- Keith Olbermann guesting with Dan Patrick for one hour: Yes, it's enough to remind anyone of what once made Sportscenter such great television (and enough of a reminder of what a joke it currently is). What's amazing to me is the chemistry these two still have. Truth be told, Olbermann could just run his own show for three hours, and Patrick simply has no reason to be on the radio alone (see the Worst below). But if you just listen for the one hour where they're together (1pm CST daily), it's far and away the best thing on the network. Plus it's also fun to think that today could be Keith's last day on ESPN Radio because you're always wondering if he's going to say that one little thing that may make management make this whole thing go away. Oh, and eventually you'll find yourself watching "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC, which I suppose is the ultimate point here.
- Colin Cowherd with Beano Cook: Cowherd's a marginal talent, and the uproar over when he took over for the brilliant radio host Tony Kornheiser is now legendary. The fact is Cowherd's strength is that he knows College Football like few others. He actually knows quite a bit about nearly EVERY team. And for whatever reason, he and Beano Cook have a Tony Soprano/Junior Soprano chemistry on the radio. Beano at times sounds jealous that Cowherd has the job he does, and a la Junior, he'll wax nostalgically about the history of college football, like when the dotting of the "i" at Ohio State first happened. They just work so well together with their love of all things college football. I couldn't stand Beano when he used to be on TV. But for twenty minutes a week (usually around 11:40 CST, either Wednesday or Thursday depending on the week), this segment just works for radio. Frankly I'm stunned at how much I enjoy listening to these two.
- Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell doing Sunday Night Baseball: The problem is, not every ESPN Radio affiliate carries these games. But for a national baseball radio broadcast, these two have developed into a great listen. Like Beano, I didn't care at all for "Soup" Campbell when he was on TV. If you can find them in your market, give these guys a listen. Certainly much better than having to hear Joe Morgan talk about how Billy Beane wrote Moneyball during the television broadcast.
- Any segment with the Dali Lama: Peter Gammons on radio ANYTIME of the year is perfect radio. The fact that we've had to go so long without hearing his voice -- or having him away from ESPN altogether -- just reminds of how much he's missed. He'll come on any show, any time, and always has the most compelling information on all things baseball related. Get well soony Peter -- and not just because it means a LOT less of Steve Phillips, who seems to want to be on every show giving his horrible analysis.
- The TELEVISION version of Mike & Mike: Let's face it, if this were just a radio show, it would begin to knaw at you (which it most certainly did when it first started). But put on ESPN2 during the morning and have this show on in the background. In this format, with the ESPN News like scroll at the bottom and stats and info shown with highlights on the screen, it somehow works. Not that anyone should have to suffer through their sophomoric "Just Shut Up" award, but on television it almost works as the Today Show of sports. And God knows it sure beats the hell out of watching Sportscenter repeats.
- Dan Patrick Sans Keith Olbermann or anyone else: Let's face it, Patrick just isn't a solo artist. He can't dance around on the radio by himself. It's excruciatingly awful. Dan will beat the same question to death to anyone he has on as a guest. One week, he asked EVERYONE if Mark McGwire would get their Hall of Fame vote. The next week, he asked EVERYONE what they thought about Tony Kornheiser on MNF. Hell, this week, he had to get Reggie Miller's input on Terrell Owens. That entire show, he asked EVERYONE what they thought of TO. And Patrick was so lost for material, he wound up replaying an earlier interview he did with Michael Irvin where the playmaker defended TO's actions. All because he said it was "great radio". Patrick -- without Olbermann -- couldn't judge great radio the same way Johnny Carson said that the SNL cast couldn't judge a fart at a bean fair.
- Anytime any announcer tries comedy: Please, just stop. NONE of you are funny, NONE of you are writing for even the worst sitcom on NBC. This never turns out remotely funny, and Patrick is so proud of some of his staff's efforst, he'll repeat them over and over. Just stop this now.
- Doug Gottlieb, Guest Host: Certainly the "Douger" as Cowherd calls him knows his college hoops. But why is he the go to guest host when somebody goes on vacation? Do we really need Gottlieb's opinion on who the AL MVP is?
- ESPN Hosts as Movie Critics: The reason this worked with Kornheiser's radio show is because he had an ACTUAL movie critic (Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post) on with him every week. And when Tony would chime in, he actually knew what he was talking about. Now, really all Dan Patrick wants you to know about are the stupid Adam Sandler movies he appears in. And enough already with having actors who are in sports movies come on as guests. Did we really need to hear David Spade, Rob Schneider and Napoleon Dynamite at the Super Bowl?
- Mike & Mike's "Just Shut Up" Award: Can't we just take this thing out back and put it out of it's misery already. I'm still stunned that this radio show has lasted as long as it has (I had to commute for an hour when the show first came on and it made me want to drive right into the nearest ditch). Can't there be a better or more unique way of calling out all the buffoons in the world of sports?