Dream finally comes true for long time sports fan


Courtesy | Daryle Johnson

Daryle "The Guru" Johnson made his first sports call in 1991.

Leandra Galloway,
Sports Editor

At 44 years of age Daryle Johnson is living the life he only imagined living. In April 2012 he was announced winner of the Lucky Break contest for 95.7 The Game. Johnson, known as the “Guru” is a sports fanatic and native of Union City, Calif.

The Lucky break competition featured 150 contestants who were evaluated weekly, on an assignment to deliver the most entertaining sports subject, similar to American Idol.

After years of persistent sport call-ins, he has gotten his foot in the sports entertainment industry. His game time ambition has lead him to a victory,

Johnson signed a 1-year contract with 95.7 The Game back in 2012, which included a cash reward. He renewed his contract this year; the program director was pleased with his skills and asked him to stay. Over the past two years the “Guru” broadcast increased the ratings for this show.

The main job of a host is to come to the studio early to organize and prepare their opinions about local and national team levels. Johnson is responsible for covering baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.

“It’s a job, and it’s not just shouting into a microphone. I was blown away at the prep, which this job entails. It is amazing to see how prepared one had to be to have a great show,” said Johnson.

Johnson credited his love for sports to his father Norman Johnson. As a boy he was intrigued by three major sports. “He would take me to see the A’s, Giants, Warriors, 49ers, and Raiders games. I was then a sucker for sports,” Johnson said.

Radio host Zackariah Slenderbroek gave his kudos to Guru for renewing his contract. “He was good enough that he’s still there and getting regular air-time,” said Slenderbroek. “That’s not because of the contest, that’s because he has talent.”

Johnson had plans to pursue a psychology degree, but realized sports were the only topics he was enthusiastic towards.

“After going to college and not really being passionate about anything other than sports I prayed to the Lord that somehow I could get a shot to get into the business,” said Johnson.

As he approached his mid 20’s he listened and paid close attention to various sports hosts, and studied their techniques. “Stephen A. Smith is my favorite sports host, he is professional well spoken and a role model,” Johnson said.

Johnson had confidence and believed he could be a potential sports host, but felt he lacked a strategic plan to achieve his goal. After realizing he needed a better approach to jump-start his career, Johnson became a regular sports caller. He would call several radio stations, national and the Bay Area.

“One day I looked at my iPhone and had 10 text messages. After reading the texts from different friends telling me this is my big break, I had to enter. At this point in my life I was kind of ho hum,” Johnson stated.

If it was not for his friends encouraging him to enter the contest, he admits he would not be on the show.

“I would send emails to local hosts here in the Bay Area who would reply with responses saying I needed to start in a smaller market. I took all of my calls I made in like a job, and said to myself one day it will pay off,” Johnson stated.

Johnson diligently pursued sports talk until he could capture a following that was willing to listen to him. His perseverance scored him the name, “Guru.” Late radio host Pete Franklin, also known as “The King,” gave Johnson that title.

“My first job was a courier here in the Bay Area. My duties included driving from Hayward to Emeryville, San Francisco, and San Jose, everyday. Safe to say I turned on sports talk on our local stations and would disagree with the host so much, I would have to pull over and call to express myself,” stated Johnson.

“I never feared the radio or being heard,” stated Johnson. He is known for his charismatic and humorous attitude, along with his slam-dunking comments.

You can catch “Guru” on air Saturday and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; as him and former Lucky Break contestant Zackariah Slenderbroek tackle some juicy sports material. You can follow him on Twitter @DDDGURU

“The day of the championship round hearing them say Daryle “The Guru” Johnson, will always be remembered as the best day of my life,” Johnson said.