As mind-numbing as sports debate television can be, at least the chaos is somewhat controlled. There are producers, and a host, attempting to keep the show easy to consume with only one person talking at a time. Sports radio is a different beast. For the few AM stations still going strong, this is the backyard bare-knuckle version of sports arguments. There is no ceding time to other personalities, or even the callers after they babble for maybe a minute. In these fights, talkers yell until they run out of breath. They stay quiet only long enough to regain it, paying little to no regard to anyone else on the planet. Joe Benigno executed this style of combat to perfection against Tiki Barber on Monday.
He did a segment on WFAN’s Evan and Tiki Show. It was so classic that Benigno should give lectures at a future for-profit college that offers a B.A. in sports gasbaggery. The topic that he was yelling at Barber was irrelevant. Benigno summoned a tidal wave of ad hominem attacks as the Poseidon of the Hudson River of New York sports takes, and crashed it on top of Barber’s head.
Besides necessary pauses for oxygen, Benigno talked as fast as his tongue was able to dig the thoughts out of his brain. He railed against Barber for allegedly hating the New York Jets and claimed that the former New York Giants running back did not analyze Zach Wilson’s poor performance in Sunday’s loss. Benigno went so far as to call the idea of Barber analyzing Wilson as “B.S.”
It was at that moment that Barber began to seethe. He said “I’m turning my microphone off,” and twice yelled “That’s bullsh*t,” at Benigno. Barber then took an angry swig from his water bottle before tossing his earphones at his laptop and walking out of the studio. His cohost, Evan Roberts, tried to quell the situation. He talked Benigno off of the stance that Barber wasn’t watching Wilson play. Benigno apologized and they both tried unsuccessfully to get Barber back into the studio before the end of the segment.
That is sports talk radio folks. That is Kimbo Slice fighting in South Florida on YouTube, and UFC before it had weight classes. Benigno took it to the Kumite and Barber could not hang. Against the real sports-talk fighters there is no room for nuance or calm. These people can string words together from the end of one commercial break to the next.
They are not interested in a discussion, or even listening. While in front of microphones, their only objective is to fight. Full contact, no-holds-barred, vocal cord to vocal cord combat. Barber had better bring some lemon tea and smelling salts with him next time.
Next time you think that Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are doing too much on daytime television, you won’t be wrong. However, that is a sparring session compared to what a handful of gray-haired thunderclouds with a one-syllable name like Joe are yelling into AM radio signals.
That right there is true living. No suits, no fancy Seaport studio, just a microphone and a miserable Jets fan telling a former NFL player that he has no idea what he is talking about.
Original source here
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