Out on the plains of Texas, the setting for John Ford westerns and Cindy Sheehan protest vigils, there once lived a writer who had a lot of promise. He was the kind of a man who would look you square in the eye and tell you want he thought, and be damned entertaining about it in the process. But somehow, somewhere, he lost his way. Seduced by his own celebrity, beaten down by the requirements of the job or just plain driven loco by the sun, Randy Galloway has become a parody of himself. They have that saying in Texas, "Big hat, no cattle." But what do you say about a guy who doesn't even have the hat? While we wait for the coffee to brew over the campfire, let's go to the vital statistics:
Name: Randy Galloway
Writes For: Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Former Employer: Dallas Morning News.
Attended: Grand Prairie (TX) High School (Mighty Gophers).
Most Often Heard On: ESPN Radio, Galloway and Company (103.3 FM).
Nicknames: Gallowon't, Hawkman, Floyd the Barber.
Most Resembles: Roy Wally.
Notable quotes: "We're talking about one of the all-time greats. We're talking about Jake Delhomme" ... "Tyrone Willingham is black. How was I supposed to know that?"
Most Prevalent Rumor: Often drunk on the air (according to recurring bits by Gordon Keith, KTCK-sports radio Dallas).
Hobbies: Sucking up to Michael Irvin, horse racing.
Best Description On A Message Board: "Randy Galloway is EVERYTHING Texas. Uneducated, loud, overly opinionated and cloaks a seething hatred for anything better than himself." — SoonerFans.com
When he was with the Morning News, Randy Galloway made his living ripping Michael Irvin. Well, sure, we all did. But Galloway did it with flair. One of many examples, from a June 6, 1997 column: "The man is an actor, and a good one. Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, however, Irvin also is a football player. One of the best they have. A player they can't be without, on the field and in the salary-cap equation. Irvin's latest acting role is funny, particularly if you consider there are people actually believing his 'poor me' script. But, of course, this act goes beyond just the small, weird, self-centered world of Michael. Irvin is again impacting, nationally and locally, a football team and a franchise. Will he play again? Do strippers strip? Absolutely, he will."
But somewhere, Galloway's take on Irvin softened. Hmm, when? As far as we can determine, just about the same time that Irvin got into broadcasting. You see, now they're both employed by ESPN, and Galloway is sucking up to Irvin with interviews like this one. Quite a take from the columnist who openly questions the manhood of players, who calls Arkansas fans "pig people" and Oklahoma "Zero U," whose blog is entitled "Wimp-free Sports." Galloway plays the redneck, in-your-face cowboy persona to the hilt, until it conflicts with his best interests. He criticized Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for saying that the Kobe Bryant trial would result in higher ratings for the NBA (it did), screeching for weeks about it on his radio show, saying that Cuban was in effect promoting rape — which is ridiculous. Of course, it's been about a decade since Galloway referred to this.
Some of this could be overlooked if Galloway were at least engaging us in a thoughtful and entertaining manner. But his writing is plagued by shortcuts and middle school tactics. Yes, folks, we have a new record for one-sentence paragraphs in a sports column — 47. Set on two occasions. Boy howdy! But don't try telling that to Galloway on his blog, because "Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them." (All you have to do is just ask us.) Don't try calling his radio show, because you'll be drowned out by wacky, morning zoo sound effects. That's the new journalism on the prairie — no longer a John Ford western, now simply a Pauly Shore comedy.