Saturday, April 13, 2013

After the Warriors got fleeced by the LA Lakers in One of the Worst-Officiated NBA Games, KNBR's Ray Woodson Held Court; And that Was Good

In the immediate aftermath of one of the worst-officiated professional basketball games in NBA history, I decided to gauge the feelings of some well-earned, leather-lunged fans foaming at the bit to vent on KNBR.

The Warriors were just fleeced by the LA Lakers. Not outright purged, more like subdued by a referee crew that bore the wrath of even neutral fans on Twitter.

The Lakers went to the free-throw line fifty times; the Warriors a mere 16. The game was spectacular and ultra-exciting. Too bad it was marred by two separate events. A horrid night by the zebras and Kobe Bryant's likely gone-for-season due to injury. That alone prompted Twitter to go off the chart.

On Knibber, Ray Woodson, the host of "Sportsphone 680", was the perfect person behind the microphone. I've always liked Woodson. He was critical, obviously, of the absurdity just committed by the ludicrous NBA refs. But it was measured and cautionary and it didn't reek of any form of gimmicky faux outrage. And that's what made it so good and why Woodson should be the permanent host.

Woodson doesn't do a lot of yelling and screaming. He has a balanced and more civil tone. It doesn't insult listeners nor put you to sleep, but it does keep you listening. Woodson's dry sense of humor and occasional darts are good enough for the crowd. He doesn't need to resort to false shtick. It's especially evident after such an emotionally-charged game like the one in Los Angeles on Friday night.

*Follow me on Twitter



  1. Besides the fact the NBA could not "GAS" about me and my demographic (white male, 60, etc) this is precisely why I could never have a bit of interest in them. The NBA is corrupt and you cannot be certain that you are watching a true athletic competition. 55 v 16? That is not refs having a bad night, its just the (latest) instance of the "fix" being in for certain favored teams. Tim Donaghy didn't go to jail for bribery, he went for telling the truth.

    1. I'm not a 60 year old white male - in fact I'm almost the exact opposite but I couldn't agree with you more, Anonymous.

      This type of "coincidence" is what compels me not to want to watch another game this season. It's like listening to Sean Hannity. You're being told one thing (this laker player was fouled) but common sense, never mind your eyes tell you that's just not true or what has/is happened/happening.

  2. Rich, that game has me thinking about becoming an NBA refs conspiracy theorist; just unbelievable and unacceptable. How to pick the most egregious fouls? When Metta's arm hooked up Ezeli - and Ezeli got called! And the "foul" on Howard...and Blake shot the free throws?!? Still, one of the best regular season games in years; Warriors had to go against Lakers and the zebras. There needs to be a challenge system in the NBA

  3. No matter what Woody does, he's really good at it. He's a really nice man as well.

  4. Agree. One of the most under-rated hosts at KNBR.
    Woodson speaks like an adult male.
    Unlike the knumbskull who works the noon-3:00 time slot.
    His best attribute is to throw insults at the callers.
    I guess when you attend ND you are given this license. Hmmmmmmm.

  5. Interesting that after a Warrior was called for a foul of Kobe when replays showed Bryant wasn't even touched, Koke Bryant a minute later was injured,possibly ending his career. As Larry Kreuger would say "God,is a Warrior fan". Yes,he would.

  6. Ahh.....just a bunch of bitter Warriors fans. The Lakers are OLD AND SLOW--their best player was knocked out of the game with more than 3:00 left.

    Don't blame the refs for THIS loss...

  7. Ray is the best host KNBR has. He deserves his own show,

    1. Many others agree with you.

  8. Rich,
    I must disagree with you regarding Ray Woodsen (or Woodson?). He's in fact THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what a good radio host sounds like. After years of listening to him lurking in the background and chiming in when asked, he strikes me as two things:
    1. A guy who has no other useful skills so he's happy to be the subservient know it all and kiss ass so as to stay "on the team". I've never seen a grown man go to such lengths just to be able to stick around. He's basically KNBR's utility bitch and he seems happy to be that. Whatever, we need people like that in the world I guess.

    2. The second and more important reason why he's not a great host is that while he does come of as knowing a lot, because of the point made in item one, his positions tend to stay in the gray area. He doesn't take a stand on issues unless its already be done for him. He's so insecure and so afraid to fall out of favor that he doesn't say anything..."real". Its just more KNBR 680 fluff. For example: "Ahh geez, the ref's really messed up tonight but hat's off to the Lakers AND Warriors for a great game."

    WTF is that? That is a controversy neutral position. Its not taking a stand one way or another. It's just words going out into the air. I'm not sure how you consider that good radio. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind hearing Ray on KGO or any other news talk station. He might excel there. But in a sports format, he's just a third-world-poor mans Bob Fitzgerald/Radnich/Brooks/Brian Murphy. NOTHING he says is to be taken seriously because he just wants to stay on the team and in good graces.

