By Spike, WYSP
PHILADELPHIA (WYSP) — I’ve been trying to write this since yesterday afternoon.
It’s been more difficult than I figured it would be. Not in a sad way. Not in a “I can’t bring myself to do it way.” I just wasn’t sure what I would be able to add that everyone else hasn’t already.
There have been people who have better written what he meant to sports radio as an industry, like John Miller did here. Or people who have better phrased why he’s one of those “you hate him but you’ve got to respect him” things like Kyle Scott did here.
Countless articles containing the words “dope,” “moron,” and “nitwit,” all in predictable (though clever) fashion. Some good things written that take the “no matter what you think of him on the air, he’s a good guy, and I have the proof” angle. Those articles are also true.
None of what has been written so far has the perspective I do. I did get to do a talk show here at WYSP with him once. I did get to co-host his show with him on 610 WIP once. Both experiences were awesome, but that’s not the perspective I’m talking about.
I mean, the guy is my dad. We lived in the same house for 20 years, and he paid for my college education; and doesn’t let me forget that, may I add. So no matter how much you think you know about Howard Eskin, I know more.
That’s so Eskin, isn’t it? Telling you I know more than you do about a certain subject.
I got the scoop from the man himself a few hours prior, still I sat and listened to Howard Eskin, The King, my father, relinquish his current throne at 610 WIP as the host of the 3p-7p time slot. As he teared up, which he tried not to do, I sat at my desk and did the same. It would have been pretty hard not to. Dad doesn’t cry a lot.
I mean, it was the end of an era. To be sure, it’s the start of a new one. There is no way he’s settling into some kind of retirement, even if that’s what you want. No chance. He’ll still be on WIP, and wearing that ridiculous fur coat on the sidelines of Eagles games. Still, the end of an era none the less.
As I listened, I had a flashback to a couple of weeks ago when I did my show from Eagles training camp up at Lehigh University. I had him on my show for a break, as I do every year when I’m up there. I spent the first bit of my career distancing and establishing myself by not using my last name, but I’ve spent the last few years able to embrace the connection and be alright with the shadow he casts. We talked about the Eagles, and DeSean Jackson’s contract. We talked about Jeremy Maclin and whether he’d play for the Eagles this year.
At the end, I decided I’d take a shot at him, like I usually do, just to make him take a shot back, like he usually does. I asked him as my last question, “so what’s it like having your own son surpass you in stature and celebrity in Philadelphia radio?” knowing full well I had not. I expected him to laugh at me and remind me I owe him $100,000 for college and tell me I still have a long way to go. Instead, he told me, “it feels good.”
It was an honor as a son and as a broadcaster to have him be so clearly proud of me. It was also kind of obvious to me that there was a change on the horizon. I emailed my brother to tell him two things; he likes me better than he likes you, and I don’t think he’s going to be doing 3p-7p much longer.
So it’s onward and upward to the next chapter, as he said. One that he’ll work harder than everyone else to make great as he’s always done.
I guess what I’ve taken several hundred words to say, I could have said in a sentence.
I’m glad you’re proud of me dad, but I’m really proud of you too.