Archive | July 2009

Goodbye, “Sportsbeat”

“Savran on Sportsbeat,” a Pittsburgh sports institution and one of the main influences on my career, has been cancelled.  It’s a sad day for Pittsburgh and for me personally.

airstaff_savranjunker200Hosted by Stan Savran and Guy Junker in its golden era, “Sportsbeat” was a call-in talk show where viewers would speak about Pittsburgh sports with the two most knowledgable people in town. 

Savran and Junker piqued my interest in broadcasting at a young age.  I discovered the show in January 1996 while eating lunch at Woodson’s All-Star Grill at Station Square the day after the Steelers won the AFC championship.  I walked through the lobby and noticed a camera crew setting up.  Intrigued, I asked one of the crew what they were doing, and they told me “Sportsbeat” was airing from Woodson’s that day.

Later that day, I watched the show over dinner, and proceeded to watch nearly every night for the next 10 years.  The show got me interested in television to the point where I wanted to make it my career. 

“Sportsbeat” afforded me the opportunity to attend my first Penguins game thanks to a promotional contest held in 1997 called “Front Row February.”  I was the lucky 3rd caller, and had all the code words from the week of shows.  My prize?  Two front row tickets for the Penguins vs. Red Wings, a night at the William Penn Hotel, a copy of Jaromir Jagr’s autobiography (which I had signed), and a “Sportsbeat” hat. 

Even more exciting was talking to the producer, who called my house and asked questions about me.  The following night, Stan and Guy spoke about me for a couple minutes.  It was one of the top 10 moments of my childhood.

My mom took me to the game, I witnessed Mario Lemieux’s 601st and 602nd goals and Scotty Bowman’s 1000th career victory in a Penguins overtime loss.  There have been other games since, but that was a milestone for me. Ryan Muldowney with Stan Savran

Later on in my life, during my run at Slippery Rock University, both Stan andGuy were nice enough to appear on my talk show “Gettin’ Later.”  They were both generous and down to earth.  I was able to take a photo at the “Sportsbeat” desk with Stan, something that fulfilled a childhood dream of mine.  I was also lucky enough to shoot a promo for my show where I harassed Stan.  He was a good sport. 

Once, I had a random encounter with Guy Junker at the Atlanta airport.  I went up to him and introduced myself.  He remembered me and we talked for a few minutes.  He introduced me to the crew he was traveling with and didn’t act like he couldn’t be bothered. 

After college, I asked Stan and Guy for advice on how to break into television, and they both were kind enough to give their knowledge and words of encouragement.

Though Guy Junker left the show in 2003, it continued without him until now.  Stan and Guy recently reunited on the radio, and no one was happier than me.  I still listen to their daily podcasts every chance I get. 

I thank Stan and Guy, the producers (especially Gina Drzal, who interacted with me after I won the contest) and everyone associated with the show over its run for all their work and for helping a kid from Jefferson Hills figure out what to do with his life.

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DUI’s Company

TV legend Joyce DeWitt (Three’s Company) was arrested for a DUI in El dewitt-duiSegundo, CA over the weekend in a turn of events that would, after adding a dozen double entendres, make for a terrific episode of the classic sitcom.

DeWitt pulled up in a black sports car, parked, and staggered toward a police officer standing in uniform next to his motorcycle.

She slurred, “Where the hell is East Oak Street?” a witness said.

An officer asked how much she had to drink and she said, “Just one.” She then reached into her car, pulled out a plastic container and began drinking from it.

It’s highly doubtful the plastic container had a virgin mojito from The Regal Beagle.

This was the perfect time to view DeWitt’s official website, which has two sections:  One boasting her fantastic biography, the other a place where fans can request an 8×10 with a personalized signature for the low price of $20 plus shipping and handling.  To clarify, you have to pay her the money, though I’m sure your first impression was like mine in thinking that she’d pay you as thanks for being one of the seven owners of her signature.

As an avid collector of TV memorabilia, my highlight being the Ian Ziering autograph I bought on ebay for $2.99, I decided to purchase this hot item while I still could.  Since you can as for her to write anything on the photo, this was a once in a lifetime chance to acquire a memento that my family will have for generations. 

Taking into her account her illustrious career, her impact on my life, and her less than feminine physique, I crafted the perfect personalization (click here for enlarged version.

dewittautograph

“John Ritter blew me!”

From now until the end of time, Muldowney’s will cherish the only tangible evidence that DeWitt did in fact have a penis.