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Boom Goes the Dynamite

92.3's Chuck Booms on the perpetually interesting Cleveland sports scene and the competition at WKNR



Chuck Booms is one half of Kiley and Booms, the morning show on 92.3 FM The Fan. He gets to talk sports every day for a living, which sounds cool until you realize it's the same conversation every day. It can be depressing, but Booms, a former comedian, tries to bring some levity, because it's just a big poop sandwich if you don't laugh at the perpetually sad state of Cleveland sports. We asked him about that, who he thinks sucks at WKNR, and why napping is important.

Chuck Booms: I can't believe it's 70 degrees in Cleveland right now. I don't know what to do.

Vince Grzegorek: You got the whole day ahead of you now to enjoy it after the show.

Nap time is next. If you don't get on the routine, you're screwed. I come home, eat a bit, and then it's right to a two-hour nap. Otherwise, getting up at 4 a.m. becomes heinous.

That sounds awful – the whole waking up at 4 thing.

It's not great, but it's better than having no schedule.

Right, when you can nap any time you want because you have nothing to do.

Like some sort of crack dealer.

That's still a job.

So, what's shaking? I love Scene, have a bunch of clips in my press kit from when I was doing national TV and stand-up. I go way back.

Well, it sounds like we wrote a bunch of nice stuff about you before, so let's just make this one harpy and mean and awful to balance it out.

Yeah, something horrendously mean. You could just say I ripped you off on a bunch of rebates like Jimmy Haslam.

That thing's a mess. What's the end result of this whole investigation? Does he keep his company? Does he keep the team?

When the Feds come in and take away a bunch of your stuff, they don't do that unless they're onto something big. I hope not, for the sake of the Browns and the city. But my gut reaction is that I don't see this ending well.

Just a bunch of crap. And he's out in front of this thing like he did nothing wrong, despite what appears to be very clear evidence to the contrary.

Now he's announced he'll be part of the Browns draft room on draft day. We were talking about that this morning. Stay away man. You're in the middle of a fucking shitstorm, this is not the time to pop up and start acting fake. Someone's going to ask him about this stuff again this week. Stay away. But I guess when you spend a billion dollars on a toy you get to do what you want with it.

And no one's excited about this draft. Either we're going to trade down or pick another guy no one wants. Exciting stuff.

Most people aren't excited, present company included. They could trade back. Who knows. There are no must-have guys in this thing. We play this game called "Oh My God Not Him," where people call in and tell us what guy, if his name is called, will have them running out of the living room with their large intestine leaking.

And the Indians started slow, and the Cavs are thinking about re-hiring a guy they just fired a year ago. What a time to be a fan.

You can't make this shit up. You don't go rehiring the guy. Did everyone forget how bad he was? He won because of LeBron. He was not a good coach. Hiring Mike Brown would kill Cavs enthusiasm. It just doesn't sound like a Dan Gilbert-type thing to do.

What do you think about your competition, Rizzo and Goldhammer at WKNR? You get to listen at all? Their show is on a little after you get off the air.

I love Tony [Rizzo]. I've known him for 25 years. He's very talented and I have great respect for him. Aaron [Goldhammer], I don't know that well. If I see him I'll say hi, but it's always been my opinion, that on their show, Aaron is talking about what's great humor and quality comedy. Not to put a gold star over my head, but unless you're a good comedian yourself, how would you know? And often, when you hear the show, he's telling Rizz what's funny and hysterical. My biggest pet peeve with their show, though, is how Aaron talks to Tony. Hammer always says Tony's name like he's a kid at the dinner table. "And Tonyyyy." It just feels like you picture Hammer tugging on Tony's pant leg trying to get his attention.

I was going to give you a forum for some shit-talking, but you started without me there.

It's all meant in good fun. I really like Tony.

What about the rest of the station?

I'm a big fan and friend of Kenny Roda. He's very talented. If you want some shit-talk, how about whatever they're calling that afternoon show. Oh my god. How awful. The original incarnation of Greg Brinda wasn't very good, so when you're on the fourth or fifth iteration of the guy...

Now that you guys have the radio contract for Browns games, do you have to soft-pedal your coverage like Clear Channel always did?

That's a good question, and probably the question that matters most. We weren't told to do anything differently, but if you're asking me if Berea has especially attentive ears between 6 and 10 a.m. now, they do. They know.

How do you get jacked up to talk about the same thing every day? Sports, sports, sports, Browns, coach, draft, blah blah blah.

We love stuff like the Al Michaels DUI and Reese Witherspoon playing the "Do you know who I am?" card with her drunk husband and the cop. There's always an incredible amount of craziness and we mix it all together. We usually just go where we go. The show is Kevin Kiley driving the bus and I'm the bratty kid trying to grab the wheel. When I do, he has to follow. And when we walk out at 10:30 a.m. after the post-show meeting, I don't talk to or see him again until the next morning. We found it keeps the show fresh and not contrived. It's not set up, because we don't hang out and talk. We've been doing this for two years now, and he's never been to my house and I've never been to his apartment. And now, it's time for my nap.

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