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

658634.jpg

(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

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Five Things to Watch: Bulls in Detroit for fourth game in five nights on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Coyotes tonight on CSN+

Despite Chris Sale rumors, White Sox say they have contingencies in place for a rebuild

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

Slow start to fourth dooms Bulls in loss to Blazers

Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knows 'it will be very hard to trade' Chris Sale

Cubs: The next steps for Kyle Schwarber

Rajon Rondo used foul language with Bulls assistant coaches following loss to Mavs

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Living well is indeed the best revenge, and sometimes nothing feels sweeter than proving doubters wrong. Akiem Hicks is savoring that exact feeling.

When the New Orleans Saints made Hicks their third-round pick in the 2013 draft, they typecast their big (6-5, 318 pounds) young defensive lineman as a one-trick pony.

“There were people in New Orleans that said, ‘You can’t rush the passer,’” Hicks recalled after the Bears’ win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. “They told me from my rookie year, ‘You’re going to be a run-stopper.’”

This despite Hicks collecting 6.5 sacks and 3 pass breakups as a senior at Regina in Canada. The Saints forced Hicks into the slot they’d decided he fit – nose tackle – then eventually grew disenchanted with him and traded him to New England last year – where he collect 3 sacks in spot duty.

Interestingly, Bears GM Ryan Pace was part of the Saints’ personnel operation. Whether Pace agreed with coaches’ handling of Hicks then isn’t known, but when Pace had the chance to bring Hicks to Chicago for a role different than the one the Saints forced Hicks into, Pace made it happen.

Pace likely saw those New England sacks as a foreshadowing or a sign that the New Orleans staff had miscast Hicks. The Bears defensive end now is under consideration for NFC defensive player of the week after his 10-tackle performance against San Francisco. Signing with the Bears last March 13 as a free agent was the career break Hicks has craved. For him it was a career lifeline.

“They have given me the ability to go rush the passer,” Hicks said. “So I love this organization – [GM] Ryan Pace, coach Fox, Vic [Fangio, defensive coordinator] – for just giving a guy the capability to put it out there and do what you feel like you can do.”

[MORE BEARS: Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved]

Hicks has been showing what he can do, to quarterbacks. For him the best part of win over the 49ers was the two third-quarter sacks of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Those sacks gave the massive lineman, who the Saints said couldn’t rush the passer, 6 sacks for the season – more than any member of the Saints defense this season. It has been a classic instance of putting a player in position to maximize his skills, not jam someone into a bad fit.

“Akiem has been in a couple of different types of packages before with New Orleans and New England,” said coach John Fox. The Patriots switched from a long-time 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 but “we’re more of a New England-type style. But we’re playing him more at end; he played mostly a nose tackle [in New Orleans]. He’s fit really well for us as far as his physical stature.

"But he does have pass rush ability. It shows a little about his athleticism. So he’s got a combination of both.”

That “combination” has been allowed to flourish at a new level, and the Bears’ plan for Hicks was the foundation of why he wanted to sign in Chicago as a free agent. The Bears do not play their defensive linemen in a clear one-gap, get-upfield-fast scheme tailored to speed players. Nor do they play a classic two-gap, linemen-control-blockers scheme typically built on three massive space-eaters on the defensive line.

They play what one player has called a “gap and a half” system, which requires being stout as well as nimble.

One Hicks rush on Kaepernick featured a deft spin move out of a block, not the norm for 336-pound linemen. He got one sack with a quick slide out of a double-team.

“I’m not freelancing,” Hicks said. “But I’m rushing ‘fast.’ There’s a portion of the defense where you have the [run] responsibility and don’t have the freedom or liberty [to rush]. It’s a great system for me and I love what they’ve let me do.”