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Angelo Cataldi, Former Philadelphia Radio Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
November 14, 2023 3:45 pm

Angelo Cataldi, Former Philadelphia Radio Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Visit for all terms and limitations. It is Zach Yelp's show on CBS Sports Radio. You know, one of my first bosses in this business, Eric Spitz, once said to me, there's a pokescale, passion, opinion, knowledge, entertainment. That last part, the e-entertainment I learned from the legendary Angelo Cataldi when I was his intern. And I don't know if there's a greater entertainer in the history of the sports radio business than my next guest. And that is the legendary Angelo Cataldi, who somehow has a book out now. I'm surprised he did write this book.

It's called Loud, How a Shy Nerd Came to Philadelphia and turned up the volume in the most passionate sports city in America. Angelo Cataldi has the book right there on our YouTube stream, which by the way, Angelo, before I bring you in, I think you'll get a chuckle out of this. There is a commenter on our YouTube chat who said, uh, Jeff Hall, who said last time I called Angelo, he told me to go to hell and hung up because you brought up, uh, he brought up some stupid point about Brookie, who was very important to you. And the great Angelo Cataldi is kind enough to join us right now. And how you doing? Zach, I'm great. Wow. I was that rude.

Well, usually when I heard you say go to hell to someone, it wasn't a call. It was the one of the old bosses at WIP. If we're being honest, that happened to, I, uh, let's say I had a very chaotic 33 years in the radio business and, uh, I'm happy than not being in it anymore. Now I'm in the book business.

Yes. We'll get to the book in just a second. Let me just say to make this clear, we are not talking about Spike Eskin as that Boston Angela told to go to hell.

I still want to be employed. And you also had a great relationship with my current boss. Well, the thing with spike ask, it is, I realized when I was writing the book, why I was so, so much kinder and gentler with Spike Eskin than the others, because he saved my life, literally saved my life.

We would do it a photo shoot. And I was supposed to be taking a big bite out of a cheesesteak. And, um, what happened was that the cheesesteak got stuck in my throat and I couldn't breathe. And, and spike, even though he had never once in his whole life, done a Heimlich maneuver behind like me back to life. And after that, Zach, it's really hard to scream at a boss.

When you realize the only reason you're there is because he acted quickly to save you. So maybe that's what, whatever it was, he was a very good boss. And, um, I just had a chance to talk to him over the weekend. And, um, he's a good guy here that they're in the radio business for every guy who knows what he's doing. It is a good guy. There's about 20 who aren't.

So I, I was lucky with spike. Angelo Cataldi here with us. So how a shy nerd came to Philadelphia and turned up the volume in the most passionate sports city in America. When I was around you, I never sensed that you were shy, but at that point, you've already became a legend and you're already the voice of the city. So tell me how this ended up happening, where you went from being shy to maybe the most bombastic person that Philadelphia has ever seen.

I think it's safe for me to say now that the bombast was part of an act. All right. That the fact is that, uh, if you had seen me in high school, um, I was, well, I was the vice president of the chess club. I was not even the president.

All right. So I was not even among the nerds, right. But then I went to journalism school and I, I learned how to take on a persona when I was covering players and stuff, but deep down, um, I just wanted to stand against the wall. I was kind of like a wallflower when I got to radio, it became performative. I had to come on every day and connect with the Philadelphia fan base that, um, is extremely, uh, passionate and has a lot of emotion. So I had to dig deeper and I had to be somebody that I wasn't until I became it. And after a number of years, there was a blurring between who I was and who I, you know, became on the radio, but, um, it was part of doing the job at the best level that you can, you know, making what you do fun. And in order to do that, you got to make fun of people and you have to make fun of yourself. And you always had that passion. Like there's a lot of hosts that when they make it big and when they get all the success, it becomes a machine. And then they start playing point guard.

They delegate, they try to take a lot of the work off their plate and put it to other people. But for you, like when I was your intern, I never beat you into the office. Once I thought you used to sleep there all the time and you would sit there and you would write notes on that notepad and you were a workaholic. Why didn't you ever mail it in?

Just wondering. I can answer it with one word, Zach insecurity. There was never a day in all the years that I did the show on WIP radio that I felt that I had four hours of material unless I over-prepared. So, I mean, I came in and the last 10 years, I literally scripted every segment of every show so that I knew I would cover what I needed to cover and would not run out no matter what else happened. If I had a string of really awful callers, I had other material I could go to. I just wanted to know that before I started a show, I had the ingredients to do a good one. And that takes a lot of discipline and a lot of time, but it was more out of fear than any work ethic or commitment.

I didn't want to be caught short and that was the biggest thing. I'm sorry, I got my grandson in the background here. I apologize. No, it's fine. This is a family affair, Angelo Cataldi. This is all right. There's no problem. Zach, when you retire, guess what?

The family really becomes more a part of your life, which is great, till they get on your nerves. Then you'll actually be missing Andy Bloom in a few weeks. That's one of the many bosses that I'm sure at some point I told to go to hell. Yeah. I actually remember one of those meetings. I was in the intern room and you were sitting there and you were like, I'm done.

I'm never coming back. And it was in like 2013, 2014. And you were threatening retirement then and you didn't retire up until last year.

It's almost been a year now. Why was it time to finally hang it up and walk away? Well, long before you were there, I threatened retirement.

All right. And the book, this is the proudest thing in the whole book. In 1995, I was five years in and I couldn't stand my boss. I mean, I hated him with a passion. His name was Tom Big. And I went to my agent and my contract was running out and I said, I don't think I want to work at WIP anymore.

I can't stand my boss. And he said, let me take care of it. And it's in the book because people always thought it was an urban myth that it didn't happen.

In my contract, it said that my boss could not speak to me if I choose not to speak to him. That's amazing. It says it in page five of the contract and CBS was the owner back then and CBS signed off on it.

