What “SVP and Russillo” Has Meant to Me


I feel like most of my best posts on here are when I get deep into thoughts and opinion or feelings on a certain topic. Passing along information or posting a simple video is fine, but these types mean a lot more to me, and if you take the time to read it, then I appreciate it. Another thing about these kinds of posts for me is that I never can think of an appropriate intro, so I just ramble off something, like this, and say that there is no order of content in mind. Whatever comes into my head is how it will be written out, and hopefully it makes sense when it’s all said and done. I don’t want it to be too rehearsed. Just want to let my heart do the typing and see where it takes me. So here we go…

“SVP and Russillo” will be ending this afternoon. Briefly, if you don’t know, that is Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo’s radio show on ESPN. Why is this ending up on a blog about UofL sports? Well for one, it does circle around and tie together with something UofL related for me personally. And two, this is my forum and platform to get things out, so sometimes there are these posts that may seem random. But this one means a lot.

As many of you may know, Steve Rummage and I will be starting the Cardinal Sports Zone radio show tomorrow (Saturday) morning on 93.9 The Ville. It will be from 10-11 a.m. every Saturday. We picked this date a few months ago because it simply made sense with our schedules and we would both be done with vacations. I had no idea at the time that our starting date would be one day after my favorite radio show has its finale. Why is that significant to me? Because I don’t even know that I would be doing this show if it were not for SVP and Russillo. More on that later…

I never was a big listener of podcasts or even sports talk radio for the longest time. I would catch SVP and Russillo on TV every now and then, and I always enjoyed it. But that was it. No podcast or radio listening for me. Then in May of 2014, I got a new car that came with Sirius XM radio, and the game changed. I had a job where I drove around the state of Kentucky all afternoon and met with clients. Almost everyday during the week, SVP and Russillo made my drives fly by.

These two guys seem like the most normal and down to Earth fellas out there, and it is nothing short of refreshing. If your sense of humor doesn’t match up with theirs, you may not enjoy it to the extent that I do. SVP always seemed like a cool anchor on SportsCenter because he would mix in some opinion, which they don’t normally do. So him having a whole platform where he can be himself has been a treat to listen to.

Circling back around, what does this show have to do with our radio show that starts tomorrow? Well, we started a podcast back in March of this year. I have also done some radio spots here and there over the last couple of years. I am not exactly Mr. Excitement when I talk and I don’t show a lot of emotion. That is just how I am. Doesn’t really sound like a good fit for someone on the radio. So when I would listen back to myself on certain shows or our podcasts, I doubted myself because to me, I didn’t sound like I thought someone should sound on the radio. Maybe I wasn’t loud enough or didn’t have the charisma that I thought you had to have.

The more and more I listened to SVP and Russillo, I started to pick up on something. I called Steve one day and was discussing this with him. He absolutely does not have the problem that I have. He is Mr. Charisma and has that hosting personality. But I told him that I was aware that I am not the best on radio because I am just being me, and me is usually calm, cool, and collected. But then I told him why I was finally OK with that. I became OK with being me because SVP and Russillo are clearly themselves, and for me personally, I told him “I am just like Russillo on the air.”

He raises his voice at times, but for the most part he stays calm and just says his piece. But the best part of that is his wit and sarcasm that he brings. My friends have always said that I usually just sit back and don’t say much, but when I throw my two cents in, it’s gold. And that is how Russillo is. The subtle jabs he takes are great. I used to think he was pretty arrogant, and he very well may be. But that is fine because he is being himself, and it works for me. So rather than feeling like I have to be over the top and someone that I am not, these two guys have given me confidence to just be me. If people don’t like it, it’s fine. But if my role is the sarcastic, sometimes arrogant one, then so be it.

What is ironic about these guys giving me the confidence to be myself is this next tweet, long after I already knew that they had influenced me to do just that.


There are three things that come to mind that can make me literally laugh out loud when I am by myself, which is tough to do. Those three things are: The Office, Impractical Jokers, and SVP and Russillo. Whether it is SVP making Tim Kurkjian crack up laughing or the banter back and forth between the guys and Stanford Steve and Outsider Mike, the show legitimately puts a smile on my face and became a part of my everyday routine. The most recent memory of real laughter was when the guys did an episode of “What” when trying to give away the “Print the Shirts” shirts. I am sitting on the beach on vacation with headphones in, smiling and laughing by myself and probably looking like a fool. Didn’t care. Felt like I was listening to my buddies.

The guys will still be around, just not together. SVP is going to have his own SportsCenter type show late at night. Russillo is going to keep the time slot on the radio and have his own show. Both will be great I am sure. But it won’t be the same. This seems like a perfect time for this…

So yes, it is just a sports talk radio show. And both guys are still going to be around doing their own thing. Why does this bum me out so much? This show became something I looked forward to each and everyday. It made me smile. It made me laugh. It gave me confidence to be me, and that is a big reason why I will be on the radio tomorrow morning. So to go back to the first sentence in this paragraph, it is obviously much more than just a radio show, and I will miss it.

This was last night, and I appreciate his response more than he knows.

Thank you SVP, Russillo, Stanford Steve, and even Outsider Mike.

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