(Even More) 5 Questions with...Steve Dahl

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(Even More) 5 Questions with...Steve Dahl

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guestHeeees Baaaacck!...and back by popular demand for his third 5 Questions with interview no lesshes a Chicago broadcasting legend, podcasting pioneer, innovator, trendsetter, etcthat list can go on foreverfans can catch him hosting the 24th annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes on February 13 LIVE on Comcast SportsNet (coverage begins at 7:00 PM)theres just no one like him (and thats a good thing!)here are EVEN MORE 5 Questions withSTEVE DAHL!

BIO: Steve Dahl was raised in the sand, surf and sun of Southern California that has inspired so many musicians, artists and comedians. From his first taste of broadcasting at a local underground station, Steve was drawn to broadcasting and knew he wanted to share his voice and thoughts with the world. At the age of 16, Steve dropped out of high school to work full-time at the station and it was here that his 40 plus year of entertaining began.

Steve got his first morning show gig in Detroit in 1975 and his popularity skyrocketed. His everyman approach to comedy drew all kinds of people towards him. His immediate likability and the ratings of his show led to him being lured to Chicago and a bigger market. He moved to Chicago and adopted the city and its people as his own. Steve was an immediate fixture in the radio, television, sports and comedy worlds in Chicago. Disco Demolition, in July 1979, was a radio promotion that turned into an iconic event that landed Steve on the national radar. Steve teamed up with Garry Meier and the two skyrocketed to the head of the class in Chicago radio. With antics like airing his own vasectomy to shows like Greetings from Graceland, Steve constantly was ahead of his time. Steve and Garry eventually parted ways, but their mark on comedy and broadcasting is still influencing new talent today.

Called the Founder of Modern FM Talk Radio, Steves career has influenced countless other comedians and broadcasters. Steve has always been able to see ahead of his own time and be the first to try new ideas and technology. For this reason, in 2009, Steve chose to begin working with a new medium, podcasts. Podcasting allowed his listeners access to his show and daily antics whenever and wherever they would like to listen.

In August 2011, Steve began offering his show as a subscription-based podcast. As one of the first podcasters to adopt this model, Steve is once again paving the way by introducing this model as the future of broadcasting. Steve and his show, the DahlCast, have never sounded better. Not bound by corporate radio structure, Steve is able to operate an uncensored, commercial-free daily show that gives his listeners pure, unadulterated Dahl-style entertainment. With guests that include local Chicago sports and media personalities, comedians, writers and television personalities, Steves listeners are treated to a different slice of Steves life every day. In December 2011, Steve brought fellow Chicago radio personality, Kevin Matthews, into his family of podcasts and created the Steve Dahl Network. The network continues to grow and will announce more shows in early 2012. As it turns out, Chicago also has sand, surf and sun, and ironically, Steve Dahl has once again gone underground as he does his daily show from his basement.

1) CSNChicago.com: Steve, thanks for coming back for your third 5 Questions with interview. With the first two being such big hits, which has provided our readers with even more insight into your always-entertaining thoughts, a third interview was inevitable. On to the questionsback in the fall, you made a well-publicized decision to forgo heading back to terrestrial radio and further concentrate all efforts on your successful podcasting empire, but at a monthly cost to your listeners. Has the subscription model youve created lived up to your expectations so far and, if not, what plans do you have to bring in those longtime fans that may be skeptical at the moment of listening to you via the pay route?
Dahl: So far, things have gone pretty much as I had expected. We have a very good core of subscribers, so I know it works. Getting the word out to those fans who have stopped listening to the radio because of the either their schedule or the fact that it sucks is my 1 priority. Podcasting is the perfect medium for personality. There are no commercials and no restrictions on content. I am actually putting EXACTLY what I want to say out there every day for 90 minutes to two hours. It's also way easier and accessible than it sounds. There are so many ways to listen, and as a fan, you don't miss anything. With our Steve Dahl Show app, you can even listen at 2X speed. It takes out all of my dramatic pauses, but it's a very efficient way to listen to the show.

