I recently ran across a Fox Sports Radio show called “Steve Gorman Sports!” To call it different might be an understatement.
Most sports talk shows are the same — banter about sports. The differentiations are mainly the personalities on the show; the program format; do they venture into soccer or lesser sports? (NO!); are they homers or do they hammer the home teams? (YES!) Predictable in every market but a tried and true format.
“Steve Gorman Sports!” is similar yet different.
Let’s start with Steve Gorman.
Unlike you’re typical sports talk yobber, with a background in sports journalism (of some kind) or retired from a playing career, Gorman’s a professional drummer. Yeah, that Steve Gorman — Black Crowes Steve Gorman. He says he stayed sane on tour by talking sports to anyone who’d listen. He liked it so much he got a sports talk show.
His sidekick is his cousin, Jeffrey Gorman. He used to be the director of TV and radio broadcast for the Indianapolis Colts and has done some other sports talk shows. So he has some sports chops. Don’t know if he has any groupies, or wore spandex on stage, but he’s got sports chops.
So these Gormans have a show. They seem to enjoy the show — recently putting out a series of silly “Behind the Scenes” videos: here, here, here and, my favorite, here.
But the thing that really sets the show out from others of its ilk is the guests. Yes, they talk mostly to players, coaches and other sports journalists but unlike any other show, Gorman uses his music background to rope in musical guests — and he doesn’t simply ask them what their favorite team is.
He recently spoke with country music artist Holly Williams and Peter Frampton, amongst others. Whether this works and generates ratings, I don’t know. Sports show fans can be hardcore and, how can I put this mildly, narrow-minded … obsessed … one-dimensional … dedicated … yes, dedicated is the word. Deviate from the predictable and those dedicated listeners can switch the dial in an instant. In many markets now they have a choice of sports stations. Talk about soccer or the local university’s conference-winning women’s softball team and they’re off to ESPN Radio or NBC Sports Radio or CBS Sports Radio, etc.
It’s commendable that Fox Sports Radio is allowing some experimentation with the format. To be truthful, it’s debatable whether there are many sports talk hosts out there that have sufficient second lives that they could pull anything like this off. And the format formula does deliver the goods, or, score the points.
Only time and Fox Sports Radio management will tell whether this is a peanut butter and chocolate mix or something more like Tabasco-flavored cotton candy.
Good luck, Gormans, you’ll probably need it.
Even as a sports talk show host, Steve Gorman (right) still gets the babes. Here he’s with country music artist Holly Williams and his “Steve Gorman Sports!” co-host, Jeffrey Gorman.