One of the things about doing local radio is the quality of life. You don't make that much money, and if you do local radio like it should be done, then you're probably never going to.
But that's all right, because you attain the most elusive of rewards - quality of life. Local radio, the higher calling that it is, can also be used as a long-form rationalization for why you drive a nine-year-old domestic car that didn't cost that much in the first place. Or why at the first of the month you're a little on edge as both the health insurance and mortgage come out of your account.
The worry is worth it because you do local radio, and it really is a higher calling. Part of the reward of doing local radio in Indiana, the bastion of basketball in America, is that you get to announce high school sectional basketball games. And part of the reward that I get as purveyor of the spoken word in the Calumet Region is that I get to announce all six games of the East Chicago sectional.
It is good and it is pure, high school basketball is - especially the East Chicago sectional, which brings suburban collar communities to the core of industrial uburbia between chemical factories, train yards and abandoned apartment buildings.
Dangerous, polluted and beautiful,
you'd like E.C. too.
I guess I made that word up - uburbia, but if you're gonna have "suburbia" then you should probably have "uburbia." If so, then it's Munster, Lowell and Lake Central from suburbia, and Gary West Side, East Chicago Central and Hammond Morton from uburbia. Play along with me, the three or four of you. It's easier that way.
Speaking of the three or four of you... I know who two of you are. First, there's Carole Terry, who made the "I am one of the three or four of you" button. And now there's Mark Fetzko, who rides his motorcycle around in between installments of reading this here blog. As a matter of fact, it is Mark who sucks a chuckle out of the fact that my wife will not let me buy a motorcycle - or even receive a motorcycle from a certain Harley dealer and WJOB sponsor who has offered to "work something out" with me. Here's what Mark texted me the other day when it was 60 degrees and sunny.
I'd ask you to go for a ride. But you don't have a real motorcycle yet.
Mark references my scooter. I ride it around in-between stints in the nine-year-old Ford Fusion that my daughter left behind when she went to college. Either way, I only live 2.9 miles from the WJOB studios at the Purdue Commercialization Center. Why would I possibly waste a bunch of money on a status mobile when I could use that money to buy more radio and streaming equipment? Come on, people, think.
The worlds' falling apart
Bob called in this morning on the four hour and 38 minute radio show. We were talking about the fiasco at the Bishop Noll vs. Andrean game. The three or four of you - Carole Terry, Mark Fetzko and then you other two - you know what fiasco I'm talking about. Andrean's cheering section chanted "Build the Wall, Build the Wall" while holding up a Donald Trump Fathead and an "ESPN Deportes" sign? Bishop Noll chanted "You are racist, you are racist." And then when the Andrean people pointed to a black student in their cheering section, Bishop Noll chanted back - "You're a token. You're a token."
This scene actually shows a burst of comedic talent. It's edgy, disrespectful, and makes you smirk. But it can also be considered racist. Bishop Noll is mostly Hispanic. Andrean is mostly white. Next thing you know it's a national story about racism between two Catholic high schools in the Calumet Region. Father Pfleger facebooked about it. The story made USA Today and the Drudge report. Big time.
Big time, big time
holier than thou.
I'd buy a German Shepherd,
but not a freakin' cow.
Caller Bob called in and went on a rant - "Come on, people, are we really that bored that it's come down to this? That with everything going on, the only thing we can talk about is what a cheering section chanted at a high school basketball game? Come on, people."
Bob has a kid at Noll. He was kinda pissed, so in the spirit of "pissed sells," I let him ramble for a while. That shut people up for a while and about the Andrean and Bishop Noll fiasco. You tell me, the two of you plus Carole Terry and Mark Fetzko - was it racist on the part of Andrean?
Or is Bob right - come on, people? There's some truth to both lines of thinking. What bothers me the most about this, and its accompanying rough topic - the saga following the Griffith and Hammond basket brawl from more than a year ago - is that we should be talking about all of the great games coming up this week. Tonight, it should be a great matchup between upstart Lowell, which has never won the East Chicago sectional, and Lake Central, one of the biggest schools in Indiana. Lake Central has won the sectional a bunch of times, even going down to the state finals before. Should be good. Should be what we're talking about.
All this negative talk,
Has to go, has to go.
There, I got it off my chest. I clear this week out so I can exhaust myself doing four hour shows in the morning, running the station all day, and then announcing games all evening... for the whole week. Often I pick up a cold. I'm hoping that by taking Monday off this year that I can avoid the sniffles. But then again it doesn't help that every year I go out drinking at least twice if not five times during this week. I already got one down from the wake of Dennis Koliboski yesterday at Goodfellas in EC. Tomorrow, I'm set to meet Mike Golumbeck and Jared Tauber at WJOB sponsor El Taco Real in Hammond beforehand. I might not drink because I have two games to announce... but there's always after.
Jared Tauber, by the way, is the attorney for Griffith in the case with the IHSAA. It seems that the IHSAA isn't stopping in its efforts to strip Griffith of its state runner-up title from last year. Their attorney Bob Baker is still charging hard at the kids from the Griffith team... and by extension, the Hammond players... in court. We talk about that on the air sometimes. I wish we didn't have to anymore. I get so emotional about high school basketball that I'm getting even more people pissed off than usual.
If you don't like it
That should be enough for right now. If you get a chance, listen to Bob's call in "Podcasts" on this site. You don't have to. As a matter of fact, I say it in jest knowing that if you're reading "My American, Radio Life," then you're probably a little bit lazy anyhows... otherwise you'd take the time to find something meaningful to read.