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When I was growing up, I began to listen to sports radio (at the time we only had WEEI) mostly before bed on weeknights and before school in the mornings. So for years, the only shows I tuned into regularly were Dennis & Callahan and the now-defunct Ted Nation with Ted Sorandis. If you’re familiar with those shows, you’ll know how the three hosts involved are about as fun loving as Mayor Menino, so when I made the switch to the Sports Hub during the Spring I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm and creativity the different programs brought to the table on a daily basis.
Three weeks ago, 98.5′s morning hosts Toucher & Rich threw out a crazy idea; a rap battle between Sports Hub personalities. The idea seemed ridiculous at first, 10 sports talk radio hosts with “zero street cred and no business rapping whatsoever” (as the promo stated) battling it out, but to my delight “98 Mile” (a nod to EMinem’s 8-Mile, obviously) took off. Given the sudden opportunity to roast each other on air, the hosts of the Sports Hub happily threw themselves into it (well, except Felger).
The first round was a worst-case scenario of sports radio hosts rapping. We were treated to John “The Birdman” Wallach trying to outrap Rich, which went about as well as anyone who has been listening to Wallach’s sports flashes since his WEEI days in the late 90′s would expect. Incredibly enough, Wallach’s ineptitude was exceeded by T&R’s call screener Adolfo, who was promptly booted out of the battle by the hilarious but damn-near-catastrophic sound of Tony Masserotti spitting rhymes over the beat of Eminem’s classic “Lose Yourself.”
The more intriguing matchups in 98-Mile were between Andy Gresh and Felger (who openly dislike each other) and Damon Amendolara and Fred Toucher (T&R have been poking fun at DA for some time now). Gresh lost to Felger’s rendition of Brandon Meriweather’s horrific “VIP” song, but it was soon revealed Felger had devoted caller Mike in Attleboro write all of his lyrics. The battle was pretty much over shortly after Amendolara took on the alias “The Notorious D.A.” and tore Toucher to shreds in the semi-finals.
D.A. met Mazz in the finals, but T&R decided to change the rules for the last round. Rather than roasting each other, the two accidental “MC’s” would now be bashing 98.5′s closest competition. Mazz decided to go solo, rapping over Ton Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina”. He took some shots at Dennis & Callahan before really laying into John Meterperrel, but it was in a losing effort.
“The Notorious D.A.” teamed up with Gresh and Rich to lay the smack down on WEEI to the tune of “Move B—-h” by Ludacris. The end result was brilliant, with well-aimed “grenades” at almost all of WEEI’s personalities. The rap included such jabs as “in just two years we’re dancing on your grave” and was downright vicious at times.
I have to wonder how 850 AM responds to this. They wouldn’t try to write a rap in response, I mean, think of all the people that would have to get involved; D&C, The Big O, Lou Merloni… it’s just never going to happen, but you’d think they would need to respond somehow. 98.5 has now eclipsed them in ratings and written the sports radio equivalent to 2pac’s vicious “Hit ‘Em Up.” It’s dark times ahead for supposed Boston’s “Sports Talk Leader.”