Larry Michael on what would be better than the Washington Redskins playing in Super Bowl LII ~
“. . .the perfect scenario here would be, the Redskins go to the Super Bowl in 2017, which would mean 2018, and the day before the game is played, we get where Joe Jacoby is going into the Hall of Fame.”
A Ockershausen: What a great opportunity for you in Our Town to hear about the voice of the Washington Redskins, who’s going to be now a voice of the Washington Redskins WMAL thank you, thank you, thank you. A very dear friend and a big, big man in broadcasting in Our Town, Larry Michael. Welcome to Our Town.
Larry Michael: Hi, buddy. How you doing?
A Ockershausen: Larry, we’ve had such a great, great time with you. I look about all the stuff you’ve done, and I can’t believe it until I’ve seen it and read about it. You have been involved in so much, but you never left town.
Larry Michael: Never did, and one of my highlights is working with you.
A Ockershausen: Oh, Larry, the good old days.
Larry Michael: The telethon.
A Ockershausen: Oh, boy. The good old days and now, Larry. I read so much about you, but I didn’t read-
Larry Michael: Got a lot of notes there, don’t you?
The Early Years in Our Town
A Ockershausen: Anything about you until I talked to you about your beginning in Our Town. Your family moved here from Chicago.
Larry Michael: Yeah. I was born in Chicago. My parents were from Sparta, Greece. In fact, my brother was born in Greece.
A Ockershausen: Spartans?
Larry Michael: Spartans, yes. Yes, 100%. Then from Chicago, they moved to D.C., Southeast D.C. when I was two, so there is a picture of me in a Cubs shirt as a baby, but that’s it. D.C. from then on. Then a year after that, they moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, Four Corners area of Silver Spring, and I lived there, grew up there. I consider Silver Spring my hometown, really, but I was born in Chicago.
A Ockershausen: But that’s still Our Town. Silver Spring is Our Town.
Larry Michael: I think so.
A Ockershausen: Annapolis is our town.
Larry Michael: I think so.
A Ockershausen: Everything is within, what you got, about eight million people in our big broadcast schedule.
Larry Michael: Yeah.
A Ockershausen: Including Baltimore. . .they know you, Larry.
Larry Michael: My dad had an establishment in D.C. and obviously, we went to D.C. Stadium.
A Ockershausen: Not an estab- a very fine restaurant.
Larry Michael: Well, it’s wasn’t that fine, but it was a restaurant. I say establishment, some of them might think the wrong thing, huh? I said it. Obviously, we’d go to D.C. then RFK Stadium, and me and my brother would go, and later with friends, and just never left the area. Went to school here and had a couple of opportunities to leave, but-
Four Corners Elementary School | Sligo Junior High | Northwood High School
A Ockershausen: You went to grammar school and high school?
Larry Michael: Went to Four Corners Elementary on University Boulevard. It’s no longer there.
A Ockershausen: Right.
Larry Michael: They’ve got an assisted living home there or something. I went to Sligo Junior High, which is still there on Dennis Avenue, and I went to that fine, the Harvard at the Mid-Atlantic, the University of Maryland.
A Ockershausen: Well, where’d you go to high school?
Larry Michael: Northwood High School.
A Ockershausen: Oh, Northwood.
Larry Michael: Silver Spring, Maryland.
A Ockershausen: That was closed. Yeah.
Larry Michael: University, I skipped that. And in fact, Northwood was closed for a long, long time because of a lack of enrollment right there, and it’s right there, Kent Mill area, right before you get to Kent Mill-
A Ockershausen: Know it well.
Larry Michael: On University Boulevard, before you get to Wheaton and Northwood High School was my high school. Still hang out with some of my buddies from back then.
A Ockershausen: Why didn’t you go to Blair?
Larry Michael: Well, Blair wasn’t there then. In Four Corners, you would have gone to Northwood.
A Ockershausen: That’s right. Blair was in Silver Springs.
Larry Michael: Blair was down Sligo Creek Parkway down there, kind of close to Takoma Park, right?
A Ockershausen: Right. That’s right.
Larry Michael: Of course now, I would have been two blocks away. I grew up actually in a house right behind this place called the Corner Pub, which is, if you’re from Silver Spring, you know the Corner Pub.
A Ockershausen: It’s still there.
Larry Michael: It’s still there. It’s been through a couple ownerships.
A Ockershausen: Some of the people are still at the bar.
Larry Michael: Yeah, I think some of my old schoolmates are still there, too, to be honest with you. Fred and Harry’s restaurant was there. That was another landmark at the time, in Four Corners and-
A Ockershausen: It’s all a big part of our town, Larry. I mean-
Larry Michael: It was.
A Ockershausen: Anybody that grew up here didn’t know Four Corners. They never left the city.
Larry Michael: Yes.
A Ockershausen: I, fortunately, had a job one time that took me around to different places. I knew Four Corners. I knew Silver Spring, but there wasn’t much there. Now, boom. Roads, highways, boom.
Larry Michael: Gone up and down a few times. Silver Spring.
A Ockershausen: Oh my God.
St. Sophia and St. Constantine and Helen
Larry Michael: Downtown Silver Spring. The Discovery Channel really brought it back, but you know, going … The church that I attended, two churches I attended were in D.C. proper, St. Sophia and St. Constantine and Helen.
