Pittsburgh Sports Report
2008 - Press Room


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PSR Press Room

Up Close with the Pittsburgh Sports Report: Scott Ferrall

With his trademark raspy voice and unrestrained personality, Scott Ferrall brings a unique take on sports from 8-12 every weeknight as the host of “The Scott Ferrall Show” on Sirius Satellite Radio. With a radio career that has found him on the airwaves in Chicago, Florida, California and even a one year stint as the Atlanta Thrashers play-by-play analyst, this widely popular sports shock-jock signed on to his profession in Pittsburgh as a sports-news reader on KQV-AM 1410.

 

Ferrall has now found a home, however, working on Howard Stern’s station, Howard 101, in New York City where he is free to be his animated self. He’ll bring his radio show to Pittsburgh this weekend, with a live broadcast from Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront on Saturday from 3 to 7 PM.

 

PSR Editor Tony DeFazio caught up with Ferrall as they discussed his views from the big apple.

 

 

DeFazio: Where did your over-the-top style and the show’s free-wheeling format come from?

Ferrall: When I was young, 18-years-old and out of high school, I went to Indiana University and I wanted to be Howard Cosell, I wanted to be Mike Lange somebody that was unique and different, crazy, outspoken, flamboyant, kind of a show-off, verbose. I really did want to be acidic, painful, irritating, unmistakable and undeniable so that they’d never forget me. I went hard from the very first day.

 

TD: You started as a young sports reader on an all-news station at KQV. Does that even compare to what you are doing now on Sirius?

Ferrall: Bob Dickey fired me from KQV after three years of my insanity which included me always talking about the Penguins and him telling me that no one cared about the NHL. He’d always say, “Don’t ever lead with anything but the Steelers and never lead with hockey or I’ll fire you.”

 

But I kept doing it. I just defied him over and over. I never did listen that well.

 

But he told me one day, and I’ll never forget it: “Get out. Just get out. You are going to give me a heart attack. Go to Chicago, go anywhere, go do talk radio, but you are gonna kill me.”

 

So they gave me a buyout and I did exactly what he said. I went to Chicago and I started doing sports talk and taking calls in 1990 or so. I took sports calls and started arguing with people and it became a real confrontational thing. I made a lot of noise and I got noticed pretty quickly and the next thing I knew I was covering Black Hawks and White Sox in Chicago for Sports Channel.

 

TD: I’ve heard stories about your time covering the Penguins.

Ferrall: I did then what I do now ask insane questions, break people down, make people laugh. And I started doing that in the locker room and upsetting everybody. I remember one night they tried to tow my car from the Civic Arena parking lot. A lot of press people used to park along the window up against the Igloo, and there were some people who didn’t like me there. Goose Goslin didn’t like me, Bill DiFabio thought I was half-nuts. No one respected me. I was 22-years-old, but I had already worked with Bob Knight for five years when I was a student at IU. I mean, if you’re getting yelled at every day by Bob Knight for five years, you’re ready for anything.

 

TD: Your past and present indiscretions are open for discussion on the show. There is not a lot that’s held back.

Ferrall: I tell it like it is, ya know? I mean, I’ve always been real forthright with my career my ups, my downs, my successes, my failures, my firings.

 

I’ve been thrown off affiliates for saying the wrong thing I was thrown off in Indianapolis for calling Larry Bird a dead-beat dad, and you don’t do that in Indiana. I said he was a loser dad whose daughter grew up 20 miles from him but never saw a nickel from the guy. So I trashed him and I got thrown off there.

 

But I didn’t care. I was better off without that silly naptown village. Indianapolis? I’d just as soon go to prison than live there.

 

I got thrown off in Milwaukee for calling Brett Favre “Vicodin Vomit.” I made fun of him scraping his vomit off the vicodin in the men’s room, so they threw me off there.

 

I always did whatever I had to do to get bigger and better. And sometimes that got me thrown off stations… It’s just been a crazy ride for me. The overall goal was to always be on in the markets that mattered. If I would’ve lost New York, LA or Chicago, or Philly or Boston then that’s an issue. But to me, losing Milwaukee was hardly a problem. I already didn’t care about Miami, or Atlanta or Denver, so what was Milwaukee?

 

Hey, everyone knows my track record. A lot of people don’t like me, and a lot of people do. It’s probably not all that different from (Mark) Madden in Pittsburgh. He’s got a lot of enemies. But I look at it like, hey, if everyone just loves you then you have that kind of an audience and everyone just sucks up to you. But when you’ve got people that suck up to you AND people that hate you, you have a bigger and more interesting audience. And I like having both. I like having listeners that want me dead.

 

TD: Is satellite radio the future of radio in a similiar way to how cable TV became the standard in television?

Ferrall: It’s the greatest job I’ve ever had. I love working for Sirius and Howard Stern. It’s like a dream come true just because of the freedom. You can be brilliant and get away with it. You can be crazy and get away with it. There are no restrictions, no censorship, no rules, no meetings… I used to get pulled into the program director’s office three times a week to get yelled at by some loser tool that I didn’t respect to begin with.

 

I’ve got the freedom and the ability to totally be just me uninhibited Ferrall. I’m unleashed on North America every night.

 

I like where I am, comfortably numb at Sirius, as opposed to going back into free radio and being scrutinized and sued. I’ve been accused of everything in the book but I’ve never been convicted of any FCC violations, and I’ve been fighting them for years. But now I don’t have to care about them.

 

We’re already better than regular radio. Regular radio is dead. It’s awful, it’s boring, it’s horrible, it’s horrendous, it’s feeble and weak and pathetic.

 

 

Ferrall-isms

If you listen to “The Scott Ferrall Show” you know what all this stuff means. If you don’t, PSR gets you caught up.

 

“Shake it uuuuuupppp”

Ferrall’s signature line

 

“Scotch Rocks"

Ferrall’s drink of choice

 

"How can I be the man if you're the man?"

Said quickly

 

"Hello Bob from Ferralladelphia”

When taking a call from Robert in Philadelphia

 

"Shot & a beer, shot & a beer, shot & a beer, puke"

Also said quickly

 

"Imp and Iron"

A shot of Imperial whisky and an Iron City Beer

 

"Drive By"

When a caller talks about something that is completely off-topic

 

"That call sucked"

Referring to a previous call into the show that, well, sucked

 

"Rick Jeanerette Moment"

Callers can request a random goal call from Buffalo Sabres play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanerette

 

 

Scott Ferrall is doing a live broadcast at Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront on Saturday, May 31, from 3 to 7 PM. Stop by and SH-SH-SH-Shake it up…

May 31 2008 by Tony DeFazio


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