Awful Update: They're baaaaaaaack.
If you follow the BFTB Twitter account, which is typically run by me but occasionally run by creanium, you're familiar with my stance on The Scott & BR Show. I've kept myself from writing about it on the actual site because of my (and Steve's) relationship with 1090AM's biggest competitor, XTRA 1360AM. However, with about 7 months remaining before we find out if XTRA even wants me back on the air, it's time to air my grievances.
Let me start off by saying I have almost no issue with Billy Ray Smith. He's a little too close with the San Diego Chargers' PR staff and therefore he toes their company line a little more than I'd like from a radio personality, but for the most part I think he plays the part of the color guy/personality on the show very well. Also, everyone I know that has ever had a conversation with BR says that he's one of the smartest and generous people you'd ever want to meet. He could also knock my teeth into my throat without really thinking about it too hard.
On the other hand, Scott Kaplan (who, to be fair, I've heard very little about off-air) is the bane of my existence. He is an uneducated sports fan that is also completely nuts. He's also, not-so-secretly, a raving New Orleans Saints fan (I think this has something to do with a friendship with Drew Brees). All he wants to talk about, every day, is about how the Chargers should be more like the Saints. I'm sick of it.
I have a 10 minute drive from my home to my office. During those 10 minutes, I usually start listening to Dan Patrick on XTRA and turn over to Scott & BR when Patrick goes to commercial or is talking about something I don't particularly care about (like college basketball). Every day, Scott Kaplan makes me regret this decision.
First of all, you have to understand the following
- Scott really, truly hates A.J. Smith. You know that guy in your office or your friend that never stops bitching about how Smith screwed up the situations with Brees, Michael Turner, Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill, LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles? Kaplan is that guy multiplied by 5. He has full on "conversations" with Smith where he plays sound clips the station has of Smith while asking him why he screwed up those situations and mocks him for his recent draft history. Seriously.
- Scott has a massive ego. You will often hear him say something and then act as if the Chargers will immediately respond or change the way they do things. Scott Kaplan thinks the Chargers listen to his every word with bated breath. It's madness.
You would think, since I listen to this show for roughly 7 minutes each day, that I would only occasionally hear Kaplan say something stupid. This is not the case. Either I'm incredibly lucky, or the nonsense spews forth from Scott's lips nonstop.
On the Monday that the Chargers were set to play the Jaguars in front of a nationally-televised audience, Kaplan told a Jaguars beat writer that he couldn't name a single defensive player on Jacksonville's team. You could hear the guy on the other end of the line's shock. This is the only local sports radio morning show in San Diego and the guy can't name a single defensive player on the team the Chargers are playing that day? What kind of prep work does this guy do? He admitted to being too wrapped up in "Tebowmania" to care. WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK.
Before the season started, Scott & BR were interviewing Jacques Cesaire. When Cesaire casually mentioned that he was a free agent, and not under contract with any team, Scott Kaplan stopped him and exclaimed "Wait, you're a free agent?!?" Statements like this make me wonder what Scott does with the 20 hours per day that he's not on air, because it certainly isn't research to make sure that he's smarter than any other Joe Schmoe Chargers fan walking down the street.
A Bigger Ego Than A.J. Smith's (and Personal Grudges)
The day after it was announced that Norv Turner and A.J. Smith were returning for 2012, Kaplan was on the air saying that the team should consult with him on moves like this. If he were in charge, he said, Darren Sproles would still be in San Diego (ZOMG! How is Kaplan not the GM of an NFL franchise right this second?!?). And Norv Turner would've been given more power before the 2011 season, because Smith would've been fired. Obviously, every issue the team has is a direct result of A.J. Smith and his giant ego. A.J. is the one ruining this franchise, the very same franchise that he built.
Kaplan hates Ryan Mathews, who is a pansy that fumbles too much. He really dislikes Kevin Acee — who has a contract with 1090AM and occasionally hosts The Darren Smith Show — because he is apparently A.J. Smith's best friend. Don't get him started on Shaun Phillips, either. In Scott's perfect world, Drew Brees — a real leader that the Chargers don't have — is still the QB of the Chargers and is throwing TDs to Jimmy Graham while being coached by Sean Payton. Also, the media is given free handjobs in the press box at halftime by Hooters girls and the collective media opinion works as acting General Manager for the team rather than a single, skilled person.
We Deserve Better
I'm really sick of this. San Diego deserves better. San Diego deserves someone who cares about their sports teams enough to actually follow them, learn about them and ask the questions that matter when a good guest is booked on their show. Do I really want to know Jacob Hester's opinion of Tim Tebow? No, I don't.
Things are probably not going to change for a long time. With no other options for local sports radio in the morning, most Chargers and Padres fans are tuning in to this garbage daily and then dealing with the headache from smashing their head into their steering wheel later on. That means that the people that make the decisions that need to be made are looking at the ratings and thinking "Wow, this Kaplan guy is great!"
Let me tell you something: He's not great. I spent 5 years living in Philadelphia, home of the shitty morning radio show, including one where the Billy Ray Smith role was played by Glenn Foley doing a Pauly Shore impersonation. However, every show there involved idiots that at the very least knew more about the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and Phillies than the normal, every day fan. Did they complain about them? When it called for it, but they didn't openly hold personal grudges or think that their opinion actually mattered to the team. That's both crazy and unprofessional, not to mention terrible radio.
Consider this my plea to XTRA Sports, since they're the only other game in town, to do their own morning radio show. I love Dan Patrick, I do. However, in a week like this one, I don't want 2 minutes on Norv Turner. I want hours, and I want them from someone who is going to say something besides "Go get Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden or Jeff Fisher!" There is plenty of talent at 1360 that could pull that off, including our very own Steve Adler (who can be grating, but is definitely studious), and, based off of the number of tweets I get back every time I take a shot at The Scott & BR Show, people are desperate for an alternative.
Let's take back the airwaves from the idiots. Let us feed the trolls, but not become the trolls. Let's strap Scott Kaplan to a rocket and send him straight to New Orleans. Please. Before I start mowing people down with my car.