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All is not ESPN when it comes to national sports coverage

Nov 5, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

"I don't have to apologize for being bleeping brilliant. I'm entitled to my opinion on any story there is. Will you quit yapping and shut the bleep up? Damn right!" is how Hacksaw's Headlines, the Best 15 Minutes in Sports, begins every day.

If there is a better national radio sports highlight show in America, I want to know about it.

The Best 15 Minutes is more like the best nine minutes or so, but every morning, Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton fills my iPad's podcast player with scores and highlights from every big league game or story that mattered from the night before.

Basketball, hockey, NASCAR, baseball, basketball and football (both pro and college). He fits it all in. You'll know the score, and a bit about the game, and you won't have to wade through the endless self-promotion that fills every ESPN Sports Center.

Hamilton's Highlights have a Howard Cosell-like, "tell-it-like-it-is," feel.

There is a Southern California tilt to his broadcasts, as you would expect because Hamilton is part of Hacksaw and Co., the three-hour morning radio show on the Mighty 1090, broadcast from Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.

You might know the radio station XEPRS-AM. It was formally XERB and is the station that was immortalized, along with Wolfman Jack, in the movie American Graffiti.

Now the station targets the English-speaking San Diego sports market, and the Best 15 Minutes captures all the national sports highlights and is available to us all via the Internet.

It's worth a listen.

Born as Paul Mahon, Hacksaw grew up in Northport, N.Y., on Long Island. I first heard Hamilton on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Major League Baseball Network Radio channel, where he sometimes appears as a host.

I was turned on to the Best 15 Minutes in Sports from my San Diego-based brother.

"You'll want to start your day out with Hacksaw," he promised.

He was right.

Hacksaw has the pedigree. He has been the play-by-play host for the San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, USC Trojans, Minnesota Vikings, and San Diego State Aztecs.

His audio show gives you a quick summary of all that you need to know and is similar to the audio headlines The Ranger publishes every day on our website. Free to everyone at dailyranger.com, you won't find a better audio summary of Fremont County news and sports headlines anywhere than "The Ranger Newsbrief," which also is aired on FM 105.1 The Pulse five times a day.

So sometime during the day, the earlier the better, Hacksaw tells the world what Lee Hamilton thinks, and he'll plug in the best play-by-play calls from national announcers, which, for me, is the cherry on top.

There is still a time and a place for other forms of media -- printed or audio -- in these days where the Mother Ship (as Dan Patrick calls ESPN) thinks it rules all in sports.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!

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