WILLIAMS: Excited to team up with KXNO

I am so lucky. What a day.

I am thrilled to announce to you that on Friday, I accepted the honor of hosting 1460 KXNO’s afternoon-drive radio program.

The Sports Fanatics will debut on Monday from 4-7 with my good friend and a man I greatly respect, Ross Peterson. Another close friend, Andrew Downs, will produce the program. 

First things first: This in no way will change my role here at I will continue to publish the site on a daily basis. It is my vow to our loyal readers and advertisers that we will continue to crush it. There is no other option.

I grew up in a small town in southwest Iowa. When I went off to college at Iowa State in 2003, I had never heard real sports talk radio. I grew up listening to KMA Radio, a heritage station, where I proudly worked for three years after graduating from Iowa State in 2007.

The only recollection of sports talk radio that I have from my childhood was when I spent nights with my late grandma Jean, who was the biggest sports fan that I have ever met. On summer nights, grandma would put me to sleep by playing west coast Kansas City Royals games. Every once in a while, I do recall listening to “Sports Byline USA.” Those guys were pioneers, but crazy. 

My grandmother suffered from breast cancer late in her life. That illness ultimately took her from this world. On one Sunday afternoon near the end, we were at a family gathering and I asked her what time a certain game was supposed to begin. Grandma then pulled the sports television schedule that she had cut from the Omaha World Herald out of her bra. 

“It’s about time I got some value out of these puppies,” she joked.

Due to the cancer treatments, grandma’s breasts had been removed. 

I was with my grandma the night that she died. The last words she spoke to me in the Clarinda Hospital were, “What’s the score hunny?” Grandma passed away shortly after we watched an NBA Finals matchup between the Lakers and the Celtics. For the record, she was cheering for the Celtics. Grandma was very anti-Kobe.

Why the sad story? 

This – the opportunity to co-host a drive-time sports talk radio show in Des Moines – is an absolute dream come true for me. It all began on those summer nights, listening to the radio with grandma.

I am an Iowan. I have absolutely no interest in moving to a larger market. Iowa is home for me. Cyclone Fanatic is home. This is where I want to raise my family. God willing, this is my end game.  

So what kind of show will Ross and I produce? 

We are not shock jocks. We aren’t going to yell and scream over each other and most importantly, we won’t take ourselves too seriously.

To each and every side, we will be fair.

To Iowa fans reading this who automatically hate me because I am the “Cyclone guy,” I get it. But I also am asking you to give me a chance to prove you wrong. If you still can’t stand me me a year from now, then that is on me.

In addition to my grandma, who instilled this passion within me at such a young age, I have so many people I want to thank.

None of this would be happening without the men who took a chance on me five years ago – my bosses/brothers from another mother – Jason Loutsch, Matt and Brian Lazear. The fact that they are allowing me to do this in addition to publishing Cyclone Fanatic (my baby) means the world to me.

Thanks to Keith Murphy, Andy Fales, Randy Peterson, Ken Miller, Mark Eno, Jon Miller and John Walters for being amazing mentors to me over the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without any of you.

Thanks to Steve Deace and Chad Winterboer, who took a chance on a wet-behind-the-ears 19-year old back in 2004.

Thanks to Brent Blum, Adam Gray and Rob Gray for putting up with my overanxious personality.

Speaking of Blum, here’s a shout out to Mel Crippen of 1430 KASI (Ames) who gave us our first radio show back in college. 

Most of all, thanks to you loyal readers of Cyclone Fanatic. If you guys didn’t support our brand the way that you do, none of this would be happening. 

Peace out, y’all.

I’m about to be a daddy.