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Bruce Murray Talks Social Media, Favorite Athletes

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Bruce Murray hosts a national sports talk radio show, “Beyond the Brink,” with John Feinstein on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday, and makes regular appearances on “Daily News Live!” on SNY. The Chappaqua resident took the time to talk to Main Street Connect about his Facebook page, Crohn's disease and his favorite athletes as a child.

Q: You use your Facebook page often during the show to engage listeners, which is not something that a lot of other hosts do. How did you decide to start that?

A: It was more organic than planned. I originally got on Facebook as a gag with my wife to see who could get more friends. I had about 40 friends (and) it started to grow. I do enjoy the give-and-take during the show. It just really happened organically. I never thought I would get involved to the level that I do on a daily basis.

Q: You’ve been pretty open on the air talking about your Crohn’s disease. Is it an ailment that you think more people should be aware of, and do you try to raise awareness of it?

A: I’ve always said, and this has developed doing radio over time, we start out thinking everything private in our lives has to be private. I don’t talk about it to raise awareness. My desired goal is to say who I am. If it helps to raise awareness, great. I’m not embarrassed by anything. It brings up some anecdotes I get to share with the audience. I’m not fearful of how people may react to that. I’ve always said that if we’re not comfortable, then it kind of does raise some barriers. The more you talk, the easier it gets to discuss. It’s strictly to just be an open book.

Q: What’s the strangest phone call you’ve ever received on air?

A: There’s no shortage. I don’t know if I could point to one specifically. Whenever there is some sort of controversy, there’s no shortage of people who will come up with some of the most bizarre conspiracies. There’s always something that somebody thinks they have the answer to.

Q: What’s the interview of which you’re most proud?

A: I’ve talked to so many people and we talk to a lot of athletes and celebrities. It may sound bizarre and sensational, (but) I think one of the most satisfying was with ( Playboy magazine publisher) Hugh Hefner, who rarely provides interviews. He spent an hour with me and was so introspective and thoughtful and intelligent that it wasn’t just about the women. It was really about his insight in terms of developing his product. From a sports perspective, I’ve always loved conversations with Wayne Gretzky.

Q: Who was your favorite player growing up, from any sport?

A: I had two. I was a fan of Rick Barry’s, who my dad actually knew because he played at the University of Miami right before him. I got to know him as a kid and followed him. As a football player, Phil Simms. I was a teenager, the Giants were terrible and he was the first good player they had. As a Yankee, one of my favorites, and I named my first pet after him, was Mike Pagliarulo, third basemen for the Yankees in the '80s. I named my cat “Pags.” And my favorite team was the Islanders.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Nets’ move to Brooklyn?

A: I’m in favor of anything that will make them more interesting or keep them around. Even in the years that they were going to Finals with Jason Kidd, they were largely irrelevant. I’m hoping it creates some sort of excitement about it and turns them back into the New York Nets. I’m hoping that there’s some level of excitement.

Portions of this interview were edited.

Follow Andrew Meola on Twitter @andrewmeola. Be sure to like your town's MSC page on Facebook and follow your MSC site on Twitter for the latest news about your community.

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