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"Take Ten" with Dan Mason

Dan Mason co-hosts the new sports talk radio show, "The Fanatics" every weekday morning from 6-9 on 99.9 The Fan! Dan also contributes to the station's blog, which you can check out here. He plans to help out his partner, Mike Maniscalco by hosting Canes Corner on occasion. By the way, has anyone else wondered when Maniscalco sleeps? Apparently, on game nights he doesn't because poor Dan has to carry the load! (good one Dan!) The "M&M" guys have been doing very well on "The Fanatics" so far and we wish them continued success in the future.

A big thanks to Dan for participating in "Take Ten", we appreciate it! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments after the interview.


1. We know that you just recently started at 99.9 "The Fan" and co-host "The Fanatics" which is on the air from 6-9 AM on weekdays. What did you do previously to that?

I've covered sports for several stations here in the triangle over the last 14 years.

2. What is your favorite part of the job so far? Your least favorite?

The best part is being able to talk about a wide variety of sports with passionate fans. We are blessed with such a diverse sporting audience here in the triangle that there is always something to talk about. The least favorite has to be that my partner Mike Maniscalso always thinks he's right. Actually, he's a fantastic guy to work with and I'm thrilled the triangle can see and hear talent, albeit that I've brought it out of him.

3. Who is/was your favorite NHL player to interview? Have you ever had a difficult person to interview and can you tell us about that?

Mario Lemiuex. When you are around an athlete that is so confident in all of their abilities and gives you real time and thought, that's special. Believe it or not, Dick Vitale is not the easiest. Great guy but surprise surprise, it's just hard to get a question in with Dicki V.
4. In your opinion what could the NHL do in general, and the Hurricanes do in particular, to increase interest in the sport?

They have to get a deal with ESPN again. It made the sport relevant and interesting with a broader audience and with all due respect to Versus, it just hasn't scaled on that cable outlet.
5. The NHLPA just elected a new president. How do you think that the union can better serve the players?

Continue to emphasize that the working relationship they have with management is the key to their success. Always remind them about 2004 because that lost season will linger for years to come.
6. If you could make one rule change in the NHL, what would it be and why?

Stop putting NHL'ers in the Olympics. Let the amateurs have their 1980 moment. Make the Olympics matter to those who care about it. I just don't think it, (The Olympics) has the appeal to millionaires in the middle of their season that it would to top amateurs.
7. A few teams around the league are embracing fan bloggers and giving them press credentials to cover their respective teams. What is your opinion about this, and how do you think NHL teams should handle fan bloggers who ask for press credentials?

The press box is for the press. I know bloggers have become a big thing and I respect their passion but at the end of the day, they are fans of a particular team. While I live in the triangle and root for the home town team with passion, I'm in the press box to work and objectivity is the key to your work and credibility with the public you serve as a working media member. I'm not so sure bloggers can always be objective. Sorry bloggers of the world!
8. Are there any other Hurricanes related projects or shows you are working on other than "The Fanatics"? Do you have any comments to share about the shows?

Not at his time but I expect to be at Canes Corner occasionally and at the Canes Cool Bars tours. My partner has done a terrific job with Canes Corner and the pre and post game shows but he's usually pretty grumpy after a late night of hockey. It's why I have to carry the 1st hour. Just kidding!!!!!
9. I see that you have started a blog on "The Fan's" website. Do you have anything that you would like to share about your blog and it's future content?

It's interesting. I've always thought that I looked at sports through a much different lens than the average fan. The blogs I tend to write about concern sports in society and how we as fans look at sports. How we treat sports are such a reflection on how many individuals treat their own lives. I find that facinating and like to write about it.
10. Blogs have become a very popular form of media. Do you have an opinion about blogs in general and how they fit in with the mainstream media as a whole?

It depends on who the writer is. Some blogs tend to be nothing more than a write-up on a particular game. Some are trying to elicit a reaction based on a strong opinion. I've always that of blogs as the editorials. If there is a topic you're interested in, you'll read it. It's not front page news where you tend to focus a bit more, however, if it's a piece that you have a strong reaction to one way or the other, you're bound to become more involved and passionate. I'm just stunned sometimes at the amount of time people have to react to a blog. Mainstream media? Why not. Look at the segment done on Sportscenter where they already have fan e-mails popping up during the program. Things that we thought 10 years ago would never fit into a nightly broadcast are completely mainstream today. Constant refining of your product is a subset of successful broadcast entities today.