The Media Men’s Manliest Moments

Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich. Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

After more than four combined decades reporting for The Courier Journal, local sports authorities Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford have taken a simultaneous leap from print to TV.

Now on-air personalities for WDRB, the two collaborate with one another on local sports coverage, while also going head-to-head during their Monday Morning Meetings on the station’s website, where they debate the hottest topics in news.

The Voice-Tribune spoke with Rick and Eric about their recent move to sportscasting, and the manliest moments they remember most throughout the history of sports.

What’s it like starting in television after years working together in print?
Eric: We do more collaborative things, but then the big difference with TV … you’ve got to start worrying about –
Rick: Makeup.
Eric: All the sudden you have to go buy makeup and that’s not very manly. But, you have to start worrying about, “I have to dress better, I have to wear ties.” That’s the biggest difference; that’s the biggest adjustment.

What’s the manliest thing you’ve had to do as a reporter?
Eric: I remember once there was a coach in Memphis that had been cheating and (Rick and I) had to go to his house and we were going to have to confront him. He wasn’t there though, but we walked up and knocked on the door and didn’t know what we were going to encounter.
(And at WDRB) we just had to throw out the first pitch at the Bats game. We both bounced it in the dirt because we weren’t used to throwing it off the mound. (He laughed).

Who was closer to the plate?
Rick: I think I hit the plate.
Eric: I thought I crossed the plate before it hit the dirt, but when I watched it on the news last night I didn’t feel so good about it.

The manliest male sports figure?
Rick: Muhammad Ali. Not only was he a great athlete, he was just charismatic. “So pretty,” as he liked to call himself. He was manly, but he was pretty.
Eric: I think Ali would be right there. I think some of those other fighters in his era too, Joe Frazier.
Rick: I’d say Michael Phelps is getting up there on the list too. … And I’ll even throw Mark Spitz in there.
Eric: There’s got to be a football player, like Walter Payton.
Rick: Dick Butkus was very manly.
Eric: Dick Butkus, or Mike Ditka is probably your manliest sports media guy.

Manliest moment in sports?
Eric: The problem with those manly moments is that they can make grown men cry, which is not always perceived as manly. You know, the Miracle on Ice would be one of those. Carlton Fisk hitting that ball out against the Reds in ‘75 where he’s motioning the ball to “get out, get out, get out.”
Rick: When Michael Jordan played in the NBA Finals with the flu … that was pretty manly. There was a guy named Willis Reid, played for the New York Knicks in 1970, who had a serious knee injury … and he limped out on the court before the game and played against the Lakers, and then won the NBA Championship. That was manly.

Who’s more of a man’s man between you two?
Rick: I don’t know, I was the first to buy the makeup, so that may give Bozich the edge. Bozich has this Serbian heritage that’s both masculine and a little frightening.
Bozich (laughing): I’ll go with me.