Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 WAPL High Octane Crew Update

As we get closer to the start of the 2009 racing season be looking for a freshly-updated "WAPL High Octane Crew" page, chock full of new pictures of our drivers' new rides. As of right now we have one driver locked in for the 2009 season. Todd Verhagen has agreed to once again pilot the #52 Schadrie Poured Walls & Concrete Construction Chevrolet for WAPL in the Limited Late Model Division at Wisconsin International Raceway (A little Busch Light and Mount Royal go a long way).

You can go to the "WAPL High Octane Crew" page via the link along the right side of my blog page at As I write this however, we had some issues when we changed over the website and now many of the pictures are in the wrong place. As soon as I figure out how to navigate the other aspects of this new site, I'll fix the pix. You'll just have to hold on a bit.

By the way, look for "In the Draft" to go back to three days a week -- Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 1:40pm -- starting the week of February 7th.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've got mail!

Over my 13+ years as a WAPL employee, I've received my share of mail, whether it be "e-" or "snail". Unfortunately, 90% of it is junk. But over the years that other 10% has run the gamut. The most consistent mail I get is from WAPL Superfan Mort who sends a Christmas card to the staff every year. And as technology evolves so has her cards.

(BTW, Mort... the Stones card this year could give Hallmark a run. Great job!)

I've received letters from prison (hell, I think all of us here have at least once) and letters from those not incarcerated. And it's not just letters, either. I've received packages in the mail with gifts from listeners. I remember getting a box of candy from someone a few years ago. I think the piece of mail I'll remember the most is the white box that I got from a listener about ten years ago. He was appreciative of the overnight show so to show his gratitude he sent me...

...a Makita rechargable power drill. Used. I still have it too.

But not all the mail I get is sunshine and flowers. So when they told us that we were going to be able to post regularly on the new I started to save some of the mail I get so that instead of needlessly responding to some of these individually, they can be discussed in a public forum. So let's go to the mailbag!

From December 18, 2008

"You and your buddy Len need to lighten up on Brett Favre being named to the pro bowl. Brett is playing at a high level and he is exciting to watch, and teams still fear him more (evidence the players and coaches who voted for him) than say your choice of Phillip Rivers who no one wants to watch and no one fears. Like Santa said to you, "Don't go thru life drunk and stupid" is not attractive dude."

Lynn in Auroraville


Now I get that just because Favre's gone it doesn't mean that his fans are no longer fans so I empathize with Lynn's e-mail missive. There's only one problem with it, however...

I wasn't on the morning show that day.

The people on the show talking about Favre were Rick McNeal & Len Nelson -- you know, the two guys that have been on the show for twenty-plus years. I was not on with Len talking about Favre. In fact, I may have been asleep by then considering I do the overnight show. I find it interesting that Lynn couldn't figure that out on his or her own. Surely he or she can distinguish between Rick's voice and my own because they're quite different.

And even if I was on the show that day, why would you feel the need to e-mail me about your Favre issues instead of one of the guys who's name is actually on the show? I don't pick the topics so take it up with the fellas in charge. And as much as I'd like to chat up our friends in the greater Berlin area I'd rather not have it be some puddinhead who spouted off before he or she did their homework. Maybe Lynn should be the one who should heed Santa's warning. Onward!

From May 14th, 2008

We want Randy Hawke!!!

Michael - Team Leader
Green Bay


Fair enough. Here you go... but you probably could have done that yourself. It's called Google. Try it sometime.

But seriously. Randy's gone and probably not coming back so let it go and move on. If you're still crying yourself to sleep because you didn't hear the "Friday yell" after... what, ten years... find a therapist. Sheesh.

(NOTE: There was a guy who used to sit at the south end of the rink during Green Bay Gamblers games in the Arena and he always held up a sign against the glass that said "We Want Hawke!" every time we were out on the ice doing our radio thing. I'm guessing it's this guy. [Ross just got a faraway look on his face.] Gamblers games in the arena... those were damn fun.)


From May 4th, 2007
Dialled up my own name and your host Ross Maxwell popped up.
I usually spend time in Milwaukee region every summer to escape the New Zealand winter and have interests in motor racing and good rock music so sending a hello to my namesake.
Ross Maxwell
New Zealand


See? Some of the mail is nice too.

