Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

Big Droo, 96.1 ESPN Radio

Almost everyday when I hop in my car between 3 to 6 p.m., I tune my radio to 96.1 to listen to ESPN radio.

I usually listen to my iPod or NPR, but the tandem of Droo and Sean Baligian make it fun to listen to sports during “It is what it is.”

But what makes them so great, is Baligian’s “Greatest Day Ever,” tagline. During our interview on Tuesday, Droo said Baligian truly believes that, and that is the mindset he would like to have for life.

“Around the office, we have a saying,” he said. “Create. Destroy. Repeat. Every day we try to do it differently.”

For a lot of people, media especially, we are our harshest critics. Nothing is good enough, and Droo said being on radio everyday can become repetitive unless you’re constantly evolving.

That applies to life and careers, he said, “Find a way to do it better.”

Droo is a jolly person. One of the jolliest you’ll meet. And that’s what he likes about life. Talking to people and helping make this world a happier place.

He used to make fun of his dad for taking an extra 30 minutes in whatever he did because he ended up in conversations. Now, Droo is the same way. He’ll ramble for 15 minutes; on pretty much any subject you put in front of him.

It’s expected then to know he’s in radio. But he’s still a sidekick – with a snazzy producer title – but eventually he wants his own show.

He’s already come a long way in radio for a guy in his mid-20s. He started at a Christian radio station in Holland, Michigan, before a series of fairly comical events got him to Clear Channel stations in Grand Rapids. He started on Holmes and the Freakshow.

The hiring process went down all in about a day, Droo said. He was called in about two hours after dropping his application in. He was wearing a Byron Center football shirt, “ratty” cargo shorts, and threw on a sport coat. He also had long hair, with multiple colors dyed in.

“I get there, and he just says, ‘Please tell me your the guy. I’m calling my show The Freakshow, I need you,'” Droo said. “I learned more in in the span of three hours than I had in three months.”

Now he’s talking sports on a show, something many people dream of doing. He calls it his “grown up job.”

Although many people think sports radio is an easy job, Droo assured me there are are parts of the jobs that people don’t anticipate.

He works 40 hours a week, 15 of which are on air.

“To be honest, the three hours I’m on each day are the reason I do this,” he said. “People don’t do radio to get rich, you do it to get by.

He doesn’t make a ton of money, but Droo said he does it all to make sure the people he cares about are happy.

One of which is his five-year-old son.

When he found out he was going to be a dad, he was already broken up with the mom for two months. He was shocked.

But not once did it cross his mind that he wouldn’t be in his son’s life. And it’s true, his Facebook is littered with awesome things he does with his kid.

“He’s a small version of myself, but better,” Droo said.

He said he tries to put off the vibe that he’s a “big, bacon-eating, wood-splitting tough guy.”

“That’s not me,” he said. “I’m a wuss.”

Droo is a guy who loves his life; the things he does and the people in it. It’s awesome. But the crazy part is, every day he’s making it better. That’s impressive.

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