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  1. #1
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    Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    By Dan Caesar

    Of the Post-Dispatch

    01/07/2005





    It didn't take long in the new year for fireworks to erupt in the local sports media.

    Rams radio broadcaster Jack Snow, who also appears on football programs on KFNS (590 AM, 100.7 FM), created one of the biggest stirs in recent years when he called another KFNS show to take some of the station's hosts to task for not being on the Rams' bandwagon.

    The tirade was directed at host Kevin Slaten, who took the call Monday - the first business day of 2005 - in his afternoon drive-time program. Also a target of the outburst was KFNS morning show co-host Tim McKernan. Snow used profanity (which station management said was bleeped out with the 7 1/2- second delay that applies to its talk shows), as he lashed away.

    "You got it, Slaten?" Snow said in an extremely angry tone as he defended his support of the team and blasted Slaten for questioning the legitimacy of the Rams despite the fact they made the playoffs. "You understand, rubber band?"

    Snow pointedly asked Slaten.

    Snow also ripped Slaten for criticizing Nick Burley, who is active now but was on the practice squad for much of the season, and struggling with the pronunciation of his name.

    "If you came to practice, you'd know who Nick Burley is," Snow curtly said.

    Snow, who appeared earlier in the day on the station, also took a shot at others at KFNS: "I already did two shows with a bunch of yo-yos like you," he told Slaten.

    The outbursts came in two sessions - Snow called the first time, then hung up. He was called back and returned to the air briefly before hanging up again.

    Snow, who also works for the Rams, said in an interview that he was set off by comments along the lines of "why do the Rams need a ticker-tape parade for getting into the playoffs with a .500 record?"

    "We made the playoffs, for crying out loud," Snow said. "We've been struggling all year; there has been a lot of controversy. So you'd think people would be happy that we made the playoffs. Why can't we be happy?"

    Snow said he took the criticism personally.

    "Don't take a shot at my ballclub," he said. "The Rams are like my extended family, they're my surrogate boys. I'm not going to have a clown like Kevin (rip them). He can rip Mizzou or others all he wants, but don't slander our team - we're in the playoffs."

    Snow, who also said "damn it" on the air during the Rams broadcast Sunday while they were allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown, added that the stronger obscenity he uttered while talking to Slaten was "added verbiage in the heat of the moment."

    On the air, Slaten called Snow "a coward" for hanging up and lashed into him.

    "Jack, have a spine," Slaten said. "Quit being a shill (for the Rams). Stay on and debate the issue. ... The only yo-yo, Jack, is you."

    But Snow said he had a reason for hanging up, that he wanted to give Slaten "a taste of his own medicine. You know how Kevin is. So I thought, 'I'm going to do to you what you do to all your callers who don't agree with you - hang up on them.' I gave him some of his own treatment, and he didn't like it."

    Slaten said he was blindsided by Snow, that he thought Snow was kidding at the start of their conversation.

    "It came out of nowhere," Slaten said. "I've never in all the years I've been doing these kind of shows been personally attacked on the air like that. And it comes from somebody you work with! It was totally unprofessional. I would never do anything like that. To attack someone and curse is totally unprofessional. And the profanity issue is really something you can't do as a professional broadcaster."

    Snow said he apologized to McKernan, saying "I was out of line with Timmy."

    But he said nothing of the sort is in store for Slaten. "Absolutely not,"

    Snow said. "I regret it happened, but not that I called him out."

    Slaten he said he doesn't want an apology from Snow, saying, "It would mean nothing to me coming from a shill like him."

    Snow also took a shot at the Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz for his Monday column about the Rams.

    "Bernie and Kevin and all of them - it's OK for those guys to express their opinions," Snow said. "But I'm wrong to express mine, which is 'Don't slam our team - we're in the playoffs.' It's as simple as that."

    On Friday, former KFNS talk-show host Andy Van Slyke was on the station and took shots at a couple of current employees. It used to be that the venom- spewing between local sports-talk show hosts was directed at people on competing stations (Brian McKenna-Mike Claiborne, McKenna-John Hadley, Jon Sloane and anybody at KMOX, etc). But not anymore.

    KFNS program director Rob Weingarten said he was not happy about the in- fighting, but added no one is being disciplined.

    "It reminds me of sitting in the car when I was a kid and listening to my parents argue and I just put my hands over my ears," Weingarten said. "Family arguments get more heated than others. But outside of saying, 'Let's keep this kind of stuff off the air in the future,' no other action is being taken."

    Weingarten tried to lighten the situation, saying some people thought the incident was a stunt to boost ratings.

    "I wish I was that smart," Weingarten said, grinning. "I really do."

    Martz mania

    Mike Martz, with his offbeat approach and controversial decisions, is like candy for the NFL television analysts - they just can't get enough of the Rams' coach.

