What's wrong with Boston Sports Radio?

HomeBrew1901

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I don't get it.

Boston has grown large enough to not have 1 but 2 Sports Radio stations running simultaneously for the last 10 years and outside of Toucher and Rich, there is not a single program that I'm interested in with any regularity, and I crave Boston sports talk since I haven't lived in New England for 5 years now.

Kirk and Callahan - Nope. I'm not giving blatant racists, sexists, and any other ist you want to call them my time.

I don't even know who is on WEEI's other shows because I've never heard good things and honestly, any station that employs K&C won't get my time.

Zolak and Bertrand - Could be good but mid-day is a tough spot and there is only so much Zo I can take.

Felger and Mazz - I used to be a big defender of the show but with the addition of Jim Murray it's become a parody of itself. What used to make it great, Felger actually believing his takes and apologizing for his mistakes, is gone. Mazz and Murray put almost no time into the show and are just along for the ride and no one challenges Felger which is what he needs to make a great show.

How is it possible with all the potential talent that it's so hard to listen to I find myself going more and more to podcasts on Spotify.

Are the teams too successful and there is nothing to talk about so they create false narratives?

Are the contracts too rich and for too long a time that the talent has gotten fat, happy and lazy?

Are other major markets like NYC and Chicago just as bad as Boston but I don't know it?
 

DrewDawg

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I sometimes put on EEI in the morning (I don't live in NE) and easily 75% of the time I turn it on, they are talking about the show or another EEI show. It's like they exist to cover themselves. The sports are an aside.

I then turn it off and go back to a podcast.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm a big T&R fan and actually like both mid-day shows. I also spend a lot of mid-day driving around to customers so have time to listen when in the car. The afternoon drive is a complete disaster. I haven't listened for more than probably 60 minutes total after 2pm since the change on WEEI. It's complete trash.

The real issue with Boston Sports Radio are Boston Sports Fans. Look at the ratings they're getting for K&C and F&M. The numbers are enormous. This isn't an issue like WEEI back in the day when they had no competition. What I can't grasp is how WEEI thought putting Big O back in to take on F&M after the disaster 5 or so years ago was a good idea.

My guess is OMF completely fails, Big O goes back to working in his attic and hopefully WEEI starts with something fresh, but that's wishful thinking.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I sometimes put on EEI in the morning (I don't live in NE) and easily 75% of the time I turn it on, they are talking about the show or another EEI show. It's like they exist to cover themselves. The sports are an aside.

I then turn it off and go back to a podcast.
Making the show hosts and other staff characters in their own right, and other shows mortal enemies, are tactics right out of the Stern playbook, but done poorly in this case.
 

Humphrey

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It's been mentioned here before, but I think the big issue is there simply isn't enough to talk about considering how much air time these shows have (combined w/all the ones that are on TV featuring the likes of Screamin' A, Woody Page, etc.) Compare these shows to their predecessors (Sports Huddle, Sportscope, Guy Mainella, Bell and Lobel) those old shows in a lot of respects sucked but people put up with them because the demand was there.
 

bankshot1

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I've cut back on listening to F&M, but when they repeat themselves, as if doing a loop of the same hot take/schtick I generally switched to some other programming. Generally the hot take wasn't that entertaining the first time.

As an aside, the Old Sports Huddle, circa early 70s , was on (IIRC) one night a week, Sundays 7-11pm, and there was literally nothing like it anywhere else. So the repetitve nature wasn't there. Also when they were on the old WBZ-AM, with a strong signal that went half-way across the country, they drew a pretty decent out-of-market audience, so some of the chatter/BS was a different perspectives.
 

Spacemans Bong

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I've also basically stopped listening to Boston sports radio over the past couple years. I just find what's on offer boring. I haven't done a forensic search but WEEI (streaming The Sports Hub is impossible in the UK without a VPN) never has national guests on (how has Gammons spent seemingly years without being on WEEI?), has very few interesting guests of any kind, never seems to mine any topic other than itself or the latest manufactured controversy. Comparing stuff to Mike and the Mad Dog is probably unfair, but those guys would get someone in plugging their new biography of Vince Lombardi or Mickey Mantle and get hours of content out of it. WEEI never does this, even for Boston athletes or Boston topics. Bill Nowlin did a biography of Tom Yawkey this year, was it ever discussed on WEEI? Almost certainly not. Other than maybe Dale Arnold, I don't think a single host gives a crap about the days of yore, which is always a good topic of discussion if things are going slow.

