Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti: Unsung Heroes of Radio

Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti: Unsung Heroes of Radio

I don’t really listen to music when I’m driving in my car — I like to learn while I drive, and I prefer podcasts related to my industry and life.

But if I’m not listening to a podcast, it’s sports-talk radio.

Recently, I wrote a piece on the demise of the American-based operations of 89X, the alternative radio station in Detroit. And if you’ve known me for a while, you know my dad worked in radio for 25 years, and my musical aspirations were inspired at an early age by being with him at concerts and at his radio station.

Needless to say, radio and music, and the production of each, has been a part of my life for decades.

And at a time when streaming is taking over, and terrestrial radio is dying, I’ve found two reasons for fans of great radio to tune in daily: Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti.

Patrick and Valenti are two guys in the sports-talk radio world who I believe are doing radio the right way, two gentlemen who, in my opinion, are unsung heroes in the radio industry today.

Content is King

Think about it: How often these days are you watching TV or listening to the radio, and there is a filler topic, or something which is obviously intended to provoke a reaction (or simply be controversial) instead of educate?

Most sports-talk radio hosts are infamous for filling time with silly, catch-all topics — “Hey, gang! What’s your favorite soup in the wintertime?? We’ve got open lines, people!!”

Instead, Patrick and Valenti look for ways to move a current story forward.

If there are multiple ways a story can unfold, they want the result that gives them the most beneficial content for their audience. They are rooting for radio. If a story is dead, they find the next best story which will resonate with the majority of their audience.

Rather than grab for the low-hanging fruit, Patrick and Valenti choose to elevate the conversation.

That’s not to say they don’t joke around like kids on a school bus from time to time. But they pick their spots. They know that simply being goofy for goofy’s sake isn’t what great radio is about.

Great radio is about CONTENT!

Authenticity Resonates

Both The Dan Patrick Show and The Mike Valenti Show are well-produced, and the show’s producers are part of the on-air (and on-screen) activity. The whole crew knows that content is the name of the game, and they work within their unique abilities to deliver the goods again and again.

And everyone’s personality is encouraged, rather than tamped down and made to fit into a corporate mold. Over time, you get to know their individual personalities. (Even Katy Perry has her favorites on The Dan Patrick Show.)

Dan and Mike are the bosses, and they set the tone. They’ve earned their clout by being their authentic selves, standing by their team, and being inclusive of all of their listeners, save trolls.

Most importantly, they tell the truth to their audience, no matter how painful.

Valenti is the first one to tell a Detroiter that any of their teams stinks. For example, even though he went to Michigan State, he’s not a “Sparty Slappy” — when MSU is garbage (which they’re going to be for a while), he lets you know, with no regret in his heart.

As a result of being forthcoming with the truth and delivering great content on a consistent basis, Valenti’s show has been the highest-rated sports-talk show in Metro Detroit for years, amassing among the best local ratings of any show in the country.

Thought Leadership

In this Age of Spin, so many talking heads maintain a contrarian position in order to sustain attention (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless).

Patrick and Valenti keep our ears (and eyes) glued by way of their authenticity, their encyclopedic sports minds, their ability to ask the right questions to get to the right answers, their standards of radio excellence, their nods to relevant pop culture, and their depth of knowledge of the human condition.

In my view, sports are the ultimate reality TV. It doesn’t get more real than sports.

Anyone can analyze what’s going to possibly happen to Rick Grimes in the next episode of The Walking Dead all they want, but they must acknowledge that they’re analyzing a fiction which has already been written — the next episode is already produced!

Sports are, for the most part, unpredictable, and athletes are real people, making real money, in a real industry, affected by the real culture we live in. They’re not following a script (unless you count the WWE).

The Dan Patrick Show and The Mike Valenti Show are my Talking Dead.

The greatest athletes in sports are human beings who: made personal sacrifices to pursue their dreams; set goals to achieve measurable growth to take their careers to the next level; remain accountable to themselves, their coaches, and their teammates; built a reputation for excellence at their craft; spent countless hours of time learning, training, and practicing to be one of the best; operate with a high level of intensity; respect the game they play, and the players involved, including their opponents.

The same can be said of Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti and their respective crews. They are thought leaders in their industry. They’re at the top of their game right now, and they deserve your attention.

Because they may not be around much longer.

An article in last week’s Detroit News says Mike Valenti is being courted in New York City to take over for Mike Francesa at WFAN. This makes sense, considering Valenti’s on-air partner of nearly two decades left the show in April for medical reasons; the only team with immediate impact potential in town — the Detroit Lions — severed broadcasting ties with the station due to Valenti’s criticism; and Valenti isn’t renewing his MSU football season tickets due to their level of suck.

