Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Betty Recommends: Sports Radio

Betty and Bimbo have traded their NPR on workday mornings for the somehow louder sounds of ESPN Radio. Since neither of us follow any pro sport beyond baseball, this may seem a curious choice, but it's proved rewarding. Like blogs, sports radio shows demonstrate how infinite conversation fodder may be squeezed from the most finite of topics, and how we looove to judge things we can't control.

From sports radio shows, you get all your information in the form of an opinion. Every host and caller is obsessed with identifying what's "classy" and "sportsmanlike" versus what's "politically incorrect", "offensive", or "not in the spirit of the game" and whether or not one can "see where [insert outspoken athlete/coach/sportswriter/broadcaster's name here] is coming from." Refreshingly, women callers are treated the same as men, as long as they stick to this formula. And it's amazing to hear how far callers all over the country can go with these few thoughts. These shows last for hours, and because of the infinite variations callers bring to these orgies of soft moralizing, they are really fun to listen to, almost like meeting lots of brazen new friends (and then getting to judge them!). The downside is there are too many ads.

This morning's highlight: On EPSN's "Mike and Mike" show, a caller was debating the host about whether or not it was ok for college football players to trample with their cleats on fallen, injured opponents. The host's take? Such behavior - "albeit in a brawl" - is simply not in the spirit of the game.

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