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More than a (Galloway &) Co. man

Signing off: ESPN Dallas celebrates one of DFW's most beloved characters as he enters retirement. Allen Key/ESPN

Expect a calm to come over the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Monday evening.

After 28 years of breathing fire on the DFW airwaves, Randy Galloway's voice won't be heard by sports fans anymore on their drive home in the "Chicken Fried Nation." That's going to feel strange. Galloway's unique brand of opinion and humor has been a staple of the local sports-radio scene for three decades. Much of that time was spent at WBAP, and then he shifted over to ESPN Dallas with "Galloway & Company" -- with a "company" of folks that included, among others, Brian Estridge, Ian Fitzsimmons and Matt Mosley -- and just kept spitting out opinions as only he can.

Those who had a chance to work with Galloway or have even just run into him a few times over the years have a Galloway story. So here are some of those Galloway stories and memories from a few of the folks at ESPN who know him best. Enjoy.

Richard Durrett

MARC STEIN, ESPN.com

Soft side to Gallo: When I arrived in Dallas in April 1997, I couldn't have been more of an outsider. I was a Southern Californian relocating from the faraway Lakers beat and knew pretty much no one in town.

Thankfully, though, Randy Galloway was my new teammate.

Don't be fooled by his uncaring tough-guy act on what he loves to call wimp-free radio. Randy has a softer, mentoring side that he doesn't like his mentees to discuss. But luckily for me, he can't help himself.

I'm not sure if he even remembers this stuff, but he was hugely instrumental in my early days covering the Mavericks in helping me get to know important people in the organization (and the city) at a time when I almost didn't know where to start. More than any other big-city newspaper columnist I had encountered to that point, Randy wanted to be involved in the newsgathering, which was a huge help for someone like me who was trying to quickly learn the Mavs' landscape and history after getting very little exposure to the franchise back in L.A. My timing was really good, too, because Randy moved to the Star-Telegram within 15 months of my arrival. He wasn't my Morning News teammate for long, but he taught me a ton about the Mavs -- and Dallas -- in that short time.

Appearing on "Galloway & Company" for the last decade-plus has naturally been an absolute blast. It's because of his show that I have the privilege of telling my kids that I have my own theme song, along with fantastic memories of correcting the old man's misguided NBA theories or frustrating him by sneaking in the odd mention of Manchester City or my favorite Israeli tennis players ... just to rile him up.

(I will also never, ever forget Rick Carlisle's first-ever visit to the GAC show, when Randy -- as only Randy can -- started one question by saying something to the effect of: "Rick, I gotta be honest ... I've heard that you're WEIRD!")

Yet, when I think of Randy Galloway, I always think first about the most distinctive voice in DFW radio giving me the warmest of Texas welcomes when I really needed the guidance. Gonna miss the show -- and you, Mr. GAC -- more than words can convey.

RICHARD DURRETT, "Fitzsimmons & Durrett"

Influence felt far and wide: Randy Galloway doesn't remember the first time he met me. But I sure do.

I was a sophomore at TCU getting a chance to come out to write a story on the Rangers the summer before they started winning AL West titles in the mid-to-late 1990s. Really, I obtained a credential to get to see what covering a team was all about. And Randy made sure to shock my system moments after I arrived at the park for the first time.

Galloway could tell I was hesitant to ask some questions, and he let me know about it, telling me that if I ever wanted a job in this business, I couldn't do it with my mouth closed. His words had a little more hot sauce on them, but you get my point.

I never forgot it. He's right, of course. Could he have told me -- at that point a total stranger -- the same message without scaring me half to death? Sure. But tact isn't something Randy Galloway has in spades. And thank goodness for that.

For those of us who have the pleasure -- and it is that, as much as we dog him on the air -- of working with Galloway, you have a tendency to hear him way before you see him. Usually he's screaming your name and marching down the hall like Yosemite Sam, ready to argue about something you wrote or said. Then he's more than happy to blast you on and off the air. All in good fun, of course.

He's a walking mess of sorts. Trash seems to hover around him, including chards from the cigar he chews on and wads of paper he rolls up. In other words, he's not a guy you want organizing your closet. But you can be guaranteed he'd have an opinion on whether your closet needed straightening.

