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Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20-- This isn't goodbye

But Friday was my last official broadcast as a full time member of Redskins Radio.. I will be helping out with our draft coverage but certainly will take a less prominent role then in the past..

My first day at ESPN is in early May and I don't know when my first air shift will be, but I'll certainly update you via the blog so you can see your little reporter all growns up.. I will continue to post blog entries as well, stories from Bristol, thoughts on the Skins etc..

But, it is time to say thank you. Working at Redskins Radio and being part of the gameday broadcasts was a dream come true.. I remember going to RFK as a kid and listening to the post game show coming out of the stadium, hearing Sonny and Sam from the locker room, Ken Beatrice breaking down the game and taking your calls. It's all I ever wanted to do. And for 8 seasons (the last two most prominently) my employers and you allowed me to live that dream.
For 8 years I have seen every game the Redskins have played live, the last two from the unique perspective of the sideline. It's an experience I'll never forget and always cherish.

I'd like to thank Tod Castleberry, someone who took a major chance on me, allowing a 26 year old to take over a very public and prominent position at Sportstalk 980 covering the Redskins. Tod was integral in getting me to make the move from the competitor to Redskins Radio, but considering my expertise and passion, it was not a difficult choice to make because I knew Tod would help me find a higher profile, plus the lure of being part of the official broadcasts was overwhelming. Bennett Zier and Jeff Wyatt were also believers in my work and always beyond supportive of my own personal growth.

Chris Owens is responsible for the opens and overall sound of our shows and in particular the Redskins pre-game show, my favorite program to work on. He was by far the best producer in this regard I ever got the opportunity to work with. The show Kevin Sheehan and I hosted the last two years was leaps and bounds superior to the one I was part of on 980. And it was mainly thanks to Chris and Kevin's passion for the best sound and content we could muster.

I've had the great fortune of working with legends, Joe Jacoby for 8 years on the postgame show. John Riggins who might as well be the Beatles when he walks into a room. And the great John Thompson who was integral in cementing me as more then a neophyte in the eyes of the team early in my run as Redskins beat reporter.
Dexter Manley was one of the most unqiue individuals I've ever met. Doc Walker is easily one of my favorite people in the world. Smokin Al K, Andy P, Czabe, Gary Braun, B Mitch all talents I've had the great fortune of getting to work with and learn from. Special thanks to Dave Feldman, Russ Thaler (and the crew of Washington Pst Live), and the folks at CN8 who rpoduce one of the best sports shows on TV (Out of Bounds) a show I became a regular contributer on and ultimately opened up a creative forum that I hadn't delved into in a while.. And of course the legendary team of Larry, Sonny and Sam, what an honor to be with them every Sunday.

Redskins Radio is currently being run by one of the greats in our business, Bruce Gilbert. The fate of Redskins radio is in the best hands possible. Trust me when I tell you this, this station is ready to turn a major corner.. He was amazing with the tranisitional process for me and I can only hope that he will consider me for any and all limited work with the team down the road possible..

As for the Redskins, I'm not going to tell tales about the team's relationship with the media, but certainly it's no walk in the park covering them. But as I leave daily reporting duties at Ashburn, I can honestly say I have nothing but admiration and respect for the way they treated me. Dan Snyder didn't have to let me do a daily show from an area of Redskins park off limits to the rest of the media. Vinny Cerrato didn't have to do a weekly show with Larry and me every Thursday, but he did and did it as open and honest as he could. They treated me to a different level of access few reporters are privy to and I appreciated it and tried hard not to break that trust. That said, when the team wins one playoff game in the 8 years I covered them, had 6 year different head coaches and numerous players come in and out, certainly I couldn't have done my job with any kind of integrity without analyzing the zits.
Despite popular belief that Redskins Radio couldn't be unbiased in it's coverage, never once did Mr. Syder, Vinny, Joe Gibbs, or anyone in the organization ever tell me I couldn't say this or I couldn't say that. Sure they disagreed with some of my opinions and reporting, but as long as I never made it personal, and I tried hard not to, everything was fair game. In that regard, I want to thank the Redskins for letting me in the door despite the knowledge that not everything I was going to say would be music to their ears. It was tough love, but always behind it was love.

Lastly, I want to thank you, for reading the blog, for listening to my broadcasts and reports and for being so very supportive in my next adventure. I will miss covering the team, I will miss hosting radio shows (not currently part of my ESPN deal) and will miss DC dearly. But this opportunity is amazing. Very few in my business get a shot like this and I am going there with an attitude that the sky is the limit. I can't wait to get started and see where my career goes.

So it's off to New England to start fresh, to find out if I got the goods to hang with the big boys and to take an opportunity of a lifetime and go for it. I always covered the team my way, and I plan on going to ESPN not trying to be like anyone else but be me.

So for one final time: Covering the Redskins, I'm Bram Weeeinnssteiinnn..

OK men..


Blogger Randall said...

Thank you for all your hard work. I've been listening to you for about 7 or 8 years. I always thought you were one of the most even keeled people covering the team and enjoyed the insight you provided.

Good luck with your new endeavors, and thanks again.

2:24 PM  
Blogger LISAWASHINGTON said...


5:42 PM  
Blogger Gabe Ortiz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Gabe Ortiz said...

you were great Bram, you really were. I always looked forward to your comments and reporting.

good luck.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bram you have done a great job covering the skins, enjoyed every second of it . We know you will do great at Espn . Good luck bram !!

10:02 PM  
Blogger skinsinparadise said...

Good luck Bram! I listen and watch everything I can about the Skins, Comcast TV via direct tv, 980, and Redskins radio.

Your coverage of the team was my favorite by a mile.


8:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Best of luck to you Bram, and I hope to continue reading your thoughts on the Redskins here at CTR for years to come. Cheers and I wish you the best.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

WE'll miss you Bram. Best of luck.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Nelson said...

I heard about you leaving while listening to the draft Saturday. At first I was floored; everyone hates to see a professional move on to a better position of growth. I was in that situation. I wish you and your family the best of luck in your move to Bristol. You will truly be missed with your banter and perspective of the skins. I look forward to following your career grow at ESPN. And to be honest with you, I would not be surprised if you follow in the footsteps of another 980 alumn, and become sports director of one of these local stations in DC. Let's not rush it though. Enjoy your oppertunity; and like I've told you before you have and will always be "the VOICE" of Sports Talk 980!

1:55 PM  
Blogger BluDvls Payne said...

Bram, great luck to you in Bristol. By now you are already working hard on "ESPNews" which I don't get to watch but listen periodically on Sirius. You will do great no doubt. You have always had great passion for what you do even we were kids. I am sitting here watching the Giants game and realize you are on your way to greater achievements. We miss you around here and with the Skins. Come back home now and again. KPayne (BluDvls)

5:42 PM  

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