2) CSNChicago.com: I know I speak for thousands upon thousands of your fans saying that it is just absolutely ridiculous that youre not in the National Radio Hall of Fame. Does it ever bother you that youre not in there or does it even matter to you since you and your fans know what youve brought to the industry over all these years?

Dahl: Not really. I guess it used to a little bit when the nomination was handed out by their Board of Directors, but now that they have fans vote, it seems like a stupid radio contest. I am not going to hound people to put me into the HOF. Imagine if getting into Cooperstown was done by popular vote and the player had to solicit himself to get the votes. It's ludicrous and embarrassing. At this point, it's more fun to be excluded than it is to be in it. I like making fun of it. BTW: There is a Disco Demolition exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, so that's good enough for me.

3) CSNChicago.com: Checking out your tweets during the premiere airing of the Lifetime movie biopic Drew Peterson: Untouchable was pricelessbut that actor who portrayed you, yikes! As someone who has interviewed Peterson numerous times before he headed to prison, what did you think of Rob Lowes portrayal of himand what was your immediate reaction when you saw the guy attempting to portray you?

Dahl: I thought that Rob Lowe was spectacular as Drew Peterson, and having met Drew, I feel that Rob really captured he creep factor. I really wish that CBS Radio had let me go through with The Win a Date with Drew bit. I would have been able to get a lot of good publicity for myself (which they always failed to provide) and I NEVER would have sent anybody on a date with him. It would have been a chance to cross-examine him a little bit, maybe get him angry and see a different side of his personality.

Ultimately, CBS didn't trust me, and they forced me to say that it was all a joke, and that I was never really going to do it. It wasn't. I could have really done something memorable with it, but they chickened out. As for the guy who portrayed me, if I sounded like that, I would ask that somebody put a gun in my mouth and blow my brains out.

4) CSNChicago.com: As one of our citys biggest White Sox fans, weve seen a lot of changes this off-season on the southsidenone bigger than Ozzie Guillen taking his talents to South Beach and fan favorite Robin Ventura taking over as the teams new manager. What are your expectations for the Sox this season?

Dahl: I like Robin and I think he will be a good manager. He knows baseball and he seems like he'll be able to keep things in the clubhouse on an even keel. What more experience do you need than that? I think that will be good for the team. If Dunn and Rios can get it together, I still think the Sox have a pretty good team. I will miss Buehrle though.

5) CSNChicago.com: Congrats again to you and your wife Janet on the birth of your first grandchild over the summer. Many people have said becoming a first-time grandparent is even more fulfilling than becoming a first-time parent. Would you agree?

Dahl: I have to say that I was reticent to wear the Grandfather mantle, but it has been really fun so far. Henry seems to like me, and soon I'll be wearing diapers and eating strained food, so I feel that we relate on that level as well.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: We couldnt be happier that youll be back hosting the annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes (Feb. 13 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers) for a record FIFTH-STRAIGHT year (look out Billy Crystal). Your support over all these years couldnt be more appreciated. Any insight to what attendees and viewers at home can expect from you this year? Do tellso we can alert management as soon as possible.

Dahl: Im going to go all Ricky Gervais on everybody, so be ready for that.

Dahl LINKS

Official Steve Dahl website

Subscribe to Dahl.coms Dahlcasts

Steve Dahl on iTunes

Steve Dahl on Facebook

Steve Dahl on Twitter

24th annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

MESA, Ariz. – On an October night where you could literally feel Wrigley Field shaking, Brett Anderson fired off a message on his personal Twitter account: "Real classy cubs fans throwing beer in the Dodgers family section. Stay classy f------ idiots."
 
The Cubs had just clinched their first National League pennant since the year World War II ended, beating Clayton Kershaw and playing as close to a perfect game as they had all season. Anderson kept up the entertaining commentary during the World Series, previewing Game 7 – "We can all agree that we're happy it's not Joe West behind the plate tomorrow" – and tweaking his future manager: "Aroldis (Chapman) might puke on the mound from exhaustion." 
 
