Before we get into this, let’s make one thing clear – sports talk radio was never the territory of Mensa candidates. Over the years though, it has somehow devolved into just grabbing onto the lowest hanging fruit.
There is in fact, very little sports talk on this genre. There is practically no analysis, no insight, just reactionary hot takes, which are only intended to stir people up.
Most of what you get on sports talk radio these days falls into one of these categories:
Does player X deserve a new contract? Is the team disrespecting player Y by not giving him a huge extension right now? Why do the Patriots have to squeeze every single player down there? Why are the Red Sox giving out money hand over fist to players? Why are the Patriots disrespecting Vince in the final year of his contract??? Why is David Ortiz being so greedy and wanting an extension beyond this year???? The Patriots screwed up big time with Wes Welker! Why are the Bruins
so tight with money spending so much money on their own players?? The Krafts are so cheap! Jon Lester – you’re going to pay HIM like an ace?
You get the idea. It’s an easy topic to put out there as there will be people on both sides of the argument. It’s also incredibly tedious.
Past Personnel Failures (Real or Perceived)
Let’s revisit the Patriots 2006-2009 drafts again! Peter Chiarelli traded away the 3rd and 6th leading scorers in the NHL!!! Danny Ainge cost the Celtics the 2011 championship when he traded Kendrick Perkins! Was Carl Crawford the biggest free agent bust of all time??? Belichick the GM is failing Belichick the coach! Ainge drafted Fab Melo – we’re supposed to feel good about him not screwing up these other first round picks?? The Bruins didn’t do anything at the trade deadline!
No matter what success is happening right now, there is always the “Yeah but…” card to play. Mike, I’m worried that they’ve woken up the Yankees! Mike, I’m worried that Tampa is going to pass them in September – they always play well in September and the Red Sox always play LOUSY in September! Mike, I know we’re in the World Series, but I’m worried about next year – who is going to play centerfield? THEY CAN’T REPEAT, MIKE!
Dumb, Stupid Arguments That Aren’t About Sports At All
Are you going to boo or cheer player X when they come back to town? It’s better to lose in the first round than get to the Super Bowl and lose. Whose legacy has more to lose/gain this week Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? John Lackey had a Bud Light in the clubhouse after the game! Tyler Seguin parties too much to be an NHL star! If Rajon Rondo is your leader, you’re in trouble. Is player X tough enough to play in Boston? They just need to get some damn players in here and win some damn games! Etc etc etc.
Mundane Stuff About Themselves/Promoting Their Own Deeds
Hey…did you know John Dennis is getting married? YOU could go to his bachelor party! (If Toucher and Rich don’t send a mole to this thing, I don’t know what they’re doing in life.)
— John Dennis (@JohnDennisWEEI) April 7, 2014
Endless Celebrity Callers
These are the worst. The same callers every day, with the same script, same talking points. Most have a grating voice and annoying mannerisms. They bring nothing to the table but misery, yet the hosts eagerly punch up their call when they’re on the line.
This formula apparently works, as sports talk radio continues to dominate the market. I find it intolerable. It’s just not enjoyable to listen to, from where I sit. We know why it is this way – it’s easy. To provide cogent analysis of games/transactions/drafts takes work. To give a #hotsportztake just requires your mouth. Also, there is only so much analysis you can really do before it becomes repetitive, so to fill time, you’ve got to get people stirred up, say something outlandish – and stick to it. It’s entertainment, I get it. But shouldn’t it be entertaining?
Mike Felger can pull it off. He’s intelligent and creative enough that he can play the game while remaining – most of the time – entertaining. His partner can’t do it. Just about everyone else in the market cannot do it. Everyone wants to be like Felger, but they can’t pull it off.
I’m encouraged that Dale and Holley seem determined to go another route. It could be an interesting contrast in the afternoons. Having Glenn Ordway and his cronies back and available to listen to also makes things interesting.
I’m hoping that perhaps we’ve hit bottom in terms of the devolution of the genre, and perhaps there can be some changes for the better coming down the line.