"He's never afraid to speak his mind," said Texas Rangers play-by-play broadcaster Eric Nadel, who credits Galloway as one of the folks who "showed him the baseball ropes" when Nadel got into the business. "He shies away from nothing. He played a major role in this market in being a really outspoken talk-show host at a time when most other guys were really not going out on a limb with extreme opinions."

Galloway's voice -- through a newspaper column that started at The Dallas Morning News and migrated west to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and his radio show on WBAP and then ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM -- has been a part of the North Texas sports landscape for decades. And because of his radio show, many sports fans who read his column do so with Galloway's Texas twang in his or her head.

"Randy Galloway had a wide variety of venues to express a wide variety of opinions, but at heart he was an outstanding newspaper man," said veteran baseball beat writer T.R. Sullivan, who worked with Galloway for years at the Star-Telegram. "His mother Martha was a widely admired pioneer and role model for many women journalists in Texas, so Galloway was literally born into the business. As such, he never strayed far from his core values, and that was to turn out an outstanding product for the newspaper.

"More than having a big opinion, Galloway loved digging for news and coming up with scoops, not just for himself, but those who he worked with."

Galloway has enough stock with local fans that he can bury someone in the newspaper and then bring him on the radio show the next day and try to do it all over again. But he could be praising that same person the next week.

That's a prime example of the influence he's held in the North Texas sports universe for decades.

"I think Randy took a lot of joy in helping young writers and broadcasters succeed," said Matt Mosley, who has been on the air with Galloway for seven years. "He always acted about 20 years younger than he actually was, and that probably helps with longevity in a career. I'll miss him, even though he harassed me about 80 percent of the time."

I'll miss him, too. I've leaned on him for advice, and he's taught me a great deal about how this business works. He's become a friend, and for that I'm thankful. I know I can call or text him (yes, Galloway finally learned how to text recently) when I want to know his opinion on something. But that won't be the same as flipping on the radio and hearing his voice.

Thanks, Galloway, for making the drive home so enjoyable.

ED WERDER, ESPN

More to the man than sports: When Randy was the lead columnist at The Dallas Morning News, he was the best colleague a beat writer like myself could have, as he was in the know on a lot of things and passed them along without expecting any credit for whatever story came from the tip he provided.

He similarly used his power to represent concerns the writing staff might have with management to the point that it could be a concern for executive sports editor Dave Smith, one of the most influential and accomplished people in the business.

I remember one time, when writing a feature for the Sunday SportsDay on Cowboys safety James Washington, my editor wanted to make a change with which I strongly disagreed. I called Randy to ascertain whether my belief in the opinion I had was justified. Once he agreed with me, I called Dave at home on the weekend and explained the difference of opinion with the editor and that I had contacted Randy and he agreed with me. Dave became immediately furious and said, "That's the problem with you. You think Randy Galloway runs this sports section!"

Galloway played such a significant role in hiring me, when I went from the Orlando Sentinel to the DMN, that at one point he told me he had advocated so hard that what seemed a sure thing might not happen at all because it might appear to the staff I was hired not by Dave, but by Randy.

Randy did provide one bad piece of advice when I was considering leaving the DMN for a TV job with CNN-SI. He told me I should stay -- I think because he wanted to keep me on the radio show!

But his friendship is mostly revealed by the hardship our family experienced because of our daughter Christie's medical issues, which have included two brain surgeries. When she was 12, he dubbed her the Wolf Woman of Flower Mound because she loved that particular animal, and he had his wife Janeen search the planet for a stuffed wolf and blanket. More recently, he couldn't attend Christie's wedding because the date coincided with the running of his first horse at Churchill Downs. So Randy's gift was a wager on his horse, which won and paid $500. He gave that to Christie and Trey in cash -- which Janeen told him was happening regardless of how the horse performed.

Great columnist and radio host, colleague and friend!

JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR, ESPNDallas.com

The real deal: Whenever someone discovers I know Randy Galloway, usually the first thing they want to know is what that loudmouthed redneck is really like.

Once I tell them, they usually don't believe me.

Oh, Galloway is loud, hyper and, occasionally, obnoxious. But he's found a way to remain genuine. He keeps it real, and once he respects you, he'll do anything to help a person. You don't even have to ask.

I had been covering the Cowboys for The Dallas Morning News for a couple of seasons and had just returned from the Super Bowl in 1996 when I received a phone call from Dave Smith, the The News' legendary sports editor.

