radio station where I work had a big time staff meeting. On Tuesday afternoon we were told the meeting was to be at 9:30, and don't be late. I normally come in at 10, so I made sure I wouldn't forget, arrived on time, and found out the meeting was to introduce a new General Manager.

No one knew we were getting a new General Manager, or that the station was even looking for one. My boss, whose title I believe was Station Manager (the New York Rangers fan I've mentioned before), didn't get fired, but was essentially demoted, and no one as of yet has lost their jobs. The new GM, in his introductory speech at the meeting, said he would wait awhile before making any changes.

Other then kicking the Rangers fan out of his office, making him move to the Production Director's office, the Production Director to a desk in a bull pen area, and kicking a part timer out of that desk and into one in the newsroom which used to be mine until my computer crashed and I moved to another one, nothing major has happened. Yet.

Most of us have been walking on eggshells, but at least the new GM is a sports fan. On Thursday, the day after the meeting, he made his first executive decision. The United States was battling Germany in World Cup Soccer, with Team USA trying to advance to the Round of 16. When Germany scored to make it 1-nil, the new guy insisted we break into programming and announce it on the air.

I'm a sports guy, I was okay with it, but I have no idea how many people in Grass Valley care about the World Cup. It wasn't the United States that scored, and the program we were running was Rush Limbaugh. It used to be that if anyone broke into the Rush Limbaugh program for any reason, listeners would immediately assume it was some left-wing media wacko conspiracy, and go crazy. Apparently, there aren't as many of those people anymore, but we did get a couple of comments on our website, thinking the move was silly.

The Americans are at it again on the soccer pitch in Brazil tomorrow. The United States faces Belgium with a trip to the quarterfinals at stake. The game will be played in the afternoon, so Rush Limbaugh fans are safe. Clark Howard could be interrupted during the 2 o'clock hour, but I'm sure it won't be in the middle of a crucial money-saving tip or his 'Clark-rageous' moment.

As for the new guy, interrupting Rush for a soccer score is the best thing he's done since joining the station. All of us just hope he's easing into the job, and he won't make another executive decision for quite awhile.

A cool honor for a cool guy: Saturday night, the Marysville Gold Sox honored their manager with Jack Johnson Bobblehead Night. The first thousand fans got the commemorative figurine, and the Gold Sox won the game 4-3 on, appropriately enough, a bobbled fly ball in the eighth inning. Not too many guys get their own bobblehead, but Johnson deserves it. He is in his eighth season as manager, and has won over 250 games. He's the closest thing to Crash Davis from the movie Bull Durham as you can get—having been a minor league catcher for nine seasons. In addition to managing the Gold Sox, Johnson is an eighth grade teacher, a fixture in the community, and I'm proud to call him a friend. I was a little disappointed in the announced crowd Saturday (just over 1100), but it was still a neat thing to be a part of.

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