A Ockershausen: Know it.
Larry Michael: Don’t forget the St. Sophia Festival. We want you to come by and check us out. Check out the food and …
A Ockershausen: Where is it? On Massachusetts Avenue?
Larry Michael: Yes, sir. Yes, sir, right across from St. Albans.
A Ockershausen: Do we know it well?
Larry Michael: We know it very well.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Larry Michael: I mean, I could go there with my eyes closed, really.
A Ockershausen: They used to bring food. I don’t want to make this about WMAL show . . . they used to bring food up to Harden and Weaver.
Larry Michael: Right.
A Ockershausen: The lady …
Janice Ockershausen: Chris Zourdos
A Ockershausen: Zourdos did?
Janice Ockershausen: Chris Zourdos from Courtesy Jeep. You had to know him?
Larry Michael: I can’t say I know him but-
A Ockershausen: But what is . . . the baklava they would bring?
Larry Michael: You got a sweet tooth then, huh?
A Ockershausen: Oh, yes. Harden and Weaver get baklava.
Larry Michael: Baklava is the best sweet pastry type of stuff, but you know. Anyway, D.C. is my home. D.C. is my home.
A Ockershausen: I love this home.
Larry Michael: This is my home. It is my home. It’s always been my home.
A Ockershausen: This is your town.
Larry Michael: It is my town.
University of Maryland
A Ockershausen: Well, conquered your town and ended up at the university as we call it “Mer-i-lyn”.
Larry Michael: “Mer-i-lyn”. Five and a half years, Andy, five and a half years to get out of college. So, when I talked to-
A Ockershausen: Well, you were working.
Larry Michael: Well, no. I changed my major. A friend of mine said there was a need for people at WMUC which is the campus radio station above the dining hall. It’s still there. It literally changed my life. I was a law enforcement major going to college.
A Ockershausen: Larry. . .I read that. That’s amazing.
Larry Michael: Didn’t have the greatest grades. Back then Maryland will take you in. I mean, I would not get into Maryland now. Probably couldn’t afford to go to Maryland now either. It was like $300 a semester, believe it or not. But they needed help at the radio station and within … Golly, within a couple of three weeks, I was at Cole Field House broadcasting basketball games which never-
A Ockershausen: On campus?
Larry Michael: On campus. Closed circuit. What do you call that? Carrier current radio station.
A Ockershausen: Yes, closed service.
Larry Michael: It was only … It’s still there.
A Ockershausen: What a great experience.
Larry Michael: Yes, and it really changed my life. I changed my major so it took me a lot longer and some little escapades along the way, too, but-
A Ockershausen: Sitting in that chair where you are now with Chris Broullire, I don’t know whether you knew Chris, but he worked for WMUC, too. That’s where he got started in the broadcast business.
Larry Michael: A lot of people have. I support the station, you know.
A Ockershausen: Oh, boy. I’m surprised that-
Larry Michael: Try to keep that place up and running. They’ve had some funding issues over the last few years, so if anybody wants to help a worthy group of broadcasters, it’s WMUC.
A Ockershausen: The University of Maryland campus. I know it quite well.
Larry Michael: Yes.
A Ockershausen: But you got out of the law business and got into broadcasting, thank God.
Larry Michael: Thank God.
A Ockershausen: It was basketball. And then you worked for Channel 2 in Baltimore.
Larry Michael: No, not really. My professor, a guy named Professor McCleery, had gotten me an interview at channel 2 in Baltimore. So I went up there and I interviewed and it was a job to be the master control director. So you’d sit there and almost like in the lobby of the building to punch out your spot breaks and do this. And I also had, because of a part-time job I had found I had an opportunity to go on the PGA tour and cover the PGA tour. So one was a real job, one was an adventure. I took that adventure and that again-
A Ockershausen: Who was your … You were working for Channel 2 at that time?
Mutual Radio | Mutual Broadcasting System
Larry Michael: No. I never did work for Channel 2. I was still in college and I had a part-time job at a place called Mutual Radio.
A Ockershausen: Wow.
Larry Michael: The Mutual Radio-
A Ockershausen: I never knew that.
Larry Michael: Mutual Radio was located a block from The White House on 16th Street.
A Ockershausen: I know Mutual very well.
Larry Michael: It’s called the World Building. It was right … There was an Olive’s restaurant there.
A Ockershausen: And Pan Am Airways on the ground floor.
Larry Michael: Exactly right. Way to go. And that’s … I take the D.C. bus. Of course, I took the D.C. bus. D.C. Transit bus when I was a little kid to the stadium by myself, but that’s a different story. So, because of that-
A Ockershausen: Experience are Mutual. It was worth a lot, baby, because they got a great network. They didn’t get the . . . but Mutual was very powerful. Larry King all night long.
Larry Michael: Larry King was there. That’s right. Met Sam Hoff there for the first time. He did a scoreboard show and it was a network that had started way back in the 30s.
A Ockershausen: Oh, absolutely.
Larry Michael: There’s a famous picture of Babe Ruth at a Mutual microphone and all through the years. It was the other network, and it fell on some hard times and they really came back in the late 70s, early 80s on the strength of sports. And I got there on the right time.
