Monday, January 21, 2013

Jeff Dubay of 1500ESPN answers a few questions

Jeff Dubay was a very popular sports radio talk show host on KFAN 1130 am out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. for 10 years until he was let go by KFAN on n October 24, 2008.

When Dubay left KFAN, there was a serious college hockey void in the Minneapolis listening area.  As most of you know, Dubay went through a tough stretch, but his life has now come full circle. 

Dubay has been sober since 2011.   

Recently, Dubay was hired by 1500ESPN in Minneapolis to work the nine-noon slot with former Star and Tribune Viking beat writer Judd Zulgad.   

In case you’re wondering, you can listen to the Judd and Dubay radio show from 9 to noon weekdays on you smartphones or by logging on to the 1500ESPN website. Lastly, you can also download the podcasts from iTunes if you are unable to listen on-line or on your smart phone.

Eric Burton: You had a tough 3-4 years, and I think it’s safe to say that you have come full circle and now are back where you should be, on the Sports Talk Show talking sports, and how fitting is it that your first week back you’re talking UND vs. UMN?

Jeff Dubay: It was really fun coming back in time for the weekend series but I have to admit I may have gone a little overboard with the good natured jabs at UND on Friday's show. That's what happens when you save it all up for four years I guess.

EB: If you can briefly explain your feelings about your new job and the struggles that you went through to make it back?

JD: I'm really excited about the opportunity at 1500espn. I met with Dan Seeman over a year ago and even though I was sober I still wasn't ready for the job and he could see it. The first year of sobriety is tough on a person and a radio show would have been too much for me at the time so Dan told me to keep doing the right thing and my time would come.

I spent the next year staying clean and getting out to tell my story at treatment centers and schools as well as meeting one on one with any struggling addicts that reached out for help. Then the job came open on Judd's show and I knew my time was now. My head was clear and self-esteem restored due to the way I had been living and when I met with Dan Seeman last month he could see a pronounced difference in me and almost immediately I was offered the chance to audition on air for a week by program director Brad Lane.

The week went well enough that I was offered the job on Thursday the tenth but I was not allowed to tell anyone for 24 hours because I hadn't signed the contract yet. That was not easy for me. I'm lousy at keeping secrets and I was pretty damn excited. The next day was a blast because once I signed and they released the info officially I became the recipient of a lot of well-wishing from friends and listeners. It was a great day for me personally.

EB: Is a cooling off period good for this rivalry [between UND vs. UMN]?

JB: I wish it was only a cooling off period but personally I think it's the end of the rivalry. It will still be fun to see each other in the postseason and down the road in nonconference play but it will never be the same. The intensity will only decrease over time.

EB: Feelings on the UMN and UND series taking a hiatus?

JD: It's too bad they couldn't schedule each other right away but the schedules are made in advance and U of M policy wouldn't allow the scheduling of an opponent with the nickname controversy. Plus Lucia's immediate loyalty had to be to the other four in-state schools with d-1 programs. We should all hope for a meeting at the final five this year. The intensity in that one would be all time high.

EB: Your feelings on the B1G hockey conference?

JD: I'm not a fan of the Big Ten hockey conference but I suppose like any change in life it will eventually become routine. My fear is we will leave the format of the weekend series for random weeknight games and be at the mercy of the Big Ten network for TV coverage rather than relying on FSN for great coverage. I also hate losing all our natural rivals except Wisconsin. I would have preferred things stay the same but once Penn State started up a d-1 program no one had any choice.

EB: Impressions of this past week’s games between UND and UMN?

JD: It was a fun and competitive weekend. Even the Friday game was a one goal contest in the third when Wilcox got tested a couple times and had to come up big to keep it from getting tied up. Saturday was a bit more dramatic. I was surprised to see all the quality chances for both teams in the third period.

Usually with one team leading you would expect a slightly more defensive approach but the defense was leaking for both teams so the scoring chances were there going both ways. Wilcox wasn't sharp and got lucky on a couple pipes. Grimaldi was the best player on the ice Saturday but this North Dakota team doesn't seem as rugged as some in recent memory but they are a tirelessly working lunch pale crew with a dangerous top line that no one will want to play in the NCAA tourney.

EB: Are we going to hear more College Hockey talk now that you’re on 1500 ESPN?

JD: I don't know if you'll hear more college hockey talk because I don't know how much there was before. Judd is an avid college hockey fan and he and I actually attended a UND-Wisconsin game at the Kohl Center together back in the Oshie-Toews years. We were in town for a Gopher-Badger football game the same weekend. There will be plenty of hockey talk. You don't have to twist Judd's arm.

EB: Do you and P.A. still keep in contact? Do you ever listen to his show?

JD: I just talked to P.A. last week and we tweet to each other from time to time as well. I stopped listening to the fan the day I was fired. Nothing personal, it was just too hard for me.

EB: During the week of your audition, I was listening to you and the co-host Judd Zulgad talk about a Vikings game, and you said that during the one game in question, that you were incarcerated during that event. What was that like? How did you make it through?  How did you keep your sanity?

JD: There's nothing worse than having your freedom taken away. It makes you feel sub-human. Having a door lock behind you is something I wouldn't wish on even my least favorite Sioux fans. ;)
I was lucky enough to meet former Viking receiver Buster Rhymes in my team at the workhouse. He's a good man and a great influence on me.

EB: Secret to staying sober?

JD: The key to my sobriety lies in how miserable my life became while using. When you get right down to it how hard is it really to stop doing something that you no longer enjoy at all and in many ways have grown to hate? The bottom line is I want to be sober and I don't want to use. I know that sounds simple but it has been for me and for that I'm very grateful.

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