    1. Dan: Maybe he knows his position and doesn't want to rock the boat. In addition, I believe he's good enough and wants/wanted to be a regular KNBR host it's just that they haven't utilized him for whatever reason and that's their/our loss. He's entitled to earn a living and I can't fault him for that.

      I like the fact that his style is of substance without having to shout, insult, scream and yell--a sort of comfort this day and age. It's all a matter of taste and style. I'm not everyone's flavor either...I like Ray.

    2. Have to agree with Dan Brown about Ray Woodson.

      Don't want to be unkind about it since Ray seems like a polite, pleasant guy but that's essentially the problem.

      Sports talk radio isn't easy listening. The host has to be aggressive and that's not Ray. As Dan said, Ray is submissive, almost timid. He doesn't have strong opinions about anything.

      Hosting talk radio or sports talk radio require a BIG MOUTH. RL on his own show has a big mouth and I don't mean that in a negative way. You need to be kind of loud and have interesting opinions that entertain or at least engage your audience. Ray is polite, soft-spoken, and projects a me-too attitude.

      He's a nice guy but too boring to have his own show.

    3. Rich,
      I agree with you that Ray is good enough to host his own show. He knows what to do behind the mic. However he's a very mediocre sports talk show host. I think he would excel on a Saturday or Sunday morning talk show discussing just about anything other than sports.

      I appreciate not being yelled at, but you MUST have an opinion and you MUST take a stand in sports talk. He is just like the other "Ahh Shucks" cast of KNBR 680. It's clear that this is a matter of personal opinion but there has to be something said about a guy who's been around for years, in a business with a fair amount of turnover over the last decade and yet he's always been passed over. There's a reason for that and I think it's been mentioned here.

      Also, apologies for the many typos :(

    4. Woodson sounds like one of those guys on PBS radio--boooooring. His 'nice guy snark' doesn't do it for me.
      The 'catch 22' of it are the callers to his show. They have got to be some of the worse prepared, take too much time to make a point, if there is any. If Woodson was interesting, knew how to keep a show rolling or added something, anything, to a topic that hasn't already been covered maybe the callers would be better. A friend of mine thinks that informed sports fans don't listen to his show, maybe that's it.

    5. Dan Brown your cup of tea is Bob Fitzgerald?
      Shout at the caller, berate them to hell.
      Denigrate any arguments they may come up with.
      Do your best to silence the opposition.
      But, when you are the mouthpiece to the local sports teams (especially a certain basketball team) you do these things.

  9. It's sad that KNBR does not utilize Ray Woodson and instead forces us to listen to Eric Burns

  10. Is this the same Dan Brown that worked at KNBR 2 or 3 years ago?

    1. Must be.
      Daniel Brown doing his best to be defensive of KNBR,
      either that or he is Bob Fitzgerald's best friend.

  11. As far as the Warriors go, that was a terrible loss for the Warriors on Friday night. Yes, the Warriors had this game and had opportunities to win, but this seriously probably was one of the worst officiated NBA games I’ve ever watched so far. Now I know how Kings fans felt in 2002 when they lost to the Lakers in that rigged 2002 Western Conference Finals series.

    It’s sad that we saw how badly the NBA wants the Lakers in the playoffs. Even Fitz and Barnett had to laugh and point out how comical some of the calls were. I’m sure if we would’ve talked to Fitz and/or Barnett after the game off the record/off the air, they probably would’ve lost their minds. LOL. Probably Fitz more than Barnett though. haha.

    That game really was an abomination. Even some of the Warrior players were upset at some of the calls. I think Jack was pissed. They all probably knew the game was rigged. It’s one thing when us fans say it, and it’s another thing when the players know something might be up, and you could tell by the way some Warrior players looked after some of the calls were made, that they knew the game was probably rigged.

    It was too bad the Warriors couldn’t pull out the win in this game to show up the officials who tried to rig the game and get the Lakers to win.

    One good thing to take out of this abomination of a game is that at least we saw the real Warriors. The game against the Thunder the other night is not indicative of how the Warriors play, but then again, the Thunder are one of the best teams in the NBA and have made a lot of teams look bad this season. Yes, the Lakers are not that strong, but it was nice to see Curry dominate and have the game he had last night scoring 47 pts., and it was just nice to see the Warriors bounce back from that terrible game on Thursday night. A win was taken away from the Warriors on Friday night, but at least they fought hard and battled the whole game.

  12. As far as my opinions on Ray Woodson goes, I see what Dan Brown is saying, and I agree with him on some of it. Woodson probably doesn't want to ruffle any feathers. I think a year or so ago, Damon Bruce basically said that KNBR/the Giants basically want someone like a Byrnes or an F.P. Santangelo to do Sportsphone now (this was back when Byrnes was the Sportsphone host), which kind of tells you all you need to know. Gone are the days of guys like Damon Bruce or Larry Krueger hosting that show, and they basically want someone who is not going to ruffle any feathers after games and not rant about the team, even if they lose an excruciating game or lose 3-5 games in a row. I agree that Woodson doesn't take a stand. He's chill, but yeah, it would be nice if he had more of a stance on certain issues. He also talks a little bit too much about the Dodgers. Yes, we understand, he grew up a Dodger fan in L.A., but he should cool it on the Dodger talk sometimes though.

