5 Questions with...Steve Dahl


5 Questions with...Steve Dahl

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of Contributor

January 27, 2010

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

Every Wednesday exclusively on, 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 weekhes a Chicago radio legend, pioneer, innovator, trendsetter, etcthat list can go on foreverfans can catch him next hosting the 22nd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes on February 11 live on Comcast SportsNethes the one and onlyhere are 5 Questions withSTEVE DAHL!

BIO: From Radio Legend to Podcasting Pioneer, Steve Dahl, in his 31st year of broadcasting, and he has just as much to talk about as he did on day one.

Steve Dahl is one of radios most successful and enduring talents, known for holding few topics off limits and allowing his listeners an intimate look into both his professional and private lives. He now invites listeners to experience an even more intimate glimpse of his life by doing his show in his own home studio where daily life and show boundaries collide. From Janet, to their dogs, Mable and Milly to their sump pumps, nothing is off limits.

Starting out his radio career in California and Detroit, respectively, Steve set his sights out for a career in Chicago radio, beginning with two stints at WLUP-FM (97.9, "The Loop") and the now- defunct WLUP-AM. He later spent five years at WLS-AM (890) and FM. Closing an 11-year chapter in radio at WCKG-FM (105.9) in November 2007, Steve moved to mornings on sister station WJMK-FM (104.3), also known as Jack-FM. Steve is still a member of the CBS family and records a daily 1-hour podcast from his in-home studio in the western suburbs. With countless shakeups in the radio world, Steve has remained a Chicago mainstay.

Steves expertise is not just limited to radio, but extends to television and music as well. He won a Chicago television Emmy in 1982 in the category "Outstanding Achievement for a Single Program" for his work on Greetings From Graceland, chronicling his tour of Elvis' estate. Since then, he has produced groundbreaking programs such as ABCs story of the Beach Boys, Summer Dreams, and the shows It's Too Early, New Year's Steve and Garry and the CBS late-night show, The Midnight Hour. He also created and executive produced the PBS music series Soundstage in 2003.

Steve has hosted the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes, in 2008 and 2009 and will host again in February of 2010. The 2009 show was nominated for a ChicagoMidwest Emmy award.

Steves name is often synonymous with 1979s Disco Demolition. Some even call it Steves most influential contribution to the national music scene. Initially crafted as a radio promotion, Steve lead a Disco Sucks chant as an estimated 90,000 fans and listeners showed up to storm the field, joining him in setting fire to thousands of disco records. The event put Steve on the map in Chicago and the rest of the country, and earned him the reputation of being one of the most influential DJs in rock history.

His 25th anniversary in Chicago was recognized with a party in February&8232;2003 at Chicagos Museum of Broadcast Communications. For his 20th anniversary, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar proclaimed February 28, 1998 "Steve Dahl Day" throughout the entire state.

Although Steve is a staunch supporter of his self-created Reading is for Losers campaign (not really), he became the witty vice advisor for the Chicago Tribune in January 2006, penning comedic articles surmounting the main vices in his life. In June of 2009, Steve began writing a weekly column in the Chicago Tribunes Live section ranging in topics from back to school shopping in the husky department to his Japanese friend, Shu, and his love of the Bears.

After inviting rock band The Nadas to be the house band for the Steve Dahl Show on the most recent fall trip to Mexico, Steve instantly felt a musical connection with the band. Steve spent most of his summer in 2007 playing Dahlfins gigs with The Nadas across the Chicagoland area. Look for Steve to re-record some of his classics and record some new songs with The Nadas (or as Steve likes to call them, the Nothings).

Steve and his wife Janet reside in the western suburbs of Chicago. They have three grown sons: Pat, Mike and Matt.

1) Steve, its been over a year since weve heard you on the radio and it wont be until NEXT year until we hear you on a Chicago radio outlet once again. When that time comes, if WGN Radio came to you and asked if youd be interested in re-teaming with your former partner Garry Meier once again (which would no doubt be the biggest local media story in years with guaranteed massive listenership for that station), would you consider doing it?

Dahl: I certainly wouldnt rule it out. Garry and I did a lot of really good work together back in the day, and I think that our personal relationship is definitely back on track. Also, it would be somewhat ironic considering my history with WGN Radio over the years.

