Monday, April 25, 2011

Most irritating sports radio trend #61 (not ranked in terms of irritation)

The "Straw man False Negative"

Let me explain to you what I mean. Sports talk radio host wants to make a BOLD statement, which often isn't really all that bold, so he tries to enhance the boldness of said statement by letting people know before saying it that either absolutely nobody out there listening agrees with what he is about to say (without naming names of course of anybody who actually has this opinion) or noting how crazy you, the listener may think he is after hearing this wild statement.

I find this happens more on single person radio shows rather than two or three person shows, as with multiple people there's always someone to comment on your BOLD statements and act as a sounding board and disagree or agree as needed. With single person shows, the hosts seem to feel as if there's a need to create a dialogue with the listeners, and thus these hosts foist opinions onto the listeners without asking and pat themselves on the back for disagreeing with the opinions they gave to the listeners.

Colin Cowherd is the king of this maneuver - I've heard it many times from him - specifically, today, he was talking about the Lakers and he talked about how Lamar Odom, as the third or so option for a multiple championship team a la James Worthy could garner serious Hall of Fame consideration. To get you ready for his percieved out-there-ness of that statement, Cowherd spent a couple of minutes before actually saying it letting the listeners know that "NOBODY is thinking this" and that they may disagree vociferously once they hear what he has to say (though I don't think he actually used the word vociferously.) Now whether you think that statement is actually a bold one or not is at least mostly beside the point.

Just say what you think, man. If it's actually bold, listeners will take it that way, and they can disagree with you when they call in, or guests can disagree with you on air. It's just unfair to set up a statement as one no one will believe, when you have no actual evidence that no one will believe it other than you saying so because it suits your purposes.

Michael Kay does this all the time as well - spend more time talking about how the next thing he says YOU will disagree with and YOU will think he's crazy than actually saying whatever he thinks.

Of course this all ends up to another good reason to simply not listen to sports radio, but then that would be no fun.

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