Jock Radio

All Roads Lead Away From Jim Rome.

I HATE JIM Rome. I hate his mama, his daddy and his bald-headed granny. I hate his agent, his station manager, his $200-a-haircut barber, the person who picks his clothes out for him at the juniors' section at Dillard's, his writers--heck, anybody stupid enough to work for him in any capacity--the doctor who delivered him, Don King, the people who manufacture the microphones for his show, and anyone who has ever called his show. There, that about covers it.

Those fortunate enough to have avoided this idiot--and I'm afraid that only includes the Amish, selected mine workers and those men in the custody of the state who have been deemed too dangerous to have access to anything electronic--should count their blessings. He is the least-talented and most-annoying person on the air today. I'd rather listen to G. Gordon Liddy talking about his prostate. No, wait! I'd rather listen to that guy who does the coin show on KTKT in the afternoons.

Unfortunately, as in other areas of society, Jim Rome is one of those cases where the worst at his field somehow manages to achieve the pinnacle of success. (Political equivalent: Arizona Senator John Kyl.)

Let's assume (for column-packing purposes) that you're a Weekly reader, so you like to listen to NPR all day. The next time a grass-roots political movement breaks out among the oil workers in Baku, you want to be on top of it. But, see, over on this other station, they have this moron who talks about sports. (Please resist the urge to insert a comment about the redundant nature of the preceding sentence.)

Actually, sports talk shows are quite the rage these days. It's the fastest-growing radio format in America. There is an entire network of sports talk shows on KFFN, 1490-AM, with everything from nationally syndicated Papa Joe Chevalier (which is French for "right-wing blowhard dickhead") to a nifty little local prep football show hosted by Daily Star sports guy Brian Pedersen.

Unfortunately, three really good hours every weekday morning are wasted on Jim Rome, a Napoleonic little twit who not only thinks he's hot stuff, but has somehow managed to convince a handful of others to believe that, too. These followers gleefully refer to themselves as "clones," making the ditto-head idiots who lap up Rush Limbaugh's nonsense seem positively intellectual by comparison.

He even refers to himself as "The Pimp in the Box." Dude couldn't pimp Elizabeth Hurley on an aircraft carrier. Plus, when did it become cool to refer to oneself as a person who makes an illegal living off the violent subjugation of women?

Oh, yeah, he also has a daily feature where his mindless minions fax in jokes about (get this!) Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. I did some research and I learned that the humor potential for the senseless slaughter of two people is, let me see ... no, wait, that's NEVER going to be funny! And yet, every day, the dolts fax him and he reads them on the air.

I can't stand anything about the guy. He's one of those guys that you just know never played ball. This is a tricky subject because you don't have to be a former ballplayer to be a good sports fan or a good sportswriter. I mean, I played four different sports in college and that helped me get a gig as a sportswriter with a weekly alternative newspaper. So, it can happen, but it's not absolutely required.

Jim Rome's the kind of guy who wants desperately to be down with the bruth-uhs. He talks all kinds of mess and tries to come with slang. He probably goes into the locker room just to sniff jocks. And then later, he goes home and tells whoever it is that's unlucky enough to be sharing his residence, "Ooh, I was in the locker room and I saw the really big guy's pee-pee."

Ballplayers have a sense about guys like that. He gets around athletes and he sticks out like one of those aliens-among-us in They Live, when Rowdy Roddy Piper puts on those special glasses. (If they ever have a contest for most obscure movie reference, that one will automatically put me in the semifinals.)

Now Rome's on TV, too. In the ads, they have these bizarre shots of him from below, trying to make him look like he's of normal height. The Japanese probably had to invent a special camera that could get low enough to give him the illusion of height.

I have friends who swear that he's great. I listened off and on and all I heard was him endlessly boosting some personal appearance he was going to make in some city and then urging his listener(s) to "bang their monkeys"--that is (in his own try-real-hard-to-sound-black way) to complain to their local station managers that his show isn't on long enough or in the proper time slot.

Unfortunately, I'm in my car a lot in the morning taking kids to school and stuff and there's this bleak time after 9 a.m. when all that's on is Limbaugh, Don Imus and Rome. (John C. Scott isn't on until 10.) So occasionally, I get so fed up with the blathering that I switch to Rome out of habit. The other day this caller had told the call screener that he had something important to say before a guest came on. So Rome put him on, told the audience that this guy had something important to say, then cut him off as soon as he started speaking. Then Rome went into this long, boring-ass spiel about how it's his show and nobody tells him when they can go on. The sad thing is that the caller will probably go back for more.

Well, I won't. I'll never listen to that show again. And Rome, you can bang your own monkey. Ain't nobody gonna want to do that for you. I'm out!

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