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“Kevin, the ball is ups… y’know what? Let’s just roll with it.” Not much worth sharing ahead of this week’s rematch between our Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons (7 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast and 92.9 FM in ATL, BS Detroit). We all know the adjustments that need to be made for the visitors to pull off the two-game sweep, comfortably, and head to Milwaukee at 4-1. Hopefully, Atlanta’s players and coaches do, too. A shout out, though, is in order. There was a period where I was sure Uncle Arthur riding in on a white horse to save the Hawks from beleaguered ownership was imminent. A decade before that, in 2002, Arthur Blank bought out the Falcons from the Smiths, and he had since dabbled in considerations to buy the Bravos, too. Atlanta? Spirit?? Group??? had pulled a coup with the hiring of Danny Ferry, so the managerial box was adequately checked. It was just, in my mind, a matter of time. One problem, though. What to do with the director of PR and media relations? A fixture at Hawks Inc. since 1989, the Louisiana-raised Arthur Triche was a proud and unapologetic Aints fan. Ergo, you could imagine how I was reading into the news that, in August 2012, Ferry and the Hawks dumped Triche unceremoniously, hardly two months into the new PBO/GM’s tenure. One Arthur out, another one in! That so didn’t happen. As we know, Ferry didn’t get to stick around for terribly long, either. But Triche landed on his feet quite comfortably. Within a couple months of his pink slip, he was named the first Executive Producer of a new media venture, one that began a decade ago this month. Those of you outside the Perimeter often shared my frustrations back when I’d be stuck working late at the office (y’all remember offices?), withstanding the indignity of listening as an AM radio signal fades into nightly oblivion, often just as Steve Holman’s broadcasts were about to tip off. Sports talk, since its local inception as a full-time format in the Olympic age (where have you gone, Tony Schiavone?), had always been an AM dial affair. Modern music was the purview of the FM side. But CBS Radio looked at flagging ratings for its adult-contemporary stations, like Dave FM at 92.9 MHz frequency in Atlanta, and thought the time was right for a multi-market conversion to round-the-clock sports blabber. My grumblings about losing out on coffeeshop radio tunes late at night quickly shifted to glee that I’d get to awaken, around 3:30 in the morning, to hear a show host fielding grievances about Josh Smith’s shot selection (he’d become the star of Pistons talk radio soon enough). 92.9 The Game was born in October 2012, and Triche was the man in charge of getting it off the ground. Triche used his connections in media relations and the talent circulating around NBATV and Turner Sports to draw an array of hosts to the 92.9 stable. Local radio stalwarts like John Fricke, athletes-turned-broadcasters like Hugh Douglas, Randy Cross and Jamie Dukes, round-the-clock basketball chatters like Rick Kamla and Kristen Ledlow. The loyal Get Off My Lawn crowd was not happy about two AM radio stations now having to compete for ears with a third outfit, one with vastly stronger signal coverage. 790 the Zone would quickly evaporate itself, incidentally, in Aints-related controversy. 680 The Fan eventually stepped into the Teens by simulcasting up the dial at 93.7 FM. The Hawks Radio Network jumped over to 92.9 from 680 in 2013, and the Falcons followed suit upon 790’s demise. Getting Holman’s broadcasts on FM, in particular, allowed me to turn my dial to 92.9, and rip the knob off (y’all remember knobs?). 680 The Fan remains the undisputed king of local sports radio, ratings-wise and especially with its FM simulcast. Triche became a victim of corporate shifts again, on the outs not long after Entercom (now d/b/a Audacy) took over the CBS Radio operations in 2017. And the 24-hour local angle didn’t last for long, CBS Radio filling in the late-night slots with national broadcasts (currently, with Atlanta resident JR SportBrief working out of 92.9’s studios in Midtown’s Colony Square). But as 92.9 The Game celebrated its 10-year anniversary last week at a party along the BeltLine, the successes the station has had in modernizing and diversifying sports talk radio in town has Triche’s fingerprints all over it. Not bad work, I’d say, for an Aints fan. Let’s Go Hawks! ~lw3