On Friday, it seemed one good thing had come from Grant Napear's cease-and-desist letter regarding the Peaches t-shirt: I had Napear's email address. With that in my pocket, I struck up a conversation and asked for an email interview. He complied, and told me I could ask any questions I wanted. So I did.
The conversation did not last very long.
Here is the exchange.
Napear: My nickname is Napes.
Ziller: The other local shows on KHTK don't engage in nearly the number of confrontations and blow-ups with callers as your show does. Do you think your hard-boiled New Yorker attitude toward callers spurs on this endless cycle of loud confrontation? I mean, Kozimor and Whitey are just straight-laced and snarky -- they make fun of people without yelling at them; you rip people for being wrong (or in some cases just for having a different opinion). Do you think that attitude causes more people to call in looking for a fight? Do you think this is good radio?
Napear: As far as my show goes i rarely yell at my callers. It's just that's what most people remember. I disagree with you completely about what you call and endless cycle of loud confrontation. Do you really listen to my show? My show has been one of the highest rated shows since I began in 1995. It's either number one or two almost every rating period, so I must be doing something right. I've also been voted Sacramento's best radio sportscaster by Sacramento Magazine for I believe 8 years in a row...so if it aint broke don't fix it.
I don't agree with you at all that people call in looking for a fight. I think that is the biggest myth about my show. If you listened to my show for a week straight, I bet you wouldn't hear me tell off a caller more than once or twice if at all. It's just that's what people remember. It's my belief that you have to be opinionated on radio. It stimulates debate. My goal isn't to have people love me, it's to get them to listen. I truly wonder if you listen to my show based on your observations. As I said before I let the ratings do the talking and obviously my station has been very happy with the product. I don't think Rome would of asked me to host his show if he thought I was going to yell at people all day. If I tell off a caller, chances are they deserve it and believe it or not I get the most positive feedback from my audience when that happens. However, It has to be real...it can't be staged.
As far as the content of the show goes, I know more about the Kings than anyone else in the market. Just like F.P. knows more about the Giants than anyone else in the market. When you live with a team for 7 months a year you know what's going on. Some people have a problem with that, but they don't have a clue to what they're talking about. They always think they know what's going on with the team, but in reality they don't. How could they? Mike and I both have a big football background, so that works well for the show also. We have a great producer who gets top quality guests and the show is a lot of fun to do. I think Sacramento is a great sportstown and in general the fans are super and add a lot to the show. It's the oddball who calls in once in awhile who sticks out. Kings fans are great and other than announicing for the NY Giants I wouldn't want to work anywhere else and that's the truth.
Ziller: I don't listen to the show regularly, no. I used to (before Lamb came aboard and for about a year after), but unless you're talking to the coach or a Kings player (or letting F.P. come clean) I listen to KNBR when I'm in the car at drive time.
You can't deny your reputation is based on being opinionated -- you say it's the biggest myth, but how can it be a myth if nearly everyone in the town who has heard your show believes it? I mean, last year alone you feuded on the airwaves with Marty Mac, Kenny Thomas, the entire Bee sports desk. Amick wrote a few months ago that you and Jim Kozimor wouldn't even speak to each other during a Kings broadcast. I'm not trying to lay out a rap sheet or anything; I'm just trying to put some perspective behind my assertion that your reputation as a radio talk show host is as an aggressive person who disagrees with folks frequently and loudly. Don't you have to admit this reputation has some basis in reality?
I want to ask about one particular incident several years ago: when you questioned Bobby Jackson's abdominal strain in 2005. Do you regret questioning a player's -- that player's -- injury? I think that incident (which people still mention in conversations about you and your show) turned a lot of folks off (though, as you've said, your ratings aren't hurting).
Napear: Thank you for completely validating everything I said. You want to do an interview with me and you have opinions, but you don't listen to my show? If I told you gas was going to be $5 a gallon tomorrow would you tell all your friends, or would you find out for yourself? It's pointless for me to continue answering your questions. You're not very well informed which i gathered from your previous questions. Marty Mac is a very good friend of mine and Kenny Thomas and I are also friends. If you listened to my show you would of heard Bobby Jackson, a weekly guest on my show, say he could of played. Have you ever asked yourself why he played on Breast cancer awareness night in honor of his mom and played very well, but that was it? Of course not, because you don't think on your own. By the way, Bobby is a friend of mine. He still comes on my show and he plays in my golf tournament every year. Why do you think that is? It's very simple...he respects me and respects that I have a show to do. You're like a lot of people who think they know what they're talking about, but when you take a little time and ask questions you realize you really aren't very well informed. Also, I never said I'm not opinionated...I am opinionated and I welcome different opinions on my show. Unlike you however, my opinions are based on knowledge...maybe not always right...but it's not because I just listened to someone else without doing my homework. You might want to take that approach in the future.
Good luck! By the way...I never asked, but what is this for?
Ziller: It's for my blog, Sactown Royalty, which is where I assume you got my email address and where I have written about the Kings and the NBA on daily basis for the past three years.
Thanks for your time. Enjoy Denver and Los Angeles.
Napear: I'm not familiar with Sactown Royalty. What is it? I got your email address from a friend. I'm not into blogs so I really don't much about them.
I didn't realize you wrote about the Kings and NBA. Why all the questions about my radio show then? Why not questions about the Kings etc???
Ziller: Sactown Royalty is a blog/community. Myself and a few hundred other fans write and comment on the Kings. We get about 1,500 visitors a day, which is obviously small potatoes ... but we have a strong community. When I started, I got 20 readers a day looking for a constantly updated alternative source to the newspaper, the TV, and the radio. I'm pretty proud of what we've created.
I didn't ask questions about the Kings, etc because I know about the Kings. If my readers wanted your opinion on the Kings, they could listen to your show (which many do) or watch the pre-game. With regards to your show and your persona? Your perspective on that isn't as readily available, hence my questions. When I interviewed Amick last summer, I asked questions about beat writing.
If I wanted information about the Kings, I would interview the Kings. If I wanted opinions on the Kings... well, there are plenty of those out there. I know you are particularly close to the team, but some would argue -- as an employee of Maloof Sports & Entertainment -- you might not be the most objective source for opinions on the team.
Also, as I said, we know most of your opinions on the team. You think Kevin Martin is good. You think Quincy Douby is not. Most of us who do not live with the team 7 months a year feel the same way.
Napear: Thanks for the info...Best of luck with your endeavor. I don't think I'll be 1501, because it's not my thing, but like you and your readers I love the Kings too.
I hope my time helped the fans understand a little bit more about the radio business and what I do.
So, for the record, Grant Napear is not an angry person. Not at all. He would never respond to valid questions about his off-putting radio persona with, um, anger. That's just a popular misconception. You obviously don't know anything about Grant Napear if you think he would respond in that way.
I have so many things to say about this that my brain is on overload and I'm about to throw up. So much snark rushing to my head ... must breathe ...
Seriously, though: Thanks to Grant Napear for spending time on the road trip in Denver on his Blackberry answering questions from a random fan. It says ... something. He's nothing if not ... accessible.