Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Big Picture, Local Focus

Today's title, with all due respect to one of my current employers, "The Daily Herald," discusses Comcast/Chicago's "Monsters in the Morning" and our new Chicago-native president, Barack "Basketball" Obama.

First of all, Barack - uh, President Obama - I hope, I truly hope, you can make the war in Iraq and the struggling economy as invisible and of less impact in our society as you did the impact and visibility on your campaign of William Ayers, Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, Roland Burris, Rev. Wright, Rev. Pfleger and your wife's alleged conflict of interest between her consulting work and the hospital on which board she serves. Your campaign was brilliant. Now please make your administration the same. Turn it into a giant, pick-up basketball game of fun, peace and love for all (and stop smoking - trust me, I know the impact it'll have on your full-court game).

And to all the fans (not citizens, but fans) and the adoring media following this presidency, please remember: There is no six-month honeymoon - he was elected for four years, not three years and six months.

Before anyone jumps on me, I voted for him. I always vote straight Democratic and he stands for every single one of the party's long-held principles. Period.

Hey "Monsters in the Morning" on Comcast in Chicago: It is very nice to see you guys - Dan Jiggetts and Mike North - back on the air, with the lovely Columbia College grad Jen Patterson on board. Guys, I can't speak for her, but she's a sportscaster, so let her do more in-depth sports updates, interviews and break into the conversation more with studio guests - she's not a "Traffic and Weather" girl. She can spend that time doing so much more for the sports aspects of your show. Let's face it - she's easy on the eyes too (that's a compliment, Jen). And I suggest you stop having the Notre Dame High School nun on the set select her wardrobe. Yikes!

Mike, Dan: you guys are killer interviewers, killer! On radio, Mike, you never let anyone off the hook and always asked the questions on the fans' minds, which is maybe because you have the killer instincts and don't have the starstruck reservations that so many trained-and-schooled sports journalists have.

So when are you guys going to start "killing" on the TV show? I know you've haven't been on two weeks yet as I write this, but tougher questions were asked of Craig Kenney at the Cubs Fanfest than when you had him on for that extended conversation. C'mon. We know, you know, you can be tougher without being impolite, pushy or over-the-top controversial. You've got that down. You always have.

All that said, go ahead, you and your loyal followers tell me to shut up and that the difference between you guys and me is that I'm writing this blog and you're on TV. And I know you beat your nemeses, "Mike and Mike," in the ratings so far. Congrats. I'm glad of that because of the product you deliver. And keep it up. Truly. I love you guys. I have watched at least one hour every morning so far (except the first 60 minutes - I'm at the gym and then, Mike, walking my Black Lab, Clio).

Anyway, I believe you'll truly ease into the right direction for which you're already headed over time and as situations call for it. I'm sticking around - you've got a loyal viewer in me and I like that your show, unlike "Mike and Mike," gives me what "The Daily Herald," to which I contribute, strives to do - Big Picture, Local Focus. But the Notre Dame High School stuff is too focused. Enough - we get it, Mike. You went there and it's a good school. I completely agree. That in mind, why not mention Jen's high school, Dan's, and mine (Brooklyn Tech, Brooklyn, NY, an outstanding magnet school also attended by my brother and my late father - enrollment, a staggering "...6,000 strong," as per the words to our alma mater)? Thanks.

You guys will take all of this as a rip and so might many of your fans, of which I'm one. Which is exactly why I wrote it. I'm a good college instructor, a good sports reporter, a good blogger, a good husband and a good dad. But I could get better at all of that and I'm constantly trying to. We all should try to get better at what we do no matter how good we are at it. You guys too. I'll bet some of this has come up at production meetings (which Jen walks out of, you say? - She did the same thing in my classroom - j/k).

Love you guys, really,


Howard Schlossberg
is an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago ( and a sports correspondent for The Daily Herald ( He also serves on the editorial advisory board of and contributes to The Journal of Sports Media ( and