Jon: WELCOME BACK TO GRUDEN TALK, THE TALK SHOW WHERE WE DISCUSS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF THE DAY. BANDLEADER HERM EDWARDS, DID YOU HEAR THOSE ATLANTA RADIO GUYS MAKING FUN OF STEVE GLEASON?
Herm: THE ONLY RADIO I LISTEN TO IS CAR TALK.
Jon: THESE ATLANTA TALK SHOW JABRONIS, THEY MADE FUN OF THIS GUY WITH LOU GEHRIG’S DISEASE. AND STEVE GLEASON, LEMME TELL YA, HE BLOCKS PUNTS, HE PLAYS SPECIAL TEAMS AND HE THRIVES IN SPITE OF A DEGENERATIVE NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION. HE’S A REAL GRUDEN GRINDER. SO I INVITED SI.COM MEDIA CRITIC RICHARD DEITSCH TO TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEMS WITH TALK RADIO. RICHARD, HOW YA DOIN’?
Richard: I’m doing well.
Jon: SO RICHARD, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH SPORTS TALK RADIO? SEEMS LIKE THESE GUYS ARE SPOUTIN’ OFF STUPID OPINIONS WHEN THEY SHOULD BE WATCHING TAPE.
Richard: Well most forms of media have been at a race to the bottom for a while now. With sports talk radio you have low barriers to entry, minimal controls over on-air content, and underpaid staff. Taken together, it produces a toxic atmosphere for sports journalism.
Jon: I HEAR YA, SOUNDS LIKE MY LAST YEAR AT THE RAIDERS. AL DAVIS TOOK AWAY STARBUCKS AND GAVE US SANKA – THAT’S WHY WE DIDN’T BEAT THE PATRIOTS.
Herm: IF YOU DON’T GIVE EMPLOYEES FREE COFFEE THEY WON’T PERFORM WELL.
Richard: Well the larger point is that you can produce good sports talk radio if you invest in it. Hosts like Dan Patrick and Scott Van Pelt cost money because they’re talented enough for other mediums. Cheap station owners can pay shock jocks peanuts and leave them with little oversight. It’ll garner good ratings but it can blow up in their faces, as we just saw.
Jon: YOU NEED LEADERSHIP TO STEER YOUR TALENT. THAT’S WHY RICH GANNON’S CAREER WENT OFF THE RAILS AFTER BILL CALLAHAN TOOK OVER.
Herm: CHAD PENNINGTON WOULD HAVE MADE THE PRO BOWL IF IT WEREN’T FOR ME.
Richard: I agree that problems start at the top. It shouldn’t absolve these hosts of guilt, but the people who run these stations deserve to be punished too. The Falcons should look into dropping 790 AM as their flagship station so station owners know that they can’t just throw cheap shock jocks on the air without consequence.
Jon: THIS 790, I CALL IT JOHN ABRAHAM BECAUSE THE FALCONS HAVE NO USE FOR IT ANY MORE.
Richard: And it would make a big statement because the Saints and Falcons are such bitter rivals.
Jon: LEMME TELL YA, BITTER RIVALS CAN COME TOGETHER IN TRYING TIMES. RIGHT AFTER THE 9/11 ATTACKS MIKE SHANAHAN AND I WENT TO A STRIP CLUB IN OAKLAND TOGETHER. REALLY MADE US THINK.
Herm: YOU GO TO A PLACE WITH A FREE HOT BUFFET TO THINK.
Richard: Well, it would be a sign that NFL teams would be united against this type of crassness.
Jon: RICHARD, I READ YOU LOUD AND CLEAR. THE NFL HAS TO STICK TOGETHER. WHETHER IT’S FIGHTING INJUSTICE OR FIGURING OUT A WAY TO DEFEND THE ZONE READ WITH A HYBRID SAFETY-LINEBACKER POSITION THAT I CALL THE ACE OF SPADES, THE LEAGUE NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S BEST FOR THE SHIELD.
Herm: UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.
Richard: I’ve lost you.
Jon: THAT’S OK BECAUSE WE’RE OUT OF TIME ON GRUDEN TALK. PLAY US OFF, HERM EDWARDS 7.
Herm: TIME FOR VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR.