I have no idea when it’s on, and I don’t watch it, but there’s a cable show in Chicago called “Sports Talk Live.” Last week its guests included Tim Doyle of the Big Ten Network and Comcast Chicago Bulls analyst Kendall Gill. There was an argument during the show about a Bulls call and what followed was a case of violent grab ass as Gill ended up punching Doyle in the hallway afterwards. Gill has been suspended from his job. Doyle has not. And some people have been critical of Doyle…the Doyle haters are out there. One ChicagoNow blogger compares Doyle to one of those people who make you wonder “how do they have a job?” Basically he calls Doyle “bland/boring and “annoying/irritating.” He also criticizes comments Doyle has made, including one about Northwestern University’s basketball offense and how “at times they could put a glass eye to sleep.”

“The glass eye comment is one of hundreds of useless things he’s said on air,” said the writer.

I disagree. That comment is genius. I wish I thought of it. I could really care less about college basketball, which is Doyle’s forte. Who do I root for in the NCAA tournament? Easy – which ever team has the coolest cheerleaders. But here’s the thing about Doyle. When he talks about college basketball – I’ll listen. He’s funny and interesting. I won’t seek out and watch the show he’s on, but I’ve heard him quite a bit on Chicago’s sports station, WSCR-AM 670 “The Score.”  To me that’s what makes a great host – someone who will grab you as a listener even though you know nothing or could care less about the topic. I once did some freelance sports writing. I was good. My editor was a woman who hated sports. She gave me a compliment I’ll never forget.

“I don’t like reading sports articles, but I like reading your sports articles,” she said. I won’t spend 10 minutes listening to a broadcast on college basketball (unless it’s about the cheerleaders), but I’ll spend those minutes if it’s Doyle discussing it.

Charles Barkley gets some criticism for his role as analyst for the NCAA tournament because he doesn’t follow or know enough about it. But most fans enjoy it because he’s entertaining. And that’s how I feel about Doyle. I’ve heard Doyle as a fill-in host on The Score before where he offered commentary on other sports. And unlike Barkley, he seemed to know something about it. He’s funny. He’s enthusiastic. He’s not one of those bland, homogenized broadcasters. He has his own identity.

Another criticism of Doyle came via a tweet by Chicago’s ABC news affiliate sports anchor Mark Giangreco.

Mark Giangreco Twitter

I remember when local news sports anchors used to be the big poo. Maybe they still are. To me, sports radio is where it’s at. I think there’s another reason people like Giangreco are disenchanted with Doyle. He’s a native New Yorker. You don’t even have to look it up. You can hear it in his Long Island accent, which probably annoys some people. A lot of Chicagoans have an unnecessary  jealousy and hatred of New York. Most New Yorkers just don’t give a shit the other way.

Bottom Line: If I’m a program director of a sports radio station, I’m hiring someone like Doyle for a shift. He entertains me.

“At times they could put a glass eye to sleep”

Tim Doyle Big Ten Network

Tim Doyle