Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Steve Bitker from KCBS
Like many during the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve Bitker has adjusted to working from home to be a continued radio presence on KCBS each morning from the sports desk. The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster offers his candid insight on how and why this crisis has escalated. While their haven’t been games, there is still plenty of content to fill his radio segments and our conversation–where society, sports and free speech intertwine. The appreciation of fine food has become family affair along with a social consciousness that has was passed down from his father. Bitker discusses sports books, meeting the writer of an iconic favorite and the challenges of being a book author. Finally, Steve takes a peek at the career finish line and a life beyond :15 and :45.
KCBS’ Steve Bitker Beyond the Box Score: From Food to Trump
"People think I care about these issues because I have a black husband or a biracial son and I tell people, actually, the time it impacted me most closely was coaching a mostly black team at Cal and seeing the world through their eyes and the experiences they went through. We flew commercial and would be going through security and inevitably someone would get stopped and searched. And it wasn't me...ever. And watching the way some commentators and fans talked about these women you and I knew so intimately, it was hurtful sometimes to hear some of the language used."
"Best guess is I say he comes back just because I'm never ever going to count out Joe Thornton for wanting to play. And my guess is his love of the game is as great as it was when he was 20 and he's a guy who's got plenty left in terms of being able to contribute. Having said that, do I think he's going to win the Art Ross Trophy? No. All great players go through this period where they change their role and the way they contribute to a team. Joe Thornton will always be someone who can help with the power play, developing young players and showing the work ethic and so forth. He has that fertile hockey mind that's so rare."
"Maybe it was time to go. I always said 36 years in one market at one station in our business is a really good run. And I'm really okay with what we did; how we did and how we accomplished it. And if that's the end, if I don't do anything ever again other than to be a husband, a dad and a grandpa, I'm really good with that."
"I would definitely say to stay persistent. I did try a few times before and got to the second round and just not be what they're looking for that season. But so many good people get turned away. I knew that in the back of my mind...they're not turning me away because I'm not good enough and that's what kept me going. And then having my students on there, I was like. 'maybe this is more attainable than I thought it was so I'll try again'...got lucky this time. Got through. Got noticed."