I have to confess, I listen to more sports talk radio than I care to admit. I listen to 95.7 the Phanatic a great deal, often favoring it over NPR, unless Fresh Air has a good guest. To be honest, I don’t know why. The story in Philly never changes. It’s always about the Eagles, no matter what other sports are taking place in the city. It’s enough to drive one a little crazy.
This has come become even more pronounced since the the Eagles’ new head coach Chip Kelly was given full autonomy over the team. He’s been a headline machine since the football season ended following Super Bowl 49 on Feb. 1. He’s traded the team’s star players, traded a healthy quarterback for an injured one, teased the general population with thoughts that he’ll do something even crazier to draft Marcus Mariota, a college quarterback from Kelly’s old program, the Oregon Ducks.
This week he did something seemed designed specifically to keep the headlines rolling by signing former All-American Tim Tebow, an often maddeningly pious young man who was never as talented as he was popular. After nearly two years without a team and failed stints at Denver and New York, he’ll begin training with the Eagles this year under a new one-year deal.
Yesterday, I was tuned, again, to the Phanatic, which paused the typical 24/7 Mariota speculation to critique the Tebow signing. What on Earth was Kelly thinking? What role would Tebow play in Philadelphia? Did it mean Kelly was more or less likely to trade players and draft picks to get an earlier pick in the NFL draft for a shot at Mariota (the team currently picks 20th and most experts believe Mariota will go long before that to another team)? There is no Eagles story that doesn’t warrant around the clock coverage.
But what about — literally — everything else? Do sports talk listeners care only about the Eagles?
I think we’d like to hear a little bit about the Sixers following their 18 – 64 season-tank job and what the chances are the strategy will work. I’d like to hear more, no matter how depressing it may be, on what the Phillies need to do to improve and how long it will take. I’d like to hear about what chance the Flyers have to improve. I’d also like to hear a little a bit about the season of the Philadelphia Union, one that has had enough drama lately to fill a few weeks of talk radio all by itself.
I get why the stations do what they do. This is a football town. But sports talk should cover sports, not just football, no matter how much Chip Kelly and the Eagles want that to be the case.