The Silence of the Lamm Has Finally Ended
Sports talk radio in Jacksonville has shaped this city’s sports landscape.
David Lamm, known by avid fans and loyal listeners as the Guru, has been at the forefront of this landscape since 1978.
To many, Lamm is Jacksonville sports talk radio.
And for the last five and a half months, sports talk radio has been empty without its loudmouth and opinionated know-it-all. I have not coined these descriptions, it is his listeners who have rewarded David Lamm with such titles.
Back in late January, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. made nationwide cutbacks. Unfortunately, the shockwaves were felt on the First Coast.
At that time, Lamm at Large, which had been on the air since December 7, 1991, was beheaded. With the cold drop of the guillotine blade, the show was canceled and co-hosts David Lamm and Joe Cowart were suddenly and without warning informed of its demise.
As we have repeatedly seen, the economy was to blame. Lamm and Cowart, employees of 930 The Fox, were left out to dry. And, with six-month non-competes in their contracts, Jacksonville-area media positions were out of the question.
While a contract can dictate actions and/or inactions, David Lamm could not be silenced forever. With his family and charitable works to keep him busy, he impatiently waited out the legalities.
Just like his hero John Wayne, Lamm is riding the proverbial horse back onto the airwaves at ex-rival, 1010XL (AM).
Lamm’s return is scheduled for Monday on the new creation, Sam & Lamm with Tom McManus (the “Sam” is Sam Kouvaris of local television station, Channel 4).
For its first program, the newly-formed team with be on location at The Mudville Grille in St. Nicholas. Slamm at Large with Tom McManus, as I have nicknamed it, will be on air weekdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Uncle Dave, as some of his listeners have fondly deemed him, turns 64 today. After a six-month silence of the Lamm (as I have referred to his hiatus), this new opportunity to give his sports opinions on air is one of his best birthday gifts.
Lamm used his sudden and unexpected time off to travel to Tampa Bay and catch the Rays in action at Tropicana Field. He and his wife Ellen also enjoyed a lengthy vacation through North Carolina, Lamm’s home state.
Additionally, he took pride in having time to devote to his favorite charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Northeast Florida. In addition to being a Big Brother, Lamm is helping with the expansion of Sports Buddies, a program where Big Brothers and Little Buddies attend sporting events together.
As you would expect from such a giving and community-oriented role model, David Lamm did not waste one second of his day during his hiatus.
When he is not sharing his time with BBBS or working on other community projects, he enjoys leisure reading on a variety of topics. Just ask Lamm how many books he reads per week (one at the bare minimum; sometimes one in a day).
During a two-hour meeting with Lamm at his Arlington home, he admitted he is “looking forward to it (the new show).”
Lamm, former Florida Times-Union executive sports editor, quickly added, “I’m looking forward to a little bit of the tension (with my co-hosts). I don’t mind situations that are just a little volatile; a little trembling of the Earth. That’s good, and it keeps you smart. It gets me fired up.”
Any loyal Lamm listener knows that no show is complete without firing Lamm up, and listening to the fireworks explode is the epitome of an entertaining show.
As Lamm entertained me with his priceless stories and quips, he jokingly conceded, “I told several people I really need to get back to work because I have so many great things to say. And, right now there is nobody to listen to me.”
Without Lamm, sports talk radio in this city is like playing basketball without a ball. It’s a hot dog without a bun. Things just haven’t been the same since January. David Lamm, the sports talk radio legend, completes the sports landscape.
With no Lamm chops (dubbed by some friends in the radio business), it’s difficult to find a host to love and hate on the same day, and he cherishes the controversy.
I have heard him repeatedly tell callers that he enjoys the bantering. Agreement on a topic is a definite bore. Disagreement and debate is inspiring.
Although Lamm’s arrival at 1010XL was one of the worst kept secrets, it doesn’t diminish the excitement that will soon reach the airwaves.
After waking up at 4:30 a.m. for years while on Lamm at Large, Lamm will now be guaranteed at least eight hours of sleep. Lamm with sleep will wake up Jacksonville.
Imagine a well-rested Lamm! A full night's sleep could make him louder and more opinionated on air.
However, Lamm will not have much time to become acclimated to his new radio home. This coming Wednesday, after only two shows under his belt, he'll head off to Birmingham, Alabama, for SEC Media Days.
Join loyal Lamm fans in welcoming David Lamm back to the airwaves this Monday at 10 a.m. on 1010XL.
Jacksonville will once again be shaken by his controversial sports opinions. The silence of the Lamm is finally over. David Lamm is back in the saddle again.