I have to credit sports talk for trying to maintain an intelligent conversation. Especially since the cable sports shows with multiple hosts are forced to socially distance on their sets. Jim Rome is used to working alone on set, and long ago created “The Jungle” as a little show and audience (Clones) within a show. He’s also built his show on interviews, which are usually done with a guest on the phone. Rome has always been a fine interviewer. Right now his career-long forays into sort of goofy entertainment with audience participation are serving him well.
Colin Cowherd is also alone on set, but instead of Rome’s XR4ti crew, Cowherd has Joy Taylor doing the news. Advantage Cowherd. Taylor knows her sports and has a rather breathtaking quality about her, at least if like me smart, beautiful sports-loving women are your thing. I don’t think this is sexist or anything. I mentioned smart first. Joy chooses to wear tops revealing a cleavage that makes me wonder how men can be atheists. If she wears it I’ll notice it. She’s offset mostly now, but still, Colin is a viable option for sports talk. I enjoy Speak for Yourself, Jason Whitlock’s show along with Marcellus Wiley and the one and only Uncle Jimmy. I still like the content but I feel like the chemistry that’s on the normal set is compromised in the distancing format. I can’t do the arguing shows right now.
Steven A. Smith lost his solo show and I guess he’s back on First Take. I respect Steven A., but I’m not feeling it right now. The Undisputed show carries its theme of sometimes emotional disagreements into this new world. I’m not a Skip Bayless fan anyway (is anybody?), but with him and Smith my problem is I can’t get that worked up over something because there are NO SPORTS. In case you hadn’t noticed.
Yeah, we can discuss Tom Brady and the Patriots and the NFL draft and player moves and all that. But I don’t want to hear yelling about any of it. I rarely do even if sports are being played.PTI and Around the Hornare smartly suspended for now.
Locally, we’re lucky to have Lance McAlister in the evenings pulling history, stories, statistics and interviews out to keep his show entertaining. I’m sure he wouldn’t want to do this too much longer. Consider where we’d be in terms of topics at a normal time. In the late afternoon, Mo Eggar is on 1530 Homer, at least he was last time I checked. Mo has created a nice career for himself as a kind of regular guy everyman. Color commentary on radio, writer on The Atlantic, blogger, and a sports talk show. Mo doesn’t take too many calls, he’s got the ability to talk at length without being boring. Once he’s done with his thoughts, then he’ll take some conversion. He doesn’t go down the stats rabbit hole as much as Lance but he still will throw out SABRmetrics and other stats to make a point.
Finally, Ken Broo does his Sunday Sports talk mixed with interviews, some music, and his opinions. Considering the Bengals are sitting on the number one draft pick, and the NFL seems poised to be the first sport to start its season he has lots of relevant topics to cover. The Reds are really getting screwed as the roster they so deftly assembled sits idle. Baseball has floated a few goofy solutions to starting the season but nothing imminent. Sportswriters are also struggling to write something worthwhile with no games to write about. Some can’t resist throwing politics into their columns. I can’t emphasize enough how little I care about their opinions and thoughts about anything non-sports related. Especially politics.
I actually think I shy away from numbers and stats in my writing because I know Lance cleans up on that stuff. I try to do opinions and creative sportswriting. Something different. I had decided to get more stat-centric when baseball season started this year, to get more balance and use statistics to make my points a bit more. It doesn’t matter now for MLB, and as I write this I’d be surprised if the NFL can pull a season off, at least in front of fans. What now? I’ll be damned if I know.I’m just trying to make it through the year.