Also, and this is possibly where I step out of the crowd a bit, WEEI does not shut the fuck up about the most boring team in Boston: the Patriots. Yes I know they've won a lot, whatever, but they are not interesting. Brady and Belichick do not give you anything to talk about, no controversy will ever be fully explained, they'll sort out any problem and probably be in the AFC Title Game at a minimum. Yet in the middle of June they will dominate the airwaves. Maybe that's a testament to the decline in popularity of baseball but people out of the 18-34 demo, who are who listens to sports talk, haven't given up on baseball.
 

bosox79

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It's Sports radio, not Boston Sports Radio. It's toxic hot takes and manufactured drama for ratings. How anyone can listen to Sports radio for much longer than 20 minutes is beyond me. They just keep repeating themselves, they may as well be on a loop.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's Sports radio, not Boston Sports Radio. It's toxic hot takes and manufactured drama for ratings. How anyone can listen to Sports radio for much longer than 20 minutes is beyond me. They just keep repeating themselves, they may as well be on a loop.
Yes. Think about it this way: in an ideal world, what would Sports Talk Radio be? If you're looking for extended, reasoned discussions about a variety of sports-related issues that involve teams not in Boston, well (1) how many people who listen to AM radio during the day really care about that and (2) aren't you really describing podcasts?

I would guess that most people don't listen to Sports Talk Radio to listen, they listen so they can Talk. And these people aren't talking about schemes or coverages or statistics; they are talking about heroes and goats and villians and narratives and controversies.
 

joe dokes

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Whats "wrong" is that they make money doing it this way. So why should they change?
 

Dick Pole Upside

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I've cut back on listening to F&M, but when they repeat themselves, as if doing a loop of the same hot take/schtick I generally switched to some other programming. Generally the hot take wasn't that entertaining the first time.
It's Sports radio, not Boston Sports Radio. It's toxic hot takes and manufactured drama for ratings... They just keep repeating themselves, they may as well be on a loop.
When I listen to sports talk radio, it is exclusively TSH/98.5. I was done with WEEI two decades ago.

The biggest problem to me with F&M relates to the two quoted posts above. Felger is talented enough to carry an argument, but he has de-volved into 90% strawman arguments that are exhausting and ultimately boring because he will continue with them for days and weeks. Mazz is just a negative hot-take specialist, which betrays a special kind of laziness in not being able to formulate a coherent argument (and he never challenges Felger as mentioned earlier). Murray doesn't ruin anything for me... he's there just for amplification of whichever straw man or hot take is offered up.

It's frustrating because I think the ability is there to have objectively reasoned arguments... they just choose not to operate that way based on the commercial success of merely antagonizing everyone.
 

bosox79

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Bay Area sports radio is not a hot take factory, it's just isn't and never has been.
I'll take your word for it but the bay area is generally far more relaxed about their sports than other places anyway so it doesn't surprise me. I'm sure there are other exceptions to the rule. From my own personal experience, Angels fans are like the most positive homers ever.

In Maine, we have the Big Jab and it's just awful radio. They are the "pound your chest and point to the scoreboard" type. They have next to 0 knowledge on baseball and basketball but that doesn't stop them from spewing garbage.
 

brs3

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Sports Radio is kind of like 24 hour news channels. The same thing is rehashed every hour, with a slight tweak by different hosts. The biggest tune-ins are during major events(in this case, maybe a big signing or world series coverage). The rest of the time I think they're filling that 20-30 minute listener that probably listens during their commute. I have zero to back that up, but assume lots of people are like myself and might tune in post game, pre game, and major events/commuting. Podcasts are making it easier to opt out of listening at all.
 