How crazy is that? That they basically took the morning show host and made it so that he never had to speak to his own program director. That's a great accomplishment for my agent if not me. Now, why did I know it was time? I didn't positively know it was time. I knew after Eagles won the Super Bowl in 17 that it was safe to leave because I had experienced the ultimate. But I knew it was perfectly timed after I retired when at my old radio station, they decided with another one of my interns, one that I didn't like as much as you Zack, his name is Jack Ritz.

I know where this is going. To create a standing ovation for Trey Turner. I think it was in August when he was hitting like 230. And it signed a $300 million contract. And he wanted the whole crowd to stand and encourage this man who was stealing money from the fans pockets. And I said at the time that if I was still there, I would have done everything I could to sabotage what he was trying to do. And then it worked.

Then it worked. Then Trey Turner became the Trey Turner that was worth 300 million. And I went, Oh, I'm the guy that led the boost for Donovan McNabb at the NFL Draft in 1999. My days are done. That era of negativity and Philadelphia sports is changing.

And I don't want to be there to see it change anymore. Angelo Cataldi here with us. You talked about the entertainment part earlier, and how some of it could be an act and right, we're all performing to some extent, but we do mean what we say, even if we get carried away at some times. How do you want people to remember Angelo Cataldi? And what do you want them to know about the true Angelo Cataldi?

Yeah, I was with a bunch of college kids last night. And I said, it's not making stuff off. It's taking what you feel and amplifying it and making it more entertaining. So if you dislike a player, maybe you hate him on the air, that kind of thing.

But the thing I would like to be, you know, if I had a legacy, um, it would be that I represented the amazing fans in this city more than anything else. And, you know, I got a lot of stories in this book about a guy who came into the pregame show that we had with 1000 people in a tent and cranked up a chainsaw. I got some of the sickest stuff. What I have in this book is as bad as throwing snowballs at Santa, if not worse.

But here's what else I have in the book. I have the story of a guy named Kenny Justice, who three years before I retired, called into the show. At the end of his call, I just asked him where he was going. He said he was going for kidney dialysis in a hospital. And he told how his life was being under some duress because he had kidney failure.

And within an hour, 28 people had called a phone number to donate body parts, donate their kidneys for him. That's the other side of the passion of Philadelphia. And I want more people to understand that this lazy image of Philadelphia fans as a bunch of thugs and goons and miserable people, we are passionate. We're over the top at times, but we're just as passionate about the good stuff. Philadelphia's got a big mouth. It's also got a big heart.

That's what I want to be. Yeah. I don't want this to turn into where it's like, oh, I'm kissing your ass here and, and, and, uh, genuflecting to Angelo Cataldi.

I really need it. Please kiss it. But, but what I will say is when you were on the air in that last segment, you have 10 minutes left right in your radio career. This speaks to the person who Angelo Cataldi is.

I've never heard a radio host in their final segment. Thank their interns and mentioned some of the interns like me, Colleen Wolf, Dave, you were him a few other people as well. Like that to me when people were, I was listening, but then so many people start texting me, Angelo just mentioned, Angelo just mentioned, I'm like, why the heck is he mentioned to me when this should be all about him in the final 10 minutes of his career? And it shows how much you cared about the entire product that everyone you worked with throughout the years.

That is true, but that is not what I am proud of about my final segment. Zach, I know what it is. I made it. You ripped Jonathan, gave him one last time, right?

Yes. I heard it. I set aside half of the segment to rip a sports figure from Philadelphia because that is my other legacy. I let them have it.

And I'm not, I am not shirking away from that. I am proud that I was able to do that. Even though nowadays, apparently we applaud for losers, but Zach, the reason I mentioned you guys are you all soon, if not already will exceed anything I ever accomplished. I am so proud of what you've done and what Colleen Wolf has done at NFL network and Mike Sealski and John Gonzalez and all the other people I got to work with. You guys are the next generation and it is time for you to take over. And I know we're in good hands.

I appreciate you saying that. Last thing I'll ask you once again, the publisher is Triumph books. Make sure you go get it loud. By Angelica told you have a shy nerd came to Philadelphia and turned up the volume in the most passionate sports city in America. And Angela is holding up the book right now in our YouTube stream.

If you can't hear it, see it on the radio, obviously. Last thing I want to ask you, you go on one of these tours, you get asked 3000 questions. Is there anything you haven't been asked that you want to just say, okay, maybe someone should ask me about this?

Like, what's the one topic that you really want to hit on? You know, I've never been asked the sports figure I like the most. Who is that? Because I have this reputation. And the sports figure I don't like, I love is Mr. Doug Peterson, the former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, who A, won a Super Bowl, the only one the Eagles ever won, and B, answered every question I asked after games for five years, with honesty, and, and, you know, respect for the fans. And I don't have enough time to say, there were people I really admired.

And Doug is at the top of the list. And I am a big Jackson jack Jacksonville Jaguars fan, because that man is a winner. And I, no one ever asked me about the positive. So thanks for doing it.

I was Doug Peterson. I was really surprised the answer wasn't Gabe Kaplan there. All right, don't do that. That's when I get asked in every interview, and I won't. He's fired show some mercy. Wow, what are you gonna give him a standing ovation next time you see him?

Make sure you get the book loud how a shy nerd came to Philadelphia and turned up the volume of the most passionate sports city in America. Angelo can't thank you enough. Appreciate you doing this. Deep up the great work, my friend. You're the best sack. Thanks, buddy.

You got it. There he is the great Angelo Cataldi joining us. We'll take a break when we come on back when you were looking like he's going to return to Texas next year. What does that mean for Arch Manning?

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-14 16:20:53 / 2023-11-14 16:28:15 / 7

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