5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl


5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011

By Jeff NuichCSN Chicago Senior Director of Contributor

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 local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, 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 weeks guestand back by popular demandhes a Chicago radio legend, pioneer, innovator, trendsetter, etcthat list can go on foreverfans can catch him hosting the 23rd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes on February 14 LIVE on Comcast SportsNet (coverage begins at 7:00 PM)a man whos truly one of a kindhere are 5 MORE Questions withSTEVE DAHL!

BIO: From Radio Legend to Podcasting Pioneer, Steve, in his 32nd year of broadcasting, has just as much to talk about today 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 him 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, 2009, 2010 and will host again on February 14, 2011. The 2009 show was even up for a Local 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 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.

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

1) Steve, thanks for coming back for a second 5 Questions with interview. Truth be told, your first interview last year was one of our most popular to date so we had no choice but to ask you back for a second interview. On to the questionsfirst off, and this has to be asked right off the bat, with your existing radio contract ending this summer, which has kept you off the radio airwaves for the past two years, is it safe to assume your fans can expect to hear you back on the radio come this fall?

Dahl: I am really enjoying the freedom of podcasting, but the concept might be a little bit ahead of the curve technicallyfinancially. Media buyers are still trying to understand the digital explosion and what it means to their agencies and their clients. In the meantime, recorded podcasts are extremely low on the advertising dollar food chain. Its too bad too, because I have over 20,000 people a day who specifically seek out my show and then listen to it in its entirety. That would translate to extremely good radio ratings, if anybody would bother to do the math. Thats an audience that advertisers should be paying top dollar to reach. However, they tend to avoid what they dont understand. So, the short answer is yes, I will be back on the radio, or possibly a satellite near you. I also really miss being on the radio when big events are happening in the city. As a broadcaster, I have a need to be there for people when theres a giant snowstorm or a monumental Bears collapse.

2) With the Oscar Awards season upon us and the fact that youve always been a big movie buff, any chance you went to see the more artsy Best Picture nominated films such as The Kings Speech or Black Swan? Its just kind of tough to picture you sitting in a theater watching those movies. And a follow-up heregive us your picks for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture as well.

Dahl: You are imagining correctly. I have seen neither The Kings Speech nor Black Swan, and I will wait to see them in the privacy of my own home in case they make me weepy. Out of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture, I have only seen True Grit and The Social Network. I plan on watching as many as I can via DVD or On Demand before the awards, because its always more fun to watch the ceremony with at least a few of the films under my belt. That said, AMPAS didnt do me any favors by expanding the Best Picture list to 10. I bet it increased movie going somewhat, since I cant be the only person who wants to see them all first. Based on what I have seen, I am giving all my awards to True Grit. I thought it was just a spectacular film from start to finish. I love the Coen Brothers when they are on their game. It should also win for best cinematography too. The scenery was some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

3) Isnt it time for everyone to just let go of the daily Jay Cutler bashing?or do you think the current harsh stance by both the media and fans will change him for the better come next season?

Dahl: I have no doubt that Cutler was really hurt, and that hes extremely tough, but I think he needed to be a little bit more dramatic about it. I think he was willing to go back in the game, but the Bears made the decision to keep him out. Pouting on the sidelines wont get it done for him, since hes always pouting, so you cant tell that theres anything actually wrong. Going on the exercycle to show the team thats hes okay sent a weird message to the fans, and Fox didnt do anything to help by making it seem like he had a phantom injury. Joe Buck is in love with Aaron Rodgers though, so I guess that was to be expected.

I think the Bears should have handled the PR aspect of that whole situation a lot better too, by getting out in front of it and saying Cutler took a shot, tried to play, but the coaches chose to keep him out. They should have alerted the media to that during the second half of the game. Also, shopping in LA the next day with K-Cav wasnt the smoothest PR move on Jays part either. At least get a pair of fake crutches just to shut people up. As for making the team better next year, as we know with Cutler, it could go either way.

4) You recently participated in the White Sox Fantasy Camp in Arizona. What was your favorite moment from that experience and do you think youll ever do it again?

Dahl: My favorite moment from Fantasy Camp was when it was over and I could still walk. Seriously, I had no idea what do expect, and it had been some 40 years since I had played hardball. The camp was a blast. The White Sox run a first class operation out there in Glendale. The coaches were all great guys to hang out with, and by the end of the week, they had actually made me a better player. I dont know what becoming a better baseball player really accomplishes, other than to make me feel better about myself, but Ill take it. I would gladly do it again, and would love to take my three sons with me for the week sometime. I now also have a completely authentic 1959 White Sox uniform that should serve me well as a Halloween costume for the rest of my natural life.

5) What body part of yours ached the most after you shoveled your way out of the Blizzard of 2011?
Dahl: I was in Florida for the storm, so mostly my butt ached from sitting around and watching it on TV. I did go across the street to the beach and shovel some sand just to stay in shape for future blizzards. I actually like to shovel snow. Its an excellent workout. I wear a heart rate monitor, to be on the safe side, and when it gets up into the 160s, I take a break and let my heart slow down to a more doable 130 or so. Truth be told: I was kind of jealous to be missing out on such a big event, and as I mentioned earlier in this interview, I really missed being on the air before, during and after the storm. Its what I do, and I feel like Im letting people down when Im not there to help them through it with a few laughs, and some fake school closings.