A Ockershausen: The fights on Mutual. I remember that.
Larry Michael: Long time ago. And that kind of evolved back. I ended up doing some fights for them, too.
A Ockershausen: Larry, I never knew that about you and Mutual.
Larry Michael: Yes, there was a guy named, Al Wester, who was one of my mentors along with the guy who wasn’t there full time but you’re going to know this name, Tony Roberts, who was another one of my mentors.
A Ockershausen: Oh my god.
Larry Michael: They were in there with Mutual. Tony was the number one play by play guy.
A Ockershausen: Notre Dame football.
Larry Michael: Yes. And Al was a member of the Notre Dame crew and he was on the golf tour. So, I did golly, I probably did 20 years of pro golf. As a result to that decision not to go to Channel 2 or did the PGA Championship every year for about 20 years. The Masters, US Open.
A Ockershausen: What did you miss?
Larry Michael: British Open. Never went to the British Open.
A Ockershausen: Olympics? US Open, The Masters, Super Bowl.
Larry Michael: Bunch of Olympics. Bunch of Olympics. And Olympics got me started in boxing. That’s a few years down the road in 92. But the early 80s, the 80s, I really learned the business. I screwed up a lot. I remember Al Wester. I’d come in as an editor, a tape editor they call it back then, and things have changed, obviously. We have our beautiful digital editor. I mean, there was tapes, there was razor blades which … Not the kind that shaved but the kind that cut tape and a little piece of tape and that’s how you did it back then. He’d come, I’d come there-
A Ockershausen: At the bottom, Larry.
Larry Michael: At the very bottom.
A Ockershausen: That’s a great start, though.
Larry Michael: And I’d come in and he’d give me a handful of wire copy. Okay, and again, you know, everybody in this room knows what wire copy is but there is not such-
A Ockershausen: Maybe not.
On Calling Former Orioles Manager Earl Weaver in Anaheim, CA at 5AM
Larry Michael: There is no such thing as. . . wire copy prior to the computers, prior to really electric typewriters, okay? There was a machine that would print out AP news, UPI news … Yeah, two copies two copy paper and you’d rip it and you’d have it, and you never wanted to be a rip and read guy. If you’re a rip and read guy, they considered you lazy because you wouldn’t re-write the copy, right? But I came in one day and Al Wester gave me five pieces of copy, “get me sound on these”, and one of them was story about the Baltimore Orioles. I never forget it and I got in there about 7 o’clock in the morning. So by 8 o’clock, he gives me this piece of paper and it’s says the Orioles won and Earl Weaver got kicked out of the game. So, okay, I’m going to find out where is the … I got a little PR guy and I found out the hotel they stay at in the road in Anaheim. So, I picked up the phone and I call the hotel in Anaheim.
A Ockershausen: Five in the morning?
Larry Michael: Yes. And I asked for Earl Weaver’s room. And Earl Weaver gets the phone and I woke him up. And he … You know what he did with the umps? You’ve heard those tapes, right? Well, he did that to me on the phone. Funny. And then afterwards I told my guy, Al Wester. He goes, “You know what?”, he says, “Wait a couple of hours, call back and apologize. Don’t even interview him.” So I called back Mr. Weaver. I did it. I did it. He said, “Don’t worry about it, kid.”
A Ockershausen: I bet he appreciated that.
Larry Michael: You learned those lessons along the way.
A Ockershausen: He knew you forever then, didn’t he?
Larry Michael: Yes, Al Wester’s still around he has been a big help.
A Ockershausen: We’re going to take a break here. I’m talking to Larry Michael. This is Our Town and you got so many great story. We’re going to get more out of you, Larry.
Larry Michael: I’m here for you.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town.
Lou Holtz | Moose Krause | Notre Dame Championship 1988
A Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen and this is Our Town. I’m talking about the early days of Larry Michael. When I listen to him on Westwood One, I didn’t know that you were at Mutual then but I thought the Mutual Network was a great idea. Because of Mutual everybody participated. It wasn’t owned … It was owned by the Mutual. It was people who-
Larry Michael: It was non-affiliated stations, right? Without … From the other networks, and they have 500 stations and Notre Dame football was the big thing.
A Ockershausen: Tell me about it. Great thing.
Larry Michael: And that was really one of the proudest things I ever did. I was on their crew for about 23 years. I did every Lou Holtz show. They gave me a national championship ring. The last time, they won in 88, they gave the whole crew. Some of their relationship we built there. To this day, Lou Holtz is one of my favorite guys and anytime I see him-
A Ockershausen: What a great speaker. I love him.
Larry Michael: Yes, he’s got it all.
A Ockershausen: You’re too young to remember Moose Krause.
Larry Michael: No, I’m not too young to remember Moose Krause.
A Ockershausen: He was the color guy.
Larry Michael: Moose Krause took me under his wing. He was the AD at Notre Dame.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Larry Michael: He had the cigar and he had this deep voice and he was one of the classiest guys on Earth. Interviewed President Bush, the first President Bush there at Notre Dame.
Jim Gibbons | Steve Gilmartin | Harry Wismer
A Ockershausen: The guy that did our morning show named Jim Gibbons was a play by play guy and Moose was his color guy.
