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Late Night Sports Radio

Everyone’s Relative

Everyone’s Relative
Credit: Thomas Hawk

9:27 p.m. Driving the back roads from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where the Bulls beat the Gwinnett Braves 4-0 behind a masterful performance by ace prospect pitcher Matt Moore, to our home 25 miles away, I’m listening to local sports radio 99.9 FM.

The UNC Tar Heels have fired football coach Butch Davis and the airwaves are lit up.

11:57 p.m. I’m sitting in my home office listening to WFAN out of New York City. The brilliant Steve Somers is hosting. For much of two decades Somers was the overnight host on WFAN, a job now held by Tony Paige. He now handles more reasonable nighttime hours. His soft-spoken, irreverent comedy sets the perfect nocturnal tone, a subtle counter to the obsessive callers.

Joe from Staten Island: “I can’t believe that the Giants might bring back Plaxico Burress. What are they thinking? He and Coughlin don’t mix.”

Somers: “From prison back to the New York football Giants is a seamless transition.”

Richie from Queens: “Steve, Phil Hughes has a dead arm. He can’t get the job done.”

Somers: “He only gave up two runs in six innings today.”

Nobody in New York cares about Butch Davis and UNC. In two hours of listening the topic never comes up. Meanwhile, UNC has a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. and the local talk shows will crank up at 6 a.m. with nonstop discussion of the Davis firing.

Why aren’t there more African American callers on WFAN? By a margin of 10-to-one there are more African American callers on the local station in Raleigh. 12:16 a.m.

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