Only two days into his debut radio program, former Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge was forced to audible to a new name for his show.
Ainge’s show, 7-9 a.m. weekdays on WVLZ-AM 1180, has changed its name from “Morning Wood” to the “The Erik Ainge Show.’’
“We thought the first title was funny, and it was aimed at the demographic we were going after,’’ Ainge said Friday. “But we realized if we’re going to develop this show into something bigger, that obviously can’t be the name. We have our sponsors to think about.’’
Ainge, 25, however, said the show’s tone and topics will probably remain controversial to some, and at times, maybe even offensive.
“I want to offer something that tells people how things really are, and I’m not going to sugar coat it,’’ said Ainge, who played for the Vols 2004-07, leading UT to the SEC championship game his senior season. “I might say some things that some view as controversial, and I know that. But I think it makes the show more fun, and I’ve got to say what I really think. So I’m not interested in the political answers, and I’m not afraid to talk about things that might upset people.’’
Indeed, Ainge compared how women looked on the various SEC campuses on Friday’s show.
In addition to his media work, Ainge is coaching youth football in Knoxville and doing pubic speaking.
Many of Ainge’s talks to youth groups involve his self-testimony on drug addiction. Ainge disclosed in May that he had an addiction to painkillers during his football career and started using drugs when he was 12. Ainge was drafted by the New York Jets but his appearances in three seasons were limited to exhibition games.
“I came back to Knoxville after all of that because this is where a lot of people have always been good to me, and I appreciate that,’’ Ainge said. “Even in college, I told myself I wanted to live here when my playing career was over.’’
Ainge said his edgy, sometimes off-color comments and topics could draw more penalty flags as his media career progresses, but that’s something for him and station manager and co-host Jason Bailey to discuss down the line.
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