Okay, here’s where we sit after today. The SEC and ESPN have formed–what some consider to be–the unholiest of unions by creating the SEC Network. From August of 2014 through the year 2034, the two conglomerates will put you on an overload of the conference the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Again, some of us like it and some of us don’t. Either way, we’re all going to have to deal with it. So I urge you to stop complaining about financial numbers, stop complaining about how this in some way negatively affects your conference, and stop complaining about the length of the contract. Instead, it’s time we focused on something important.
The ‘Voice of the SEC’ needs to become the ‘Voice of the SEC Network.’ Yes, this network NEEDS Paul Finebaum.
For those who need a quick education as to whom Mr. Finebaum actually is, the nickname referenced above pretty much says it all. Finebaum is a radio host based out of Birmingham, Alabama. It would be impossible for me, in one column alone, to list all of the accomplishments the host has received throughout his career. Probably the best example that I can give right now is how numerous people have tagged him as one of the most powerful/influential people in the conference.
A radio host, in an era where there is an entire generation who probably doesn’t even know what a radio is, is one of the most powerful people in the most powerful conference in college football? To me, putting having him be an integral on-air part of the network is simply a no-brainer.
And, the best part? At the current moment, Paul Finebaum is a free agent. So, there is a window for this to happen.
Back on January 21, Finebaum’s contract with WJOX in Birmingham ended and he decided not to renew, thus actually making him an unrestricted free agent. The host has since been off-the-air for the majority of the college football offseason, and quite frankly the void has been easily noticeable.
Now I understand that Paul can’t keep out of work until August of 2014, the man loves what he does too much. He loves praising the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban to the high heavens. He loves poking fun at Gary Pinkel and the Missouri Tigers–prompting the coach to fire back at him. He loves taking phone calls from psychotic ‘Bama fans admitting that they just poisoned the trees that make up Auburn‘s famed Toomer’s Corners. The man loves everything that is southern college football. No matter what they have to work out, ESPN and the SEC need to make sure that this man has a place on this network when it does launch.
For those in the south and those of us outside that region who’ve relied on the wonderful invention that is satellite radio–be it through our smartphones or cars–we know what the host brings to the table just by speaking into a microphone when it comes to SEC football.
Not having him be a part of this network and robbing the rest of the country of his brilliance would simply be just that–a robbery.