THE HOUSTON MEDIA WATCH "Q&A" WITH THE MIGHTY DYLAN GWINN OF SPORTS TALK 790..."REAL TALK"!
Written by: Craig Shelton
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
HMW: FIRST THING RIGHT OUTTA THE GATE DYLAN, I WANT TO SAY THANKS FOR THE INTERVIEW & THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT YOU HAVE SHOWN HMW ON THE MIGHTY GWINN SHOW!
DYLAN'S TAKE: And I want to thank you! I love what you all are doing over there. We in the media spend our time watching these teams and what they're doing. We need people to watch us as well and keep us honest.
HMW: TO GET STARTED DYLAN TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE MIGHTY DYLAN GWINN, AS FAR AS WHERE YOU"RE FROM & HOW YOU CAME TO BE IN H-TOWN?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I'm originally from Washington, D.C. Joined the Army right out of high school. Did that for a couple years. Went back to D.C., remembered why I had left in the first place, then moved to New York to live it up! I've been in Houston for 5 years. My wife and I met in New York in 99'.She's from Spring, and after a few years of the crazy city life she wanted to come home. I had already been to Texas a few times and loved it. So I said, "Cool!"
HMW: SO TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF & YOUR BACKGROUND IN RADIO/ENTERTAINMENT?
DYLAN'S TAKE: My career in radio has actually been very short-lived. I got a job in the Woodlands as a night security guard when I first got here. Guarding the same neighborhood where Avery Johnson lived. That was cool. But ultimately I knew I needed to do something with my life. My wife, who had always pushed me to do radio said, "You know, you talk a lot. You should probably do something with that."
HMW: SHARE WITH YOUR LISTENERS SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW IT FELT WAKING UP THAT FIRST DAY KNOWING IT WAS TO BE YOUR FIRST BROADCAST OF "THE MIGHTY GWINN SHOW".
DYLAN'S TAKE: Well, honestly it sucked. Because I was still doing traffic and couldn't focus on my show. But the whole thing had happened so quickly...from the time I first auditioned with Ted...all the way up until December 7 when The Mighty Gwinn Show started. That I think I was in a literal state of delirium!
You never imagine this stuff happening like this. I always thought it would be different. Like, I had made it and it was easy street from here on out. Never thought I would still be in traffic and doing my show. But after a couple months they hired my replacement and it was all good.
HMW: SO TAKE US INTO YOUR THOUGHTS, LET'S SAY IN THE FINAL 10 SECONDS AS YOU COUNTED DOWN TO GO ON THE AIR FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH THE SHOW?
DYLAN'S TAKE: You know, of all the questions in this interview. This one threw me the most. I honestly can't remember. But I do remember my moments before I first went on with Ted, on my audition. I was seriously nervous. Its one thing to say provocative and controversial things to your steering wheel as your driving around town. But its quite another to do it when everybody is listening and you know your going to get attacked.
HMW: SO TELL US WHAT SETS DYLAN GWINN APART FROM THE OTHER TALKING HEADS IN THE CITY?
DYLAN'S TAKE: This town is really done a huge disservice. I don't think I've ever come across a bigger bunch of homers in my life. The press around here really needs to decide whether they serve the fan or the team.
The Mighty Gwinn Show is none of that. We deal in brutal honesty. That strikes some people as negative. Because there's nobody else saying it. This is a great town with great fans, and we deserve teams that represent that.
The Mighty Gwinn Show is a voice of accountability in a sea of complacency.
HMW: TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BOSSES, MICHAEL BERRY & BRYAN ERICKSON.
DYLAN'S TAKE: I like to think we have a great relationship. I owe both of those guys, HUGE, for giving me an opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do. I don't know how else to re-pay that. Besides just doing the absolute best I can. Which, is what I will do everyday.
HMW: GIVE ME ONE GUY'S NAME FROM THE COMPETITION, WHOSE WORK YOU RESPECT & WHY?