Larry Michael: Jim Gibbons, was he a Redskins play by play guy at one time?
A Ockershausen: Yes sir.
Larry Michael: Before Steve Gilmartin.
A Ockershausen: He followed Harry Wismer, you don’t remember that name. You’re too young.
Larry Michael: I remember that name.
A Ockershausen: But these are world class.
Larry Michael: Being young doesn’t mean I can’t know my history.
A Ockershausen: That’s true. You’re Greek enough to go back too. You’re smart.
Larry Michael: You got to be a student, don’t you?
A Ockershausen: You’re a student. You’re friend of Jimmy.
George Washington Basketball Play by Play
Larry Michael: I’ve learned a lot from you. I learned it a lot from you because back at that period of my career, I got a chance to do GW Basketball which was a big thing. I never forget that interview. Mike Jarvis was the head coach. They come off a good year and a guy named Ed McKee, who was the SID down there said, “Would you be interested?” And I said, “I don’t know. I’ll come down and see.” And so Mike Jarvis described to me how his previous play by play man had left to become a wrestling announcer, and they wanted to have somebody who would … And I did it for about 12, 13 years and it was great. It’s a great experience how you have to do everything yourself back then.
A Ockershausen: I think the Smith Center is a great venue too. I love that arena.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Telethon
Larry Michael: It is a great venue. But in the midst of that, I was associated with the predecessor to CSN HTS and for three years running. Very proud of my association with Mr. Ockershausen doing the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society telethon with the guy named David Falk, and what an odd couple this was. David Falk was Michael Jordan’s agent in his heyday. Andy was the same guy he is now. And I was just up and coming and for me to be with Andy who had great presence, because he’s never met a microphone he doesn’t like and David Falk who brought all the autograph stuff.
A Ockershausen: Right, the auction-
Larry Michael: He bring all the … The whole auction was based on David’s gifts.
A Ockershausen: And the great thing, he would get like a Patrick Ewing painting and we’d sell it, and then he said exclusive, and then 20 minutes later we’d sell the second one. Larry had to sell the second one. They were the good old day.
Larry Michael: It got me a lot of TV … Believe it or not, that was really important to me and also got me involved in Leukemia & Lymphoma Society which I’m still in. I’ve had some personal connections in now. It will be the 11th year that I’m the honorary chairman of the annual golf tournament, Ryan Kerrigan is my partner and that was back in … And I do remember still the cards they gave us to read, Andy, that if you … The numbers, that you have leukemia in 63, you’re 90% a goner. Now, you’re 90% going to survive.
A Ockershausen: Is that amazing record?!
Larry Michael: And so I spend-
A Ockershausen: David Nellis, what was David?
Larry Michael: David Timko. Timko is a living proof because he has been through it a couple of times. Great guy.
A Ockershausen: Yes, he had relapse. Remission.
Larry Michael: But he’s back again.
Boxing: Fight Night, No Mas Fight, Sugar Ray Leonard
A Ockershausen: But you also did, if you remember, fight night which was not … You know we use to send that show and they run it in the west coast. Every sports network we fed that at no charge a fight night.
Larry Michael: You’re not going to ask me what happened that one night, are you?
A Ockershausen: No.
Larry Michael: No. Okay, I can’t tell you.
A Ockershausen: But it was a great event.
Larry Michael: I don’t want to talk about that on air.
A Ockershausen: People would fight to get tickets to be closer to right side, too. Larry Michael sitting there –
Larry Michael: We had a thing back when I was at Mutual and it became Westwood One. We got into the boxing business then because there’s a guy out there who was close to and who I dealt with all the time at the Kempner Open and he said, “Let’s do something.” His name is Charles Brotman. We ended up being kind of the exclusive network of Sugar Ray Leonard and did special shows with Ray. We’d go to his fights and-
A Ockershausen: Did you go to the No Mas fight? Were you there?
Larry Michael: I was not there. That was before our relationship. But again, I just emailed Ray we are the same age, great guy. And as for Brotman, we’re down at Palm Beach. Sugar Ray is training for Donny Lamonde, and I’m playing golf with Mike Trainer who passed away recently, and Charlie Brotman. And Charlie, you know, not the greatest golfer, so not the greatest golfer.
A Ockershausen: No, but a lot of fun.
Charlie Brotman, Palm Beach Golf and an Alligator
Larry Michael: Great fun. And he hits the ball and it barely gets past the men’s tees and it wedges into some brush there in Palm Beach and he said, and I said “Charlie, leave it.” And he goes, “No, I got to get the ball.” He goes, so alligator comes running out of there. We saw Charlie running up on to the golf cart. That golf cart took off and that’s the last ball he looked for in the brush that golf tournament.
A Ockershausen: I wish we had him here to pin him on that story.
Larry Michael: Yes
A Ockershausen: But he made a real comeback with the Olympics. I mean, with the President’s Inauguration.
Larry Michael: He’s more popular that he’s ever been.
A Ockershausen: Oh yes, and he hates publicity. Like he hates his right arm.
Larry Michael: That’s right.
A Ockershausen: But Larry, you had such a wonderful, wonderful career with all these people and you never left town.