In another generation, a veteran pitcher might walk into a new clubhouse and wonder about any awkwardness with a hitter he once drilled with a fastball or some bad blood from a bench-clearing brawl. But overall today's players share the same agents, work out together in the same warm-weather offseason spots and understand the transient nature of this business. When pregame batting practice is filled with fist bumps, bro hugs and small talk between opponents, it becomes trying to remember what you said on social media. 
 
"I'm kind of a sarcastic ass on Twitter," Anderson said Monday. "I kind of sit back and observe. I'm not a huge talker in person. But I can kind of show some of my personality and candor on some of those things.
 
"You look at stuff (when) you get to a new team. I'm like: ‘Wow, man, did I say anything about anybody that's going to piss them off?' But I think the only thing I said about the players is that Kyle (Hendricks) looks like he could have some Oreos and milk after pitching in the World Series. 
 
"But that's kind of the guy he is. Just the calmness that he shows is something that we can all try to strive for."
 
Anderson essentially broke the news of his signing – or at least tipped off the media to look for confirmations – with a "Wheels up to Chicago" tweet in late January. The Cubs guaranteed $3.5 million for the chance to compete against Mike Montgomery and see which lefty can grab the fifth-starter job. Anderson could max out with $6.5 million more in incentives if he makes 29 starts this season. 
 
After undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back last March, Anderson made three starts and didn't earn a spot on the NLCS roster.  
 
"I obviously wasn't in the stands," Anderson said. "Supposedly from what I was told – it could be a different story – but there was just some beers thrown on where the families were. I'm going to stick to my family and my side.  
 
"I wasn't calling out the whole stadium. (It wasn't): ‘Screw you, Cubs fans.' It was just the specific (incident) – whoever threw the beers on the family section. Everybody has their fans that are kind of rowdy and unruly.

[SHOP: Get your Cubs gear right here] 
 
"That just happened to be a situation. But you like those people on your side. I played in Oakland, and they had some of the rowdiest fans. In the playoffs, it seemed like ‘The Black Hole' for the Raiders games.
 
"You have your bad seeds in every fan base. When people are rowdy and cheering on their team and have one too many beers, the next thing you know, you're throwing them.
 
"Just visiting (Wrigley), it's a fun crowd, because it's such an intimate setting and you feel like they're right on top of you and it's so loud." 
 
Imagine the matchup nightmare the Dodgers could've been if their pitching staff hadn't been so top-heavy and manager Dave Roberts could've confidently gone to someone other than Kershaw, Rich Hill or closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers had made Anderson the qualifying offer after a solid 2015 season – 10-9, 3.69 ERA, 180-plus innings, a 66.7 groundball percentage – and he grabbed the $15.8 million guarantee. 
 
Anderson turned around and did the knock-on-wood motion at his locker, saying he felt good after completing a bullpen session with catcher Willson Contreras at the Sloan Park complex. Anderson is a Tommy John survivor who's also gone on the disabled list for a stress fracture in his right foot, a broken left index finger and a separate surgery on his lower back.
 
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Anderson said. "When I'm healthy and able to go out there and do my work, I feel like I'm a pretty good pitcher. I don't think I've ever been able to put everything as a whole together in one season. I've had some good spots – and some good seasons here and there – but hopefully I can put it all together and have a healthy season and do my part."
 
The Cubs are such a draw that Shane Victorino signed a minor-league deal here last year – even with more than $65 million in career earnings and even after a fan dumped a beer on him while he tried to catch a flyball at Wrigley Field in 2009.   
 
Anderson wanted to play for a winner and understood the organization's pitching infrastructure. He saw his pitching style as a match for the unit that led the majors in defensive efficiency last year. He was even intrigued by Camp Maddon and the wacky stunts in Mesa.  
 
"It's obviously an uber-talented group," Anderson said. "(It's also) seeing the fun that they're having. I'm more on the calm and cerebral side, but I think doing some of the things that these guys have in store for me will hopefully open me up a little bit and break me out of my shell. 
 
"'Uncomfortable' is a good word, especially for me. You don't want to get complacent. You don't want to get used to rehab. You want to go out there and do new things and try new things and meet new people and have new experiences. All things considered, the Cubs offered the best mix of everything."