Caller Expresses Extreme Gratitude For Paul Finebaum, Says ‘Your Show Actually Helped Save My Life’

by Patrick Norton

A frequent caller known as Handsome Joe on The Paul Finebaum Show had an emotional message for the host on Wednesday. The man from Red Bay, Alabama shared the positive impact the show has left on the caller’s life.

The program’s official Twitter page posted the call in its entirety which includes Joe’s background and Finebaum’s reaction.

The show itself has a history of building a rapport with the audience; welcoming back repeat callers, but encouraging new listeners. It’s not uncommon for people to express a love for Finebaum shared with deceased relatives on-air, but Joe’s conversation strikes a different chord.

An audibly emotional Handsome Joe says on Finebaum’s program, “I was dealing with depression and actually overdosed a couple of times. I didn’t have a lot to do, but your show helped bring me through those dark days.” The caller adds, “I was fighting things just to keep my mind occupied and when that came to an end, it just had me sitting and thinking.”

ESPN’s SEC Network first aired The Paul Finebaum show in 2014, and Joe’s listened since the first day. Joe’s soliloquy includes, “If your show had not got on SEC Network and they had not started this up, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have even been here today. I just wanted to tell you that, Paul. How much I appreciate that.”

Paul Finebaum’s Impact Runs Deep With SEC Roots

The Tennessee-Knoxville graduate often displays a deep passion for his more frequent listeners and friends. His dedication is toward the listener base and the SEC, but not individual team favoritism. Following the tragic passing of a long-time caller and die-hard Auburn fan named Tammy, Finebaum dedicated an hour of air-time to talking about the loss.

Ordinarily stoic and reserved, Finebaum’s emotions don’t often reflect the heated reactions of the SEC faithful. However, when faced with peril, the radio host always delivers impassioned orations.

In Handsome Joe’s case, Finebaum’s embracing reaction speaks volumes on the host’s character. The entertainer – barely breaking from his formal demeanor – musters, “I don’t know how I could ever thank you for saying that. On behalf of everyone here, Joe, that means a great deal. You keep calling. You keep being you. I think that’s what makes you special to so many people.”