Thursday, January 15, 2009
Another modest proposal for WEEI: There's no whining in sports
Every once in a while, I offer my advice (and the implied threat of feline vandalism) to WEEI in hopes that they will take my advice and remain the Number One Sports Station in America. Or at least remain in the top five in one demographic. This time, I feel that a tiny bit of pruning of a short 10 minutes of WEEI's broadcasting would do a world of good. To whit:
I frequently question the thought processes of New England sports fans - both on this blog that no one except Mark reads and in real life - but never more so than the adoration that people have for the Big Show's Whiner Line. For those of you lucky enough to have never heard the Whiner Line, you've probably heard something like it. Basically, the Whiner Line is a "random" catalog of saved voice mails that are supposed to be funny or entertaining. Yes, the same format that exists in every single radio market in North America exists in Boston* (seven times over). And as in the case with the other Whiner Lines, it's not quite as funny as people think. It needs improvement, and I'm here to help.
Why am I so anti Whiner Line? Because all the "whines" fall into five basic categories:
1. Making fun of the hosts. Usually over something said earlier in the show when most of us poor fools are working at our "jobs". If I ever find myself listening to the Big Show at 2 PM for more than 2 days at a time, shoot me. This is supposed to be really funny "meta" humor. Like the "Simpsons", I guess. Except for the fact that Steve Burton laughing like an castrated hyena at 3PM wasn't funny the first time.
2. Off topic political commentary. As if the the morning show wasn't enough, now we have to hear the listeners go off in the same NON-SPORTS tangents. What, can you not get WRKO or WTTK where you live? And if you can't please let me know where you live so I can move there. Commercial talk radio blows. This is why people are driven to NPR.
3. Unfunny song parodies. I'm sure comparing Fred Smerlas to Domenic the Donkey was funny the first time... oh wait. It was never funny.
4. The same five or six idiots giving us their stupid catchphrases. Especially the "Fat Bastard" guy and the Man on the Way Up. If you've heard the Whiner Line, I don't need to say anything else.
5. Actually funny comments that have something to do with sports. Usually happens about twice a show.
As you can see, there a bit of pruning to be done here so we may have the best Whiner Line possible.
My first advice would be to get rid of celebrity callers. For example, Frank from Gloucester calling up and leaving a message about how awesome Glen Ordway is and how he's friends with people who run the Celtics? No one cares. I also don't care that Glen is a "Fat bastard". The schtick is old. And if you really hate the Man on the Way Up so much, stop putting him on the air. It's a simple concept, but it goes a long way. Since most of the "celebrities" are the ones doing awful song parodies, referencing things I didn't hear because I was working, making fun of hosts and whining about liberals, this will speed things up dramatically. These twits shouldn't be on the air period. If they think like the hosts, they should get their own shows. Again, I'm glad to help.
Secondly, ban "Fred the Christmas Donkey" immediately. In fact, ban all music. None of these people will ever be confused with Weird Al. And it will prevent Fred from snapping and killing us all with his bare hands.
Third, set a time limit on these whines. The joke shouldn't require more than 20 seconds of set up time.
Fourth, plenty of amusing things happen in sports. Every day! It shouldn't be necessary to hear a plummer from Everett opine on Pete Sheppard's weight, the weather or whether or not Barack Obama is a communist. What team do they play for? If I wanted that, I'd listen to the morning show. I don't.
Fifth, the Whiney Awards? Stop them. Calling in to a radio show should never net you an award. For any reason.
Hopefully, WEEI will take my advice and the Big Show will continue to be the best program on the station. Okay, maybe the second best, but that's only when Mike Adams isn't fixated on players from the LA Freakin' Dodgers.
*Just to add another layer of awfulness to the proceedings, the Big Show apparently ripped this idea off from Charlie's old pal Howie the Hostage and his Chump Line. Howie ripped the idea off from about 3,000 other people. Of course, the Big Show and the Hostage can't stand each other. This largely because Howie hates all things sports. It also might have something to do with the Hostage absconding with the Big Show's food (this proves two things: a. Howie is a jackanape of epic proportions and b. never steal food from fat guys). Why the Big show needs more food is another problem. If you donated all the food the Big O and company eat to the Sudan, there would be no hunger.
BTW: Sorry, this will be the last time my blog entry has a footnote.