    All three networks that televise the NFL weighed in Sunday.

    CBS: In an interview conducted by reporter Armen Keteyian that aired in the pregame show, Keteyian asked Martz if the criticism he gets bothers him.

    "I don't read it and I don't hear it," Martz said. "That was a lesson I learned, you don't read stuff and you don't look at the TV and all that stuff. As long as you have your players and they believe in what you're doing, that's why you do it anyway. Public opinion, and particularly sportscasters, you know, nobody knows what you do better than you do. So any comments are usually done without knowledge. If you start to let somebody's judgment outside this team affect how you make decisions, then you don't deserve this job."

    After the interview aired, analyst Boomer Esiason took a shot. Esiason had been in St. Louis a few days before to broadcast the Rams-Eagles game on radio.

    "He's a big reason they won the Super Bowl when he became their offensive coordinator," Esiason said. "No question about that. He's maddening, he's frustrating, at times he can be refreshing. But ... last Monday night down on the field before the game, they're not happy with him, the way that he's acted on the sideline. The way that he put Chris Chandler out there and basically exposed him to the press. Normally coaches don't do that, and players don't like that."

    Fox: Analyst Jimmy Johnson stuck up for Martz, albeit with a caveat.

    "I like Mike Martz and think he is a great offensive coach," Johnson said. "I do wish that he could find someone that he likes and trusts enough to run the game management, but I think he is great with the media and great for the league. I want him to remain as head coach of the Rams."

    ESPN: Commentator Tom Jackson had the most harsh view of all.

    When the subject of "worst coaching decision in the NFL this season" was being discussed, Jackson said, "anytime Mike Martz did anything on the field."

    Ratings game

    The Rams' scintillating overtime victory Sunday, which earned them a playoff slot, drew their biggest television rating of the season. The telecast on KMOV (Channel 4) was seen in 31.7 percent of area homes with a TV, according to Nielsen Media Research. The figure for the tail end of the game was 37.

    That was the only game all year to break the 30 rating mark. Last year, every Rams telecast was in the 30s. This season the average rating was 26.2, lowest since a 15.8 figure in 1998, the year before the Rams' rise to prominence.




  2. #2
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    I have always respected Jack Snow and love his coments on the web feed.

    This article does nothing to diminish the respect


  3. #3
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    It is nice to see at least one local media source stand up for the team.

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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    thats just what I was thinking Jason.
    I am begining to have a healthy dislike for the St Louis media


  5. #5
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Jack is a life long RAM player,and fan like the rest of us.
    It's refreashing to have someone of his stature in the media sticking up for our team.

    Here's to you Jack! :ramlogo:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  6. #6
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    I'm a big Jack Snow fan. Those clowns are lucky he gives them the time of day.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Jack Snow rocked as a Ram player and he rocks as an analyst.

    Go get 'em buddy.....
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  8. #8
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    I'm a big Jack Snow fan. Those clowns are lucky he gives them the time of day.
    I concur. Now I know why I dislike the ESPN crew soo much. Jackson and Berman or neck and neck followed by Young. I use to feel sorry for him when he sat on the bench in whinerville. Not anymore.
    Socrates: Surf to live! and Live to Surf!

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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    I like Snow and I like his attitude. I'd rather have passion with a little blowup here and there than no passion.

    We use to always play the radio during the game because it is so much better than the network show. I wish I lived close enough to get some of the local commentary from the radio. They had some clips with Snow on here in Virginia this year and he sounded intelligent and entertaining to me.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Here's my take on St. Louis sports media. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, this is just my opinion. The St. Louis media don't have a lot to pick on when it comes to the Cardinals. They've always been overachievers, have good team chemistry, good front office management, good on-field management, good public relations...in other words, there's been little to pick on the Cardinals. And you know how sports media think, if they're not reporting doom and gloom they think they're not doing their job. So in steps the Rams with their multiple quirks and now every sports "reporter" in town thinks they have to hack away at the Rams in order to show their "legitimicy".

    With a few exceptions most of them are hacks and Snow called one out. I for one am glad he did. Way to go, Jack.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Kevin Who?

    Tell you what -- after the Rams defeated the Seahawks today in the NFC playoffs, I don't need to hear this Slaten nonsense!

    If anyone has a problem with Jack Snow, they have a problem with me first!

    He may not be the world's keenest radio sportscaster but he's sure a Ram diehard, and made MANY a fine contribution to our play. I remember well...

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    Re: Sparks fly as Snow, Slaten have it out

    Slaten

    The RAMS WON AND SNOW WAS RIGHT

    I am glad Snow called your sorry arse out.

    Its about time the st louis media got behind this team and stopped whining at every little thing


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