Cheap Seats: Farewell Mr. Tony

Archive: The Cheap Seats

Say it ain’t so Satchmo. Tell us that you were kidding and that you aren’t really leaving us. Tell us that come Monday morning we won’t have to be reminded of how good we used to have it from the hours of 10am to 1pm, when we were treated to the stories of one Mr. Tony. At least lie to us and tell us that like another bald, fat guy (Frosty) that you will be back again someday. But please don’t go…

You see, The Tony Kornheiser Show is more than just another show in the ESPN Radio lineup. For many of us, it was an escape from so many things. It was an escape from the world of sports talk radio when so many hosts rely on the athletes to carry their show or they use a language featuring words such as “grill, rack or chiclets” and those have nothing to do with the Food Network. It was an escape from a time in which everything is digital or electronic — a time where it seems I am neglecting my 3 year old daughter because she doesn’t yet have a cell phone that takes pictures and plays better music than the stereo in our house. For the three hours that we spent with Tony and his cast of characters: Andy Pollin, Chadd, Phil, The Duke and of course, Maggie the notorious roast beef/trash can wrangler, all the world was right. The only problems were from the bald, orange man behind the mic as he slowly found himself being forced into the high tech world where HDTV replaced his old TV and its need for picture tubes.

When it was first announced that Kornheiser’s radio show was coming to an end, I found myself getting angry with ESPN because I was sure that they were behind this change. A change that will leave many of us now scheduling appointments or actually working during the hours of 10am and 1pm. Time that was once reserved for a man that many call their friend even though they have never met the man who has touched so many, now stands empty. The anger toward ESPN has subsided and has been replaced with a sadness that would parallel that of losing a loved one. In some sense, we are losing a loved one. It is sad, but I know more about Tony, the aforementioned cast of characters and the show’s regular guests than I know my own secretary. That shouldn’t be surprising, for that is reason that so many love the bald, fat, orange man named Mr. Tony. He offered you a look into his life and we gladly accepted it. For the three hours we spent each day, we were given life stories that we took forth and shared or applied to our own lives. Personally, I will forever remember “Old Guy Radio” anytime a song older than me comes on the radio. Never before and never again will a “sports talk” radio show have so many dimensions nor will it have such a broad-based audience. But then again, this is the sports world, where comebacks have become a way of life.

So Tony, let me voice the sentiment of myself, the staff of as well as so many of your fans, when I say “thank you”. While your show will end today, you will continue on through the many stories you shared as well as the laughs you provided us. Just remember this as you hang up the headset at the close of the show…you will be missed.

Like the true American Idol you are…how about this? Kornheiser-out.

Nah? I didn’t think so.


Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Les Barnhart

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