BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST - 2004
They're not exactly running a think tank over at the Twin Cities' sports talk station. Fellating local athletes, soft-pedaling the loathsome acts of our bargain-ball team owners, pretending that U of M athletics aren't part of a professional sports league that doesn't pay its players--this is the standard for KFAN's on-air talent. And so what distinguishes the "Common Man" Dan Cole from this crowd need not be much. Some listeners tout Cole's left-of-center politics, which is all well and good; until Howard Stern runs for office on the Wobbly ticket (which might be sooner than you think), we'll take anything we can get on this count. But it's one small moment from a generic midwinter broadcast that exemplifies what makes Cole seem so decent. Marooned for a two-hour lunchtime remote in the Roseville theme eatery called KFAN: The Restaurant, Cole noticed that the program was blaring over the speakers, drowning out innocent diners. So Cole, in a moment of surprising decency, requested that the simulcast sound be turned down so that patrons could enjoy their meals in relative peace. In this simple request, the hopeful listener could sense a lot of things. A recognition that the radio was too loud, of course. But also a suggestion that he didn't exactly care to cater to the kind of person who would actually turn up to watch a white man of early middle age talk about baseball in December. And, more than that, that the notion of showing up each week to cross-promote such a feeble branding effort and food-service concept was a little embarrassing for everyone involved. Truly, it was a touch of modesty that came through in Cole's broadcast that day. And if bringing just a tiny dose of shame to this most shameless of radio formats isn't an accomplishment, we've got a ballpark to sell you.