DourDoerr

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I like Bill Simmons' podcast and wonder if the dynamic can be replicated 5 days a week for 3-4 hours a day. He rotates actual friends - House, Jacko, etc - and because there are shared deep roots, there are simply no forced laughs or conversation. It flows freely. Also, he goes deep on guests inside and out of sports and does a good job of drawing them out - sometimes simply walking a guest, say, Charlize Theron through her films and getting stories about each one. It really is about stories whether stories from sports or pop culture, etc. It's the lifeblood of entertainment.

A good story is great radio - Stern is unmatched - but it requires discipline and know how to get the right mix. The huge time demands of a daily show probably make this impractical - would anyone want 1 hour of House? - but it might be a good start to figure a way out of the disaster we're listening to (or not) these days.
 

JCizzle

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I pretty much only tune into T&R, but less so lately. I'm not sure if all the other shows are like this, but I feel like they've turned into a Patriots-only show since the NBA season ended. Outside of a few David Price rants and Carrabis (who I like) appearances every few weeks, their sports segments are dedicated to training camp and other boring stuff like that. I think Fred is a smart baseball fan so it sucks missing out on those discussions. Maybe I just happen to miss those segments, but I usually see what's in their podcasts and don't spot baseball talk. I know the Pats are a big deal, but there has to be a saturation point.

I'm hopeful the start of NHL and NBA will add a bit more variety, but it's admittedly hard for most people to get amped about the November slate of games for either sport.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sports Radio is kind of like 24 hour news channels. The same thing is rehashed every hour, with a slight tweak by different hosts. The biggest tune-ins are during major events(in this case, maybe a big signing or world series coverage). The rest of the time I think they're filling that 20-30 minute listener that probably listens during their commute. I have zero to back that up, but assume lots of people are like myself and might tune in post game, pre game, and major events/commuting. Podcasts are making it easier to opt out of listening at all.
This is exactly it, and really how it's always been. Rehashing the same topics and talking points every hour on the hour all day long because the average listener is only tuned in for 15-20 minutes at a time. The people listening all day are either in and out of the office or shop or where ever so they don't catch every word, or they're the proverbial basement dwellers obsessing over stupid things.

While he was a bit of a prick, one of the things I appreciated about Ted Sarandis when he was doing the 7pm-midnight shift was that it was a bit more relaxed. People listening in the evenings seemed less hot-takey and more willing to have some nuance to their opinions. Probably helped that there were fewer callers overall so there was rarely a rush to hang up and move on. It was more conversational. Then Mike Adams took over the shift and while there were still fewer hot-takes than during the day, there was definitely more goofball crap that was a turn-off. And now that shift is the same as the rest of the day...hot fucking garbage.
 

Ale Xander

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I liked Michael Holley. I think Holley w/ Keefe would have been a good show. I'm happy for Holley that he left, but sad for us that he left.

I like Chris Arcand. He's the best by far.

Everything else is crap.

The Kirk and Callahan show isn't even about sports. But at least I can see someone paying those bigoted clowns. I'm more dumbfounded by Mazz still being on the air. Felger looks real good in comparison to Murray and him. But you can clear that height underground.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Everything you need to know about Boston sports radio can be summed up by this: the Red Sox are in the midst of their greatest season in history and you hear very little Sox talk on these sports shows, because all of these hosts are clinically incapable of discussing something in a positive light. So instead it's been Pats talk all summer, because manufactured drama is the lowest common denominator.
 

CantKeepmedown

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I understand that maybe it's not fun or interesting to just constantly talk about how good your local sports teams are. And trying to fill 20 hours a week can be difficult. But a handful of these "personalities" (Minihane, Mazz, Felger, Murray) truly want these teams to lose. Maybe it makes for a better story?

Even though I don't listen to them, I still do follow a handful of them on twitter for some reason. Mazz and Murray for sure are hoping that the Sox lose in the playoffs. Murray will mock people who celebrated 100 wins. There's a general sense that they enjoy a Pats loss more than a win. Kirk won't give the Bruins the time of day, saying that it's 100$% face that hockey talk loses listeners. I assume that they'll enjoy Celtic losses as well this coming year with the high expectations the team has.

