An Interview with Brandon Tierney of ESPN Radio

This week Unruly Jets Fan (a.k.a. Steven George Muha), had the honor of sitting down with one of the most knowledgeable and entertaining Jets radio personalities, Brandon Tierney. Brandon, who hosts "The Audible" directly after the 5th Quarter show on 1050 ESPN Radio, has been a Jets fan all his life. On his show, Brandon's fandom comes through with stats and facts flowing off his tongue while giving shock therapy to callers who are mostly driving home from the game.

Brandon discusses in depth his early days as a Jets fan, who his favorite Jets players are and what it was like working with Stephen A. Smith.
Enjoy the interview...

Unruly: Have you been a NY Jets fan your whole life?

BT: Since Day 1, for as long and as far back as I can remember. I vividly recall racing back from Church when I was 6, 7 years old, and while I didn't even fully understand the game or the rules at that time, I knew the team with the green helmets were on TV. More importantly, I knew that that was the team I was rooting for. Every single Sunday.

Unruly: What moment in Jets history did you say to yourself, "This is why I am a Jets fan!"?

BT: True Story...I'm sitting in our basement in January of 1983, watching the end of the Jets-Raiders game at the Coliseum, and my Dad's honking the horn for me to come outside so we could leave for dinner at my Grandma's house. I remember saying to myself..."Pops, you can honk all you want, I'm not moving from this chair until this one's in the bag." After Lance Mehl sealed the deal, I flicked off the TV set (no remote) and ran upstairs and jumped in the car. I was nine years old, and I made the hole family wait. That's when I knew. And with God as my witness, if that game goes to OT...I'd still be in that chair. Spaghetti and meatballs can wait.
Unruly: Who is your favorite all time Jet?

BT: Loved Wesley Walker growing up and always called out his name when I caught a pass in the street. Freeman was the man in the open field, and while the D-line got all the attention (and rightfully so) Lance Mehl was my favorite on the other side of the ball. Al Toon was insanely gifted, Kenny O was better and tougher than most people think, and most recently, Chrebet and Vinny really brought genuine pride back into the stadium. Right now, I feel something brewing with Cotchery.

Unruly: What was your re-action to hearing the boo's/cheers when Pennington went down with an injury last week and Clemmens came in?

BT: I've never been so disgusted, or so embarrassed at the fans. I actually replayed the incident three times, and every time...I felt more and more ashamed. Sad. Let's hope everyone learned a lesson, but I hate to say it...it was a low point for this team, at that venue. One of them, anyway. Utterly unacceptable.

Unruly: After seeing how the first week played out, do you think Tannenbaum dropped the ball with the way he handled Pete Kendall?

BT: You bet, yet, I understand Mike's position. No one is above team policy, and for a second year GM, it's important that he establish continuity within the franchise and handle things consistently. Sure, they'll miss Kendall, they already do. But to compromise what you believe is right, especially for an aging player...not good business. I know what Mike was doing. This year, it will come back to bite him, but down the road, this situation could serve him and the franchise well.

Unruly: In your radio show "The Audible", do you find yourself amongst your own people when the callers call in or do they scare you at times?

BT: Scare me? Come on now. Half the time, I probably scare them, especially when I'm fired up. Listen, I sat in the stadium for years, rooting my ass off for this franchise, and like many Jet fans, I've had my heart stepped on more than a few times. I love when callers are fired up, as long as they keep perspective. Don't waste your time, or my time burying Chad when in reality, he was one of the only players to show up against the Pats. Know what you're talking about, because I certainly will. Actually, immediately following a game is one of the best times to be on the radio, at least for me. It's an extension of shock-therapy. Eventually, you walk away feeling a little better. Bloodied and battered and dazed, for sure. But ready for the next game. It's the evolution of emotions, and it's a beautiful thing.

Unruly: Out of this year's rookie class, who do you think will make the biggest long term impact to the Jets?

BT: It has to be Revis. I love this kid, loved him at Pitt. Love him in coverage, love him tackling in the open field, love him on special teams with some room in front of him. He is legit, and will be around for a long, long time. Great draft pick. He can run, he can cover, he can hit, and he's smart. Add that up, and you're looking at a future Pro Bowler. SOON.

Unruly: Do you consider this a re-building year for the Jets?

BT: It depends. After going 10-6 last season, would you consider a 7 or an 8 win season an effective rebuilding process? I don't. It seems that for whatever reason, just when the Jets show signs of progress, rather than advancing forward, they regress a bit. Sometimes it's injury, like Vinny in '99, sometimes they lose key players to free agency. Whatever it is, it's frustrating. If they really want to rebuild, they should start with some players that actually fit the 3-4 scheme. They're playing the wrong defense for the personnel they have, and have basically turned Vilma from an athletic dynamo, into an average, under-sized player. It makes no sense.

Unruly: Do you miss being on the radio with Stephen A. Smith anymore?

BT: I miss the daily banter, the interaction, and really...the show in general, sure. We're both very proud of the work we put out together, and to this day, we both believe that over a relatively short amount of time, we made a real definitive mark together. In radio, that's not as easy as you think. It was a unique show, different from anything else on the radio, in my opinion. Still, it was always known as the "Steven A. Smith" show, and I don't feel that I was promoted as effectively as I should have been--and Steven agrees. Listen, I'm very happy in my new time slot, doing my thing, at my pace...but that's my guy. Always will be. Who knows what's in store down the road. And for all of the Steven A. "haters", I hate to break it to you: he's one of the most generous, compassionate and fair-minded people I know. I'd go to battle for that guy, and he'd do the same for me.

Unruly: In your time in radio, who was/is your favorite person to interview?

BT: I've had the chance to interview Pete Rose a few times, and that was always a roller-coaster ride. If you listen to my show regularly, you may have heard me reference my time with Bob Feller, early in my career. Mr. Feller, while I don't agree with all of his positions, opened up so many different avenues of thought, and really impacted my career early. Herm was always fun, especially since we would go at one another quite a bit. Never anything over the line, but I don't think he enjoyed my style, which was fine, because I questioned the way he ran a game from time to time, so it was a good give and take. Listen, just because someones an athlete, it doesn't mean they're interesting. If they have nothing to say, I don't want them on my show.

You can catch Brandon weeknights 7-10 on "The Brandon Tierney Show" Weeknights, and also on "The Audible" Sundays, immediately following Jets 5th Quarter Show. He also is part of the New York Knicks and St. John's Basketball Broadcast Teams. Also, you can find Brandon on his MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/brandontierney and 1050's web site http://www.espnradio.com/espnradio.com.

We at JustNYJets.com wish to thank Brandon for taking the time to sit down with us and wish him continue success!


Jet Titties said...

I actually always liked listening to BT. He is the titties.

I never knew he was such a Jets fan though. Good post.

fakehead said...

Good interview Unruly, this guy really answered your questions well. I didn't know who he was before this interview but I'll keep my eyes and ears out for him now.

I agree with him about the Jets defense. It's an experiment that's NOT WORKING.

Go Jets!!!!!

Unruly said...

thanks dude, i thought he did a great job answering...he is good, I really like him.