As for Dan Patrick, he has had several surgeries in recent years, and often jokes about retirement.

My point is, these guys aren’t going to be operating in the same capacity at some point, and I don’t know if anyone is going to be able to fill their shoes.

They are unique personalities. And they are true radio men, with values concerning much more than just their show’s ratings.

If you’re not into sports, that’s cool. My girlfriend isn’t into sports at all, and even she watches The Dan Patrick Show with me. Mind you, I don’t force her! She just likes the show and is entertained by it, and I’m grateful she prefers it to the network morning shows with their fake glee.

But the bottom line is, whether you like sports or not: If you want to be entertained but not pandered to, all while enjoying two radio titans riding the crest of the wave of their industry, tune in!

The Dan Patrick Show (9am-12pm EST)

The Mike Valenti Show (2pm-6pm EST)

#DanPatrick #DPShow #MikeValenti #radio

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Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
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Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Castlevania on Netflix

Castlevania on Netflix

It wasn’t supposed to be good.

Instead, it’s great, and I’m late to the party.

Are you??

Many people I know have been saying how great it is, but they’ve oversold and overhyped things before, so I took it with a grain of salt.

And most video-game-based movies and TV shows are not good, and vice-versa.

So I started watching Castlevania reluctantly, expecting the hype to be overblown.

But it’s not! Before the title screen in the first episode, you’re hooked!

The Hook

Let me set the scene…

Dracula, alone in his castle, receives an unexpected guest — Lisa, a headstrong woman seeking forbidden knowledge in order to become a doctor and aid the weak and helpless throughout the land.

Dracula mistakes her for another would-be witch trying to fool the peasants, to which Lisa scoffs, saying everybody else already does that, but she believes in science, not superstition.

He sneaks up behind her, whispering in her ear, seductively asking what she has to “trade” for access to his knowledge. Lisa pulls away from him and says perhaps she could help him relearn some manners.

Dracula warms to her, and takes her into his laboratory. Lisa is awed at what she sees inside.

“They won’t be peasants anymore if you teach them. They won’t live such short, scared lives if they have real medicine. They won’t be superstitious if they learn how the world really works,” says Lisa.

With a slight laugh, Dracula says, “Why should I do that??”

“To make the world better,” replies Lisa as a matter of fact. (If Castlevania was set in 2017, Lisa would have added a “Duh!” at the end — it’s set in 15th century Wallachia, a town in Romania.)

She adds, “Start with me, and I’ll start with you.”

The Narrative

Do you see what’s happening here???

First, it doesn’t get more ‘white, male oligarch’ than Dracula.

Second, Lisa values science above superstition and ignorance, and isn’t afraid to walk right up to the door of the most powerful man in the world, and ask for the keys to his secrets in the name of the greater good — when he tries to grab-her-by-the-…neck, she calls him rude and says she’ll help him relearn how to be a better human being!

Dracula reforms. He falls in love with Lisa. They marry.

Fast-forward twenty years, and a corrupt bishop has Lisa burned at the stake as a witch.

This is all before the title screen!

So, there’s the setup, and the plot develops over the four episodes in the first season, and centers around ensuring Dracula doesn’t wipe out humanity in a vengeful rage.

But then there’s the underlying narrative.

Feminism…religious ignorance…science deniers…oppression…war…

Even Big Data is a subject: without giving anything important away, there is a certain group of people who place great value on speaking and saying things to each other and remembering what was said, passing it down through generations, rather than writing it down for posterity. (It’s a commentary on our bureaucracy- and social media-driven culture, and how we feel compelled to document everything.)

But the biggest narrative is that of oligarchs in power suppressing the populace by withholding knowledge and information, and using violence to extinguish any would-be agents of change, of progress.

As the fire engulfs Lisa, the mayor of Wallachia approaches the bishop, revealing that he too has dabbled in some minor science studies from time to time — but just studies; he assures the bishop he would never think to actually practice such things.

The bishop looks at the mayor sternly and says, “The Archbishop would prefer that life in Wallachia be kept simple, Mayor,” as Lisa screams in agony.

“…simple.”

The Verdict

The show is a referendum on the rich and powerful’s attempt to keep the world in the dark, to keep wisdom from people lest they use it to make their lives better, to make the world better.

And it’s a referendum on religious ignorance.

Both are relevant now, and you can finish the whole season in less than two hours…

Watch it!

https://www.netflix.com/title/80095241

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.