2) Since youve been off the radio airwaves, youve once again found a way to reach out and stay in touch with your audience via your wildly-popular Dahlcasts (congrats on recently reaching over 1,000,000 downloads of your podcast by the way), along with your continuous Facebook and Twitter updates. Does embracing new technology excite you or is it something you feel you just have no choice but to utilize to stay in touch with your fans in this day and age?

Dahl: I am technology. Back in the old days, I had a 976 number just to leave updates for my fans when we got suspended and things like that. I am extremely excited by the internet and all of the new social networking thats out there today. It makes staying in touch with my fans easier than ever, especially now that Im only Dahlcasting. I just love it! Plus, its a great outlet for my random thoughts.

3) As arguably one of the biggest White Sox fans in the city, tell us your thoughts and predictions about the upcoming 2010 season?

Dahl: I always feel good about the upcoming season. Kenny Williams always seems to come up with a very viable product year after year. I think the starting rotation will be as strong as its been in quite some time (2005). Im very excited about this year and cant wait for Opening Day. I am also really loving the Blackhawks too. The Bears, are another story

4) Other than your frequent visits to Maui and Florida, are there any other places around the world you hope to visit one day?

Dahl: I would love to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, visit Japan and maybe Hong Kong too. In the meantime, I like to hit up Chinatown. Its so close to the Cell and I loves me some egg foo young.

5) Were thrilled youre back hosting the February 11 Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards for the third-straight year (NOTE: over the past 22 years, no one has ever hosted the Sports Awards for three years in a row). You opened the show with a song at last years event. What surprises can we expect from you this year?
Dahl: If I told you, they wouldnt be surprises (LOL). I will tell you that I am working on another song to open up the show. I am really honored that they asked me back for the third-straight year. Its been a blast each and every year so far, and the March of Dimes kids are really amazing and inspirational.

BONUS Any final words of wisdom to pass along to all the readers out there Steve? Please share your thoughts with us

Dahl: We live in the greatest sports city in the world, so dont forget to stop and remember that once in a while, even when your team is sucking. We are also very blessed to have Comcast SportsNet. You guys do an excellent job of keeping the Chicago fans informed.


Official Steve Dahl website

Dahl.coms Dahlcasts

Steve DahlChicago Tribune columns

Steve Dahl on iTunes

Steve Dahl on Facebook

Steve Dahl on Twitter

22nd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards

The Bears got Tarik Cohen on the field more. But why not on their last possession?

The Bears got Tarik Cohen on the field more. But why not on their last possession?

Tarik Cohen had as many touches Sunday against the Detroit Lions as he had snaps against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, with that connecting number being 13. The rookie running back was on the field for 29 of the Bears’ 63 snaps (46 percent) in their 27-24 loss, his second highest usage rate on offense of the season. 

But when the Bears needed a few plays to, at least, get into field goal range in the fourth quarter, Cohen was nowhere to be found. Why?

“It’s just moreso about me learning more things in the offense, so in hurry-up situations I can be in the slot or I can go to the X receiver or Z receiver, or be in the backfield,” Cohen said.

When asked what he doesn't know, Cohen explained: "Probably the hurry-up plays at those positions. I know certain plays at those positions, but to open up the whole playbook with me, I’ll have to learn all of those plays.”

There’s logic here: The Bears were going to have to pass needing to gain at least 50 yards in 91 seconds to get into range for a game-tying field goal. Cohen hasn’t been featured much in the Bears’ two-minute packages, with Benny Cunningham able to fill a role as both a pass blocker and reliable check-down guy out of the backfield. And if Cohen’s knowledge of the Bears’ hurry-up route concepts is lacking, he may not be effective had he been on the field. 

Also: That Cohen doesn’t have expansive knowledge of the Bears’ playbook isn’t necessarily surprising, and that’s not a knock on a guy who’s only played in 10 games in his NFL career. Perhaps the Bears could’ve schemed to get Cohen on the field in that final minute and a half, but thanks to some highlight-reel plays by Mitchell Trubisky, the offense still delivered a makable game-tying kick for Connor Barth. 

(The bigger gripe on that last drive may be the absence of tight end Adam Shaheen, who showed good chemistry with Trubisky and caught all four of his targets for 41 yards and a touchdown.)

