Paul Allen on Jeff Dubay, Brett Favre, the Vikings

Play-by-play announcer opens up about his past and future

"I don't in any way blame him," Allen says. "There may have been anger, but I never let Jeff know. I always kept what was going on with him in perspective. Maybe I could have helped more. Maybe I could have gone over to his house more and yanked him out of bad situations. I've spent at least a year kicking my own ass thinking about what I could have done better to help somebody who I dearly love and always will love stay away from this. But there came a point with my wife and my kids and my desire to do things where I had to take a step back. If I didn't, it was going to cost me my marriage."

Honest to a fault, Allen let listeners of his weekday program know that he wasn't comfortable doing the show alone. Although he continued to pull strong ratings and advertising support, Allen didn't think it was as entertaining without Dubay.

"I hated it for the first year after Jeff left," Allen says. "It was a complete identity shift for me, from the very popular PA and Dubay show to a show that still doesn't have a name and probably never will."

Nick Vlcek
Nick Vlcek

He asked station management to let him find another partner, but Clear Channel was struggling in the down economy and began cutting staff, including the highly paid Hartman. To compensate, Allen has assembled a list of regular weekly guests such as friend Gorg and fantasy-football guru Paul Charchian. He says he's only recently started to feel comfortable with the quality of his daily show.

"The 'having fun' part is finally starting to happen," Allen says. "I was driving down [Highway] 169 from Vikings workouts to Canterbury the other night, and I called my wife and said, 'You know, I've done play-by-play for eight years, radio for 12, and have called close to 20,000 horse races, and it still hits me how awesome my life is.'"

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