"I hear you spent all your time at the Super Bowl hanging around with people from The New York Times. Are you going to leave?" he asked.

"I'm not sure what you're talking about, Dave," I said. "I interned there, so I still know a couple of people. I certainly never talked to anybody about a job."

Smith replied, "Well, I just want to make sure. They're always trying to take our people."

I do a little research, and it turns out Galloway had gone to Smith and told him that, based on how much time I had spent schmoozing with folks at The New York Times, I was probably going to leave. Galloway suggested Smith give me a nice raise before I got an offer -- if I hadn't already accepted it.

A few days later, I received another phone call from Smith telling me to expect a raise soon. Obviously, I was thrilled to get another 2 or 3 percent. Who isn't? A few days after that, I opened an envelope in my mailbox and it's a note from Smith telling me my raise is 10 percent. At that time, $4,000 was life-changing.

But that's not the nicest thing Galloway ever did for me.

My mom died unexpectedly of lupus in 1997. Ironically, Galloway's brother died the same week.

Still, Galloway made it a point to come by my house and offer his condolences to me and my family. That the most important columnist in Dallas-Fort Worth would make time to get my address and show up unannounced in my time of grief meant a lot.

If Galloway reads this, he probably won't remember either incident, which tells you everything you need to know about that loudmouthed redneck.

MATT MOSLEY, "Galloway & Company"

The genuine article: I was on the air with Randy Galloway for seven years the last time I counted, which has to be some sort of record. What struck me early on is how such a big personality like him worked so hard to put the spotlight on others. For no other reason than he just took pity on me, Galloway started having me on one hour a week seven years ago and called it "Tuesdays with Mosley."

I grew up listening to one of my newspaper heroes, Frank Luksa, on Randy's weekly "Firing Line" show during Cowboys football season. When Galloway asked me to appear on the show in 2004, it felt like I was going on with Johnny Carson. The next seven years were a blur. Watching him prepare for a show would be enough to fill a sitcom. So many mornings my phone would ring and he would bellow, "We got NUTHIN'!" I'm not sure anyone in his life has frustrated him as much as me, but he continued to fight for me over the years.

Some of my favorite memories were from observing Galloway at spring training in Surprise, Ariz. He loved wandering the back fields because it probably reminded him of his Rangers beat days. The former players and coaches who showed up greeted Galloway like he was an old teammate. I think even the folks he skewered over the years in print and on the air somehow had a soft spot for Randy, although it may take Rangers GM Jon Daniels a few years to come around.

The best thing I can say about him is that he's authentic. People always asked me if he was really like the guy they heard on the radio. If anything, his personality was even bigger off the air.

I've seen folks try to emulate his writing and radio style over the years. But it always falls flat. He's a true original ... and I hope he enjoys the heck out of retirement.

TIM KURKJIAN, ESPN.com

Following his lead: I followed Galloway on the Rangers beat in 1982. It was like following John Wooden at UCLA. But it was a great conversation starter with all the players. I would start with, "Hi, I'm Tim Kurkjian. I'm replacing Galloway.'' Common responses were, "Great! Glad he's gone!" and "You have some big shoes to fill!" and "I hope you can drink!"

I broke my first big story in the spring of 1982. Al Oliver wanted to be traded, but I had nothing to do with the breaking of that story. Galloway did all the work -- and gave me all the credit. A month into the season, he took note of the day-by-day book that I kept, a book that tabulated a daily record of each Rangers player. "What the hell is that?" Galloway asked me. "That's my day-by-day book," I said. To which Galloway responded, "Timmy, when I covered this team, sometimes I didn't even keep score."

Galloway, as much as anyone, taught me how to be a baseball writer. I appreciated it greatly then and still do today. But I still can't drink.

IAN FITZSIMMONS, "Fitzsimmons & Durrett"

Loud and proud: The greatness of Galloway was never more evident than the day after the sale of the Rangers went through and Mark Cuban lost out to the Ryan/Greenberg group. That day, Galloway comes on in the first segment of the show and congratulates the Ryan/Greenberg group for winning, saying that baseball and the Rangers had also won out against Cuban.

Then the fireworks began.