All in all, most of them are just miserable assholes. I just wish I had quit listening sooner.
 

bosox79

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Maybe angry fans are more likely to call in, so having the local teams lose makes their job easier.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Everything you need to know about Boston sports radio can be summed up by this: the Red Sox are in the midst of their greatest season in history and you hear very little Sox talk on these sports shows, because all of these hosts are clinically incapable of discussing something in a positive light. So instead it's been Pats talk all summer, because manufactured drama is the lowest common denominator.
I understand that maybe it's not fun or interesting to just constantly talk about how good your local sports teams are. And trying to fill 20 hours a week can be difficult. But a handful of these "personalities" (Minihane, Mazz, Felger, Murray) truly want these teams to lose. Maybe it makes for a better story?
I think it's more than being just bad. There has to be some sort of winning too, because that's what makes the teams interesting.

What I mean by this is remember how terrible the big four in this town were in the mid to late 90s? The Pats were okay. The Sox were mediocre. The Celts and the Bruins sucked. If it wasn't for Parcells going to New York and talking about that every day for two years, I wouldn't be surprised if sports radio died in Boston during those really lean years. This might be an overstatement, but you get where I'm going with this, I mean there was a lot of BC football and UMass hoops talk for a few years (and yes, I know that they were once-in-a-generation great). In order for these hot takes to materialize, the teams have to matter. And the teams don't matter unless they win.

At some point Felger, Mazz, Murray, Bertrand, Ordway are all going to face years where the fortunes of the four teams are fallow. Those idiots really need these teams to be good in or their careers are in trouble. I wonder if Ordway wishes that he could go back to talking about the Celtics getting Todd Day or whether Damon Buford or Darren Lewis should bat lead off or why the Patriots decided to go to an Everclear concert or whether John Blue or Matt DelGuidice should be the starting goalie.

I don't expect sunshine all day, every day; but these are pretty good sports times that we're living in. It would be cool if the sports personalities could recognize it once in awhile.
 

Spelunker

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This is the correct answer to the question
Bingo. We may lose sight of this in the Ivory tower of SoSH, but what other people from other cities say about Boston fans is by and large true. We're collectively pretty terrible, especially the demo that is actually going to listen to sports radio in the first place.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Bingo. We may lose sight of this in the Ivory tower of SoSH, but what other people from other cities say about Boston fans is by and large true. We're collectively pretty terrible, especially the demo that is actually going to listen to sports radio in the first place.
If I could expound on what the problem is, I think it's that the mid-90s nattering nabobs of negativity attitude to Boston sports was endearing when the city's sports teams were dysfunctional.

The Red Sox still had the hex*, the Yawkey Group tripped over themselves constantly. They seemed to screw up retaining Clemens who went on to look incredible in Toronto, then Duquette acquired a once in a generation pitcher and a once in generation shortstop and surrounded them with Butch Huskey, Troy O'Leary, Lou Merloni and Brian Daubach. All while the Yankees were in the midst of a dynasty. Parcells had lost a power struggle to Bobby Grier and walked for Pete Carroll. The Pats still had that late 80s stink to them - I still sometimes sit back and think the redheaded stepchild of Boston sports, by some distance the least liked team in Boston when I was a kid, is the same team that built a dynasty that even surpassed the 49ers (as much as it pains me to say that). The Bruins were pissing away the last years of prime Bourque and Neely was on one knee by then. The Celtics were letting ML Carr hire himself and then compounding that by hiring Rick Pitino. All while qualified alumni like Don Nelson and future Coach of the Year Larry Bird were seemingly ignored.

So the angst fit the situation, and the angst also came with a fair bit of black humor and revelry in the absurd. The Whiner Line used to actually be funny, players would injure themselves carrying luggage, stuff like that.

Then basically every Boston team sorted themselves out. Who is the most dysfunctional team in Boston? The Bruins at the end of the Chiarelli era? Ben Cherington's bad free agency signings? You could make a case that the worst run Boston sports team since the early 2000s would be the best of the 90s by some distance. Other than Theo and his gorilla suit, it's hard to really find something comical. Maybe Deflategate, although that was more rage-inducing.

