From time to time, even an up from the bootstraps guy like Le Capitaine needs to take a minute and think about the greats that have come before. Like someone- you listening Benny Gloves- should be doing someday for me, I will be honoring them in print.
This is the first installment of “Honoring Boston’s Legends”
Eddie started out with The Sports Huddle, which was really the birth of sports radio as we know it today. Eddie and the boys would rehash the latest feats and defeats, of the local teams. The banter exhibited by these old white guys can only be replicated today in any Dunkin Donuts at 7:30 am on a weekday.
As he eventually settled at WEEI, Eddie’s brand of sports talk was, and remains, unrivaled. Any host can be “prepared” and have “facts” and “structured arguments”, but Eddie would instead talk in completely abstract and immeasurable qualities about athletes, coaches and managers; then he’d rank them by these standards, indiscernible to anyone but himself. I recall one day he ranked the best sporting event foods- with hot dogs the eventual winner- and then wanted to decide which all time Boston athletes were worthy of the “Hot Dog” title. If a caller or co-host disagreed, that’s when Eddie turned on his real charms.
Another Andelman trademark was the involvement of his real life into his talk. Few in that day would dare talk as personally about their family as Eddie would. Whether it be the fact that they live in Lynnfield, that his wife’s name was “Fabulous” Judy, or where they had eaten dinner the previous evening, this trailblazer never shied away from sharing intimate details of his personal life.
Speaking of family, he instilled in his sons a love of chain restaurants, fried appetizers and shameless self-promotion. In creating their “Phantom Gourmet” brand, they were truly honoring their father. Instead of having actual content and selling 11 mins of commercials to air between segment, carrying on their father’s pioneer spirit, they realized they can just sell the whole 30 minutes. “A whole show of restaurant commercials! Genius” Eddie was said to have exclaimed- with a single proud tear in his eye- upon hearing his sons’ original pitch.
Andelman’s interests extended far beyond radio. He always loved discussing casual dining in and around the Rt 1 area, and loved real estate. Particularly, he enjoyed acquiring distressed land near Foxboro stadium, making no improvements on it, and, ever the scrapper, getting into legal battles over it with multiple parties. He also was particularly adept at coming up with inane concepts like Jambalaya t-shirts and a Yankee Elimination Party.
Today, HTTA honors Eddie Andelman, for his career and more importantly for the mark he made on this city. He is truly a Boston legend.