Larry Michael: Never do, never did.
A Ockershausen: I always tell people, I never left town because nobody ever offered me a job, but I’m sure you got a lot of offers.
Redskins Coverage: Infinity Broadcasting and Westwood One Merger
Larry Michael: I did. I mean, there was a chances to move to New York and … But as Westwood grew and the history of that company kind of gets me into the Redskins because the company, Infinity Broadcasting merged with Westwood and a gentleman by the name of Mel Karmazin was in charge and he wanted to get all of the NFL play by play rights.
A Ockershausen: Oh, yes.
Larry Michael: In fact, MAL didn’t have the rights at that time to go over the history real quick. MAL had lost it to the sport station, call letters were TEM probably but the brand was probably different than what it is now. And then it went to WJFK, which was an Infinity Broadcasting station and that was where I was hired. My producer, Charlie Broyhill and I were hired the year before they got the rights because that radio station as you might remember was Howard Stern G. Gordon Liddy, it was all talk. And we covered … We went up and produced the Baltimore Stallions in Baltimore as a CFL team.
A Ockershausen: Right.
Larry Michael: The year before JFK got those rights-
A Ockershausen: They won the championship.
Larry Michael: They did. And you might know Jim Speros. Jim Speros was the owner of the team at that time in Baltimore and that got us acclimated to producing our own broadcast. We’ve already done it at Westwood but that Infinity Broadcasting connection came in there and we came back and that’s how I got involved with Redskins coverage.
A Ockershausen: Well, there was another deal in there at WGMS FM and Catherine Meloy
Larry Michael: Catherine Meloy came to my office at Westwood. I still got the documents. We kind of scoped out what it would take in D.C. the very original documents, what it would take in D.C. to have a sports talk station. And at that time, baseball was the number one thing on the list because you’re modeling yourself after WFN in New York and they have the Mets. So, go way back, I mean, and it’s
A Ockershausen: And Catherine got the radio rights for … I know she tried to hire Sam and Sonny and they did, and Frank, and that was way back before Westwood.
Larry Michael: Yes.
A Ockershausen: I don’t know who was in that deal at that GMS.
Larry Michael: Yes. Was it-
A Ockershausen: 570 was an AM station.
Larry Michael: I don’t think it was the men that own the rails who owned the station subsequent. I don’t think they were the original owners.
Janice Ockershausen: John VerStandig
Larry Michael: I don’t know.
A Ockershausen: John VerStandig was the original owner of WGMS. The FM station at different call letters, what in the world… I’ll think what it was.
Larry Michael: But you’re right, Catherine Meloy –
A Ockershausen: FM was the power.
Larry Michael: Catherine Meloy was the one who really had the very first idea
A Ockershausen: She did a great job.
Larry Michael: To have a sports talk station in time and then she brought some other folks in and then she moved on. But it was her original idea to have
A Ockershausen: GMS was a gold mine. You know that don’t you? The classical. They cleaned up.
Larry Michael: Oh, yes.
A Ockershausen: So then you’re here. You’re sitting out here with a new owner, a new station and a new team. And we’re going to be right back and talk to Larry Michael about Our Town and how important the Redskins and Larry is to Our Town.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen. Brought to you by Best Bark Communications.
A Ockershausen: Having a great conversation with Larry Michael. We learned about his illustrious broadcast career and growing up. And one of the things I love about Larry, he loves what he does. He had some much enthusiasm and it shows, Larry. You know, as all the stuff you go through and been through, you still really care.
Larry Michael on Our Town host Andy Ockershausen
Larry Michael: I want to grow up to be you. I want to be grow up to be you because you have that say because when you do something you love, it’s not really work, is it?
A Ockershausen: No.
Larry Michael: You’re a people guy. I’ve seen you operate for 30 years now and you continue to have the same style. All be at a few times, occasionally, you might mess somebody up a little bit.
A Ockershausen: I screw up.
Larry Michael: But you still have the same style because you love what you do and you’re good at what you do, and that is the key to anybody succeeding. If you love what you do, then odds are, you’re pretty good at it and it isn’t work and you put in that extra time because nowadays, attention spans are short. Delivery of radio, audio, TV, video all the stuff is short, and everybody wants something today and those who might want to be the next Andy Ockershausen, they don’t understand all of the experience that go in to being Andy O.
A Ockershausen: That sounds a lot.
Larry Michael: So, that’s really the bottom line. That’s the bottom line. You are who you are because of what you’ve done in your life.
A Ockershausen: Larry, the thing that you point out and I applaud, I never, never, never ever remember a bad day because I don’t really have them. I don’t accept them. They’re gone. If they’re gone, that’s it. But to watch your career has been great, because I know what you’ve done, and I used to call you and you know this, out of the blue and say that Redskins show your doing is going to be a big thing for this network.
George Michael and Frank Herzog
Larry Michael: There is so many times you called me and I can look back to when I got the play by play job, George was the guy for years. Prior to that, he came out of nowhere to become a mentor to me and I watched George Michael on television. I didn’t really know him until I got in to the Redskins gig, but to have a guy like you calling me to give me advice, you got to be kidding me. And then have George call and tell me, when I got the job and I went out to Redskins park, George met me in the parking lot and said, “You got to go to Frank. You got to talk to Frank.” And I said, “Well, does Frank want to talk to me?” Because you know, I’ve now got the job the he have for some many years because you know you got to do it. You got to do it. I didn’t know Frank that well. So I said, “Okay, George, I’ll do it.” I walked over and Frank was incredibly classy and he … If I can remember the quote correctly, he says, “If you have this job as long as I did, you will be an old man when you’re done.” That’s what he told me.
