Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sports Radio Is Dyfunctional

It's getting to the point where I can't listen to sports radio anymore.

Some would say that's not a bad thing. My wife would be one such person. Before I got married, I used to listen to sports radio in the car all the time. It was my standard background noise while I drove around town. However, I learned pretty quickly that I would not be listening to sports radio when my wife was in the car. She has no problem watching sports with me (except baseball, which is "like watching grass grow," and golf, which is "not a sport.") But she hates it when they are just talking about sports. "Why are they yelling at me?" she'll ask. (And these are just the regular pre- and post-game commentators; if she were to watch First Take or Around the Horn I think her head might explode.)

Sports radio isn't what it used to be.

So, when I'm in the car with my wife, there is no sports radio. But, I've always felt it was a fairly safe thing to listen to when it's just me and the kids. Oh, they'll occasionally ask for music, but I'll play the authoritarian Dad card and say things like, "I'm driving--I'm choosing," or "When you're old enough to drive maybe you'll be able to listen to what you want." (This makes me sound like an opinionated gasbag. It's probably true.)(I learned how to be an opinionated gasbag from listening to sports radio.)

But lately it's been more difficult to justify listening to sports radio with the kids in the car. Why? Erectile dysfunction. Yes, I said erectile dysfunction. Usually, erectile dysfunction isn't a problem when I'm driving--except when that's all they talk about on the radio. About half the commercials on sports radio these days are for erectile dysfunction or male enhancement. Apparently the makers of these advertisements feel that there is a significant overlap between sports radio listeners and their target audience. I guess I should be insulted, but that's not really why the commercials concern me. What bothers me is the barrage of questions that will soon be on its way because my children have ears. Questions like:

"Dad, what is ED?"
"Dad, what does erectile dysfunction mean?"
"Dad, you're over 40. Does that mean you have ED?"
"Dad, don't you want to improve your performance?"

These are not questions I want to discuss with anyone--least of all with my children!

But, that's not the only reason I'm finding it increasingly difficult to listen to sports radio. As more and more athletes get into legal trouble, the more those troubles get talked about. Recently, a star athlete was accused of rape, so the sports radio pundits felt the need to discuss it in detail. Unfortunately, the subject matter requires a little more nuance than can be expected from someone who spends most of his day yapping about why James Harden would beat Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one (he wouldn't), or why Eli Manning belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (he doesn't.) I don't really want my children listening to "Sports Bob" giving his "take" about sexual assault.

And then, there's the yelling. I'm starting to understand why it bothers my wife. Whenever my kids hear Stephen A. Smith they'll yell, "Hey, it's the Yelling Guy!" ("Stop yelling," I'll yell back at them.) Really, I'm not sure why some of these guys feel the need to be so loud all of the time, or why the people in charge put them on the radio. If I wanted to be yelled at, I've got an old boss I could look up. (I wonder what he's doing these days.) (He probably has his own sports radio show.)

Photo courtesy of the website Pixabay.

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