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Jake Query Just Needs You to Pull the String and Let Him Go

“I keep waiting for people to realize that I’m really not that good of a shooter. But then I remind myself that I’ve been in the sports media now for almost 30 years. So I guess I know what I’m doing.”

Brian Noe

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Jake Query
Courtesy: Indy Star

Beginning on Monday, August 21, middays will have a different sound on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis. The station will launch Query & Company starring the charismatic and always entertaining Jake Query. With a permanent co-host yet to be announced, Query will begin the task of replacing former host Dan Dakich who left the station last December.

Query moves from mornings on the Fan to the noon-3pm slot. As a noted night owl, getting more sleep is just fine with Query. 

“Here’s the other thing, man,” he told me. “I’ll be 51 in two weeks. I get it. The new horizons and the high ceilings, it doesn’t make sense for me to steal that from a younger guy. And I have health insurance. I mean, what am I to bitch about?”

Talented hosts aren’t always team players; Query is. Special talents don’t always think beyond themselves; Query does. Maybe having a heart attack, a gun pointed at his head during a robbery, and getting laid off has something to do with his outlook. Query talks about all of those experiences, and as only he can, works in slot cars and cheeseburgers. Enjoy! 

Brian Noe: It was just announced that you’re headed to middays on the Fan. What do you think about the change?

Jake Query: I’m cool with it. I knew, obviously. I’ve talked to them. It’s really interesting to be honest with you. I think I’ve been around the business long enough. And without getting too philosophical or whatever, but just when you go through what I went through from a health standpoint a couple years ago, you just focus less on always trying to put yourself in position and strategize for your career, and I think more so just put yourself in position to enjoy the way you live.

When I got this job, at that point I was almost two years between jobs. That’s not to say that I couldn’t have gotten a job somewhere, but I just was waiting for what I thought I wanted to do. Then I had a heart attack, so I was really focused on just trying to be healthy and recondition. So when I got hired by David [Wood], I remember telling him, look, I’ll be loyal to you. I’m a loyal guy. I believe in loyalty above everything else.

When he came to me, my answer to him was, David, look, I work for the radio station. I don’t work for a show. So if you think it’s in the best interest of the radio station, or if it helps you out, then I’m willing to do that. And most notably, I’m more willing to do it because I don’t have to get up early in the morning. [Laughs] I’m not a morning person. I never had been, David’s known that. I’m excited about it. I’m kind of invigorated by it. I have a great respect and appreciation for the trust they’re putting in me.

BN: You’ve had a number of partners before. Just stylistically, what type of style do you mesh best with in terms of your on-air partner?

JQ: That’s a really good question. I don’t know that I can define it. I think that there’s two ways to look at sports. There’s an analytical way of looking at it, and then there’s almost a cynical way of looking at it. I’m definitely more of the cynic. In other words, I’m not the sabermetrics kind of guy. I understand the importance of that, but I’m more of a critical thinker as opposed to a linear thinker. So probably somebody that fits the more brass tacks, statistical X’s and O’s is somebody good because that balances me. It probably holds me accountable in my thought. 

Kevin is definitely that guy. Kevin Bowen is definitely a guy that looks at depth charts and analyzes statistical probabilities and plays and things like that. I’m more of a guy that’s like, did somebody screw up a play or not? I don’t know if I should or should not admit this, but I’m definitely more of a free wheel, pull the string and let it go guy.

There’s two kinds of toys to play with in your living room. You can play with slot cars that stay in the slot, and they go faster or slower depending on how much you push the button. Or you can play with the ones that you unwind them, and then they just run rampantly all over the place and bounce into walls and shit and kids love it. I’m definitely the latter; that’s the kind of toy I am. So it probably is good for me to occasionally be with a slot car because then the listener, depending on which mood and what toy he wants that day, is going to be able to get the toy he wants.

BN: You mentioned the heart attack. How did that shift your outlook on life and radio in general?

JQ: It happened on October 22 of 2020. When you go through it, you never forget the date. So I’m in that room, and they come in and they say to me, look, you’re having a massive heart attack. You have 100% blockage. Two chambers in your heart have stopped working. I said to the doctor, shoot me straight here, like, am I about to die? Well, it’s the most critical 15 minutes of your life; there’s no question about that. I said, well, that doesn’t answer my question, which in fact, directly answered my question.

Here’s what I say, Brian, and I don’t want this to come off the wrong way because it’s going to sound very elitist. In that moment, I had a great peace about me. I didn’t have to call anybody to apologize to them. I didn’t have to tell anybody I love them because they didn’t know it. There was no cleanup. I had this great kind of calm demeanor about me, thankfully, and I think to a great extent that’s probably why I did live.

My January of 2020 started, I’m a Clemson fan, I watched them get blown out of the building by Joe Burrow and LSU. The very next night, I walked into a gas station and had a gun pointed right at the temple of my head by a watchman because I walked in to an armed robbery. Then the day after that, I got laid off. That’s how my year started. Then COVID happened three months after that, and then 10 months after that I had a heart attack. I’ve always said it was the best year of my life because I was forced, even before the rest of the world was with COVID, I was forced to have this reset.

I realized when I lost my job in January, that I had a peace about it because I had been through job losses before so I didn’t allow my job to define me. I don’t want to be defined by what I do for a living, I want to be defined by who I am. I think I learned through that whole process not to let it be a passion that entirely drove my happiness. It doesn’t drive it. As a result of that, it’s just allowed me more of a peaceful coexistence for the changes that take place with that, because I try not to emotionally allow my satisfaction or my identity to be completely tied to it.

