Armchair Dork - 11.16.98

I'm not sure how to explain it, but I've been addicted to a radio show over the past couple months. It can be found on the campus radio station in the town that I live in and its focus isn't electronic music, or even music at all--it's a sports talk show.

Before you start laughing at me and calling me a meathead, I'll first try to explain a few things. For those people that know me, let me say that I haven't changed greatly in the past couple months. I haven't turned into a face-painting, yelling-at-the-TV watching sports fan who knows statistics of major players or even who was in the world series.

I'm still the same tall, dorky guy who reads a lot, buys a lot of music, sees a lot of movies and still doesn't even own a television. While I enjoy the occassional (ok, or a little more often than occassional) game of racquetball and ultimate, I'm by no means a jock. I've even gotten into playing basketball again about once a week since I got a pass to a Rec center, but the shoes that I have are 4 years old (gasp), the shorts I wear don't extend past my knees (gasp, gasp), and I have yet to wear a baseball cap backwards on my head. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

Even at that, almost every Monday night at 9pm, I've sat down and turned off my CD's for awhile to listen to 4 college guys that I don't even know talk about sports teams that I don't really care about.

I think the thing that attracts me to the show (as well as to the college radio station in general) is the underdog factor. Everyone on the show seems to know and accept just how big of dorks they are, and they realize that they only probably have about 10 listeners, given their time slot on a college radio station.

The thing that I really enjoy, though, is just how genuinely excited everyone on the show gets with their respective ideas. While all of them root for the hometown team, a couple of them can see both sides of the picture, while the others are so focused on the good things that it inevitably brings about arguments. Sometimes, it will be one person verses the other three in the verbal sparring and that's usually when it's the best.

The funny thing, and the point of this whole piece is what happened about a week ago when I was listening to the show. During the second hour of the show, they were having a sports trivia contest in which listeners could get entered for a chance to win a pizza. The premise was to call into the show with a question for them about the four major sports (football, baseball, basketball, or hockey). If you stumped them, and then you answered a question correctly that they asked you, your name was in the drawing.

After a couple people had qualified, I decided that I would hop in and call and try to get my name for some free food. I thought up some obscure question that I had learned one time and called in with my chance. Having stumped them, I sat back and chuckled nervously as they gave me three categories from which to choose from-- college basketball, pro baseball, or Nebraska (the state I'm from) football. I chose Nebraska football, hoping I would get an easy question, but it was no such luck. They asked me who the first coach ever of the football team was.

Knowing that I was probably stumped, one of the guys on the show gave me the hint of, "If I was in bed with a supermodel with the same last name, I would be a happy guy." It wasn't much help, so I decided to wing it and make a guess anyway. When I answered, "Seymour Moss" everyone on the show started laughing aloud. They agreed that since I had made them laugh, they'd throw my name in for the pizza anyway. I was pretty stoked, even though I didn't quite get the joke that they did.

I was even more stoked when they drew my name at the end of the show. So, I got a free pizza from a sports talk-show when I'm not even a huge sports fan and I shouldn't even technically have been qualified. One of the many little reasons that college radio is so damn cool. Although I didn't need the motivation, I'm going to keep listening.