The Rochester Americans announced that Clear Channel will be the official radio broadcast partner of the team, the games will continue to be broadcast live on 107.3 FM and 1280 AM. That was expected, no real change. The one bit of news that came along with that though is that Craig Schaller will be back on the air hosting intermission reports as well as the post game show taking phone calls.
It’s great that the team will be focused on an attempt to have a post game show again with the hopes of generating discussion. It’s unfortunate that it’s Schaller that will be hosting it. The only hope is that he’s changed and he’ll be focused on what a post game show should be about, the game itself.. assuming he actually watches the game to be able to talk about it.
The team would’ve gained some more support if they would have hired someone like Rob Sanderson who hosts Drop the Puck on Sunday mornings on WHTK or even Joe Guiliano who did the in arena intermission and post game reports the last two seasons. They’re both knowledgable and also supportive of the Amerks in a way that helps to continue to build the fan base.
It’d be great to have someone onboard that will be known to do a great job, not just hope the person is going to do a better job. We’ve had enough years of “hoping” things turn out better than the way they sound.
You may be asking, what’s the issue with Craig Schaller? Continue reading if you’re interested, stop here if you don’t care.
You can read this flashback to October 2008 with a nice article written here about him, “Craig Schaller: Who Do You Think You’re Kidding?”
After the Amerks first game of the season with the Florida Panthers as the new affiliate the show started this way:
Why is Craig Schaller still doing the Amerks’ postgame show? He clearly could care less about what is happening to the Amerks at any given time. How does he start off his post-game show on Saturday? By telling the Amerks’ fans how the Pirates won their first game and we didn’t and how the Pirates are going to be far better than the Amerks this season.
The Amerks were under new ownership with Curt Styres. Curt Styres arrived stuck with the Panthers as the affiliate. Yes, many of us Amerks fans were not happy with the way the Buffalo Sabres were handling minor league operations and all for good reasons. The issue was that a post game show should be to talk about the game itself. Schaller never watched the games. He could never talk about them. He couldn’t talk about how a play changed the game, how a penalty had an impact or even a great save to change the momentum. He was always too busy ranting about all of the off ice issues or just highlighting other games. There’s nothing wrong in a post game show going over other scores but that shouldn’t be the priority.
Written back in 2008:
It’s time to get a new post game show. One the fans can be happy to listen to on their way home from a game whether we win 12-1 or lose 14-0. A post game show should reflect the team and the fans. Craig Schaller’s show represents neither.
One of the things he did a great job of was talking down to the fans. He often ridiculed dedicated fans and the way they supported what was going on. You know why fans were doing those things Craig? Because that’s what fans do. Through the great times and bad times they support their team.
In April 2011 Schaller wrote these things:
The only bitterness I have toward the club is that when they dropped me from their broadcast team, there was not a single “thank you” to me for eleven years of doing my show. No cards. No messages. Nothing. Other than a thank you from Don Stevens when I talked to him soon after. Don is a class act who deserves better.
Why would an organization thank a person for anything when that person did little to try and support what was occurring? If anyone listened to his show they likely wanted nothing to do with going to an Amerks game. I admit, the team was bad but the person hosting a post game show is usually supposed to be an advocate for the team.
Now that Buffalo’s ship has sailed away, and a packed house at the Blue Cross Arena consists of around 3,000 fans, do those fans really still think it doesn’t matter who the parent club is?
The attendance in the first season of the Florida Panthers being here wasn’t any different than the last few seasons of the Buffalo Sabres during the dual affiliation years. The difference is that the ownership group prior to Curt Styres fabricated all of the attendance numbers. The attendance numbers on paper show great numbers but if he would’ve ever set foot in a game he would’ve known that they were completely wrong.
What matters is WINNING. When the 2009/2010 Rochester Americans started the season with 18 wins and playing exciting hockey the building was starting to fill up. It does matter who the parent club is because the parent club helps build a winning environment.
I warned everyone. I preached. I hollared. All it seemed to do was anger some folks. Not the quiet ones. Not the ones who agreed with me. They didn’t call. But it sure did piss off some loyal Amerk fans. Yes there are a few of em. Loyal Amerks fans. Dyed in the wool Amerks fans. God bless em, but most of the ones who disagreed with me had their heads in the clouds. They felt like the Amerks existed in a vacuum. That the parent club didn’t matter one iota. That everyone in town should be going to games just because they were “Rochester’s team”. That no one went to Amerks games BECAUSE OF the affiliation with the parent club.
In other words….CLUELESS IDIOTS!
Clueless idiots. Wonderful. Yes, he warned everyone. Yes he was right with some things. The reality was that there was nothing any of us or even he could do about it. Steve Donner had burned bridges and the affiliation with the Buffalo Sabres was over. They were off to Portland and there was nothing that could be done. Did some want Buffalo gone? Yes. There’s even a lot of fans still not happy about Buffalo being back. The reasons are the way that the Sabres handled their views on AHL hockey when they went to a dual affiliation and gave us scraps of players.
Dylan Hunter? Mike Card? Mike Funk? Adam Dennis? Yippee.
People didn’t go to the games BECAUSE of the affiliation, if that was the case Blue Cross Arena would’ve always been packed with the Sabres here but it wasn’t. Again, the numbers on attendance reports were all fabricated, they didn’t represent actual people in seats. We weren’t clueless and still aren’t clueless.
The reason there’s a lot of great talk about the Sabres back in town is because of Terry Pegula buying the team and giving the team a focus on winning championships. The focus on getting fans back by selling season tickets for $10 a game. The thoughts of top prospects like Zack Kassian, Marcus Foligno, and TJ Brennan. The fact that they signed top free agent goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
Craig, I hope you’ll focus on the game and players, not allowing callers to talk about fantasy football and the baseball playoffs. Prove us supposed clueless idiots wrong that you’re the right man for this job.