There must be a couple minutes in every day when Rick Lewis is a slacker.
All he does is both host the highly popular Rick Lewis Show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday on 103.5 FM The Fox, and co-host the Lewis & Logan Show from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. each weekday on 850 KOA-AM.
No radio personality works such a split shift, but what’s a guy to do with all that time in between? Here’s what Lewis does: He goes to the gym every day and works out. He spends at least an hour in his hyperbaric chamber. And he practices the drums because on nights and weekends he’s the percussionist for the Rick Lewis Project, a rock band that is so good, it will open for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Pike's Peak International Raceway in two weeks.
So maybe it’s only 30 seconds a day Lewis does nothing productive. Nope, hold on. Lewis is also a weekend motorcycle enthusiast.
“I call it, ‘throttle therapy,’’’ he said.
Perhaps, bored with his zero downtime, Lewis just picked up another gig. He is now the new color commentator on Denver Broncos’ radio broadcasts where he will work alongside is evening partner, Dave Logan. Lewis replaces Ed McCaffrey who stepped away after five years as the Broncos’ radio color commentator.
“This is something I really wanted for a long time,’’ Lewis said. “I’m excited and humbled for the opportunity. I heard from an old buddy today, a sportswriter from Detroit named Steve Kornacki. He said, ‘Man this has been in the making for 54 years. I remember when we would play football and baseball out in the field you would never shut up. You were constantly doing play by play.’"
KOA, the Broncos’ flagship, will bring back Logan,a local legend who starred at Wheat Ridge High School, the University of Colorado and the Cleveland Browns, for his 28th season on the team’s radio broadcasts, 22nd as play-by-play announcer.
Tyler Polumbus, another hometown hero who starred at Cherry Creek High School and Colorado before playing eight years in the NFL, including three with the Broncos, will serve as sideline reporter with a perk.
In a unique move, Polumbus from the sidelines will serve as color commentator for one series a quarter.
“I think they will both bring a unique perspective to the broadcast,’’ Logan said of his two new partners. “Rick has a pretty solid football background. He did a game with me last year (at Jacksonville) when something with Eddie came up and I thought he did a really nice job. I think he’ll see the game through his own lens and that will be unique to that particular seat."
“And Tyler obviously played in the league a long time. He’s going to also have his own perspective. We’re excited to put the team together for sure.’’
Everything about this broadcast team is unique. Logan was the first former NFL player who became a radio play-by-by man on an NFL team’s broadcast. Former NFL players usually handle the color commentator role.
Lewis is not a former NFL player but he will be the color commentator. Polumbus is a former NFL player on the sidelines.
“Frankly, Dave Logan makes it real easy,’’ Lewis said. “He’s that good. You can pretty much put anyone in the booth and they’re going to sound at least decent.’’
Perhaps some diehard fans will wonder how Lewis, who gained fame as a morning disc jockey, in particular during his 23 years with comedian Michael Floorwax, came to fill the role as the Broncos’ game-day expert.
Sure, KOA gets some cross-promotion for its Lewis & Logan afternoon drive show. But the truth is, Lewis’ background is steeped in football. He was with the Northern Arizona football program for a year before he became the sports director for the college radio station at Long Beach State. There he did play-by-play for the college’s football, basketball and baseball teams.
And he also had a disc jockey shift.
He also played running back and safety for the Orange County Outlaws in a California Pro League that was so competitive in the early 1980s, it graduated several players to the United States Football League (USFL).
It worked out that morning rock took Lewis away from his childhood passion but a few years ago, he started returning to his roots by doing play-by-play of local high school games for Comcast.
“I know the game, I’m a student of the game,’’ Lewis said. “But what I’m going to bring is a fresh approach to the broadcast. I believe I’m going to make the broadcast more entertaining. I’m going to be excited because I am a big fan."
“The hardcore X and O’s fan is always going to listen. But I think the approach I bring is going to bring in a wider fan base.’’
He will keep both radio shows as he takes on his role on the Broncos’ radio team. And his band and motorcycle trips and daily trips to the gym and his chamber.
Why not? Logan coaches high school football and has his afternoon radio show with Lewis. There is also TeamDaveLogan.com that recommends home improvement professionals.
Polumbus has made a quick ascent in the broadcasting business after retiring as a player following the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory.
“An incredible opportunity,’’ said Polumbus, who was also a sideline reporter for CU Buff games on KOA and has a radio sports talk show on 104.3-FM, The Fan. “They’re going to incorporate me in ways that will be a little bit unusual and I’m really looking forward to working with Dave Logan, who is obviously the best, and with Rick. I think it’ll be a great team."
“I know one thing, the chemistry between the play-by-play and color guy is utmost important and Rick and Dave have that based on their show. So they have the chemistry and I know Rick knows what he’s talking about as far as football goes. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people. On top of that when you can bring some of the entertainment value that Rick has into a broadcast, that brings a lot to it.’’
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