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BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST Minneapolis 2001 - Dan "The Common Man" Cole

Since arriving on the Twin Cities radio scene with an evening sports talk show on the FAN in 1994, Dan "The Common Man" Cole has slowly but steadily built his following. Nowadays, his listeners proudly refer to themselves as members of "the Commonwealth." The guy just has a way of growing on you. Even Strib gossip scribe C.J., who used to routinely refer to Cole as "The Common Idiot," seems to have developed an affection for him of late. It's not hard to see why. Unlike many jock talkers, the appealing Cole eschews the shrill and smug boilerplate approach for a more casual, personal one. In a typical show, he blends listener call-ins and athlete interviews with self-deprecating monologues about everything from the sorry state of his golf game to the vagaries of married life. As his moniker suggests, Cole relies heavily on a regular-guy shtick. But, as much as he plays that up, you never get the feeling it is disingenuous. A high school dropout and self-avowed "graduate of the school of hard knocks," Cole anchored a midday slot for most of his time at the FAN. In February, station management finally threw Cole a bone, signing him to a new contract and handing him the keys to the a.m. drive-time show, which he now hosts with brother Alex and sister Ann. Not a bad gig if you can get it, as Cole himself is wont to say.

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