Cruising the radio dial this afternoon I discovered that the Chicago Blackhawk pregame show on WGN radio began at 4:00 pm. Not bad for a 7:30 pm puck drop! I know, I know – the ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup last year, but get over it already! How many times can David Kaplan report that Patrick Sharp has an “upper body” injury and won’t be playing? Give me a break! I am overdosing on sports coverage. I love sports as much as the next guy; probably more, but enough is enough!
Don’t think for a minute that I am singling out the ‘Hawks and WGN, because I’m not. You can toss the National Football League, the NCCA and Major League Baseball in there with the National Hockey League. I have had it with all pre and post game shows and excessive, unnecessary coverage.
Am I leaving out the National Basketball Association? No, it’s just that the NBA hasn’t mattered to me in quite some time. I really couldn’t care less.
Let me get back to sports that matter. This thing on WGN today was the straw that broke this camel’s back. If I hear one mope from Tinley Park tell Kaplan that they have been a Cubs fan all their life, I will scream!
A typical post game show for a Cubs night game on WGN is 2 hours! And I’m not picking on the Cubs and their flag station. Both WSCR (White Sox) and ESPN540 (Brewers) have post game shows, albeit a bit more modest than the one on WGN. But they are tiresome nonetheless.
I believe that WSSP and WTMJ also feature Brewer pregame shows to go along with the ubiquitous post game affair. The thing is both station’s signal is so weak that I don’t even bother trying to listen. WSSP’s is especially puny.
Locally, WLIP now features Carthage College football on Saturdays. This falls into the same category as the NBA for me. I really couldn’t care less. Although it is somewhat of an improvement compared to when they carried the Wisconsin Badgers. You could always count on two hours of pregame babble and at least an hour of post came yak.
Finally, there is the grand daddy of them all – the National Football League. It is here that I must give radio coverage some slack. This is only because the television media is the most pretentious, pompous group there is.
Starting at 11:00 am Sunday morning, both FOX and CBS have an hour-long NFL pregame show. Fox calls their show; “Fox NFL Sunday” while the CBS program still goes by “The NFL Today” moniker. At 6:00 pm, NBC has “Football Night in America”, a 75-minute lead-in to the Sunday night game.
Each of these shows has at least five personalities “breaking the games down” for us. Throw in several “experts” and cut-ins at the various stadiums and you will know more about the NFL than Lovie Smith. Sorry, I had to.
Not to be outdone is ESPN. They have an hour long “Sports Center: Monday Kickoff” show that is followed by 90 minutes of “Monday Night Countdown”. This bombastic preamble features no less than ten “stars” – Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Tom Jackson, Stuart Scott, Matt Millen, Steve Young, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. And that’s not including the reporters who are doing the Sports Center portion of it!
The ESPN NFL experience concludes with the last game of the weekend. Thank goodness, right? Not so fast. Of the trio calling the game, Mike Tirico is the only who is bearable. Ron “Jaws” Jaworski would be the most obnoxious if not for the presence of Jon “Chuckie” Gruden. He is insufferable. And that’s being kind.
If you want to get real drunk on a Monday night, play this simple drinking game. During the game consume your favorite adult beverage each time Gruden says either “this guy” or “that guy”. I guarantee that you will be seriously polluted by halftime.
I am definitely going to make an effort to cut back on my peripheral sports indulging. I have to. Enough is enough. The only guilty pleasure that I will allow myself is tuning into WSCR after a Bear game. Listening to Doug Buffone and Ed O’Bradovich rant and rave after a Bear’s loss is something everyone should experience. It is priceless.
Until next time…from the booth.