Guys like that who you look up to and you think about how you might be able to represent the Redskins organization that you know that these broadcasts are going to be listened to years down the road, the NFL films and all this, I think it’s a special responsibility.
A Ockershausen: Well, it’s so important to Our Town that if you know, believe me, I lived through it with the Redskins with their signal, that I have people who would complain to me and I said, “I have nothing to do with it.” But we can’t hear.
Larry Michael: No more complaints now.
A Ockershausen: I know. It’s going to be great, Larry, and great for the team, too. They don’t know that. Bruce Allen knew it when he was here.
Larry Michael: Everybody knows it.
A Ockershausen: But the new people didn’t know.
Washington Redskins Football Back on WMAL AM 630
Larry Michael: But now everybody knows that the recent news that MAL would be carrying the games. I mean, you’re talking about Doc Walker, Chris Cooley, yours truly, the hall of famer, you do hear … We can’t hear you in Gaithersburg. We can’t hear you whenever it might be.
A Ockershausen: Annapolis. You don’t hear me in Arundel County.
Larry Michael: Problem over.
A Ockershausen: I know.
Larry Michael: Problem over I think so.
A Ockershausen: But I think this will be an effect on the team. I really mean that, people who will … There’s some chemistry there, Larry, and you got to capitalized on it because it’s there. You know, no matter how many bad seasons the Redskins have, the people want to be there. Every time I see a sell out, I still can’t believe it but it is. People will support you, Larry.
Larry Michael: The fans are the best in the world and I can tell you first hand. When I got hired by the Redskins full time which was in 05, the start TV department and you sir were down the street.
A Ockershausen: Right, and you had your little studio out there.
Larry Michael: Basically out of the basement and now to look back and to say the show that you met with me on and you still say only show that’s gets rating you’re rated, that’s why you’re still on the air. How many times you have told me that. I mean literally hundreds of time. You get ratings. Don’t worry about it. You’re getting ratings.
A Ockershausen: That’s what counts, Larry.
Larry Michael: It’s going to be 10 years. It’s going to be 10 years this July which I wouldn’t hire to do that. It just happened and the fact that the fans generate content for the show. The fans watch the show, the fans email the show and there’s-
A Ockershausen: And the sponsors love the show. I know that for a fact. It’s not just-
Larry Michael: That’s why we’re on air. We thank them for their support. We got a lot of great sponsors.
A Ockershausen: And all the good technicians you hired from Comcast.
Larry Michael: Right. But the fact is there’s a fan base out there that wants that material and now obviously things are changing. The immediacy changes, social medial, but Redskins fans love their Redskins content. They just cannot get enough. Thus, the only show of its kind where really devoted to a team 52 weeks a year everyday of the year.
A Ockershausen: I don’t know how you did it, Larry.
Larry Michael: Well, sometimes you got to make chicken salad, you know. You know what chicken salad is?
A Ockershausen: I also looked at your salary at one time and I said the man is making a $1.75 an hour. He’s working 20 hours a day.
Larry Michael: I wouldn’t be doing this for $1.75 an hour. I’m telling you right now.
A Ockershausen: Close.
Larry Michael: I’m very, very, very thankful for all the people-
A Ockershausen: But you’re not paid for what your worth, I know that.
Larry Michael: Who have paid me over the years. Well, if you want to give me a raise, go ahead. I’d be very happy.
A Ockershausen: My modern Maury Povich.
Larry Michael: I’m very happy. I’m very happy and the fact is every year, hope springs eternal and that really is the same thing with the Redskins fans. And this year is especially . . . 85th anniversary with the team and we’re back with WMAL when regardless of how contractual situation, that’s never ending in pro sports, that’s-
A Ockershausen: That’s right. There always going to be there.
Larry Michael: Fans are going to be there to support this team because that’s what this fan base is about.
A Ockershausen: And Larry, tell me some of your experiences. You had a unique experience to work with two hall of famers that are both not calling anything anymore. It happens.
On Working with Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff, Chris Cooley and Rick “Doc” Walker
Larry Michael: Well, from the first day I got the job, they took me under their wing and they said, look we want you to succeed. We like you and in fact we did get to be … We still are, very, very close friends. I said to myself, I’m never going to go to a game and not have at least two meals with these guys. So, dinner, breakfast, lunch, every meal. Sonny goes to the stadium five hours before the game. I’ve gone with him five hours before the game from the first day I was there because I can’t get enough of these guys, and as the years have passed and Sam’s out on the horse farm right now, I saw Sam at the alumni weekend. He was happy to get his new hall of fame ring, and you know Sonny very well. There’s nothing like Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Jurgensen, Sam Huff. Talking about-
A Ockershausen: Charlie Taylor.
