Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting ... very appropriate, very true.

Good --- Will Palaszczuk certainly is at what he does.

Will --- Well, that's his name. Duh.

Hunting --- He obviously was.

Palaszczuk is leaving as host of KTGR radio's The Big Show to take a position in Houston with Yahoo Sports Radio, a national network that started in 2011 and has 180 affiliates.

Friday was his last day.

"It was literally like buying a lottery ticket," Palaszczuk said. "I got an email from my talent agent about it --- I didn't even know where it was. He said it was a stealth job.

"I emailed him back and told him I was interested, then forgot about it. Then I got a call from him about two weeks ago and he said they were 'very interested in you.'

"I got a call Monday of last week and got an offer."

Palaszczuk, 27, will give hourly sports updates during the week and host a weekend show. The closest Yahoo affiliate to Central Missouri is 1380 AM in St. Louis.

"I won't even be a blip on the radar in Houston," he said. "I'll be going from a fairly big fish in a small pond to a very small fish in the ocean."

Palaszczuk grew up in the Washington D.C. area. He came to Columbia and the University of Missouri in 2005, graduating with a degree in journalism in 2009.

He joined the Zimmer Radio Group in May, 2010, and The Big Show --- which airs weekdays from 4-6 p.m. --- started the next month. On an odd side-note, one day after his four-year anniversary at Zimmer, he got the offer from Yahoo.

"We've had a lot of ebbs and flows in my time here," Palaszczuk said. "I've gone through three partners, three producers ... and I'm thankful for every one of them.

"I'm very passionate about what I do. We had freedom with what were doing and I'm very thankful for that. We were able to take chances and be creative."

Like the "Under the Bus" segment, which basically "honors" people who said or did something stupid.

"That's like a major-market level benchmark that we do in Columbia," Palaszczuk said. "It's what people love the most about the show."

Palaszczuk is a name that's almost impossible to spell, even when you're looking at it. Kind of like the Duke basketball coach. Palaszczuk is a Ukranian name, as his father is of Ukrainian descent.

But his knowledge of sports couldn't be more American. He doesn't know a little about a lot of sports, he knows a lot about a lot of sports.

Besides hosting The Big Show, he also did play-by-play for area high school football and basketball games, as well as Missouri softball.

"My first love was baseball, I grew up loving the New York Mets," Palaszczuk said. "I know a lot of people will scoff at that. But as I grew older, I started to like something about every sport."

He not only knows what he's talking about --- even though he initially swung and missed on new Missouri basketball coach Kim Anderson --- he knows how to say it in an informative and entertaining style.

"I like radio a lot more than TV," Palaszczuk said. "Guys like Rod Smith and Chris Gervino get three or four minutes to talk about sports, whereas I get two hours to spout off at the mouth."

And he's certainly improved at his spouting.

"I listen to some of the early tapes from the show, and people didn't notice how bad it was," he said. "But I do. The fact the folks at Zimmer allowed me to grow and develop my own style, I'll always be thankful for that.

"The Will from 2010 is a lot different from the Will in 2014."

What will he miss most?

"Being able to talk to listeners, getting the pulse of what people were thinking, I think that was the best part of my job," he said. "The callers and listeners are the ones who drove the show."

Okay, I disagree with Palaszczuk on that last point --- not to mention his original point on Kim Anderson. The callers and listeners are not the ones who drove the show.

He was.

Good luck, Will, you will be missed.

Happy hunting.