By Ben Sturtevant
At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, he's definitely bigger than the Huge
One (Jim Rome of XTRA 690), but fifth-year Chargers defensive
end Burt Grossman is strictly a small guy in terms of radio experience.
Nevertheless, Grossman will be a regular on KFMB 760 AM this
Grossman's Charger report can be heard Monday, Wednesday and
Friday on the Hudson & Bauer morning show on KFMB and on
Tuesday afternoons (5:45 p.m.) with Mark Larson.
Grossman's said he's not a morning person. Getting up early and
immediately going on the air made him respect morning talk-show
"It's not easy," the barrel-chested lineman said. "They
expect clever stuff, and that's tough that early in the morning.
But it's a lot easier than football."
The football player, who hails from Philadelphia, was a first-round
draft choice from Pittsburgh in 1989. He was one of the Chargers'
top defensive performers last season. The club won the AFC West
Division with an 11-5 record en route to an appearance in the
playoffs. In 1992, Grossman recorded eight quarterback sacks,
third highest total on the team. At 26, he's at the peak of his
His other career, radio, seems to be blossoming as well. Although
Grossman's broadcast runs only 10 to 15 minutes, he's a hot commodity.
Right after he committed to KFMB for the season, Grossman said
XTRA Sports 690 and Miller offered him a similar post.
"I was surprised he was available," KFMB program director
Bill Stairs said. "If I were XTRA, I would have scooped
him right up. He's really articulate and Burt has no problems
expressing his opinion."
That's what makes Grossman an attractive radio voice. He's not
afraid to say what's on his mind. Grossman's nickname, according
to the team's media guide, is "Big Mouth."
"I'm fortunate,'' Grossman said. "I can say anything
to anyone on this team. And they know it's just the way I am.
It always turns into a joke."
Quick with the one-liners, Grossman is a favorite to quote among
those who cover the Chargers.
"He's a natural," said KFMB sports reporter Mike Trussell.
"He's a funny guy, and he's got a lot of talent."
"He's got some personality," agreed XTRA's Brad Cesmat.
Grossman is proud of his newly found talent, but he's a football
player first. If the team hadn't been so successful last season,
he doubted he'd have accepted KFMB's offer.
"It would be hard if we were 6-10 or 4-12," Grossman
said. "Sometimes when you're losing, it's hard to be witty.
It's not the time or the place. People will think you don't care."
Grossman was an economics major at Pittsburgh, and he doesn't
care for Bill Clinton's economic policy. That's one reason his
favorite radio personality is Rush Limbaugh.
"I like Jeff & Jer too," Grossman said. "They're
Grossman said he'd like to stay in the media business when his
playing days are over.
"I'd like to announce football games," he said. "You
never run out of material.
"I like radio [better than other media]. With newspapers,
you don't always get to say what you want. Things get left out.
I don't mind TV, but you get caught up in how you look. You have
to put some kind of physical act on."
He'd rather save that for the football field.
All Charged Up
This year marks XTRA Sports 690's seventh season as the Chargers'
flagship station. Coverage of the AFC West Division champs is
heavier than ever. The same crew - XTRA aanouncers Lee "Hacksaw"
Hamilton and Brad Cesmat, and ex-Chargers Jim Laslavic and Pat
Curran - is back for season No. 7.
XTRA is again counting on Chargers fans to possess the stamina
to listen to more than eight consecutive hours of Chargers coverage
on game days plus daily reiteration on the weekday sports-talk
"Every year someone asks us if we're going overboard [with
the coverage]," XTRA's Brad Cesmat, who hosts both a pre-game
and post-game show, said. "It's an eight-hour program. We
do make a big deal of it. We treat it like a big event. Football's
a religion in other parts of the country. It's getting close
to that here."
XTRA program director Howard Freedman said the increased popularity
of the Chargers and of the show has brought in loads of advertising
"Everyone likes a winner," Freedman said. "We've
had a significant improvement [in sponsorship] over last year
at this time. We're way ahead."
The Charger marathon begins three hours before kickoff with the
"Tailgate Talk Show" hosted by Cesmat and Laslavic.
Then comes "The Countdown to Kickoff" with Hacksaw,
followed by the game.
Hacksaw, Laslavic and Curran handle the play-by-play and analysis.
After the game, the "Locker Room Report," which features
interviews with players and coaches, comes on. If fans don't
get their fill of Charger chatter, Cesmat returns to the air
with "Charger Talk," a show broadcast from Brewskie's
During the week, listeners can hear Chargers head coach Bobby
Ross Mondays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on "The Loose Cannons."
Ross also joins Hacksaw on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 and takes
On Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. Chargers General Manager Bobby
Beathard adds commentary on Hamilton's show. Midday man Jim Rome
usually interviews at least one Charger or a player from an enemy
Don't Forget the Aztecs
With all the hoopla over the Chargers, where is the time for
San Diego State football? XTRA found the answer.
On Saturdays Brad Cesmat oversees a two-hour pre-game show, the
play-by-play of the game and of course, the post-game show, "Aztec
"I'm a college football junkie," Cesmat said.
Cesmat also hosts a syndicated show called "This Week in
the WAC (Western Athletic Conference)." The program can
be heard on XTRA Friday evenings (5:30 p.m.) during Hacksaw's
regular talk show. "This Week in the WAC" is so popular
that a station in nearly every city represented by the WAC has
picked up the show.
The program includes features football news, interviews with
coaches and players from around the league and advances on the
Cesmat came up with the idea for the show six years ago.
"It's been great for my career," he said. "It's
opened up a lot of opportunities for me. It gives me a great
perspective of what's happening in the conference."
If fans are still hungry for college game talk, they can tune
in to Aztecs head coach Al Luginbill on XTRA Tuesday evenings
(6:30 p.m.) for a half-hour during Hacksaw's show.