Like millions of sports fans in this country I listen to sports talk radio. In Philadelphia I am fortunate enough to have two stations to choose from and I often find myself flipping between the two during the day. Each station offers a different taste on the local teams and on the national sports scene. While the two stations may have different audiences there are some rules and guidelines that should be followed by callers to both stations, and possibly every sports station in the country.
Below I offer my ten commandments for callers to sports radio station, but please feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments section below.
- Thou shall not listen to thyself on the radio.
- Thou shall not give thyself a nickname.
- Thou shall not use speakerphone.
- Thou shall be prepared.
- Thou shall not call hosts for betting purposes.
- Thou shall offer intelligent conversation.
- Thou shall not repeat what has already been said.
- Thou shall not attempt to showcase your material.
- Thou shall not proclaim thyself to be thy biggest fan of a team.
- Thou shall call once during the week and once on the weekend.
And now let us analyze these commandments and clarify where needed...
Thou shall not listen to thyself on the radio. For those of you who do not know, radio is typically on a seven second delay. This means that whatever you listening to on the radio happened seven seconds ago.
If you are on hold to be on air and are not listening to the show on your phone then you will be ridiculed by the hosts. It annoys the hosts and the producers of the show as there are few rules for callers and the golden rule of thumb is "Turn your radio down!"
Thou shall not give thyself a nickname. This is really a rule that should be applied to everyday life and not just radio. Don't give yourself a nickname when talking to the producer or the hosts. Nicknames are earned on merit. Do you think Hank Aaron introduced himself to people as "Hammerin' Hank"? Not a chance. Nobody cares what people called you in high school. Just share your comments or ask your questions and be on with it.
Thou shall not use speakerphone. Wireless headsets for cell phones are acceptable, but do not sit in your office and attempt to have your conversation on a speaker phone. Use it while you are on hold, but when it is your time to talk pick up the handset. It sounds awful on the phone. Think about how bad it sounds on the radio.
Thou shall be prepared. If you are calling in to a show you likely have something on your mind. If you are a first time caller you may be nervous, that is understandable. But don't go shy as soon as you are on the air. Have your question ready and reasoning for asking.
Thou shall not call hosts for betting purposes. Unless the show specializes in gambling on sports don't call in looking for a tip on which way to bet a game. What is even worse is if you try to disguise your call to shed some light on a betting angle. Hosts know what you are up to. And when you are caught doing so just own up to it.
Thou shall offer intelligent conversation. Nobody cares about what sport you played in high school or college. Nobody cares about what junior varsity team you coached. Nobody cares what you read on a blog (BLASPHEMY!) or on a forum. Nobody wants to hear you engaging in a verbal fight with the host because you do not agree with them. If you have a different opinion, please offer it in a way that conducts to good conversation.
Thou shall not repeat what has already been said. This includes jokes, catch phrases , and rants. In Philadelphia callers often bring up Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie's "gold standard" comment. Let it go already. If Philadelphia fans wish the national media would get over Santa Claus and booing McNabb, then radio hosts probably wish callers would get over the "gold standard" comment.
Also, if you hear a joke or comment on a morning show, do not call in the afternoon or evening shows and offer the same comment.
Thou shall not attempt to showcase your material. Unless you are asked to come on and provide material by the hosts, this is not the place to showcase your own comedy material or musical abilities. Let's keep it to sports people! No original songs, no jokes, and for the love of all that is right in the world, NO POEMS!
Thou shall not proclaim thyself to be thy biggest fan of a team. How many times do you hear people proclaim themselves to be the biggest fan of a local team? Stop advertising yourself as the biggest fan. We all know that I am the biggest Penn State and Phillies fan anyway. So don't even try!
Thou shall call once during the week and once on the weekend. At some stations this is a rule and at some stations it should be a rule. We heard what you had to say yesterday. Do we really need to hear them again?