Angelo Cataldi

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Angelo Cataldi (born March 13, 1951) is a sports radio personality for 94 WIP-FM (simulcast on 610 WIP (AM)) in Philadelphia. Airing from 5:30am (which includes a 15-minute "Overlap" Show with overnight personality Big Daddy Graham) until 10:00am Eastern time, along with co-hosts Al Morganti, Keith Jones, Gary Shears and Rhea Hughes.

Career[edit]

Cataldi is a native of Providence, Rhode Island. Despite growing up in Red Sox country, Cataldi has been an ardent New York Yankees fan. In addition, despite his proximity to Boston, he has always believed in the superiority of NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain over Celtics center Bill Russell. One of only two reporters to cover the first 32 innings of the longest professional baseball game in history (Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Rochester Red Wings: April 18-19, 1981). Previously a sports writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, he has been the anchor for the Morning Show since his first appearance on the show in 1988 along with Tom Brookshier forming the on-air duo of "Brookie and the Rookie". Cataldi immediately brought a comedic and witty personality to the station. He continues to provide humorous commentary (Angelo’s “rants”) on local Philadelphia sports, as well as his everyday living experiences, making him one of Philadelphia's most popular, entertaining and recognizable radio personalities.

Cataldi has frequently mobilized his radio listeners to compel the owners of Philadelphia's sports franchises to make changes in management and personnel. In 1992, the "Honk For Herschel" movement was created to implore the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire Herschel Walker, a running back with the Minnesota Vikings. Whether due to Cataldi's influence or not, the appeal succeeded and Herschel played for the Eagles for the 1992-94 seasons.

Cataldi is the co-author of The Great Philadelphia Sports Debate with fellow WIP host Glen Macnow. He has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes for his sports writing.[1]

Along with Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes, Angelo has also been joined on the morning show by former Flyer Keith Jones, retired Eagle Hugh Douglas and former Phillies Mitch Williams and Ricky Bottalico, as well as local comedian Joe Conklin.

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia [1] inducted Cataldi into their Hall of Fame in 2012.

On October 15, 2014 Angelo Cataldi announced that he is selling his New Jersey home. His current contract with 94 WIP will run out at the end of 2014.

1999 NFL Draft[edit]

Cataldi is best known for (and claims to regret) organizing a group of 30 Eagles fans, now known as "the dirty 30", to go to the 1999 NFL Draft in New York City and boo if the Philadelphia Eagles did not select University of Texas at Austin running back Ricky Williams with their #2 pick. The Eagles instead drafted quarterback Donovan McNabb and they booed the Eagles draft pick.

Notable “Angelo-isms”[edit]

  • Cataldi is the “spiritual leader” of Eagles fans hatred of the Dallas Cowboys. Despite this, in The Great Philadelphia Sports Debate, he wrote that the Eagles' greater enemy is the nearby New York Giants.
  • Cataldi is the co-founder with Morganti of the annual Wing Bowl, in which thousands of people crowd the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to watch a competition as to who can eat the greatest number of buffalo wings within a certain time period. It's also well known for the bevy of beautiful, scantily-clad women who parade through the arena (known as "wingettes"). The contest began in the lobby of a Center City Philadelphia hotel (The Wyndham Franklin Plaza), and grew to be able to fill first The Spectrum and now the Wachovia Center. The 2006 edition was the first to charge admission, which goes to charity.
  • Cataldi had a stint with Comcast where he had a panel of guests discuss Philadelphia sports topics on the "Angelo Cataldi Show" which was sponsored by Forman Mills.
  • Cataldi is also the founder of the "Miss WIP" beauty contest. Local attractive women compete for the honors of being the radio station's official diva.
  • In the parking lot of Veterans Stadium, Cataldi once tried to catch a baseball that was dropped from a helicopter, the baseball hit Angelo in the head and he had to be rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • In 1995, Cataldi made a bet with Howard Eskin over a Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game. The loser would have to wear a dress on television. This turned out to be the game with Cowboys coach Barry Switzer making the infamous 4th and 1 call. Cataldi won the bet and Eskin appeared on Cataldi's Great Sports Debate television show in a dress.
  • Cataldi had his head shaved on his Angelo and Company television show after he incorrectly predicted the Philadelphia 76ers would miss the playoffs.
  • Cataldi is famous for coining nicknames for his guests. One example is giving Wing Bowl 13 contestant and the current 5th ranked Competitive Eater in the World "Humble" Bob Shoudt the nickname "Humble", due to his humble style of eating, when he was an in studio guest in 2004.
  • Cataldi's show frequently receives calls from former Philadelphia Mayor and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, both Eagles fans. During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Cataldi ripped President George W. Bush as a "bully" for his stance favoring restriction of freedom of speech on radio and television, and Senator John Kerry as a "phony" for questionable financial dealings, and wrote Rendell's name in for President. Recently Cataldi has had U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy on the show several times, stemming from Murphy's sole dissenting vote on the House Resolution congratulating the Giants for winning the Super Bowl in February 2008.[2]
  • In August 1999, Cataldi was arrested for not having a beach tag at the beach in Avalon, New Jersey. Cataldi then proceeded to work with state legislation to challenge the legality of beach tags.[3]
  • Cataldi has had a long-standing feud with WIP afternoon host Howard Eskin for over a decade. In 2005, the feud heated up over comments Eskin made about Cataldi and his morning show.
  • When the 2006 Philadelphia Phillies tied the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wildcard chase with 10 games to go, Cataldi would draw an analogy to football. He would do a game by game breakdown by looking at pitching matchups to see what games they should win and what games they would not win. This type of analogy is indicative of Cataldi's broadcasting style.
  • In 2007, Cataldi challenged Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel to a fist fight and signed legal papers in the WIP studios to do so. Manuel never responded to the challenge.
  • On March 20, 2008, Cataldi interviewed presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama on the program. At one point, Obama referred to his caucasian grandmother as "a typical white person," a comment that would cause much controversy, including on WIP afternoon host Howard Eskin's program the same day.
  • On July 6, 2008, Angelo and the Morning Crew launched a campaign to get Philadelphia Phillies' outfielder Pat Burrell into the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. Despite four pre-selected fans spending over 50 hours straight doing nothing but voting for Pat Burrell at Harry the K's in Citizens Bank Park, Burrell was not named to the team.[4]

Common quotes[edit]

Cataldi is famous for some one-liner quotes, including:

  • "And just think, I'm getting paid for this"
  • "You're a stinkin Loser"
  • "Oooh yeah"
  • "You know what Al" (referring to his co-host Al Morganti)
  • "What are you wearing?" (when talking to female callers)
  • "Wow you're spectacular!" (when talking with female guests in studio)
  • "Hey Jack Ass !"

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]