Yet that kind of hair across the ass, angry about everything attitude never seems to have wavered. Whether that's truly media-driven or fan-driven I can't tell because I don't live there. But I think outside of Boston, Boston sports fans have replaced Yankee fans as the reining dicks of sports for that reason.

*most efficient shorthand for 'lack of pitching and good managerial and executive decisions' without awaking Shaughnessy from the dead.
 

bosox79

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I don't know if it qualifies as "comical" but we did have chicken and beer. and Bobby Valentine.
 

joe dokes

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I don't know if it qualifies as "comical" but we did have chicken and beer. and Bobby Valentine.
But by then, shit like that was the exception and no longer the rule. Even with consecutive last place finishes.
 

Spacemans Bong

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And the meat in the sandwich of underachievement was a World Series winning season featuring two iconic Boston sports moments in "This is our fucking city" and Officer Steve Horgan.

And as much as chicken and beer has left some kind of sour taste in the mouth of fans (I think TV ratings have never quite recovered), it's nowhere near as bitter as 1978, a collapse that 2011 was statistically worse than.
 

JimD

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I don't what it is about football, but when it takes hold it just seems to suck all of the oxygen away from other sports on the radio. I've traveled a fair amount on business and before the smartphone I would tune in to local sports radio to pass the time. Being down South a lot, most of the time those shows would completely revolve around the nearest SEC or ACC football team, regardless of the calendar, with the occasional exception if there was some national hot-take sports story dominating the news. Boston never felt like a football town until Bill Parcells arrived and while the Belichick-Brady Patriots shared the spotlight with the Sox in the early to mid 2000's, it has felt like they wrested the top spot away from baseball for good ever since.
 

OurF'ingCity

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What is the best Boston sports centric podcast? I haven’t found one.
I second this question. I used to get enough of a Boston sports fix from Simmons, but now he rarely discusses Boston sports and when he does it often seems like he is uber-aware of his reputation as a Boston homer and thus intentionally tries to steer away from that.

I know of a few decent podcasts devoted to a specific Boston team, but haven't found a good one yet that covers all Boston sports . Maybe there isn't one, in which case it would seem like there is a real market for that.
 

LoweTek

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One of Christopher Russo's earliest gigs was at an Orlando AM station called WKIS in the mid 80's. He graduated from nearby Rollins College so he had a connection to the area. He was maybe 25 when he was here. Orlando had mostly very bland sports talk dominated by the the Football Gators and NASCAR. No baseball until maybe 10 years later. A little Braves talk but that was it. Russo was like a lightning bolt when he got here. He lit up the phones.

This was around the time a head coach named Charlie Pell, who left Clemson behind with two years probation to come to UF, was also making his ungracious exit from UF for even more NCAA violations. He was fired a few games into to the 1984 season, a season during which UF, then under Galen Hall eventually won their first ever SEC Championship. The SEC refused to let them play in the Bowl Game. Later, the NCAA found the program guilty of nearly 100 violations and they suffered significant NCAA sanctions. Later in '85 the SEC board voted to strip UF of the SEC title.

Chis Russo was the first to say UF should not be allowed to play in the Bowl game. He also called for Pell's removal well before he was let go. You should have heard the whining and screaming from the callers when he said that. Then, he also said UF should have the SEC title vacated long before it was actually rescinded. I had a long commute in those days and I would sit there and laugh out loud as Russo egged these guys on and argued with them in spite of their name calling and often appalling ignorance of the facts.

Then he went after the other sacred cow, NASCAR, when he pronounced "Race car drivers are not athletes!" This topic held up for weeks. Same things as the UF talk.

Then he went after the Winter Olympics when he said, "Figure Skating is not a sport. If it has a judge, it's not a sport!" Thus birthing a whole new set of haters calling and arguing with him.

