The perfect storm is quickly approaching ESPN 980, and short of hiring me for their 6-10 a.m. slot, there’s little to nothing that Daniel Snyder and Red Zebra Broadcasting can do to stop the imminent destruction.
WJFK has lined up locally-bred talent, former Washington footballers, and a score of professional sports broadcasting rights to cut ESPN 980 off at its very knees, and I for one, am glad of it. ESPN 980 has sat atop the Washington sports heap for too long as the only show in town, and much like Snyder has done with his football team, regularly took advantage of the rabid loyalty of the fan base.
Let’s think about it: Between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 p.m., listeners are in ESPN syndication land. Mike and Mike, who if there were no big time guests would be no fun to listen to, and Colin Cowherd, who regularly instigates Washington football faithful, are your lineup. After that, it’s the very good Kevin Sheehan in the “Locker Room,” followed by the media slickster himself, John Thompson. Going home, you have the douchebag/straightman combo of Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin.
If the 980 lineup was a hand in spades, they would be holding a queen of spades, an ace of hearts, and no other face cards.
WJFK, with the intolerable-yet-mysteriously-popular Sports Junkies already on board, in addition to Tony Kornheiser 2.0 A.K.A. Mike Wise and jaded former linebacker LaVar Arrington, is set to take this town over. The Junkies will command the immature jackass listenership, Wise will monopolize listeners who can read above a ninth grade level, and LaVar will capture the attention of the Dallas Cowboy fans and the Washington fans who love to hate them. Airwaves from Heaven, to say the very least.
980 has a way out, but it will be totally against everything they stand for. They first have to commit to lowering the volume on propaganda, which means no “Home of the Redskins” plugs in between commercial breaks, no pitches from Joe Theisman about taking the family to Johnny Rockets, and finally, introducing younger and newer life into the rotation.
That younger newer life ought to be someone who is tech savvy, knowledgeable about local sports with a capability to speak candidly on teams without blatantly drooling venom or honey all over the mic everyday, and a figure that can attract minority audiences with an appeal within the white, middle-aged, six-figure income demographic. And preferably, they should have good references from local sports icons. Like Doug Williams.
WJFK is going to eliminate ESPN 980 in several key aspects of listener construct; attractiveness to youth and sponsors, and intelligent discussion without ulterior motives. So basically, until they bring me in for the 6-10 a.m. slot, all hope is lost. After all, I can’t be any worse than Brian Mitchell. I actually know how not to trash teams I dislike.