Larry Michael: Charlie Taylor. And then you go to the guys. It should be on the Hall of Fame like Pat Fischer, Larry Brown, some of the guys that you and I remember. And the recent guys like Cooley is one of my best friends. I spend a lot of time with Cooley.
A Ockershausen: I thought Cooley. I called Chris out of the blue and said when he first started at radio, not what he’s doing now, I’m talking way back. I said, “Chris, I want to tell you something. I really enjoy your radio work. You’re really, really doing good now.”
Larry Michael: He’s a good analyst.
A Ockershausen: All I can tell you to do is listen to people and listen, listen, listen. It’s just as important as talking.
Larry Michael: He does a great job. Doc does a great job. Doc Walker known him forever, too.
A Ockershausen: Janice was his first radio producer. Do you believe that?
Larry Michael: Sure.
A Ockershausen: She started Doc Walker.
Larry Michael: He should’ve give you a cut. Hear, Doc, you should’ve given Janice a cut.
A Ockershausen: He gives her a credit for that all the time. But Larry, we’ve got so much wonderful things for you for the Fall.
Larry Michael: Do you got any parting gifts?
A Ockershausen: We’ll do anything.
Janice Ockershausen: We gave you your parting gift.
Larry Michael: The parting gift is the parting gift. Thank you so much.
A Ockershausen: Do anything for money.
Larry Michael: Appreciate that. It’s hand engraved. It’s engraved. It’s engraved.
A Ockershausen: Will you please be nice to Schuster on his road trips because he needs recognition?
Larry Michael: Schuster wishes … He does aspire one day to be Andy Ockershausen, okay? He does. He does. The body type might be different and some of the motivations might be different, but the approach is the same, believe it or not. He has learned a lot from you.
A Ockershausen: I know that.
Larry Michael: Who hasn’t learned a lot from you?
A Ockershausen: I have to beat him up all the time.
Larry Michael: Come on, Andy. Come to the booth, Andy.
A Ockershausen: But Larry, I’m telling you how happy Janice is and how happy … And she’s not a big radio listener. But she does listen to the Redskins.
Larry Michael: Good.
A Ockershausen: And she knows you and she knows what you’ve been through. Now, we’ll be able to hear
Larry Michael: What have I been through? Sounds like I’ve been through the ringer.
A Ockershausen: In Anne Arundel County.
Larry Michael: Well, you know, it’s going to be magic because as Andy told me, every time he sees me, the last time the Redskins went to the Super Bowl, they were on WMAL. And so, it has been that long.
A Ockershausen: Five Super Bowls.
Larry Michael: And so, you are now, you are predicting a Super Bowl right here, right now for the Redskins. Regardless of the roster.
A Ockershausen: Absolutely. Then I could do it this year. Take a little time, Larry. Expectations are a great … Got to settle all this … You know, there’s a lot of distraction in their team now. New coaches. We don’t know who’s going to be there. We don’t have to-
Looking Ahead to 2017 Washington Redskins Football Season
Larry Michael: I disagree. I disagree. When was the last you’re out there? What’s the distraction? You have a guy leave Sean McVay left, you replace them with a great guy, Matt Cavanaugh that’s not a distraction. I’m there everyday.
A Ockershausen: What else can they say Cavanaugh was so great they should have fired McVay.
Larry Michael: He didn’t get fired.
A Ockershausen: I know that. He got the job.
Larry Michael: You know why, he’s on the fast track, that kid.
A Ockershausen: But you’re on the inside, Larry.
Larry Michael: The distractions come when you have to retool the roster. The roster is just like when you graduated high school, you’re never going to see half the people you graduate with and that happens in NFL Locker Rooms
A Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Larry Michael: How many of these people I’m looking at won’t be back and who’s replacing them. That happens for every team.
A Ockershausen: It happens to the NBA more.
Larry Michael: It does and the Wizards are doing great right now.
A Ockershausen: Aren’t they doing great?
Larry Michael: They are.
Jimmy Moschovitis | Dean Spanos | Alex Spanos
A Ockershausen: But Larry, do accept how much we appreciate you. And if Janice does appreciate you, she’s the one that is a big fan. She knows football. But anyway, when I found out your friend Moschovitis, that changed my opinion of you.
Larry Michael: For the better or for the worse?
A Ockershausen: No. Neutral.
Larry Michael: Oh, okay.
A Ockershausen: Jimmy is not in good health. Did you know that?
Larry Michael: Jimmy is up there in age. Great guy.
A Ockershausen: Yes, I know. He’s a friend of Spanos. He used to go to San Diego games all the time.
Larry Michael: The senior Spanos.
A Ockershausen: Yes, Dean. No, Dean is son. No the old.
Larry Michael: The old man. He used to too . .
A Ockershausen: I think the old man died. Did he not? The kid runs the team now.
Larry Michael: Kid runs the team. I think the old man still lives.
A Ockershausen: Oh. But I know he was a good friend of Jimmy’s. But good luck to you this Fall.
Larry Michael: Thanks man.
A Ockershausen: We’ll be listening and all your experience is going to show up on these broadcast.
Larry Michael: Are you going to show up unexpectedly to the booth? Are you going to show up unexpected again? You do it every year a couple of times. Now though, because of your former association, I guess still association with this radio station, you will feel even more entitled to walk in and pretend like you own the place.
