The Zone

Scandal in Happy Valley shines a light on job requirements
Scandal in Happy Valley shines a light on job requirements

I’ve told many stories on the air about why I ended up working in sports radio. Sports was the only real touchstone for my father and me. Sports allowed me to live my unreached athletic dreams through the games on the radio. And I’m trained for little else in this world. But the main reason I work in sports radio is two-fold. I hated covering news and much preferred the stability of sports in this ever unstable world.

Those reasons came home to roost this week with the tragic story that continues to unfold at Penn State: Charges of sexual abuse by a former football assistant coach, indictments and resignations by those in the athletic department. And now the announced retirement of NCAA coaching legend Joe Paterno, maybe just hours, days or weeks before his firing. It’s a sad state of affairs.

I got out of news because of stories like this. Years ago, I wanted to be the hard hitting news guy. From murders to political scandal, I wanted to be the guy who was impervious to the often brutal nature of the stories I was covering. I couldn’t do it.

I cried while covering a house fire story that killed 5 children in their sleep. I had nightmares after reporting on a bank robbery/suicide story and I feared for my life while covering a gunman on the loose story. I reported on those stories and many others just like it for years. I have great respect for those that have the proper detachment to do it and do it well. It just wasn’t for me.

Time for a switch to sports reporting and play-by-play. It’s been described as having a job in the candy store of life. The worst I have to tell a listener is their team lost. Or that their coach or best player is heading to another city. As a sports talk show host my predictions and opinion, while sometimes funny or entertaining, have very little impact on the athletes or games we cover. Sports also provide a sense of stability. Games are, for the most part, finite. They are governed by a fair set of rules, known by all involved. The best teams don’t always win, but the outcome is settled up front and on the playing field.

Then you have the Penn State debacle. This isn’t about a game, a coaching legend or sports. It’s about abuse and covering up that abuse to protect a program and a person that has become larger than the university and purpose both serve. We’re not talking about wins or losses. There are real victims here.

The feeling I am left with is disgust. I’ve been embarrassed listening to the many voices providing excuses for the transgressions that occurred. We trust that the legal process will eventually run its proper course. We should also trust that those in leadership positions protect and take responsibility for those in their charge. This clearly didn’t happen.

Sadly I’ve gotten used to stories like this in sports. I won’t shy away from it, I can adapt. So here it is Penn State fans. Your team lost. Your coach is leaving (in disgrace). The stability of Happy Valley is gone and won’t be back soon. There’s nothing finite about this. The eventual outcome for the victims won’t be settled up-front and nowhere near the playing field.

Now I’m depressed. Guess I better see if there are any weather forecasting jobs available.


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The Zone 11/25/2015 – Hour 1

We hear from Seahawk coach Pete Carroll on Marshawn’s condition post-surgery and what’s in store for the Steelers game Sunday. And we take your Seahawk Monday headlines today with Hawks tickets on the line. We help you set your fantasy football line-up with Sigmund Bloom from

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The Zone 11/25/2015 – Hour 2

With the Apple Cup set for Friday, we preview the 108th edition with comments from Husky coach Chris Petersen and Cougar coach Mike Leach. Paul Moyer from the Seahawks Radio Network joins us to talk about the 5-5 Seahawks and the keys to success against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lummi football coach Jim Sandusky comes on to preview their state semifinal game against their top rival Neah Bay Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

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The Zone 11/24/2015 – Hour 1

Doug opens today’s show by lamenting the fact that there are only four teams in the College Football Playoff. Jason Stiles from ROOT Sports joins the show to discuss the College Football Playoff. Is four teams enough? Who does he think will be in the final four? Trivia Tuesday. Squalicum girls soccer coach David Kish comes on the program to talk about the joy of his team winning their second straight 2A state championship.

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The Zone 11/23/2015 – Hour 1

The Seahawks took care of the 49ers on Sunday and we take your call and text on 12’s at 12, we recap the full day in the NFL with Monday Evening Quarterback, and The Big Old Dumb Game of the Day.

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The Zone 11/23/2015 – Hour 2

Looks like Les Miles is on his way out, we hear from Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson from their Monday press conference, and Chris Ianetta has signed with the Mariners.