I think in many ways sports talk radio tried to evolve to this Russo model of controversial proclamation and debate, (Remember: "The Red Sox will dance on the Yankees lawn tonight!"). However, the difference is Russo has such a refined depth of knowledge of multiple sports, both current and historical, he can get away with it and be very entertaining in the meantime.

Others who tried it come off as repetitive buffoons oftentimes. I revisited WEEI a bit while I had a gig in the Providence area in the 05-06 time frame. Completely unlistenable, angry, condescending crapfest. I don't know how you guys can listen to it.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Everything you need to know about Boston sports radio can be summed up by this: the Red Sox are in the midst of their greatest season in history and you hear very little Sox talk on these sports shows, because all of these hosts are clinically incapable of discussing something in a positive light. So instead it's been Pats talk all summer, because manufactured drama is the lowest common denominator.
Winning & disfunction is the winning combo for them. The only time they (Ordway & F&M specifically) weren't talking about the Pats and Brady demanding Jimmy G getting traded and Gronk's moto-cross BS was when they were ripping Price for being a prick and sucking. Once Price started pitching well, the Sox were so far ahead there was nothing to talk about because a team that just wins is "boring".

Bruins = Boring
Celtics = Boring (unless Smart punches a mirror or Kyrie isn't on the bench in game 7)
Red Sox = Boring (too far ahead and Price doesn't suck)
Patriots = Weekly games, easy to manufacture drama. Highest rated sports helps a lot as well.

The sad thing for us is they've said at points at least in the past that people like Felger analyze ratings by segment on a daily basis. I think someone said Felger keeps a journal. They look daily at segments and then tailor them by 15 minute blocks day after day. Sadly, the listeners are the real problem as I said above. The reality show stuff is what people want, so they give it to them.
 

steveluck7

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One of the biggest issues is what's happening this very second. The Josh Gordon situation is what it is and yesterday, radio personalities had their takes on the trade... whatever.
Today, starting during the midday show, Beetle said "is he even here yet?" Then they carried Bills press conference where he wouldn't answer a question about Gordon (shocking for Bill to not answer a question, i know). That has now bled into Felger and Mazz who've basically decided that Gordon was on a bender Friday night so Cleveland said they were gonna release him and now he's M.I.A. and probably off the wagon.

It happens too often.
1 Someone makes a random speculation or asks a question.
2 Hosts continue to talk about that question and add on to it
3 They make assumptions about the answer
4 Start to treat those assumptions as fact

edit: 5 Facts make the assumption completely false / moot
6 Assumption is ignored and no mention of it is made again
 
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terrynever

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I think Philly talk radio is just as bad, although to their credit they rip the home teams all the time, whereas Boston sports talk tends to be more supportive of the various head coaches/managers and most players (except for Price). Ironically, Price shut them all up by doing his job.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The Patriots help sports radio because they don't comment on anything. So hosts are free to make up whatever they want "Gordon is totally on a bender, you guys!" and then it grows into a huge thing.

So by keeping things in house, a lot of times, it hurts the Pats more than it really helps them AND gives sports radio something to talk about when there's nothing to talk about. That's the reason why the Patriots are so popular on the radio, they're a Rorschach Test for all. The best thing, since the Patriots hardly ever comment on anything, the radio guys are never wrong.

"I saw Bill Belichick drop acid at the Bon Jovi concert last week!"
"You did?"
"Yup."
"That's crazy! Why would he do that? What does this do to the team? Why is he preparing this way? Did Guerero give him the LSD? Do you think this would make Gronk like him more?"

-- TWO DAYS LATER --

"Coach, can you comment on the reports that you were spotted tripping on LSD at the Bon Jovi show ten days ago?"
"I'm not going to comment on that."
"See! I WAS 10000% RIGHT!"
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think Philly talk radio is just as bad, although to their credit they rip the home teams all the time, whereas Boston sports talk tends to be more supportive of the various head coaches/managers and most players (except for Price). Ironically, Price shut them all up by doing his job.
Philly rips the home teams because the home teams don't exactly have a track record of recent success. Sure, the Eagles won the Super Bowl but before that it was the Phillies in 2009, and before that, it was 1983 for the Sixers. Philly sports is basically where Boston was circa 2001. And Boston sports radio in 2001 was pretty damn merciless in its criticism of all teams and their management.

