Following every Portland Trail Blazers game is a post-game show called “The Fifth Quarter.” Every once-in-a-while, I would get so worked up about something a caller or host said that it became an obligation to call in and right the wrong. My friends used to all hassle me the next morning about hearing 12-year-old HawkBlogger on the radio spewing off statistics that confused the hosts who likely wanted nothing more than to be lobotomized for a few hours while listening to one ridiculous call after another. Armies of people would call in, which meant hold times could be 10-30 minutes, but I waited. It was a rush each time I got on the air. Fast forward a few decades to December 15th, 2010 at around 9:03 AM. I was just landing in San Jose while Brock Huard and Mike Salk on KIRO710 were talking about little ol’ me.
How was this possible? I didn’t call in. There was no half-hour of hold time. These two handsome, brilliant, funny, radio personalities were talking about me on their own. I, of course, had no idea since I was in California at the time, but a loyal Facebook follower alerted me to the event. It was one of those moments where the 12-year-old boy resurfaces and just thinks, “that’s pretty cool.” This blog was never intended to get much notoriety, which works out well considering I probably have a few dozen readers. It’s always been about giving me an outlet to vent and analyze the Seahawks in the way that I want, when I want. Every time somebody tells me they appreciated a post I wrote, it makes my day. In the end, it’s all about connecting with other fans and creating a conversation free from influences like advertisers, team officials, editors or schedules. I appreciate Brock and Salk giving me a little leg up in meeting those goals.
In return, I want to help Salk out a little. Despite having targeted Salk in my post yesterday, I don’t dislike the guy. In fact, I am a little embarrassed by how Seattle has treated him since he’s been here. Each and every day he gets on the radio with a guy who is a local kid who played for both the Huskies and Seahawks (“played” is a stretch) and oozes positivity. Radio programs full of two hosts agreeing with each other for three hours does not work. Huard is already known, and has taken the good cop role. What’s a good co-host to do but play the bad cop? Salk pokes and prods and incites listeners by taking controversial, and often negative opinions. He tries to play it off as if it’s just part of the job, but the guy moved out here with his wife from across the country and practically gets spit on every morning. Nobody is immune to that kind of venom all the time. When talking about my blog this morning, Salk jokingly asked Huard what he would have to do in order to be a “local hero” like Huard. Here’s where I think I can help, you, Salk.
Having family in Boston and New York myself, I identify with your style more than most in the NW. People out here expect their sports radio personalities to be enmeshed with the teams they discuss. They want to feel like you are just as happy or sad as they are. These fans are also very adept at picking out posers. Much of the negative energy directed at you, and the reason your home town always comes up, is because you are not a fan of the teams you are analyzing. If you want to ever move past being treated like an outsider, you are going to have to start caring like a local. In some ways, your timing is lucky since I think your real love is baseball and the Mariners are less popular now than at any time in the last 20 years. Everyone is down on that team, which gives you a great opportunity to be the voice of optimism. Break out of your negative pigeon hole. Make people feel better through this long, wet, dark Winter instead of worse. If you can do that, this town will treat you like a king.
Take that advice, or leave it, but thanks again for baiting me into a blog post last night and giving my blog a plug on air. That was a cool moment. Oh, and tell Huard that if he wants to be mentioned in my blog, he has to actually fight his own fights on air. He may have written the original post that got you guys talking yesterday, but once you hit the airwaves, he was defending the coaches and the players. He wasn’t doing a particularly good job of it, so I decided to write my bit, but he was certainly not the antagonist. Maybe you need to buy Brock a pointed goatee he can stick on so he feels safe being negative for more than 10 seconds. Just a thought.