A Ockershausen: The booth. You used to pay to redecorate the booth. Now this time we get that free. Why they moved you, I would never have put up with that.
Larry Michael: They sold the booth.
A Ockershausen: Don’t go with that. You’re more important than the booth.
Larry Michael: You’re a money guy. You’re a sales guy. You know how that goes.
A Ockershausen: They wanted to do that to RFK, I wouldn’t let them. We’d had a big fight with them.
Larry Michael: So do you still have 25-year old WMAL Redskins shirts?
A Ockershausen: Yes.
Larry Michael: You still do.
A Ockershausen: Yes and so does some of our guests and some of our friends.
Larry Michael: Are those authorized? Are those authorized with the official clothier here?
A Ockershausen: It says I’m a WMAL Redskins fan.
Larry Michael: You said Nike, though. It has to be Nike for it to be legit.
A Ockershausen: Those things will live forever, so will you.
Larry Michael: I know. You probably … Thank you, buddy. Thank you.
A Ockershausen: I thought you’ve been through it. What else can you possibly do in sports you haven’t done?
On Superbowl with the Washington Redskins
Larry Michael: Super Bowl with the Redskins.
A Ockershausen: There you go.
Larry Michael: I’ve never done a Super Bowl. That would be it. That would be the one-
A Ockershausen: Give me a prediction, Janny, how many years for Super Bowl?
Janice Ockershausen:: Confident Larry knows what he’s talking about. So, I’m going to say 2017.
Larry Michael: Wow. I’m only saying that because of WMAL being on board.
A Ockershausen: It takes more than that, Larry.
Jay Gruden and Joe Jacoby – Double Header Weekend
Larry Michael: Yes. Well, you know that, here’s the bottom line, two years in a row with the winning team. I like Jay Gruden. I really like Jay Gruden. He has grown into that position. He commands the respect and also he’s close with the players in a couple of different ways. They’ve got a lot of talent. Offensive line looks good. Need to bolster the defense. You got a quarter back who can win. Can he win the Super Bowl? Let’s give him a chance. You might recall back in the day, it was a different quarter back every year, it was a different running back every year. That offensive line was the constant. So the perfect scenario here would be, the Redskins go to the Super Bowl in 2017, which would mean 2018, and the day before the game is played, we get where the Joe Jacoby is going into the Hall of Fame.
A Ockershausen: Will that be a double header?
Larry Michael: That would be the weekend that you’d never forget.
A Ockershausen: You know, I have my own reasons why Jake didn’t get in and has to do with the presenter. I won’t go into that right now. But he should be in slam dunk. Now, he has another shot at it, correct, next year?
Larry Michael: One more before he’s-
A Ockershausen: Before he goes to the senior.
Larry Michael: I do want to have you on the air so you can continue on what you don’t want to talk about. There’s a couple of times during this, you’ve said you don’t want to talk about something and I do want you to talk about that but at different venue because we want to save some of the ratings for a different time.
A Ockershausen: Larry, you’re the greatest and what you have done is incredible and your career has been fabulous, and you bring so much enthusiasm and that’s what it’s all about. You really like what you do. It shows in your broadcast. It shows in your voice. Every time I see, you’re up.
Larry Michael: Thanks, man. I’m like you. I mean, everyday is a chance to do something great, right?
A Ockershausen: Isn’t it the best, baby?
Larry Michael: Everyday is a chance to do something great. That’s the way I look at it.
A Ockershausen: You know, I got a personal email from Bruce Allen to tell me to tune in because the announcer was going to be me. I was very flattered. But he could’ve told me on the phone so I didn’t have to listen.
Larry Michael: Did you hear what happened during that interview? I got on there and now Larry and Larry are going to do a-
A Ockershausen: Larry was here, though, was he?
Larry Michael: Larry was here. He does the afternoons here.
A Ockershausen: Yes, but-
Janice Ockershausen Larry O’Connor?
Larry Michael: Larry O’Connor.
A Ockershausen: Bruce was here.
Larry and Larry Tailgating Tips?
Larry Michael: Bruce was here. I came, too. So Bruce did a segment then I came on a segment and then we kind of agreed on the air that Larry and I would do the Larry and Larry tailgating tips.
A Ockershausen: I didn’t hear that.
Larry Michael: That’d be good. Is that a good idea? You’re a guy that knows good ideas.
A Ockershausen: Well, this will help his ratings, though, having you on air with him. Or you can promote it on NBC, you and I.
Larry Michael: Put on Redskins Nation.
A Ockershausen: Larry Michael, you are a jewel.
Larry Michael: Thank you, buddy.
A Ockershausen: And thank you so much for being in Our Town.
Larry Michael: Your town is my town, my friend. Thanks, man.
A Ockershausen: Larry Michael. The voice of the Washington Redskins.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to Our Town Season 2. Presented by GEICO, our hometown favorite with your host, Andy Ockershausen. New Out Town episodes are released each Tuesday and Thursday. Drop us a line with your comments or suggestions. See us on Facebook or visit our website at ourtowndc.com. Our special thanks to Ken Hunter, our technical director and WMAL Radio in Washington D.C. for hosting our podcast. And thanks to GEICO, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.