Talking with Steve Czaban of ESPN 980 The Drive
Steve Czaban has 25 years of experience in sports talk radio. He hosts a national show on Yahoo sports radio every morning from 6 – 10 a.m. with Scott Linn and a local show every afternoon from 4 – 7 p.m. with Chris Cooley and Al Galdi. He blends national and local sports and pop culture content in a seamless fashion. If you are looking for corporate shtick and boring sports talk then Steve Czaban is not for you. The “Czabe” is candid, upfront, and honest.
In addition to sports, the “Czabe” is just as likely to kick off discussions incorporating pop culture, lawn maintenance, backyard grills and trips to Las Vegas. He is passionate about his local sports teams but just as likely to reference Seinfeld and Family Guy while on the air. On Tap caught up with the “Czabe” about his TV set-up, the football field in his backyard, RG3 and the Redskins’ chances this upcoming season.
On Tap: Why do you need three TVs in your man cave?
Steve Czaban: There’s no other way to live, if you went to a sports bar and they didn’t have TVs with different games on, you would be outraged. So why would you not have your home set up with more than one TV if you’re a sports fan? A couple of TVs right next to each other is no great luxury. TVs have gotten so cheap, the barrier to it is that people think it’s indulgent, crazy and obsessive, but it just makes sense. I decided to do it primarily for the NFL, but quickly found that watching college football was just as enjoyable. Then, I found out that watching different sporting events was just as good. There’s so much downtime in every sport that it’s not hard to keep up with three things.
OT: I heard you built a football field in your backyard. Why did you decide to do that?
SC: It’s funny because when you have a little bit of land, sometimes you think ‘this isn’t what I’m going to do.’ I have a fairly flat piece of property with 10 acres. Now I can build a football field. People think it’s a crazy expense. It did cost some money to move the dirt and reseed the area, but just a couple hundred dollars of field paint and a field painter, and nine hours of work each fall. It’s cool and looks awesome. Chris Cooley helped me paint the Redskins logo and taught me how to grid it out.
OT: How do you prepare differently for your local and national shows?
SC: As far as the personalities, on the morning show, I’ve worked with them a little longer so I know them really well. I’m still getting to know Cooley and Galdi and we get better every day. We’re coming up on two years now and you start to develop with every week that goes by. Because of the experience, we play a little more aggressively on the national morning show. The tempo and aggressiveness with what we do in the afternoon will begin to ramp up and match the morning show.
OT: What are your thoughts on RG3 for this year?
SC: We’ve got all of our chips on him. If he’s not good, then all those picks we used to go get him are going to be wiped away. This is going to be a telling year, either he gets traction and figures it out and becomes a legitimate pro-style quarterback or it’s going to be a season where he’s injured and plays like he did last year and then you are going to have to move on. It’s high stakes.
OT: What are the chances of the Redskins finishing the season with a .500 record?
SC: There’s always a chance; everyone always thinks we’ve got a shot to be 8 – 8 and if things break right then we can be 10 – 6. And that’s the beauty of the NFL. I don’t know though, I’m pessimistic.
The Drive with Steve Czaban, Chris Cooley and Al Galdi airs every weekday afternoon from 4 – 7 p.m. on ESPN 980. August 5 will mark their two year anniversary. You can catch the Czabe’s morning show on Yahoo sports radio, or stream it at www.yahoosportsradio.com.
Meet ESPN 980’s Chris Paul and Jason Reid of The Man Cave