Please explain the appeal of sports talk radio

I get that there’s a culture of people who actually enjoy talking for hours about another man’s “lateral movement” and I’m used to a couple of radio stations like that on the dial. But I’m finding that the radio bandwidth is being choked to death these days with way too much cookie cutter sports radio - local, national, ESPN, replays, Spanish language, etc., etc.

The sports radio culture is also so weird. Obsessive, trivial football talk dominates year-round, with baseball and basketball (also boring) a distant second … hockey may get a few scattered mentions … and golf, tennis, soccer and everything else simply does not exist. (Women don’t exist either, of course.) I was in NJ last time the Devils made the Stanley Cup finals and thought it would be fun to hear them talking about it. WRONG - the host spent the entire show taking calls ONLY about Tim Tebow. And this was the NFL offseason. WTF? For the cherry on top, a lot of these hosts seem to be fans of Fox News style politics as well.

Am I missing something? What’s the profile of someone who keeps all these channels in business?

I listened to a lot of sports radio just after my divorce, because it was utterly meaningless. I was dealing with heavy topics in my life, and it was a relief to hear people getting wound up over meaningless things. It seemed innocent somehow, as weird as that may sound.

When you are a sports nut, you are drunk and it’s late, there’s nothing quite like calling into a program and arguing the the finer points of the '72 Dolphin’s running game (they didn’t have one), the number of Gordie Howe’s goals on Wednesdays or the Cub’s staring pitching ERA in 1957. It’s just like people who can repeat lines from obscure films, can tell you foot lbs of torque on a 1963 pontiac Tempest or who can explain in awful detail how and why the Persians lost at Thermopylae.

Some people are wellsprings of useless trivia and sports talk radio tap into those fonts of most worthless knowledge. Also, it allows nominally straight men to discuss other men’s physical prowess in detail without sounding “gay.”

It is something to listen to in the car. I am greatly emotionally affected by music. So there are time I avoid listening to it because I want to retain a flat emotional affect, often as a mindless form of escape. So the only other choices I have during a commute are talk/news/political radio, which repulses me, and sportstalk.

I enjoy sports and follow many of them, and I find some of the better sports radio shows to be entertaining, albeit in a very predictable and shallow vein. So, I listen when I need a break from the bleak existential anxiety that normally dominates my mind-space.

I liken it to this: I think Shindler’s List and Mystic River and Cries and Whispers are great films that I’ll often watch again. But after a shit day at work I’d much rather pour a pink gin and watch a marathon of Just Shoot Me.

Are you nuts? They led the league in yards and were 2nd in yards per carry! You deserve to be hung up on.

Didn’t they have Csonka, Kiick, and Morris?

What’s the appeal of morning DJ “zoo crews” who tell hopelessly unfunny jokes and laugh at themselves? Or those political show where idiots call in and complain about things they don’t understand?

The sad truth is that most talk radio of all types just sucks. I agree that to a large extent it’s just kind of a comforting sound to listen to. I find myself listening to the local sports radio show sometimes even though most of it is terrible, but it’s relaxing, and every now and then it does veer into legitimate discussion.

I don’t mind some of the more intelligent shows.

Although those are getting harder and harder to find.

What I truly don’t understand is the Jim Rome-type shows, where strange people call in with a 5-10 minute written diatribe just to say “I’m out” at the end. Rome is the worst sports show host on the planet, and yet he still gets constant work. He’s is a tool, and his shows are a joke. My wish was that Jim Everett would have kicked his ass on screen when Rome called him Chris for the third time.

Sports radio is mindless to listen to in the car, and I do enjoy listening to the nonsense of a sports world story instead of serious world issues at times. Plus, most people are idiots (especially those that call in), so ypu can get some enjoyment out of that.

Most shows have now become shouting matches between hosts or between the host and a caller, so that can get old. But I enjoy listening to Dan Patrick when I can. Mike & Mike are just ok… I hate Greenberg, and how he constantly rips Golic. I’d like to see Golic slowly tear his head from his neck and watch Greenberg run around the ESPN set until he bleeds out. But they usually have decent guests. When they talk to each other, they often shout in “mock disagreement”.

