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MOORE ON MAUMELLE | Sports talk can descend into jibber jabber

If you’re into sports talk, you can suffer from analysis paralysis if you listen too much.

In the wake of the A & M moral victory that “proved” by many accounts, that we are getting better every week, the sports talk shows continue their over-analysis of the big game, well, every game. But the Florida game revealed we ain’t there yet. But the announcer said it’s “ a new era in Razorback ball football. Hmmm.

I have to admit, I listen to quite a bit of sports talk radio. When I starting to think about it, we have an incredible amount of sports talk programming in Central Arkansas. Maybe too much?

Here’s my rundown on the different talk shows, which focus primarily on Hog sports. I have said before that Bo Mattingly’s show on FM 93.3 from 2 to 7 p.m. is the best local thing going. He has the best analysis and guests. But goodness gracious, it’s a five-hour show!

Another pretty smart analyst is Bruce James, a former Razorback who appears on the morning show on FM 103.7 one day a week (not listed on the website). When the other guys don’t talk over him, he has pretty good insights into what’s going on with the team and with football in general. It just seems difficult to get Tommy to stop talking over his guests and keeping the focus on himself.

“The Zone” follows their show with Justin Acri and various guest co-hosts such as Arkansas Traveler play-by-play guy, Phil Elson, and ex-professional golfer Christina Lecuyer. Justin does a good job of keeping the show moving and covering a lot of topics, not just Hog ball.

There is also former Hog quarterback, Clint Stoerner, and Hog round baller, Pat Bradley, occupying the 6-9 a.m. slot at FM 93.3. I find the show disjointed and somewhat of a train wreck. A guy from Boston and a guy from Texas doing a sports show in Arkansas. Just doesn’t work for me. They are followed by TV guy Wess Moore and Michael Smith, former Hog running back, from 11-2. They run a pretty good show and have decent guests.

Another great sports talk show is the Dan Patrick Show on AM 920 from 8-11 a.m. Granted, they spend a lot of time on professional sports, which is not my thing, but Patrick is a great interviewer and analyst in his own rite. KARN also has the Jim Rome show and then Grant Merrill during afternoon drive time. KARN called itself the “sports animal” when they changed to an all-sports format a couple of years ago. They seemed to have given up on being a radio station running out of date radio spots and still listing Shawn and Wally as the afternoon hosts. They are both gone.

All of these shows have regular callers and some of the callers call all of the shows. Listen regularly enough and you’ll hear callers with handles LSU fan “Tiger Bait” and “Michael from Stuttgart” and “Gentle Ben.”

Yet another show featuring a former Hog is “Overtime,” featuring former quarterback Matt Jones along with Trey Schapp on FM 103.7 from 1 to 4 p.m. Not a bad show and Matt has certainly improved since he started.

Only on once at week at 7-9 p.m. on Monday is Weekly Fried with Rex Nelson and Blake Eddins. They tend to focus on sports but do delve into food and politics. Rex is a long-time journalist who does so many things I can’t list them in one column. Blake is yet another former Hog round baller. Their show is usually fun to listen to and approaches of all of their topics from a less than serious perspective.

Those are the shows that I have checked out. But there are more. There is a pre-game Hog show for about three hours, the post-game show for about three or four hours. You can listen to high school scoreboards on both FM103.7 and AM 920 each Friday night. Or tune in on Friday afternoons on FM 103.7 around 4 or 5 p.m. to hear high school football savant Barry Grooms of Hooten’s Arkansas Football give his analysis and predictions. The guy seems to literally know every high school player in the state by position, going back to last year and the year before.

You can also listen to Rex call the Ouachita games on FM 96.5, the ultra-conservative cousin of FM 93.3. Arkansas State games are also on FMF 96.5 and are hard to listen to because of the amateurs they have working the games. Justin Acri and Steve Sullivan do a nice job calling the UCA games on FM. 106.7.

Then you have the coaches shows for Bret Bielema, Arkansas; Clint Conque, UCA and Arkansas State’s Bryan Harsin.

So, if my rough calculations are correct, the Central Arkansas airwaves devote over 500 hours a week to sports talk, sports related shows and game broadcasts. So, if you’re a sports fan, you can get all you want and then some.

Go Hogs, Hornets, Bears, Red Wolves and Redbugs.

See you on the Boulevard.

Neal Moore is COE (chief of everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years and is native of Fordyce, also home of Bear Bryant. Contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, @kneelmore.

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