That was in a lot of ways the peak of Boston sports talk. It thrived on bitching about the mismanagement. The problem now is that aside from T&R, all the shows are still rooted in that late 90s-early 00s heyday either directly (Ordway, Callahan, Arnold) or indirectly (Felger and Mazz learned at Ordway's knee). And they believe the best way to incite the audience into listening and calling/texting/tweeting is still the same as it was in 2001...rip the teams, the players, and management. Except that by and large, the teams are well managed and at worst, moderately successful. In other words, the teams aren't playing into their formula so they have to manufacture it.
 

Dotrat

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It’s interesting to read through this thread and remember the early pages of the F&M thread. We were all so excited about how refreshing and balanced they sounded when they debuted. They were the anti-Big Show—they could talk about hockey and pro teams outside NE. They weren’t relentlessly negative and stupid.

And by initially breaking his perspectival stranglehold on Boston sports radio, they almost capsized Ordway’s career in the process.

Now, with Holley’s departure and EEI’s clueless decision not to at least try to build a drive time show around Rich Keefe, Boston sports radio has come full circle. With the exceptions of Keefe, T&R, and Arcand, it’s almost all a variation on misery, moronic hot takes, and bad jokes.

So even though he lost in terms of salary and local media clout, Ordway basically won. And we’ve all lost.
 

dcmissle

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Aug 4, 2005
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Philly rips the home teams because the home teams don't exactly have a track record of recent success. Sure, the Eagles won the Super Bowl but before that it was the Phillies in 2009, and before that, it was 1983 for the Sixers. Philly sports is basically where Boston was circa 2001. And Boston sports radio in 2001 was pretty damn merciless in its criticism of all teams and their management.

That was in a lot of ways the peak of Boston sports talk. It thrived on bitching about the mismanagement. The problem now is that aside from T&R, all the shows are still rooted in that late 90s-early 00s heyday either directly (Ordway, Callahan, Arnold) or indirectly (Felger and Mazz learned at Ordway's knee). And they believe the best way to incite the audience into listening and calling/texting/tweeting is still the same as it was in 2001...rip the teams, the players, and management. Except that by and large, the teams are well managed and at worst, moderately successful. In other words, the teams aren't playing into their formula so they have to manufacture it.
This post is gold.

May I add, the Boston radio talent sucks?

I stole this from the NYGs thread in BBTL. It’s 15 minutes well invested, beginning at the 3 minute mark.

https://wfan.radio.com/media/audio-channel/mike-francesa-open-ny-giants

Now nobody knows whether the Giants will be any good or not. Probably not, but the suckitude streak isn’t all that long.

Nonetheless, the host takes a one-game catastrophe and unpacks it wickedly, with content and style. It’s well conceived, creatively presented, in seamless, well constructed paragraphs. And even if you disagree with the diagnosis, it has CONTENT.

Yeah, Francesca is a sports radio GOAT; he has earned a national audience. He also is 64 years old.

Want to know why none of the Boston radio guys never got a national whiff? This is why. They’ve cruised along at a C-minus level.

You can’t say Boston deserves better, because it does not demand better. What I have heard in NY and DC over the years is vastly superior.
 
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ConigliarosPotential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
I second this question. I used to get enough of a Boston sports fix from Simmons, but now he rarely discusses Boston sports and when he does it often seems like he is uber-aware of his reputation as a Boston homer and thus intentionally tries to steer away from that.

I know of a few decent podcasts devoted to a specific Boston team, but haven't found a good one yet that covers all Boston sports . Maybe there isn't one, in which case it would seem like there is a real market for that.
Sounds like there's an opening here that some SoSHers could fill, doesn't it?
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

T&A
SoSH Member
Feb 9, 2010
5,196
Providence, RI
It just needs to stop. It’s worse now then it was but it’s always sucked. I can’t think of a single thing that I’ve ever learned from sports radio (excluding breaking news obviously). Now we have twitter, the huge number of websites you can read, podcasts, etc.... it just doesn’t make sense to even bother with sports radio.