BN: Have those experiences changed how you sound on the air?

JQ: Yeah, I think it’s fair to say. Here’s the bottom line. There was a time when I first got into radio 15 years ago, 17 years ago, I believed that I needed to push the envelope. I believed that I had to be hot take guy. I had to be strong and opinionated and stand my ground and dig my heels in and be loud. I believed that I had to be a brush fire. I believed that being a brush fire was the way to go.

I probably had some success, I guess, but it wasn’t me. I think I was headed towards the direction of the epiphany. I had this thought in my mind that I just needed to be me, and that being an asshole wasn’t really me. People stop me in the store, I always ask their name, what they do for a living, and talk about them instead of me. I genuinely want to know about people.

Once I went through those experiences, it was cemented that that’s who I am and what I wanted to be. And so, yeah, it probably gave me a little bit of perspective on what was truly important to me. So did it change me? It probably gave me a little bit more compassion for people. It just gave me more of an appreciation probably more than anything else.

BN: Which do you think could be more problematic for a host’s career: not realizing that you can be yourself, or is it being too narrowly focused on just sports?

JQ: I think it’s probably a fine balance. For me, diverting from sports is truly who I am. I am being myself by being that way. Now, in the end, it’s still a sports show. The chicken nuggets at Wendy’s are good. I like the chicken nuggets at Wendy’s, but they’re still a cheeseburger place. Wendy’s might have really good chicken nuggets, but they better not forget how to make cheeseburgers because that’s ultimately what people are going there for. I have to remind myself that I really like the chicken nuggets I provide, but I know that in the end, people are coming to me for cheeseburgers. I have to have that knowledge of sports.

The greatest compliment to me is this, I had to do an event last week and this woman comes up to me who was probably upper middle age. Very nice lady. And she’s like, oh my gosh, I listen to you guys every morning. I love it. And my husband thinks it’s the weirdest thing because I don’t care anything about sports. Whenever people come up to me and say, hey, I listen to you every morning or whatever, I always ask them the same three things aside from what do you do for a living and what’s your name. I always ask them, how did you find our show? Then I say, hey, shoot me straight, I won’t be offended, tell me what you like and don’t like about our show.

What I find 90% of the time, people are like, I love when you go off on other topics. I love the fact that it’s not all sports. I’m going to know what’s going on in the world of sports, but then I always learn something different, which I appreciate. The greatest thrill in the world to me is when somebody comes up to me that I can tell doesn’t care one iota about sports, but they like the show. I think they like the show because they just feel like they’re talking to their friends, like they’re eavesdropping on two guys at dinner.

BN: What do you like and dislike most about yourself as a host?

JQ: I hate my voice, would be number one. If given enough time in an interview, I do think I have a unique ability to get people to speak to me and give me answers that are pretty candid because they trust me in conversation. But there’s no doubt about the fact that I can get too long-winded and lost in my own questions. That’s a weakness and that’s something that I don’t like about myself.

One of my biggest weaknesses, and it’s always been a challenge for me, is sometimes what is really clear to me and very black and white, is really gray to other people. And I can’t understand how people don’t see things as definitively as I do. That’s a weakness of mine, for sure. Then trying to illustrate why that point is so clairvoyant to me, also can become very cloudy in my delivery. Those are things I don’t like. It’s hard for me to listen to airchecks because my voice is so bad it drives me nuts.

I’ll be honest with you, Brian, I don’t know if I’m any good at what I do. I really don’t. I don’t know if I belong in the job that I have. I’ve had this recurring dream for like 20 years. In this recurring dream, I get this weird NBA tryout. I go out there and I’m like, oh my God, I have no business on the floor. But for some reason, no one guards me, and I hit like 15 shots in a row from the left wing. And I’m like, oh my God, they think I’m really a shooter, but I’m really just on this hot streak. I end up making the roster, and I’m like, I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I’m on an NBA roster. I have no business being here.

That’s kind of how I see my radio career. I keep waiting for people to realize that I’m really not that good of a shooter. But then I remind myself that I’ve been in the sports media now for almost 30 years. So I guess I know what I’m doing. I think the thing that drives me is I’m still trying to satisfy the guy that 14-year-old me wanted to be. Every time that I get content or complacent, I’m able to still channel inside of me that 14-year-old and that drive and desire. Even the times when I get frustrated, I remind myself how bad I wanted this. That’s what’s pushed me.

BN: As far as the new show, if you could accomplish one thing — think of a genie in a sports radio bottle or something — it can be anything that you want, what do you want to accomplish most?

JQ: I would want people to listen to our show and say that they enjoy it each day and that it gives them an escape. I would want them at least twice a week when they’re having dinner with somebody to say, you know I heard something interesting today I’d never thought about. That’s the ultimate.

I asked a question the other day on the radio. I was driving into work and I thought to myself, I wonder what the smallest city in the United States is that has the largest amount of tourism. I come on the show and I go, I got a question. I just asked it on the air. With podcasting now, it’s interesting, people are listening at all hours of the day. I give my number out on the air so people can reach me. I shit you not, Brian, I got texts about that for like four straight days. All hours of the day.

People are like, you know, I was thinking it’s gotta be such and such. People were still thinking about it like three and four days later. So that’s what I would hope. I want people listen to it, and find enough enjoyment in it that they listen again. Then in retrospect, they realize that the reason they listened to it is because it allows them for a little bit to just kind of let their mind go somewhere else. It allows them to exercise their mind to maybe think of things once or twice a week from a different vantage point. That’s my hope for the show.

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Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

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NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

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Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

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ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

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Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

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