No face to face, no letters of resignation, just a couple of emails on Friday from John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford to the boss Drew Deener that they were resigning from their sports radio talk show on ESPN 680.
Outta here. Gone. Effective immediately.
No advance notices, no apologies to the listeners, nothing that would be considered anywhere close to a graceful exit. They were done.
So abruptly that many University of Louisville fans thought it was an April Fool’s joke, occurring on the eve of April 1. Others speculating that Ramsey and Rutherford had been enticed to another radio station and were unable to discuss their plans because of contractual obligations.
Turns out, as Rutherford explains on his web site, that working multiple jobs on a taxing schedule was apparently taking a toll. Something had to give, and it turned out to be the radio show. Ramsey, who was originally a solo act, may have decided that the show had limited potential without Rutherford.
The most surprising thing about the episode was the speed with which the departures happened. Coming as a shock for some listeners who tuned in day after day for their take on UofL sports.
Imagine Drew Deener’s shock at learning about the resignations via email, two of his most valued personalities leaving immediately, not bothering to give him or the listeners any advance notice.
Ramsey was probably the biggest homer on sports talk radio, leaning heavily on Rutherford for facts and insights. Rutherford, meanwhile, had a radio voice that could only be described as monotonal and grating at best.
The fact that they were both longtime UofL fans, with easy access to Louisville coaches and other personalities, made the show an entertaining one while filling a local media void.
Ramsey was never bashful when it came to professing his devotion to the Cardinals or making his contempt known for the Wildcats. Rutherford, on the other hand, was obviously one of the most knowledgeable and respected sources on UofL sports in the community.
A sudden, strange and awkward departure. Their listeners, and their boss, deserved better.