It never amazes me what sports talk radio stations will do on a slow
news day. And boy have there been a lot of slow news days lately. I
understand that if your job is to talk about sports for four hours a
day, everyday, that your list of possible topics will eventually expire.
I also realize that the show must go on whether or not the Celtics and
Magic played an overtime thriller the night before or whether the
Reds-Pirates “nail-biter” is your best option, but just because some
radio talking head declares a story news doesn’t necessarily mean it
warrants the attention they give it.
I also understand that by making a somewhat controversial statement that
can lead to a flurry of activity on the variety of social networks
(Facebook and Twitter), emails and produces a spike in callers phoning
in to disagree. It makes you wonder whether the host actually believes
what he’s saying or if he’s just tossing out one WTF? comment (see Colin
Cowherd) after another to get a reaction? Some hosts are
confrontational and others are informative, but there are only a few that
can pull off both.
Even reputable hosts like Mike and Mike are guilty of hyping up a
non-story on a slow news day. A portion of today’s show talked about how
a source with the Chicago Bulls was reporting the team was
“back-ending” talks with Lakers coach Phil Jackson about the coaching
vacancy in the Windy City. The day before, the duo speculated that after
Cavs coach Mike Brown was fired that Cleveland would turn its attention
to landing Jackson in an attempt to keep LeBron in Ohio. Now I’m no NBA
expert and I don’t have my own national radio show, but it seems to me
that every team looking to find a new coach would obviously try and land
the game’s best and that with a proven track record of Jackson, it
would also make sense to try and get him in the fold to try and lure the
game’s best player to follow him.
Where Lebron James ends up playing next year is a big story, no doubt
about it. Wherever he lands (unless he elects to spurn championships for
quality time clubbing with Jay-Z and Beyonce in New Jersey) will become
an instant favorite for next year’s title. But with Jackson’s Lakers
still involved in the playoffs teams and Jackson still under contract
until season’s end, teams are not allowed to initiate any future
contract talks right now so let’s wait until the story becomes a story
before we waste time discussing it. Find me one team that doesn’t want
to hire Jackson as its coach and one team that wouldn’t love to sign
LeBron and then you’ve got a news story.
It makes you wonder if surveys have shown that listeners actually like
talking about nothing? Maybe they’re simply using the Seinfeld
model and making a their programs about nothing, too.