For the fanboys like homebrew I’d like to ask what is it that you want to get out of sports radio? Why do you listen?
To learn about Boston sports or sports in general? That’s never been what they do on the radio.
To be entertained by the hosts? Is that your problem? You just want some chatter with mild humor for you to smile and nod along with while you drive?
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
12,979
I listen because I find T&R and Keefe very entertaining. T&R talk sports 50% of the time and entertaining stuff 50% of the time. They don't pretend to be hot takez machines. I like Keefe's non-sports stuff more than the sports takez, but you do have to deal with Dale.

Beetle & Zo covering the Pats are pretty good and I like Hardy. (who i know some despise) When I'm in the car during the day, I'm on and off calls constantly all day so I really can't get into podcasts during the day.

I have zero use for any of the other 3 shows which are complete garbage. I didn't even know Josh Gordan was a Patriot until the next day because I refuse to tune in after 2. Amazon Music @ 2pm pretty much.

We're never going to get any sort of real sports talk that any real fan cares about and people need to accept that. That doesn't mean we need vile shows like K&C or the lowest common denominator shows like F&M or whatever garbage is on OMF, but we're not going to get away from it.

The only hope for fresh blood is if Kirk never comes back, which I hope he gets help and realizes that his gig is toxic to his health, Callahan retires or his voice finally gives out and OMF fails completely. Knowing WEEI they'd just fill it with the same dreck they've filled it with for 30 years.
 

Isildur1

lurker
Jan 23, 2012
23
When the Sox ultimately do clinch the AL East, who will be the first media member to complain they celebrated too hard? (Completely ignoring the fact that all teams celebrate division titles.)
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,604
Want to know why none of the Boston radio guys never got a national whiff? This is why. They’ve cruised along at a C-minus level.
I have no doubt this is true. At the same time the Boston radio guys are getting paid well and get decent ratings for their C- work so I don’t know what is their incentive to change what they do. Presumably they are doing what they are asked to do by their producers and management.

I agree that Boston sports radio is generally poor and I find myself listening with less frequency however the on air talent is only part of the problem. The management talent is lacking as well.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,442
Maine
When the Sox ultimately do clinch the AL East, who will be the first media member to complain they celebrated too hard? (Completely ignoring the fact that all teams celebrate division titles.)
Gotta admit, I was really hoping that yesterday's game would go on as scheduled (1pm) and the Sox would win so that the "party" could start early, not run too late into the night, then they'd have a full day to recover before today's game at 7...in which Cora would start most of the bench guys anyway. Just so there'd be no solid angle for the a-holes in the media to latch on to. Of course, they still would find a way to do so, it's just who they are.
 

Rusty13

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 3, 2007
4,082
Also, and this is possibly where I step out of the crowd a bit, WEEI does not shut the fuck up about the most boring team in Boston: the Patriots. Yes I know they've won a lot, whatever, but they are not interesting. Brady and Belichick do not give you anything to talk about, no controversy will ever be fully explained, they'll sort out any problem and probably be in the AFC Title Game at a minimum. Yet in the middle of June they will dominate the airwaves. Maybe that's a testament to the decline in popularity of baseball but people out of the 18-34 demo, who are who listens to sports talk, haven't given up on baseball.
Once the Pats Dynasty FINALLY dies down, the Boston sports media landscape -- particularly radio -- will be in a much different state.
 

timlinin8th

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2009
1,521
I think Philly talk radio is just as bad, although to their credit they rip the home teams all the time, whereas Boston sports talk tends to be more supportive of the various head coaches/managers and most players (except for Price). Ironically, Price shut them all up by doing his job.
As others have said, this is mostly because the teams are winning. I wouldn't say the coaches ever get a vote of confidence though - just that they never get brought up. Farrell got torn apart at the end, and the Cora hiring was widely mocked until the Red Sox kept winning, then that topic mysteriously vanished from the airwaves. Same as the Price topic, though I'm sure losing to the Yankees last night will chum the waters there.