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BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO SHOW Minneapolis 2002 - KFAN

When Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial bid got him bumped off KFAN four years ago, Paul Allen and Jeffrey Dubay were a stopgap replacement. Allen, who announces the races at Canterbury Park, improvised a hip, wise-guy shtick liberally borrowed from national radio personality Jim Rome. Dubay, who'd been ironically nicknamed the "Culture Vulture" while serving as the straight man and producer for other KFAN shows, played the hapless schmo and butt of all in-station jokes. Slowly but steadily, however, the duo settled into a groove and made their "love covenant" a not-so-guilty pleasure for thousands of morning weekday listeners. P.A. is the alpha personality, deploying snappy argot best described as streetwise suburban while riffing through surprisingly sharp sports analysis and indulging his love of vintage soul tunes for the bumper music. Dubay is the unsung hero, free of the self-importance that is the occupational hazard of his profession. He has gradually fleshed out his original persona as a two-dimensional doofus and, believe it or not, often provides more compelling insights on local sports teams and personalities than many of his more celebrated colleagues at the station. (This is especially true when it comes to his beloved Gopher men's hockey squad.) Throw in regular segments such as "The Barrister's Brunch" (free legal advice for wayward listeners) and phone-ins by Wolves guard Wally Szczerbiak and you've got the best sports-utility vehicle in town.

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