The Paul Finebaum Show Hits Perfect Storm
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Anyone who follows SEC football knows that the Paul Finebaum Showis an absolute must-listen. In the last two years, the show has taken on an even greater importance thanks to the fact that Finebaum is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Crimson Tide are of course the reigning National Champions.
Not only is Finebaum, who was named by the Orlando Sentinel the SEC’s most influential media member, a great host, but his callers are among the best you’ll hear. Usually filled with venom over Alabama or Auburn, they bring forth the greatest trash talk and utter the best Southern phrases you’ll ever hear. It’s no wonder that Tom Ward, who wrote a book on Finebaum this year, called Finebaum's show “America’s Barbershop."
You’d think the dream scenario for the Finebaum Show would be another title for Alabama, but if it’s the perfect storm we’re talking about, today is just about it.
Not only did Alabama lose to South Carolina, breaking the Tide’s 19-game winning streak, but Auburn went to 6-0 and jumped ahead of Alabama in both the AP and the USA Today Coaches Poll. And news trickled out this afternoon that Alabama's star wide receiver Julio Jones broke his hand in the game against the Gamecocks.
“Today is a day we live for,” said Pat Smith, the director of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. “Auburn has been treated like the red-headed stepchild so this is their chance. But those fans are going to be going crazy today because they’re going to think that we’re not putting enough of them on the air, as if there’s some sort of conspiracy or something.”
Smith said the show — which is broadcast locally on Jox 94.5 FM and nationally on XM 143/Sirius 122 — has eight phone lines, which typically start to fill up 15 to 20 minutes before the show begins at 2 p.m. central time.
“If a caller wants to get on our show today, first they’re going to have to get through,” Smith said. “Once, they’re through, they’ll likely be waiting 45 minutes to an hour.”
Smith says it won’t be all callers, as the show’s usual Monday guests Tim Brando and ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman, will have their segments.
“This is going to be a wild one this afternoon,” Smith said. “Auburn-Alabama is just like Yankees-Red Sox.”
Smith said some of the main beneficiaries of what will surely be a highly listened to four-hour show will be its sponsors including Craneworks, an industrial crane company that has offices in Birmingham as well as sports haircut franchise SportClips.
Finebaum started his day by going on the Dan Patrick Show to eat crow after he told Patrick last week that South Carolina had no chance of beating Alabama.
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