DYLAN'S TAKE: This is going to shock you. But when he's not talking about the Texans, I really enjoy listening to Mark Vandermeer. Eventhough he's pretty much the anti-Gwinn, in the sense that he's as positive on the Texans as I am negative. I really have a lot of respect for a dude who can do play-by-play...at a high-level...and then turn around and hold down a talk show.
That is not easy. We would never agree on the Texans, and would most certainly never agree on Kubiak. But when he's not on those topics I think he's exceptional.
HMW: DYLAN, DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A POTENTIAL NATIONAL SPORTS TALK HOST?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Absolutely. That's what I've been grooming myself for, and I think you'll notice that I spend a lot of time on national topics. Both because the Texans decided to take the free agency period off, the Rockets didn't make the playoffs, and the Astros are in a re-building year. But also to practice for the eventuality of going national.
HMW: IS THE SPORTS TALK FORMAT REALLY WHERE YOU WANT TO BE LONG-TERM IN YOUR CAREER?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I still see myself as eventually doing something in politics. But I hope to be able to do sports and politics. Not necessarily in the same show. Though I do occasionally swerve into current events on The Mighty Gwinn Show. But ideally, I would love to devote my time to a sports show and a political show. I know I can do both and do them well.
HMW: DYLAN, YOU HAVE PROVEN TO BE FEARLESS IN REGARDS TO THE VARIOUS TYPES OF TOPICS YOU WILL TACKLE. MOST NOTABLY, RACIALLY SENSITIVE TOPICS. WHERE DOES THAT FEARLESSNESS COME FROM IN A CITY WHERE SPORTS TALK HOSTS TYPICALLY RUN, DUCK & DODGE, FROM "HOT" TOPICS SUCH AS RACE ISSUES IN SPORTS?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I grew up in Washington, D.C. A town that is nothing, if not contentious and full of debate. I also grew up in a political family as well. Where my family were Democrats and I was a Republican. I've just always gone for the throat, and I think that makes for far more interesting radio.
I also grew up in a neighborhood where I was the "white kid." I was stationed in Harlem when I was in the New York City Fire Department. So its always been with me.
HMW: WHAT'S YOUR RESPONSE TO THE CRITICS THAT SAY YOU USE RACE, VINCE YOUNG, & BARACK OBAMA AS CRUCHES TO CARRY YOUR SHOW TOO OFTEN?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I discuss those topics when they're relevant. I think the people who have a problem with that are probably people who disagree with my stances on those issues. Same thing with the Texans. The only people who tell me to stop talking about the Texans are the people who don't like what I'm saying.
If I was talking about how Vince was going to the Pro Bowl next year people would be all about it. I think those are all issues that are provocative. Which is what talk radio is all about. The people who don't talk about controversial issues have a nasty habit of turning up unemployed.
HMW: WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON TITAN RICK?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I think I like him more than he likes me. I honestly don't know why people don't put him on the air. He's great radio! My show is about passion, and those phones light up after Rick comes on. Unless he drops an F-bomb he'll always get play on TMGS.
HMW: WHAT'S YOUR REBUTTAL TO THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN CRITICAL OF YOUR PRECEIVED "SOFT" COVERAGE OF THE ASTROS, AS OPPOSED TO YOUR PERCEIVED UNFAIR CRITICISM OF THE TEXANS?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Those people haven't been listening. When Brett Myers was signed I did a show in which we posed the question of whether or not the Astros were racists for hiring Myers...who had been arrested for spouse abuse...when they fired Julio Lugo for the same exact thing.
(When 610 does a show asking whether or not the Texans are racists. You let me know.)
