Why I listen to Colin Cowherd and you should too

Colin Cowherd was an acquired taste. When I listened to the show a few times it didn’t seem interesting or useful; however, thanks to ESPNU’s simulcast, I gave the show an extended viewing. Cowherd covers the important issues in the major sports. If you obsess about stats then you probably won’t appreciate Cowherd. But if you are interested in big picture issues such as leadership, attitude and perception, then Cowherd is far better than anything else on radio during the morning in Birmingham. (Cowherd is on 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on DirecTV channel 614, ESPNU. You can also listen online via an iPhone app. These are valuable alternatives to the horrible radio before Paul Finebaum’s show comes on at 2 p.m.) Here are a few reasons I like Cowherd’s show:

Here are a few reasons I like Cowherd’s show:
1. The show is smart. Colin Cowherd gets the bigger picture about sports. Most coaches are smart, but leadership/image issues are where the great coaches set themselves apart. (See Cowherd’s example: fat coaches like Weis have a tougher time recruiting than attractive coaches like Pete Carroll or Nick Saban.) You may not agree with Cowherd, but his perspective is both entertaining and interesting.

2. No stupid callers. ESPN’s Cowherd does a great job of reducing the number of idiots on the air. The worst thing about callers on WJOX (besides the fact most of them have horrible telephones) is their stupidity. For every good caller there are three or four horrible callers that repeat the worst of the message boards.

3. I don’t have to listen to WJOX. Honestly is there a bigger collection of dumbasses than WJOX’s morning lineup? The Opening Drive with Jay Barker is a train wreck. The Opening Drive is bad because of Jay Barker. Barker has actually improved since the show began; he now expresses opinions without as much equivocation. However, Barker is not a partisan—he does not defend Alabama when callers or guests attack the program. The idea behind the show was obviously to create a gridiron Crossfire with former Alabama and Auburn players filling the roles of Republican and Democratic debaters. Unfortunately while Al Del Greco delivers the partisan talking points for Auburn, Jay Barker stumbles around looking for praise from everyone—unwilling to offend anyone. That might be good for church, but it is horrible for radio.

4. No pumping Auburn. Seriously, nobody cares about Auburn outside the state, so you don’t get all the nonsense that local television and radio stations engage in trying to mollify the 20% of people who care about Auburn. Instead of hearing about Auburn’s recruiting class that is super awesome (but still won’t finish better than fifth or sixth in the conference—seriously, does anyone expect Auburn to finish above Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU?), you get opinions about things that really matter in the NFL and college football.

5. No Clay Travis. One of the many bad things on WJOX is the inclusion of Clay Travis during the Roundtable. He makes excuses for Lane Kiffin like Kevin Scarbinsky made excuses for Mike Shula. Why listen to a show that includes this douchebag guy? There are many better options.

6. Chadddd Scott is no longer around the show. Scott is notorious for his anti-Alabama ranting. He was on the Paul Finebaum show complaining about how nobody in Alabama would hire him because of his views on Alabama and its coach. Hey dumbass, Paul Finebaum has made a career in this state by attacking Alabama and Auburn coaches and fans. The issue here Mr. Scott isn’t your opinion; it is your talent. You don’t have any. Everything you say about Alabama fans is the same sort of biased drivel spewed on the Bunker or ITAT message boards—only less creative as those guys made up all those Gadsden rumors that entertained us during the summer.

The arguments against Cowherd mainly focus on his attitude about Alabama fans, and his negative comments about Nick Saban’s defection from the Dolphins. However, wrong opinions (which I believe these were) do not diminish the entertainment value of the show. When you include guests like Todd Blackledge, Beano Cook, Peter King and so many more, it is far more interesting than the Opening Drive or the Roundtable. Why waste your time on WJOX?