BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST - 2007
A funny thing has happened to sports radio: They don't yak about sports nearly as much as they used to. Take Dan Barreiro, the top-rated talker at the Cities' leading sports radio station, KFAN (1130 AM). The former Strib columnist lards his show with his meditations on current events and interviews with Norm Coleman, which, while modestly interesting, do nothing to deepen your knowledge of the T-Wolves' backcourt or the Twins' relief game. You can't really blame the guy. It's been medically proven that if you spend too much time thinking and talking about sports, you will probably become dumber. Still, the sports junkie looking for a straight fix is usually willing to take that risk, which is why he is best served by catching Paul Allen. Along with co-host Jeff Dubay, P.A. is an unadulterated, unashamed sports wonk. You might want to know what P.A. thinks about Iraq or Britney Spears, but that's not why you tuned in, is it? You want to hear his keen insights and, comically, his ass-wrong prognostications. Even those who are turned off by P.A.'s funky-white-boy bits have to acknowledge that he is a true radio pro. That's seldom more evident than when you hear his impeccable play-by-play work for the Vikings. Allen, now in his ninth year at KFAN, cut his chops as a racetrack announcer, and it shows in his fluid, rapid-fire delivery. Not surprisingly, the hardest-working man in local sports radio still holds down a track gig at Canterbury Park.