HMW: OK DYLAN BUDDY, IT'S TIME TO COME CLEAN MAN. DYLAN ARE YOU REALLY A TRUE "STEEL BLUE" TEXAN FAN THAT BLEEDS "BATTLE RED" BLOOD OR AN IMPOSTER..C'MON DYLAN...COME CLEAN MAN? RATE YOUR TEXANS' "FANDUM" DYLAN ON A SCALE OF 1- 10?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I only have one team I root for above the Texans and that's my hometown Washington Redskins. So, 15 out of 16 weeks this year I'll be in Battle Red. I guess that makes me a 2 on the fandum scale? Lol!
HMW: WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR STATION IF YOU WERE THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR A DAY? ALSO, TELL US TO WHOM YOU WOULD GIVE A RAISE AT YOUR STATION (OTHER THAN YOURSELF LOL) AND TELL US WHY?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Well, first of all, The Mighty Gwinn Show gets another hour. That's auomatic. Sorry Matt Thomas. Lol! Its tough to say who I would give a raise too. I don't really know what they're making. But Matt Thomas works really freaking hard! He's the KTRH news guy in the morning, has his show from 12-3, and then does Astros pre and post game. I do the Astros stuff with him. So I know how much is involved.
I'd give Matt...a very small raise. (Can't let it get to his head! Lol!)
HMW: WHAT'S THE WORST ISSUE FACING SPORTS TALK RADIO & THE SPORTS MEDIA IN GENERAL IN HOUSTON & HOW DO YoU SUGGEST WE FIX IT COLLECTIVELY?
DYLAN'S TAKE: The worst issue is bad, or under-performing teams. I'm not going to lie to you. It is freaking brutal. With the Texans mired in mediocrity and making virtually no free agent moves. The Astros scaling back payroll in preparation for being sold...its just rough. The Rockets had their lumps this year as well. But unlike the others that was due to injury. It
As far as the industry. I wish we would all just be a little more critical and hold the teams a little bit more accountable. Not that they have to do what I do. Truthfully, I don't want the competition. Lol! But be more real and don't think you have to be a homer to survive.
HMW: WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MENTOR SINCE YOU JOINED SPORTS TALK 790?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I've learned something from everybody. But I'd have to say Matt Thomas. Dude is a real pro. And his direction with the Astros stuff I do on 740 has been invaluable. We're lucky to have him.
HMW: TALK ABOUT THE MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN YOU & LANCE ZIERLEIN FROM 1560 THE GAME.
DYLAN'S TAKE: This question might be better directed at him since he was the one who got upset. But all I did was read a blog he did and comment on it. I disagreed with his opinion. But it was hardly a rip job where I said something like, "Listen to what this idiot Lance had to say!" Or something like that. In fact, I even said he was technically right. But I disagree with his conclusion. That was it! And because of that little comment, he went on the air and trashed me over the course of two days. I've said far harsher things about Richard Justice articles and he's never said a peep.
If anything he should have been happy I read his work on 790.
HMW: IF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO CO-HOST WITH A CURRENT MEMBER OF THE SPORTS TALK 790 TEAM, WHICH WOULD IT BE & WHY?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I would be happy to work with any of these dudes. But I would have to say Matt Thomas. He's a total pro and we have a healthy, natural disagreement on most things that I think would make for good radio.
HMW: DYLAN, YOU PLAY A LOT OF HIP HOP BUMPERS ON YOUR SHOW. WAS HIP HOP MUSIC AN INFLUENCE GROWING UP AS A TEENAGER? ALSO TELL US WHO YOUR FAVORITE HIP HOP ARTIST IS, A WELL AS YOUR FAVORITE ROCK GROUP?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Hip Hop was a huge influence in my life. I grew up in a predominantly black area of D.C. I heard it all through my childhood. I've just always felt comfortable with it. The Notorious B-I-G would have to be my favorite. I knew the neighborhood where he grew up in Brooklyn. Just always felt he did good stuff.
