When Boston's first FM sports station launched in 2009 it was called "an experiment." No one, as the on-air talent would often joke, had any idea if it would work or if they'd be off the air in six months. Four years later, you can call 98.5 The Sports Hub "The Champ" as they now carry broadcast rights to three of the four major professional sports teams in Boston.
...and yes, it was the worst kept secret in radio. Wooooooo!!!!
— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) September 26, 2013
Call it the worst kept secret in radio if you want, but lets call this what it is: fantastic news for Celtics fans. One of the biggest knocks on the Sports Hub was the lack of media coverage the 17 time world champions received on the home for sports in Boston. As the new kid on the block for CBS radio, the Celtics should be receiving more than their fair share of coverage as the new era of Boston radio is simultaneously ushered in with a new era on Causeway Street.
“We’re very excited,’’ said Celtics president Rich Gotham. “We don’t look at this as stand-alone play-by-play deal. We look at it as a partnership that includes play-by-play rights, but also as a promotional platform for our advertisers and our team.
All the personality this team has is about to come pouring out.
Gotham said the Celtics, who are in the foundation stages of a rebuilding project, are focusing on “relevance rather than ratings’’ and have no issue sharing a flagship station with the championship-contending Bruins.
"Relevance rather than ratings." I... I... YES. YES, Rich Gotham! YOU GET IT.
The long-running and popular broadcast tandem of play-by-play voice Sean Grande and analyst Cedric Maxwell will remain intact. Grande and Maxwell have called more than 1,000 games together since they were paired in 2001-02. Howie Sylvester will be the producer.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Cedric Maxwell's play by play, prepare for Toucher & Rich to turn him into a sound byte MACHINE.
As if this news wasn't good enough, the icing on the cake is that we may not have heard the last of (formerly of the) WWE's Jim Ross filling in on one quarter of commentary when the Celtics travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder- which for pop culture nerds is appointment listening. I only wish the White Mamba was here to join the broadcast team.
If you're unfamiliar with Jim Ross, here's an example in the form of my favorite YouTube clip of the millennium: