Friday Nov 4, 2016

"ESPN Sports Talk Radio"

Danny O'Neil

Scribe: Neil Bretvick Introduced by: John Martinka

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Club Business

President Mike Ralph called the meeting to order.

Colleen Turner gave the inspirational thought.

Kaj Pedersen introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians.

Tanya Franzen-Garrett introduced student of the month Annabelle Yang from Sammamish High School.  Annabelle has done over 300 hours of community service.  She spoke of what volunteering means to her, and learning about what inspires others to volunteer, especially other young people.  She plans to attend UW after graduation.  Her family members were here to support her.

Rotary Foundation – John Martinka reminded us that November is Rotary Foundation Month. He discussed some of our club’s projects and the budget for these, and how our gifts can be leveraged with the Foundation to support these projects.  He then gave some examples of this, specifically the computer project in Antigua.  He mentioned we have a five-year history of 100% participation as a club.

Sergeant at Arms has been rotated the past few months, but we are looking for someone to volunteer to do it for the remainder of Mike’s term.  Alan Pratt served as SAR today.  He then fined himself for his phone going off at last week’s meeting.

We are looking for more volunteers to scribe at meetings.  We could really use more help.  Please contact Mark Hough.

There will also be displays at the meetings about the Rotary Foundation during the month of November, to encourage our club to give, so be sure to check these out.

Kindering (an agency supported by our club) is looking for volunteers for a painting project.  Check the website for the announcement, and if you love to paint, please help out!


Speaker program

John Martinka introduced our speaker Danny O’Neil, a reporter and writer who currently is a host on 710 ESPN Sports Radio.

Danny attended UW.  On one slide he described his work as “One hopeless ham’s journey from ink-stained wretch to professional blowhard.”  He worked at for 15 years as a sports reporter.  He worked from 1999 to 2002 at The Seattle Times, covering high school sports, which he enjoyed for its community aspects.  He then worked at the Seattle PI covering the Supersonics from 2002 to 2006.  Then he moved back to the Times with his box of office contents intact.

He has interviewed his childhood hero, Gary Carter, of the Montreal Expos.  He wrote to him as a kid, and got an autographed photo in return.  Danny interviewed him at an All Star Game.

He met his wife in the picket line while the paper was on strike.

He then discussed his transition from newspaper to Radio.  He is on the air from 3-7 on 710 ESPN with Jim Moore and Dave Wyman.  He mentioned there is no rehearsal, as they enjoy the spontaneity of each day’s show.  Danny said he is a self-proclaimed ham (see earlier quote).  He enjoys the interaction of the personalities he has the chance to work with in this career.

He mentioned his love of sports and their ability to bring communities together.  His wife, though not a sports fan, takes an interest.  Danny relayed a story about his wife asking about the referee’s signals and what they mean.

He played a clip from last Thursday’s show.  He enjoys the unique personalities each he, Dave and Jim bring to the table.

Danny mentioned the daily routine of preparing for the show.  They generally look for events that will generate a good conversation that can go on the air.  They will usually save a good conversation so it can be aired on the show.

He talked about the combination of three people on the show.  None are conventional radio hosts.  They each bring a different mentality to the show.  He relayed a Jim Moore (who is a big Cougar fan) story about meeting Warren Moon and talked about the pass to Spider Gaines that beat the Cougs and how much it depressed him.

Questions were asked about the Mariner, and arena update.

Mariners – Danny thinks they most need to address starting pitching, especially with Felix aging.

Arena update – Chris Hansen and his group were discussed.  And Key Arena is on the table again; will it be a concert venue or have an NBA team as an anchor tenant?


President Mike honored our veterans rather than providing a thought for the week.

About the Speaker

My name is Danny O’Neil, I’m 41 years old and live on Capitol Hill with my wife and our foul-smelling Shar-Pei, Peach, who is an immigrant from South Korea. I have been a “journalist” in Seattle since 1999. Well, actually, I was a journalist from 1999 to 2013 first at The Seattle Times, then at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and finally back at The Seattle Times, but in April 2013 I somehow stumbled into a job I never trained for. Since, then, I’ve served as a sports-talk radio host at 710 ESPN Seattle while also typing stuff for the station’s Web site. I’m the son of an Oregon logger. I grew up in Klamath Falls, before my family moved in 1990, putting me hip-deep in hippies for my final three years of high school in Santa Cruz County, which is in North California. I enrolled at University of Washington in 1993, which was the furthest place from my step-father that I could afford to attend. I’m excited to talk to your Rotary Club and look forward to answering any questions you may have.