HMW: DYLAN, NAME THREE HOUSTON RADIO PERSONALITIES (NOT FROM 790), THAT IF YOU HAD TO DO A SHOW WITH AS CO-HOST, YOU FEEL THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Well, besides Craig Shelton. And I'm sure he would quit as soon as he heard he's be working with me. But, I think Mark Vandermeer and I going to war over the Texans would be epic. Brad Davies was the first guy to ever put me on the air at 790, and we've hung out socially before. So I know I could work with him.
Carl Dukes would be another. Although I think we both work better alone. We both do a similar type of thing. But different enough that we could pull it off. He was also really cool to me when he was here at 790.
HMW: WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE CALLER TO THE MIGHTY GWINN SHOW?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Titan Rick. Nuff said.
HMW: DYLAN, WHATS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE SPORT MEMORY GROWING UP AS A KID?
DYLAN'S TAKE: My most memorable moment is John Riggins breaking away and running to glory in Super Bowl XVII. It just personified everything that team was; grit, power, determination, everything.
HMW: WHAT ABOUT YOUR "WORST" SPORTS MEMORY GROWING UP AS A KID?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Its 1985 and I'm supposed to be in bed. But I sneak downstairs to watch Monday Night Football. Just in time to see Lawrence Taylor break Joe Theismann's leg.
HMW: SO WHAT DOES THE MIGHY GWINN DO FOR FUN WHEN HE'S NOT TALKING SPORTS & PISSING FOLKS OFF?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I'm a domesticated animal. I hang with the fam. I don't see them enough nowadays. so I get every moment I can. I'm also a hunter. The video of me shooting that 900 lb. hog was the most viewed video in Mighty Gwinn Show history.
HMW: TALK A LIL BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY & HOW THEY'RE ADJUSTING TO YOU BEING A PUBLIC FIGURE & HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC & FOLKS LIKE HMW?
DYLAN'S TAKE: The wife is loving it. She worked in independent films for a while. So she's used to the whole entertainment thing. The prodigy is too young. As long as I have a bottle with me he's all good.
HMW: DYLAN NAME YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE NFL, NBA, & MLB PLAYERS
DYLAN'S TAKE: Michael Jordan is hands-down my favorite NBA player of all-time. John Riggins was my childhood. Seriously, it got a little weird. I straight-up loved that dude. As far as baseball, this may surprise you, but Paul O'Neill of the Yankees. He had attitude, swagger, everything you want. A real champ and a leader.
HMW: ON A SCALE OF 1- 10, RATE HOW KNOWLEDGABLE DO YOU FEEL THE HOUSTON SPORTS FANS ARE & EXPLAIN YOUR RANKING?
DYLAN'S TAKE: Well, the knowledge is a 10. The problem is what they do with that knowledge. I'd like to see people put 2 and 2 together and get 4. They know everything about Houston teams and national teams. But still make excuses for bad, or under-performing teams.
HOW CAN THE MIGHTY GWINN IMPROVE AS A HOST?
DYLAN'S TAKE: I need some HGH.
HMW: DYLAN, MAN, I JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS AGAIN FROM THE HMW FAMILY & BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR SHOW, THE MIGHT GWINN SHOW, MON- FRI @ 10AM ON SPORTS TALK 790. BEFORE WE CLOSE I WANT TO OPEN THE FLOOR FOR YOU TO MAKE A CLOSING STATEMENT TO YOUR LISTENERS.
DYLAN'S CLOSING COMMENTS: Appreciate it! Look, I've been incredibly blessed in my life. Both personally and professionally. There's never a day that goes by where I don't thank God for the awesome opportunity and responsibility of talking to the sports fans of this city.
Whether you love or hate me, agree or disagree, knowing you're out there means the world to me and I'm grateful. Peace!
HMW FINAL THOUGHTS:
Great job by The Mighty Dylan Gwinn! Thanks to Dylan for the strait forward honest answers and we Aat HMW, wish Dylan great success moving forward. Thanks also to Sports Talk 790 for their support of HMW! You folks keep up the good work over there and we'll be watching & writing!!
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