Galloway accuses Cuban of never intending to buy the Rangers, saying he was a plant by the lenders to drive up the price on the club and they would give Cuban a "kickback." He hammers on this for five to six minutes and we go to break. Then the hotline rings. Shaun Dodge, the producer of GAC at the time, comes into the studio and says Mr. Cuban would like to join the show. Galloway was at the vending machine and then had walked down the hall. I am now out in the hallway when Dodge tells Randy that Mark would like to have a word with him. Randy's response? "Good." Randy welcomes Cuban on the show, says hello, and then says "Now Mark--" Cuban cuts him off and screams "DID YOU JUST ACCUSE ME OF TAKING A KICKBACK?!" Randy fires back "YES, I DID, AND TELL ME I AM WRONG!" It went on like this for 30 minutes. And the beauty of Galloway -- at the end, the two were laughing like two damn college buddies who hadn't talked to each other in years. From cursin' and cussin' to Randy saying "Thanks for calling! Good to talk to ya!" and Cuban responding, "Yeah, you too. Thanks for having me on."

Thanks for having me on! When Cuban called, he was ticked off as he could be at Randy, and next thing you know it's "let's a get a beer" time. Greatness! Radio gold.

Speaking of the vending machine, whenever Randy would get really peeved prepping for the show, which begins about 11:45-noon, he would stand up, drop a muther roo, and then head down to the vending machine. If he was just frustrated with something, someone or Mosley, he would come back with a pack of Big Red gum and devour the entire thing. If he was absolutely furious, he would come back with a pack of peanuts, devour them in about 60 seconds, and then start in on why, what, who, me .... whatever he was peeved about. Last week, when Rangers bench coach Jackie Moore was dismissed, Glenn "Stretch" Smith told me that Randy knocked back about five packs of peanuts!

Like a card player, it was the easiest "tell" to pick up on to either stay away from Galloway or just start pushing buttons to see how mad and how loud you could get him to yell just to entertain yourself.

I'll miss those moments the most. The prep before the show. The heated debates. The teaching and mentoring. Even when I was moved to the 11-3 time slot, he was always there.

He is the man. He is Galloway.

CALVIN WATKINS, ESPNDallas.com

A true sports fan: People should know that Randy Galloway is more than a sports personality. He's a good man. He's a people person, more than you'll ever know.

I remember arriving in Kansas City and Gallo was waiting for us in the hotel lobby because he wanted to watch the Floyd Mayweather fight. I found a little cigar bar in the downtown area that was perfect for us.

It's Gallo, Tim MacMahon and I in this place with a wide range of people of all sorts of races. Gallo fits right in. He smokes a cigar with the brothers and shouts down the college kids about A&M and then has a few drinks and some wings.

In the midst of this humanity comes Stephen Jones, the Dallas Cowboys' vice president. Jones and his buddies, Gallo and a packed house just watching sports. I will always remember that night because it wasn't about Gallo being a sports personality or even on the verge of retirement. On that night, the essence of Gallo was in full force -- he was just a sports fan. He just wanted to hang with some friends and watch the game and have a good time.

To me that's who Randy Galloway is. Yes, he's a sports columnist and radio host with big opinions. But on this one night, Gallo was just like anybody else -- a sports fan.

TODD ARCHER, ESPNDallas.com

A naturally likable character: I remember my first time on the radio with Randy Galloway because I wasn't quite sure what to say. We were at the Railhead in Colleyville, and he had a giant mug of beer in front of him. So I got a giant mug of beer. And when the show started, Randy came out with several opinions that I didn't agree with, and I quickly learned that's why he wanted you there. I think he called me an idiot. Here's the thing about Randy: He can call you an idiot, a knucklehead, a know-nothing, but it's somehow never mean-spirited.

That's what separates him from other talk-show people who are loud just to be loud. He has an aura about himself that makes you automatically like him, even if he thinks you're an idiot. I'll miss the time I was able to sit next to him in the studio, and I'll miss hearing him from 3-6 every day. Thanks, Randy.

CHUCK COOPERSTEIN, ESPNDallas.com

There's no one like him: A lot has been said about Randy Galloway and his departure on Monday from ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.

All I will add is this: 29 years ago, for some reason, the guru of Grand Prairie took a liking to the new kid in town from New York. It rose to a different level in June 1997, when literally 60 seconds after The Ticket announced my dismissal on the air, the phone was ringing with Galloway ranting as only he could, "What the [bleep] is going on here?" Three months later, he was instrumental in my joining WBAP to follow his "Sports at Six" with a show aptly nicknamed "The Midnight Run," and we've been part of the same company ever since.