All in all, they provide a nice alternative to music and political radio, which at times can get my blood boiling. Life is too short, and I spent too much of my youth getting worked up over political issues. Now that I’m older, more cynical, and realize that you can’t really change much of anything, listening to anything OTHER than a political show is preferrable.

So, let’s hear the two local sports morons go over their mock draft!

Ever have the misfortune to listen to JT the Brick? The worst. At least now he talks a bit with the callers. When first on, callers would do written diatribe or woof on their team, but they were pre-recorded. No live interaction with the host. Most national sports shows are lame, but JT is a meat head.

It’s something to listen to on the commute. Beats the hell out of Reich Wing political talk radio. Maybe you didn’t stay up for the end of the big game, it’s nice to catch up on it on the way to work. Or hear the pros and cons of the big trade or the new coach. If you’re ever in Michigan, catch The Huge Show.

I’ve got a 25 minute commute in the morning at 6am. There is no way I stay up to watch the end of most games so it’s a good chance for me to find out what happened when I’ve got some otherwise dead time. I dislike basketball and hockey so when they start discussing that I change over to music. I think most people are somewhat similar to me so in order to keep their number os listeners up year round it mainly football and baseball they discuss.

In the afternoon I enjoy the local sports guys since they talk about local sports that don’t get enough coverage nationally and it’s my only option to find out about the new collage coach but still they only get listened to a couple of days a week.

In general I think sports talk in small doses is much more interesting than music or whatever the hell is on NPR or Political talk. Their biggest problem is when there aren’t enough stories to carry through their show so they start repeating inside the same show. On long drive days I normally can’t listen after the 3rd hour or so of hearing the three stories in the news get discussed for the 6th time.

53 year-old male, graphic designer, very liberal, sports fan, but not rabid.

I like to listen to talk radio.

I bounce between the liberal talk radio station (Thom Hartmann) and sports talk.

That’s at least my profile.

People who like sports also like to talk about it. I did a sports talk TV show in the mid-70s, and people would call in to discuss their favorite teams, and recent sporting events.

My favorite question: we were an OTB station, and often talked horse racing. At the time, Dave Johnson was the NYRA track announcer. Someone called in, and talked exclusively about horse racing. Then, his final question was, “Do you think Dave Johnson will make it with the fillies?”

That stopped me and I was about to cut off the call, until I realized the question was “Do you think Dave Johnson (baseball player) will make it with the Phillies?”

2 - 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. a 14 game season, never done before or since… yes they had one

One of them, Larry Csonka, in the Hall of Fame.

Yes. They had a running game.

See how those guys are arguing about 35 year old football minutae? That’s your answer.

Dandy Don called Csonka and Kiick, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My favorite all-time pro team.

I listened to Paul Finebaum out of Birmingham for quite some time (years) before that asshole Harvey Updyke poisoned Auburn’s trees and bragged about it on that show. I have never listened again to that bilge. Can’t think why I would want to again.


OK, that was funny!

And true!

There’s a reason why they do that. Most listeners of national sports talk shows–especially those aired during morning and afternoon drive time–tune in for only a short time while they’re driving to and from work (or lunch). Because people have different commuting times and due to time zone differences, you basically have a near-complete turnover in your audience every hour or so. That’s why there’s so much repetition.

I’ve got no problem with the concept of sports radio, but there is so damn much of it these days, and (a) the hosts are annoying boors, and (b) its single-minded year-round obsession with football, which makes it appear as if these stations are being bankrolled by the NFL.

I’m pretty tired of hearing about how (insert QB)'s throwing motion has evolved since 2007. If I’m forced to listen to this stuff (since people turn it on all over the place) why not tell me something interesting about golf or women’s basketball or the Kentucky Derby once in a while? Or ask some tough questions about the major leagues getting tax breaks for stadiums?

I dunno, maybe I need to learn to love the “mindless” part of it…