People & Personalities: John Thompson Throws In The Towel On DC Radio Show
In DC, Mike Wise notes former Georgetown men's basketball coach John Thompson Jr. today "signs off ... for the last time" from his show on ESPN Radio 980 DC. Thompson has hosted the show for 13 years, and every day, "sometimes within the same 15-minute segment, he could be biased, socially conscious, whimsical, and -- a shocker to some -- downright humorous." Thompson said, "Did I make a difference? I don't know. ... I feel like people know better who I really am." Thompson is not retiring, as he will "continue to call national college games, including this year's men's Final Four." But Wise writes an era "definitely ends locally, one in which a Washington legend through and through was finally unplugged and revealed in full" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/29).
WE'RE TALKING PADRES: In San Diego, Bill Center noted Baseball HOFer Tony Gwynn, who earlier this month underwent extensive surgery to remove a malignant tumor from inside his cheek, will be "returning to the Padres' television booth this season as a color analyst." The team's TV team will "include play-by-play man Dick Enberg and substitute Andy Masur, and analysts Mark Grant and Gwynn" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 2/28). Meanwhile, in California, John Maffei reported Mike Pomeranz will be the Padres' "new face for pre- and post-game shows." Pomeranz, who is leaving Minneapolis' KARE-NBC, is "set to join Fox for its coverage" of the team (NCTIMES.com, 2/27).
PASSING, BUT BARELY: TNT's Shaquille O'Neal, when asked to evaluate his performance on "Inside the NBA," said, "I'm at a low -C. I'm learning and will only get better. I just want to keep people entertained. I don't want to be talking with the big vocabulary and all that bullshit. I'm short and to the point. I'm very educated and can give you somewhat of a vocabulary, but I don't get to the philosophical side" (VIBE.com, 2/26).
NEW ON THE BEAT: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has hired Izzy Gould as its new Dolphins beat reporter. Gould previously covered the Univ. of Alabama football team (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 2/27).