Joe McDonnell, who years ago was tabbed "the Big Nasty" by KSPN (710) sports talk show partner Doug Krikorian, is not quite as big these days.
McDonnell, 48, had gastric bypass surgery Oct. 20 at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. He has since lost more than 70 pounds.
And he says he's just getting started.
"I'm not saying how much I'm going to lose," McDonnell said, "but I'm off to a great start.
"I'll never be thin. But I want to have a normal life."
McDonnell said he was doing better than he expected. He drove from his home in North Hills to his favorite restaurant on Sunday. And before Tuesday's Laker opener, he made a surprise appearance at the Holiday Inn near Staples Center, where Krikorian and fill-in Dave Stone were doing the "McDonnell Douglas Show."
"I was wiped out the next day," McDonnell said. "I don't want to make the mistake of returning to work too soon. The target date now is Nov. 15."
McDonnell has long been hesitant to talk publicly about his weight problem. But not now. He even wrote a column about it for his website, 1bignasty.com.
"Now, a lot of you may be wondering what prompted me to have the surgery after being extremely overweight for most of my life," he wrote. "Well, it's a simple answer that took a winding, complicated road to reach -- I don't want to die any sooner than I have to.
"It didn't have anything to do with appearance; I had gotten over all the insults many years ago.... Nope, it just came down to the fact that I was slowing down and in constant pain. I was spending more time at home just sitting around."
McDonnell's doctor, James Eshom of Arcadia, and friends persuaded him to have the surgery, which was performed by Troy LaMarr, a USC basketball player in the early 1980s.
In the 90-minute procedure, McDonnell's stomach was reduced to about one-tenth of its former capacity.
McDonnell said he had always been addicted to eating, that his problem never had anything to do with feeling hungry.
"Like any other addict, a food addict thinks he or she can eventually overcome and lose weight," he said.
"And like any other addict, we fool ourselves very well."
McDonnell says an addiction to eating is unlike any other.
"An alcoholic can quit drinking, a drug addict can quit using drugs, a gambling addict can quit gambling," he said. "A food addict still has to eat."
But, as McDonnell and many others battling obesity have discovered, there is help.
Saturday's Washington State-UCLA football game won't be on live TV because ABC and FSN both passed on it, and a waiver to show the game locally was denied.
UCLA could have moved the game to 7 p.m. and have it televised live, but school officials didn't want to subject fans to a chilly November night at the Rose Bowl.
The game won't be shown live in Washington, either. But FSN Northwest is sending a crew to tape the game for showing in Washington on Sunday, and FSN West 2 will also show that telecast Sunday at noon.
Tonight's Laker game on FSN marks the beginning of the 20th season of Laker telecasts on the regional sports network. FSN's predecessor, Prime Ticket, was launched in 1985.... FSN's one-hour pregame coverage tonight begins at 6:30.... Just before their season opener Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies signed a six-year deal with FSN South and FSN Southwest. The team was thinking about starting its own network.
Host Max Kellerman returned to FSN's "I, Max," Thursday night after having been away several weeks following the killing of his brother Sam. At the conclusion of the show, Kellerman mentioned his family's loss and said his brother had been his best friend.
The NFL game involving Minnesota and Indianapolis will be Al Michaels' 300th on ABC's "Monday Night Football." Only Frank Gifford, at 411, has worked more Monday night games.... ABC's new three-man golf announcing team of Mike Tirico, Nick Falco and Paul Azinger is making its debut during the Tour Championship.
ABC got in a fix Saturday when the Michigan-Michigan State triple-overtime thriller ran long. The network cut away to USC-Washington State in California and Washington, angering Big Ten fans in these parts. The Michigan-Michigan State game will be on ESPN Classic today at 4 p.m., so those who missed the ending have another chance.
Another problem with DirecTV's "Sunday Ticket" package showed up Sunday. Games shown locally are not part of the package, so when Fox switched off Minnesota and the New York Giants to show the more competitive Detroit-Dallas game, subscribers who wanted to see the rest of the Viking-Giant game were out of luck.
A Golf Channel special on the 50th anniversary of Arnold Palmer's winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur title will be repeated Sunday at 6:30 p.m.... Funeral services will be held today at 2 p.m. at Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia for longtime L.A. sports figure Len Corbosiero, 79, who died last week. Among other things, Corbosiero produced the late Tom Harmon's network radio show.