Less Sports, More Boobs: Guy Talk and the De-Evolution of Sports Talk Radio

I'm a native Houstonian. I grew up a fan of Houston sports teams, and I spent a lot of time as a kid listening to sports talk radio. There were no sports-only stations in the 1970s and 1980s. Multiple stations aired games (am I the only person who remembers the Astos games once being on 104 KRBE). And most sports talk radio was limited to weekends and for a few hours in the evening.

One of the top sports hosts, and the one I listed to the most, was Anita Martini, and I followed her from station to station -- 790 and 950 being the primary radio stations I remember her at. She also worked as a weekend sports anchor at Channels 2, 11, and 26 at various times. Martini was quite the trailblazer. She was the first female sports reporter allowed inside a MLB locker room when Dodger manager Walter Alston opened his locker room to her following a game at the Astrodome.

I didn't listen to Martini because she was breaking down doors. I was a kid. I didn't care about any of that. I listened because I enjoyed her shows, I learned a lot, and I didn't get treated like I was an idiot.

I seem to remember most sports talk shows being this way -- it's possible that I'm suffering from old man's disease where everything was better when I was young. It just seemed they figured you listened because you were a sports fan and wanted to talk about and learn about sports. If you wanted celebrity gossip, you went somewhere else because it was a sports show.

That's not the case nowadays. Even the best sports talk hosts have had to dumb down their shows and move their discussions to the so-called guy talk format. So it's not sports. It's a combination of sports and music and television and attractive women, especially attractive women named Kate Upton.

There have been multiple indignities visited upon Houston's sports radio fans in recent months. Most prominent have been the Josh Innes/Stephanie Stradley battle, the so-called "fat" Thunder cheerleader, and the sexist questions directed toward Lamar's softball coach. The only punishment so far has been the supposed firing of 610 blogger Claire Crawford a.k.a. Anna-Megan Raley in response to the cheerleader post.


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10 comments
sgant2
sgant2

When the conversation becomes too juvenile on sports radio, I change the channel.  That means I only listen to Charlie without Lance. Just as the writer suggests, I do not fit the demo. 

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took his perversion and lack of skill up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the McDonalds food and saved them."

He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took his perversion and lack of skill up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the McDonalds food and saved them."He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took it up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the food and saved them."

He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took his perversion and lack of skill up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the McDonalds food and saved them."He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took it up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the food and saved them."

He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

berencheats
berencheats

Innes took his perversion and lack of skill up a notch with his racist comment today about the black guy in Cleveland who came home from McDonalds and rescued those girls. ("If he was eating a McRib he never would have dropped the McDonalds food and saved them."He deserves same treatment as raley. (By the way -- what does the author mean by her "supposed firing"?????)

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

The best shows and hosts balance sports and entertainment. But, that's not an easy gig. When you have 4+ sports stations in one town all trying to fill air time, the talent pool gets diluted. The result is a least common denominator approach by many who don't know how else to entertain people.

sean.pendergast
sean.pendergast

I'll defend my show and say that John and I talk as much sports as any drive time show (and more than some you mention). I understand the frustration, as a listener at heart myself, I get it. But there are sports shows out there that still talk sports. 

MadMac
MadMac

First-class article Mr. Royal. You reminded me of Ms. Martini's work. With the very occasional listen to KTSU's sports talk--which is an completely different kind of party--I don't do sports talk. There's been a pointed decline in maturity and increase in foolishness.  Rather than counter prevailing attitudes among the "audience," the mega-multi-media-market RadioCorps have decided to cash in on the negativity. Bill Cosby used to say in comedy, "When you bomb, you drop your pants. But if you start out dropping your pants and bomb, where do you go from there?"

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