Personality Test: Mark Madden
Love him or hate him, but it’s a guarantee that Mark Madden will get a reaction out of you.
As the “Super Genius” at the helm of the afternoon drive on 105.9 WXDX-FM, he’s not really worried about whether or not you like what he has to say about any number of topics, including one of his signature subjects: sports.
Some might think that’s a deadly approach to take in a town that’s as maniacal about sports as Pittsburgh is, but his listeners tend to be gluttons for punishment. In fact, most of the time his callers are left in pieces on the ground, thanks to a deliciously sharp tongue and lightning-fast ability to systematically dismember even the most carefully thought-out points of view. But they keep comin’ back for more!
The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:
John Candy, Chris Farley, Fatty Arbuckle … all dead. Maybe Melissa McCarthy. Bob Seger, if he’s willing to put on a fat suit.
I was a Penguins fan, and my favorite player as a kid was a winger named Greg Polis. Great guy. I met him, and got to know him and his family. After that, I never thought of athletes as anything but regular people.
The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:
I’m not sure, but I bet I still have it. I come from a long line of hoarders.
E. I hate sports
B: Definitely the Penguins. I used to love the Pirates, but 20 years of losing and their questionable management methods killed that. I never really loved the Steelers.
My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:
Mario Lemieux. Sheer magnificence. His problems with his back and with cancer only served to ennoble him. Mario conquered a lot more than hockey.
I can’t live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR or laptop?
My laptop. The Internet is the opiate of the masses. One of them, anyway. I’m a low-tech redneck.
My favorite reality show:
None of them. A poor substitute for creativity, and emblematic of the death of American TV.
Favorite lunchtime spot:
Pittsburgh Steak Company, South Side. For the food, and for the floor show. Plus, they named a salad after me.
One word my mother would use to describe me:
Top thing on my “bucket list” to do before I’m gone:
I have zero control over this. But I would really love to see Liverpool Football Club win the English Premier League.
Star I’d like to dance with on “Dancing With the Stars”:
Chris Jericho of WWE. He’s got experience. We’re former tag-team partners from the wrestling days.
A. Robert Plant
B. Jimmy Page
C. John Paul Jones
D. John Bonham
B: Definitely Jimmy. Jimmy Page invented Led Zeppelin. Everything Zep did went through him.
Favorite brunch food:
Pancakes or French toast loaded up with fruit and syrup indigenous to that fruit.
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:
Believe it or not, the people. I treat callers to my show terribly, but they’re the lunatic fringe and deserve nothing better. But, when I’m out, the experiences I’ve had meeting the people of Pittsburgh have been terrific.
If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:
“Too Hot to Handle” by UFO.
Three people I’d love to have dinner with:
My mother, grandmother and aunt. They’re all gone. Would give anything for that, especially if my grandmother cooked.
My quirkiest inherited trait:
I am singularly career-minded at the expense of almost anything and everything social.
My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:
Hamburger with bleu cheese and bacon
Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:
Then, the Honus Wagner statue. Now, the Mario Lemieux statue.
In five years, I’d like to:
Be working less and making more. Fat chance.
When I was 10, I wanted to be:
Second baseman for the Pirates, like Bill Mazeroski.
Exercise I hate most:
Anything besides cardio. You can watch TV on a treadmill. So, I use a treadmill. That’s it, that’s the list.
My jailbait queen, Selena Gomez
I’m deathly afraid of:
Having to go back to school. I’d never do it, under any circumstance. When I have a nightmare, it often involves missing a final exam at Duquesne University, where I went.
The best concert I’ve ever seen:
I even know the exact date: July 20, 1988, Wheeling Civic Center, Guns N’ Roses opening for Aerosmith. The red-hot band on the way up, opening for the comeback-driven legends, with each clearly trying to outdo the other.
TV marathon I could watch all day:
“That ’70s Show.” I grew up in that basement.
Saturday mornings, you’ll find me:
At Piper’s Pub, sweating out a Liverpool FC match. In the off-season, I sleep in.
Best new gadget I’ve tried recently:
I don’t try new gadgets. I still use a flip phone.
In high school, I was:
Extremely quiet. Extremely quiet, can you believe it? Then alcohol intervened …
The most famous person I ever became friends with:
Three-way tie between Ric Flair, Mario Lemieux and the late Herb Brooks. Three different kinds of friends, but an honor to know each.
The person I’m most often mistaken for:
Bob Seger. When I covered the Penguins-Rangers playoff series at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1996, a group of fans pointed at me and chanted “Bob Seger” whenever I walked up or down the steps.
If I wasn’t a radio personality, I’d be:
A writer. Or a street-hockey rink owner. Or miserable.
What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:
A gun and $20K cash. Oh, no, wait … that’s James Harrison’s glove compartment.
The movie that always makes me cry:
It used to be the original “Brian’s Song.” I cried the first couple times I saw “Miracle” because it was such a stirring testimony to Herb Brooks. And I cry every time I watch a Pirates “highlight” DVD from the last 20 years.
My favorite “bad” movie:
“Road House.” Such a load of crap. But if I’m flipping through channels and I find it, I watch it.
My most treasured fashion accessory:
My shoes, which cost more than your house.
My most embarrassing junk food:
I’m off junk food for the time being. Good thing, too, because I love Hostess products. The government helps the banks but won’t keep Hostess alive?
My favorite website:
If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:
Sidney Crosby. How could you not want to be Sidney Crosby?
My childhood nickname:
My college nickname was “Flounder,” after the character in “Animal House.” I never did see the resemblance.
My first job:
Stringer, North Pittsburgh Free Press
My worst job:
I worked on the editing desk for the Post-Gazette sports department for far too long.
People would be surprised to know that I:
Don’t go to strip clubs nearly as much as I let on.
The oldest thing in my refrigerator:
1990 Dom Perignon champagne. Reserved for next Penguins’ Stanley Cup win or Liverpool FC’s next major trophy.
The last book I read:
I just re-read “The Damned United.” One of the best sports books (and movies) ever.
My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:
So many! Right now, I really like Slice on Broadway, which is in Beechview.
Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:
“Slap Shot.” And I do! Even though I have every line memorized.
If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:
Zeppelin doesn’t tour anymore, so I’ll go with UFO and Whitesnake.
My favorite cable channel:
HBO. Their original series have provided the best TV of the past 25 years.
My most memorable fashion mistake:
It’s all a mistake, except for my $5,000 custom-tailored suit from Frank N. Cicco in Butler, which my recent weight loss has me swimming in.
The first band I saw in concert:
Rod Stewart & The Faces, Civic Arena, sometime in 1974 or 1975
Life would be better without:
Those commercials that show various levels of smoker tragedy. Smoking is bad. We get it.