BONUS Were once again thrilled youre back hosting the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes for the fourth-straight year and truly appreciate your support over all these years. As you know, Ozzie Guillen is this years Lifetime Achievement award winner. As a lifelong Sox fan and season-ticket holder, are there any game-related suggestions for the upcoming season that you plan on passing along to Ozzie that night?

Dahl: I love Ozzie, and I love the way he runs his ball club. My only advice to him would be to shut down Oneys Twitter account. Im all for family protecting family, but my kids would never do anything to affect my job in a negative way (even if they were standing up for me against attacks by Bobby Jenks), and if they did, I would make sure that it never happened again. Plus, where the heck is the guy code these days? What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, even if you are mad at somebody. Theres plenty Oney could have said about Jenks like his losing velocity or his control, instead he went for the personal stuff. Not cool, little dude! I can tell you one thing, thats not the way we rolled at fantasy camp. We keep a lot of secrets out there in the desert.


Official Steve Dahl website

Dahl.coms Dahlcasts

Steve Dahl on iTunes

Steve Dahl on Facebook

Steve Dahl on Twitter

23rd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards

Cubs camp observations: Wrigley's home-field advantage without fans

Cubs camp observations: Wrigley's home-field advantage without fans

Four days into the Cubs’ training camp restart, we’ve only begun to get acquainted with the new normal of baseball rhythms and routines that we can only hope will result in a 2020 season of 60 games.

If the league can fix some of its early testing issues and keep enough players on enough teams healthy enough to start the season, what might come into play for the Cubs and the actual baseball.

Early observations after about a dozen Zoom sessions with team personnel and two intrasquad scrimmages:

NUTS: Home cooked?

The Cubs, who draw so reliably in one of the unique ballparks in the majors, might have more to lose than most teams without fans allowed to attend games when the season starts July 24.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Cubs news and analysis.

Just how much of the Confines’ home-field advantage is lost will be a matter of “wait-and-see,” manager David Ross said.

“There’s always an advantage to playing in your own park,” he said Sunday. “You feel more comfortable you woke up in your own bed. You’re not staying in a hotel room, which especially now, where you feel like outside spaces just aren’t comfortable as they used to be, probably [gives] a slight advantage in your city.

“There’s no substitute for fans,” he added. “There’s probably a slight advantage, but I don’t know if it’s as great as it used to be.”

What Ross didn’t mention were the rooftops across Waveland and Sheffield, which are planning to operate at 25-percent capacity when games start, suggesting at least a few hundred fans within cheering and booing distance.

“You’re going to hear them loud and clear, too,” pitcher Tyler Chatwood said. “I promise you that.”

BOLTS: Taking the fifth

All you need to know about Alec Mills’ ability to adjust and immediately step into an important role is what he did in an emergency start against the first-place Cardinals at Wrigley last year with the Cubs a half-game out and barely a week left in the season.

He hadn’t started anywhere in a month — and that was in the minors. But the guy who pitched out of the bullpen just three times in the four intervening weeks, pitched two outs deep into the fifth inning that day and didn’t allow a run (the bullpen took care of that, in a loss).

No wonder when Ross talks about Mills replacing the injured Jose Quintana (thumb) in the rotation, he says, “I’ve got a ton of confidence.”

He’s not the only one. “I’ve always had the mindset of doing whatever I can to stay ready and help in any way,” said Mills after pitching a strong three innings in a simulated game Sunday. “Obviously, with an unfortunate injury like this, I think it’s just even more heightened.

“I’m ready to do whatever, whether it needs to be maybe a start here or there, a couple more starts, long guy out of the pen — just whatever I need to do I pride myself on being ready to do that.”

CHATTER: The mask at hand

“It’s a little different. You leave the house with a phone, your keys, your wallet and your mask.”

—Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo on his and his teammates’ new daily normal.

“Everybody is thinking about it, but we try to get here and understand this is our safe zone and we’re trying to create that [within] the things that we’re going to do on and off the field.”

—Ross on players weighing the risk of playing during the pandemic against the safety precautions and protocols the team has built in and around its Wrigley Field bubble.


2020 MLB schedule: Chicago Cubs, White Sox could benefit from short trips

2020 MLB schedule: Chicago Cubs, White Sox could benefit from short trips

Both the Cubs and White Sox may benefit this season from the unique MLB schedule which will have all clubs play regionally, instead of across their leagues. Since the A.L. Central and N.L. Central teams are all fairly close, and Chicago is practically in the middle of the action, both the Sox and Cubs will rank near the bottom for miles traveled over the course of the regular season, according to MLB Network.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

During their 2020 schedule release show, MLB Network displayed a graphic saying the Cubs will travel the second-fewest miles at 4,071 and the White Sox will travel sixth-fewest at 4,750 miles. It’s important to note that may not give them an edge in the regular season, as the other teams to round out the list are all Central division opponents as well: the Brewers, Tigers, Cardinals and Reds.

But when it comes time for the playoffs, that rest may pay off-- especially if either team faces off against a team from the West. All of the top-five teams for most miles traveled come from the A.L. and N.L. West, ranging from 11,332 miles traveled for the Rockies to a whopping 14,706 miles traveled for the Rangers. In a condensed season, with significantly less rest, that long travel could take a toll.

RELATED: White Sox schedule release: Slow start not an option with brutal first week