Terry Boers took time out of his busy schedule of calling people “asswipes” and “steaming piles of crap” to break down and cry.
The longtime voice on WSCR, a sports talk radio station in Chicago, announced his retirement on Nov. 29 in a 15-minute segment that found him choking up and having a hard time finishing his thoughts.
It was captivating and riveting radio.
Boers, an Orland Park resident, has honed his trade over the years of being a jerk announcer very well the past quarter century. He and his partner, Dan Bernstein, have perfected the art of antagonizing people and pushing their buttons.
And they have been pretty successful at it. They have their fans and they have their haters. They poke fun at people and sometimes are a little cruel in their bile and cross the line. I never cared for the cruel way they poked fun at Ron Santo, someone I personally knew.
Boers has been in lousy health in 2016 and, while he said he was mulling retirement before multiple surgeries for an undisclosed illness, he definitely showed his human side when he made his emotional announcement. He dropped the jerk act to talk from the heart.
Reaction to his retirement was mostly supportive on social media but there are some who crowed and are glad he is leaving. Karma was mentioned more than once.
When you constantly insult the public the way he has done, you open the door for that.
But let’s remember this. The jerk act was just that…an act.
Away from the microphone, he is a husband, father and grandfather. He has lived in the south suburbs for years including a three-year stint in Orland Park, a longer time in Mokena and is back in Orland Park. So he is one of us.
I knew Bernstein when we covered the Bears back in the Dave Wannstedt era and he seemed to be a good guy – different than his current on-air persona. His smarter-than-everyone shtick rubs people the wrong way, but you have to admit he’s pretty intelligent and when he is not performing the jerk act is pretty thoughtful.
Taking unpopular stances, tearing down sports icons and belittling callers is just a part of their show. Their goal is to entertain and inform and if you get these two guys hooked up with an expert in a sport, you learned things. I prefer to hear them talk college football with someone like Gary DiNardo than calling a caller a “cretin’’
It’s hard for people to separate the real men from the jerk act.
Bernstein is willing to share some of his family life and funny stories about being a husband and father more than Boers. For the most part, Boers kept that stuff off the air and only showed a human side in small doses.
During his retirement announcement, it spilled over like a bursting dam.
The Boers and Bernstein show is known for comedy and even his tearful goodbye had an accidental slice of it when a couple of times, the ringer of his cellphone (a yell from singer James Brown) went off in the background.
Boers will be on the air -- when he is healthy enough -- until early January, when the station turns 25.
After that, who knows? It’s likely the last we will hear from him.
I didn’t always like what he said or did.
But while he was on the air, I listened.
And so did countless others.