He has helped me enormously, as he has helped so many others who have worked with him -- whether it's working on a story, working on a show, or just trying to figure out how to muddle through the crazy business we find ourselves in. When he has your back, there is never a doubt. It's going to be impossible to replace "Overreaction Monday," "Collapse Warnings and Watches," and oh, those nicknames.

They broke the mold with Mr. Randy. There will never be another one quite like him.

TIM MACMAHON, ESPNDallas.com

Man of the people: The great Randy Galloway, perhaps the most successful media personality in the history of the local jock kingdom, once offered me a sage piece of journalistic advice.

"When the s--- is flying," he told me after a Cowboys collapse, "grab you a piece and fling it all over the place."

That's the greatness of Galloway. For decades, the man has made flinging poop a form of art, with the radio studio serving as a cage for the loudmouthed, mustachioed, cigar-chompin' monkey.

For better or worse, Galloway evoked emotion from those who tuned in to him for a generation. Sometimes you'd agree with his colorful rants that were peppered with harsh criticism and country witticisms. Sometimes he'd hiss you off, to borrow one of his favorite phrases. Heck, he'd often do both within the same segment.

Galloway is a true man of the people, but he thrived on having a love-hate relationship with his listeners (and co-workers, for that matter). A perfect day for Galloway was having half the audience think he was a genius and the rest of the folks call him a fool.

Galloway's genius is rooted in identifying the lightning rods and making the sparks fly. He entertains with strong opinions and a twisted, one-of-a-kind sense of humor. He informs in a manner made possible by a vast network of sources cultivated over his 50 years of hustling, shaking hands and hammering Miller Lites.

Galloway long ago labeled his style as "fair and biased," and truth be told, he leaned much more toward the latter than the former. The man is fiercely protective of his guys and holds a grudge worse than any woman scorned.

His opinions are often obnoxious, occasionally over the top, but always genuine. Same goes for his persona. Just ask anyone who debated sports with Galloway in a barroom over the years. That's a crowd that probably couldn't fit in the Boss Hawg Bowl, as Galloway calls Jerry Jones' $1.2 billion stadium. Or ask any of the dozens of sports media members Galloway mentored, which often meant getting profanity-laced pep talks on how to do the job in wimp-free fashion.

Galloway has always loved the discussion. He's lived for directing the drama.

Which is why I can't believe the old man is really walking away from the microphone, proudly leaving a mess behind.

KELLY WEBSTER, ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM

Miss Kelly will miss you: I did not grow up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so when I started working at ESPN Radio Dallas, I had no idea who Randy Galloway was. When I was added to his show in July 2004, I was happy to be working afternoon drive, but honestly, the full effect of Galloway had not quite registered with me.

My first day of doing updates on GAC, I noticed he would head into the break by saying: "Miss Kelly will have a 'SportsCenter' update and then we'll be back with..." Miss Kelly? What on Earth? I wasn't 80 years old! And I wasn't a former cast member of the TV show "Dallas."

I didn't want to say anything while he was on the air, so I waited until the next day to voice my concern. Randy was in the bullpen, looking over a newspaper and getting ready for the show. He had his boots propped up on the desk and was chewing a cigar.

"Hi Randy," I said with a big smile. "Um, I noticed during the show that you called me Miss Kelly and I'm not a fan of that nickname. Can we try something else?" He never made eye contact while I spoke ... just kept scanning the paper and chewing on that nasty cigar.

A few seconds passed and I was pretty sure he hadn't heard me. Finally, he started to close the newspaper and said, "You don't like it, huh?" I kept that smile on my face and said, "No, I really don't. It sounds like I should be in a nursing home ... maybe something else?"

Randy put the paper down, grabbed the cigar out of his mouth and looked right at me and said, "You don't like it? Then it sticks."

I walked away shaking my head, annoyed that my nickname would forever be Miss Kelly. But I had no idea that I would hear it for nine years or that I would have this much fun at a job. Working with Randy taught me a ton about radio, lessons that I will take with me wherever I go. And I am so grateful to have worked with him and gotten to know his wonderful family.

My Monday through Friday is going to be boring. I have a feeling my Galloway hangover will stick with me for a while. And if he gives you a nickname that you don't like, tell him you love it. He just might change it. Or not.

Thank you, Randy ... I will miss you.