I hope to open the Maxwell Mailbag once in a while so feel free to e-mail or snail me with your thoughts and concerns... just be warned that I might post 'em. So don't be a puddinhead.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Attention Fox Sports...

Take a look at this...

See that? Their animated football player ran on the field, caught a pass, made a juke, and simply raised his arm in celebration after making a virtual touchdown. It didn't point and taunt. It didn't breakdance. It didn't wear a Santa hat. And most importantly, it didn't come back after the intro.

I'm not sure if you folks do marketing research when it comes to your shows but I'll bet that if you were to ask the viewers of your football broadcasts about your robot, they'll tell you that it's annoying as hell.

But I know that mascots like "Cletus" are the thing at Fox. The NASCAR broadcasts have "Digger", the animated gopher that pops up whenever they go to that shot from the ground-level camera embedded in the track surface. It may have been mildly amusing the first time that "Digger" popped up, looked behind him and saw cars coming at him, got scared and disappeared but that was the only time. Now each time "Digger" appears I pray that somehow... someway... he gets a tire up the backside. Thankfully, I don't think Fox has a mascot for their MLB broadcasts but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until they dig up the remains of Max Patkin and digitize him for the sake of sports entertainment.

I understand, Fox Sports. It's football. People are going to watch regardless. But I'd like your games a lot better sans robot. You want "Cletus" on the intro? Go nuts. But I don't need my quality football viewing time polluted because someone in your graphic arts department wants everyone to see a cartoon robot juggle.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Disclaimer

As part of us having a new top-o'-the-line kick-ass website, the suits want to employ one of the many features of our new cyber-playground by having the WAPL airstaff start 'blogging' on a regular basis. I get it. It's the 'in' thing right now to rope off your own little slice of the internet and fill it full of long-winded, sometimes egocentric propaganda so that everyone can be exposed to your unsolicited opinions and philosophies. And if there's anyone in this world that can dish out mindless drivel like that, it's me.

But I'm not sure they really thought this whole thing out. In the studio we can turn on a microphone, tell you the last song that was just on or talk about the latest concert and it's relatively safe banter. But giving us the internet and the freedom to delve a little deeper into other subjects has the potential to get a little dangerous. I mean, isn't that part of having a weblog? To share your innermost thoughts and feelings with the rest of the world? And since the WAPL staff -- unlike other stations in Northeast Wisconsin -- have a personality, this has the potential to get rather interesting. Now while I'm sure management would appreciate us just sticking to posts of compelling tidbits like what's coming up on our show, reviews of concerts or movies we just saw or the occasional funny animal pic, well...

...I won't always play nice that way.

This doesn't mean that whenever I post something its going to be so controversial that my job will be in jeopardy. And by no means is it a knock on my coworkers 'blogs' since the keeping of a weblog
at is new to us all and we're all going to be expressing ourselves differently. (See, that's personality). Just don't look for me to subscribe to a 100% sanitized "feel-good blog-of-the-year" mentality. There's going to be occasions when things need to be said that other people will not say and since I'm not afraid to be the bad guy, I'll -- for lack of a better term -- "drop a dime" on somebody. (I AM hip. Thanks for noticing.)

Seriously, don't get me wrong. I'm not out to tick people off 24/7/365. But I've never been accused of suffering fools lightly and there are those times when something happens in this world that strikes me as being so outside the boundaries of reasonable logic that I'll have to share the stupidity with all of you. That way you can formulate your own opinion or we can all have a good laugh. I can't tell you when it'll happen but you'll know when it does. And it won't be about me just being a jackass...

...Well, maybe sometimes it will be.

So I'm going to take this opportunity to warn you well in advance. There will be times when you read this page and you're probably going to be offended, horrified, angry... hell, maybe all three. Just know that "the opinions expressed here by Ross Maxwell do not reflect those of WAPL or Woodward Communications". There. Now we're all nice and legal.

I know I'm making it sound like I'm ready to blast out of the gate and
right away p*ss in everyone's cornflakes but such is not the case. I feel however that if I'm lucky enough to have you as a regular visitor, you should know what you may be in for. I guarantee there's gonna be someone in this world that I'm going to rub the wrong way and my prediction is that within six months I'll be called into someone's office here at the station to explain myself pertaining something I post. Meh. I'll survive. But until that day arrives, let's start our strange and wonderful journey together with a picture of a polar bear falling on his ass...

...and we'll go from there.