by mike (in boston) @mikeinboston – hatemailaccount (a t) gmail (d o t) com
Like most of you, I have been listening to sports radio and reading sports columns for a long time now. In this series I will be offering a free online course to members of the media on how to do their jobs, based on what I have observed and heard over these many years.
So you have a sports radio show. Congratulations! But coming up with intelligent and well-informed opinions is pretty hard. Life is going to get in the way sometimes, and you'll have a show coming up but nothing to talk about. Fear not – here is a step by step guide to filling the time with minimal effort.
Step 1: find someone saying something extraordinarily stupid on Twitter. (This step should be easy).
Step 2: start your radio show by talking about how "the fans" think _____ (insert the stupid opinion here).
Step 3: explain why what "the fans" think is dumb, being careful to note that "I'm not saying this is what all the fans think." (don't quote any reasonable fan opinions though, and don't point out that you've picked the stupidest opinion as your starting point. Also don't point out that the dumb opinion is a minority position and that it has already been widely discredited by others).
Step 4: bask in the glory of having defeated an idiotic argument (note: there may not be any actual glory in defeating an argument only dumb people hold, but don't let that get in the way).
This strategy is foolproof. So, if you're lazy, or didn't actually watch the game, or didn't have time to read what reasonable people are saying on blogs, or just don't want to think very hard, go to this handy plan. One word of warning: this can become a bit of a crutch. Once you get used to pillorying straw men it can be hard to go back to debating sensible adults.
Enjoy your radio show! And don't worry – it is incredibly hard to be fired from a radio gig unless you are truly terrible. Even if that happens, chances are you'll either be snapped up by the competition and hailed as a hero for switching sides, or you'll still be asked to fill in from time to time.
Study Question: name someone who has been fired from the FAN or TSNR in the last 10 years who is not working in sports radio or TV? Difficulty: no Krystal, no Goddard, no dead people.