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.


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23rd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards

Kris Bryant's injury looms large as Cubs finish home stand in underwhelming fashion

Kris Bryant's injury looms large as Cubs finish home stand in underwhelming fashion

There are 162 baseball games in a season and some days, you’re just not going to have it. On Sunday afternoon, in a 10-2 loss to the Reds, the Cubs just didn’t have it. 

“It’s already in the trash can...” Maddon said. “... so let’s flush it out and move on.” 

Things were bleak from the very first at-bat of the game, when Kyle Schwarber took a 3-2 fastball looking for one of his three strikeouts on the day. Anthony Rizzo was the only starter not to strike out at least once, as the Cubs’ finished with 11. Reds starter Tanner Roark was responsible for 9 of them, his season-high. 

Things weren’t much better on the basepaths or in the field. Besides making two errors, Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at the plate in the 2nd inning and David Bote got doubled-up at first after drawing a walk in the 6th. The Cubs were playing playing their 13th game in 13 days, and it showed.

“I feel really good about how we’ve been playing until today,” Maddon said. “This whole month we’ve been in almost every game except for this one, and maybe the [7-0 loss on May 10th] against Milwaukee. There’s not a whole lot to be upset about, and I’m not. I just want to make sure everyone’s well moving forward.” 

There was a scary moment in the 6th inning, as Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward collided in the right field gap while trying to make a play on a fly ball from Eugenio Suarez. Bryant was slow to get up and eventually had to leave the game. He’s still being evaluated for a head/neck injury, and the Cubs don’t yet know if he’ll go into concussion protocol. For what it's worth, Bryant was cleared to fly with the team. 

“He’s doing okay,” he said. “He’s still under evaluation. We don’t know exactly what we’re doing with this whole thing yet, but we’re trying to talk with the doctors and find out exactly where we’re at.”

“We collided, and I called for the ball,” Heyward added. “We were both going hard to make a play and ran into each other.”

The loss dropped starter Jose Quintana to 4-4 on the season. Quintana went 5.1 innings while allowing six runs on 12 hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Despite relatively weak contact, the Reds hit well all weekend. Their 42 hits over three games was the most for them in a three-game series at Wrigley since 1976, and they finished the weekend with a .404 BABIP. 

“Yeah, I just had to keep pitching, you know?” Quintana said. “Keeping my focus. It was really tough - too many base hits. In some contests that happens. I just try to stay close in the game.” 

The Cubs finished their 7-game homestand at 3-4, and now hit the road for a two-city trip. Up first comes the 35-19 Astros, who are 20-7 at home. This season Houston ranks first in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, and third in home runs. Their closer, Ryan Pressley, has the lowest ERA of all qualified relievers and is fresh off a streak of 40 straight scoreless appearances.

“I’m excited,” Joe Maddon said before Sunday’s game. “Let’s get by today, but I’m excited for the whole week. Look at our schedule - it’s been pretty firm, and it continues to be pretty firm. And that’s the way it should be. I’m looking forward to it.” 

Kris Bryant leaves Sunday's game after outfield collision with Jason Heyward

Scott Chagnon/NBC Sports Chicago

Kris Bryant leaves Sunday's game after outfield collision with Jason Heyward

Add injury to insult for the Cubs. 

In the top of the 6th inning, with the Cubs already down 6 runs, right fielder Kris Bryant left the game after colliding with Jason Heyward in the outfield.

You can check out the video right here. 

It's possible that the move was simply precautionary. The Cubs are on their 13th game in 13 days, and being down six runs in the latter half of a getaway game isn't the time to roll the dice. That said, Bryant missing time would be a significant blow, as the Cubs' star is in the midst of a stellar season. Through 49 games, Bryant's slashing .288/.411/.576 with a .987 and a 160 wRC+. As of Sunday afternoon, only Javy Baez has a higher WAR (2.5) than Bryant (2.4). 

There's been no further announcement on the extent of Bryant's injury.