Cohen, though, was outstanding when he was on the field, tying the game in the fourth quarter on a well-designed pitch play with a leaping lunge into the end zone (“I felt like I had a 44-inch vert,” Cohen said). He carried nine time for 44 yards and caught four of six targets for 15 yards, though he lost eight yards on a reception when Trubisky made a bad decision to throw him the ball a few plays before his 15-yard touchdown. 

And the threat of Cohen was something the Lions had to respect, which helped open things up for Trubisky, Jordan Howard and the rest of the offense. It makes it all the more head-scratching that the Bears, coming off a bye week, couldn’t get Cohen on the field for more than those 13 snaps against the Packers a week ago. 

“It gives us versatility,” Trubisky said. “We can use him as a decoy and as a playmaker. I think the offensive line did a great job up front creating seams for Jordan and Tarik all game. It’s going to be an emphasis for us moving forward, continuing to stay in rhythm on offense and get the ball to our playmakers. We have to make sure Tarik and Jordan get their touches so we can be rolling.”

And eventually, perhaps those touches will come with a game on the line in the fourth quarter. 

Why the Bears have so much confidence in Mitchell Trubisky, even as the losses mount

Why the Bears have so much confidence in Mitchell Trubisky, even as the losses mount

The Bears are hurtling toward another last-place finish in the NFC North, and Mitchell Trubisky is 2-4 as the team’s starting quarterback after Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions. But talk to any of Trubisky’s teammates and it's clear they believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for this team, and it’s because of the bright future their quarterback has.

“He’s still young right now, a little green,” offensive lineman Bobby Massie said. "But he’s getting better every week, man.”

Explained fellow offensive lineman Kyle Long: “Just his poise and sense of urgency, at the end of the game to have the wherewithal to make the throws he’s making. Obviously it’s not all perfect — he’s a young quarterback in this league — but he has the confidence and trust of the guys around him. And that’s a rare thing in this league to have.”

Massie, like Long, also used the word “rare” in describing Trubisky, a guy who’s only started 20 games since leaving Mentor High School in 2013 (13 games at North Carolina, one in the preseason and six in the regular season). Massie, Long and the rest of the Bears’ locker room know how good Trubisky can be — or maybe, the way they’re thinking, will be — despite some uneven games this year.

The flashes of what the No. 2 overall pick can do keep on showing up, like that 18-yard jump pass to Kendall Wright that set up Connor Barth’s game-winning field goal in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens, or his instinctive 19-yard scramble on fourth-and-13 on Sunday that set up a game-tying 46-yard field-goal attempt that Barth missed.

“That’s his mentality — y’all got to see his mentality,” running back Tarik Cohen said. “That situation, fourth and 13, he’s not going down, not taking a sack, not throwing the ball away — he’s going to find a way to make a play, and he’s going to lead us to where we need to be.”

On the other hand, there were still some missed throws and reads for Trubisky (like not connecting with Benny Cunningham on a check-down five yards from the end zone in the first quarter) that serve as a reminder of his greenhorn status.

But it’s what Trubisky has done before and after those highlight or lowlight-reel plays that’s building a groundswell of confidence in him among his teammates.

The Bears got the ball on their own 17-yard line with 91 seconds left in the fourth quarter needing a field goal to tie the Lions on Sunday. When Trubisky entered the huddle, he was calm and confident — same as he was in the first quarter of the game, when the stakes weren't so high.

“He came to huddle and told everybody, 'Calm down, we’re going to win this game,'" wide receiver Dontrelle Inman said. “And that’s what the greats do. There’s no up and down with the emotional level when it comes time to actually go win the game. That’s a plus for him.

“He’s a competitor, and you see it week in and week out. He’s never going to give up. That’s the quarterback you want to be with you and throwing you the ball.”

That Trubisky’s teammates have so much confidence in him — despite the Bears’ 3-7 record — is a significant positive for his long-term development (that he’s only thrown one interception in his last 120 pass attempts is another positive). On Sunday, coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains seemed to have more confidence in Trubisky, too, with the pair opening up the playbook and leading to the Bears having their best offensive game of the season.

That trust might not lead to a lot of wins this year. It might not be enough to keep the current coaching staff in place. But the way Trubisky’s teammates talk about him, they don’t see any hurdles the rookie can’t clear on his way to becoming a legit franchise quarterback.

“It’s rare and it’s the start of something special that we get to see,” Massie said. “Hopefully — I can’t predict the f***ing future — but from this point on, it looks like he’s going to be a special player.”