Angelo Cataldi: Next Year May Be the “End of the Run” at WIP

The longtime WIP sports-radio antagonist and Wing Bowl progenitor on the upcoming Eagles season, retirement plans, and why you’ll never, ever catch him in the ocean

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Angelo Anthony Cataldi Jr.

I grew up in … Providence, Rhode Island. It wasn’t major-league, and I was thrilled to leave.

I moved to Philly … in 1983, because I got a job offer from the Inquirer. I was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for my coverage of the Eagles the first year that Buddy Ryan was the coach; I was extremely shocked. Buddy understood Philadelphia sports fans better than anyone I’ve ever met.

This Eagles season will be … disappointing. I’m saying six-and-10.

These days, I live in … Medford. I’m trying to downsize, so I have the house on the market. At $899,000, because $900,000 would be way too much. And I have a house in Sea Isle City. We do the show from the Borgata on Fridays, so I try to sneak down on Thursday to Sea Isle. I love it.

If you’re taking me out for dinner, let’s go to … Del Frisco’s. Have the lemon cake.

My favorite Eagles team was … definitely when Reggie White, Jerome Brown and Randall Cunningham were all on the team together. So many personalities and so much athleticism. But of course, they also found a way to disappoint us.

The bad rep that Philly fans have … is untrue in that it says their passion is only negative. The truth is that they have as much passion on the positive side, but they need a reason to be positive. They are the most misunderstood fans in the country.

After I orchestrated the booing of Donovan McNabb, I felt … ambivalent. Good, because we were Philly fans expressing ourselves with passion, but bad because Donovan was never the target. It was aimed at the Eagles for not taking Ricky Williams. It’s one of the great myths. We were not mad at Donovan.

My most memorable interview was … Wilt Chamberlain, back when he was selling the book where he claimed to have slept with 20,000 women. He was my hero. But it wasn’t a very good interview, because I was starstruck.

People who think that Wing Bowl is trash … have a point. Even we have grave misgivings about it. What it is now wasn’t the plan that we designed 24 years ago.

I like to collect … 1950s memorabilia. I have an entire room of it, from a 1952 DuMont television to a radio identical to the one I listened to ballgames on when I was a kid to a Philadelphia Bulletin honor box.

When people call me names because of my opinions … I’ve learned not to take it personally, but it’s taken a long, long time.

My doctor says I … should have quit 10 years ago. The pressure you feel every day — and my voice is not what it used to be. I’m getting beat up.

The next Philly team to win a title will be … the Flyers. In the next three years.

If you’re pouring me a drink, make it a … pinot grigio. I know. It sounds bad.

I am deathly afraid of … the water. I can’t swim, and I don’t even take a bath. I only shower. My mother wouldn’t let me in the pool when I was a kid, and now that I’m 65 — she’s 94 — I tell her that I still haven’t gone in the water because of her.

The best thing about my job is … the money — more than I ever thought I would make. The worst thing is getting up at two every morning. That grinds on you after 26 years.

My contract expires … at the end of next year. I think that will be the end of the run, and I will walk away really happy.

Published as “One of Us” in the August 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine.