Adams' Press Box show on Greenwich's WGCH a sports paradise

Talking sports is a time-honored tradition in Greenwich. Whether it’s about which New York baseball team reigns supreme, how the local ice hockey programs are faring or if the Greenwich High and Brunswick School football teams will make a run deep into the fall season, the town of Greenwich loves its sports.

For WGCH Sports Director Rob Adams and the rest of his co-hosts in the Press Box, this is all music to their ears.

 

Adams, along with Ryan DeMaria, Chris Erway and Chris Kaelin, spends two hours every Monday night talking about everything that is going on in the world of sports. While all four are hard at work during the work day, it’s the 7 to 9 time slot that they treasure the most.

“We are building up the show and are trying to entertain people,” Adams said. “That’s the most important thing. Yeah, we are a sports talk show, but this isn’t a great call-in town. It’s a town that likes to listen and likes to talk sports. They just don’t like to call, so we try and entertain them. I know we are a little goofy, try to stir the pot a little bit, get off-topic and talk about movies and travel at times, but that’s because we are real. We are four guys and four friends. We sit around and talk sports for a few hours and we want to convey to our listeners to listen in and join us.”

For a perfect example of the variety of topics discussed during their weekly show, look no further than Monday’s show on WGCH.

The Press Box started out by talking a little New York Jets and New York Giants, but quickly threw up for discussion whether the Pittsburgh Steelers, Adams’ favorite football team, are the best in the AFC. After talking about Greenwich resident and Columbus Blue Jacket winger Cam Atkinson’s charity event that took place on Sunday, it was off to talk about Fairfield’s appearance in the Little League World Series.

Throw into the mix Greenwich High football, the best high school venues to broadcast a sporting event, the possibility of a National Hockey League lockout, Roger Clemens making his return to baseball and Augusta National inviting its first two women members, it was a sport-lover’s dream.

Adams is no stranger to talking sports on WGCH. Starting in the late 1990’s, he hosted a plethora of sports shows on 1490 AM. Back in 2009, WGCH President and CEO Michael Metter wanted to get more sports on the air at his radio station and approached Adams about the idea of producing a national sports talk show.

“I can come on and do an hour or two on my own, but it’s a lot more fun bringing all these guys in,” Adams said. “We are all friends and all get along great.”

Adams, who also was the voice for the Hudson Valley Renegades at the time, first met Ryan DeMaria at the ballpark and immediately started chatting about sports. After showing Adams his passion for sports, DeMaria came down to the radio station and joined Adams for a national sports talk show that was also called the Press Box.

That version of the Press Box finished its run in September of 2010. However, when Adams got the word that the Press Box was coming back, he knew where to turn.

For this version of the Press Box, which started up again this past March, it was a no-brainer for Adams to have DeMaria, a Danbury resident, back and talking sports.

“These guys have all become my friends,” DeMaria said. “We needle each other all the time and I enjoy it. There’s nothing better than talking sports with your friends on the radio.

Joining Adams and DeMaria for this version of the Press Box are two more familiar voices. Both Chris Kaelin and Chris Erway were frequent guests on the previous version of the Press Box and have also been a part of the WGCH radio team that broadcasts every down the Greenwich High football team plays during the fall for the past several seasons.

“This is really great,” Kaelin said. “I know a lot of people in the area, so talking local sports comes very easy to me. I have been working with Rob for three years and being in this community is what’s so much fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have fun and try to let the audience feel like they are with us.”

“I am loyal to these guys,” Adams said. “They work their butts off. Every now and then we can grab a pizza or get a drink, but they are a hard working group. They are very dedicated to the channel and I am very dedicated to these guys as well.”

While Adams, Erway, Kaelin and DeMaria are friends off the air, they are still more than willing to stand up and back their opinions.

“When we get mad about something, or have a legitimate argument or gripe, we are not afraid to voice it,” Kaelin said. “If there is something we don’t like, I think all four of us are not afraid to let our opinions known. We all aren’t shiny, happy people holding hands all the time.”

What makes the Press Box unique is that it isn’t four guys who all like the exact same local teams. Adams is a huge New York Yankees, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Steelers fan, while Erway cheers for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys. Kaelin is passionate about the New York Mets, New York Rangers and New York Giants, while DeMaria is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Giants, New York Knicks.

“For someone who has always had a passion for this, it is a great feeling to be able to discuss and debate with these guys,” Erway said. “I have been doing sports shows since college and we are all lucky to have this opportunity to put our own spin on this show. It is, by far, the most fun I have ever had when it comes to anything related to sports. I have laughed more in-studio and on-air than anywhere else.”

The Press Box has had an easy time entertaining people throughout its tenure. Adams has been able to chat with people like legendary WFAN radio personality Steve Somers; Kay Murcer, the widow of New York Yankees Hall of Famer Bobby Murcer; YES Network’s Jack Curry; Columbus Blue Jacket winger and Greenwich resident Cam Atkinson; and Newsday’s New York Knicks beat reporter Alan Hahn.

“We’ve got the parents listening, but we want to get the kids listening as well,” Adams said. “We have a demographic that stretches from 15-years-old and up. I really think the sky is the limit with this show. I think we need to cover everything. I like the idea of being local because that’s what the town wants, but if we could get big names on too and create a mix, that would be great. We created the two-hour show because we could do so much with it.”

While Adams, DeMaria, Kaelin and Erway have had their fair share of regional and national talent share the airwaves, they haven’t forgotten where they are broadcasting from. Last week, the Press Box had the captains from the GHS football team and they were chatting for well over an hour. During their short tenure with the show, they’ve talked to high school baseball, softball, rugby and ice hockey players, as well as baseball buff and State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151).

“I think we are entertaining people, and this town is definitely big on sports,” DeMaria said. “The schools in town are great in football, field hockey, field hockey, baseball, rugby and a lot others. There is a hunger in this town for sports and that’s what we love to do here. I love coming down here because it’s a lot of fun.”

While the two-hour sports talk show is firing on all cylinders, all four know that the show can reach bigger and better things.

“We are only really scratching the surface,” Adams said. “We are a Greenwich radio station, but we also know that there is a void left in northern Fairfield County. We also don’t reach the New York border and fall off the face of the earth. There is a lot more to the world than just Greenwich. We can also reach Rye, Port Chester, Harrison, Rye Brook, Brunswick, Stamford, Trinity and Westhill.”

Erway said that he believes the Press Box can get even bigger down the road, as all four radio personalities have solid connections to the local sports scene, in both Greenwich and in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

“We have great stories to tell,” Erway said. “As long as everyone remains committed to turning this show into a powerhouse, the sky is the limit for who we speak with and how far we reach.”

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