    In a way, Ray Woodson probably would be better served on Gary's show. Yes, Krueger has been a good fit for Gary's show since he came back to KNBR in 2011, but it would be nice if Krueger was back on Sportsphone and if Woodson, who used to do updates for Gary's show, and be part of the show, was back on Gary's show. Even though it would be kind of a boring show, Woodson and Gary would be somewhat of a good pairing. They can go on the non-sports tangents, and I think Ray would work well with Gary. With Kate Scott there, she could probably liven up the show a little, if they both get too much into non-sports tangents. I would also try to bring back the Bruno segment. So many people miss that segment. Might as well bring it back, if Woodson was to be paired with Gary.

    Overall, Ray Woodson might be the right host for Sportsphone for right now. Ray Woodson is a good guy, and he doesn't get too high or too low after Giants or Warriors losses. Plus he knows how to handle the crazy callers at night. I also agree with Rich about Ray Woodson as well. It's like, I agree with Dan, but I agree with Rich at the same time.

    Even though it isn't official, I thought Ray Woodson is for the most part, the new Sportsphone host. He's pretty much been taking over for Byrnes on Sportsphone since last summer, and Woodson is much better than Byrnes on Sportsphone. F.P. and then Byrnes really ruined Sportsphone.

    With all that being said, Ray Woodson is doing a good job so far on Sportsphone, but he's no Damon Bruce or Larry Krueger. Guys like Damon Bruce and Larry Krueger, sadly probably won’t host Sportsphone again. I just don’t see it, even though it would be nice if one of them were moved back to Sportsphone one day. Even though Ray Woodson is good, let’s be honest, Sportsphone hasn’t been the same since Damon left. I used to look forward to listening to what Damon had to say on Sportsphone. He had some of his most epic shows, back when he was on Sportsphone. His afternoon show on KNBR 1050 is great, but there was nothing like hearing Damon after games.

    Even though Damon was on vacation, he would've been the perfect host to have on after that abomination of a Warriors-Lakers game the other night. But yeah, I used to look forward to Sportsphone back when Damon hosted it. Now, I don’t really look forward to Sportsphone as much anymore. Anyone agree? No offense to Woodson though. It’s not him, even though Dan Brown has a point. He might be too dry to host a show like Sportsphone. Sportsphone in general is just not the same anymore. The Giants FO and maybe even the Warriors FO as well, probably does control who and who is not on Sportsphone. I wouldn't be surprised. But yes, Sportsphone is not the same anymore.

  13. Ray easily stands out at a station that lacks talent.tolbert is a joke that seems to have lost interest,burns comes across as if he has adhd the spicoli comparisons have to hurt.fitzgerald the norte dame bandwagoner lost any shred of competency by completely ignoring the montae taeo story,brooks is the no talent token too lazy to try and learn his craft,radnich brings nothing on a daily basis you hear one broadcast and thats all you need to know about him.overbearing, cuts off callers and when hes done with his comedic bits he has forgotten why they called,his ideas of people are always negative and his ideas are old and out of touch.its obvious hes around for the money and for that we as listeners lose.krueger is his ed mcmahon brown nosing to the nth degree and when given the chance to host in radnichs abscence takes the show in a different direction completly and over compensates with too much information that loses interest.lurie makes me wish for football season which thank god he doesnt cover.knbr needs to stop selling lurie airtime and let him go away.his style is predictable...hes a homer and his listeners are too lazy to turn him off or change the dial.sf is not a major market which i think is why these people have lasted so long they have no competion in the market.

  14. The biggest problem that KNBR has is that it has been the 'standard bearer' for sports so long in this market (since 1989), that people hold it up to a high standard. That's a good thing, because 'back in the day,' KNBR DID set a high standard by not only having excellent sports talk shows, but having people who actually covered games with reporters in the locker rooms. No more. They now send producers in there, which is fine, but they lack the fullness of coverage that Comcast Sportsnet, or the Chronicle, and even KCBS brings to the public. But the company that owns KNBR could care less. They only care about making money and they've come into the bay area and have 'dumbed down' not just one, but six stations in all. Very sad!

  15. Sorry, never heard of him. I stopped listening to KNBR well over a decade ago. Used to like Radnich, but then one day, after listening to him for about 5 years, I realized I now detested his "I don't really care about this stuff" and "good knowledge" shtick. And NEVER liked Fitzgerald. So if my radio is on 680, it's for a Giants or Warriors game, and then I change the station. If you want some pretty good sports talk, give 95.7 a try. BONUS, they have Greg Papa on from noon-3.