What It Is
Sportscasters go head-to-head in a freewheeling discussion/game dealing with the sports stories of the day.
This is, of course, the audio from the television show. Around the Horn can be viewed on ESPN, but if you’re too busy, the audio comes out as a podcast. There’s a new episode five days a week; they run twenty-two minutes or so. iTunes has the twenty most recent episodes; for more go to the website, though the archive there only goes back a couple of months further than the iTunes archive.
What About It
This is a high energy, often very funny podcast; host Tony Reali is an appealing, sharp presence and the sportswriters on the show are typically on top of their game. Reali will throw out a topic and go around the horn with each guest giving a quick summary of their feelings. This continues, with slight variations, as Reali adds and subtracts points in a fast-paced, completely arbitrary fashion. At the end of the episode, only one sportswriter is left the winner. It’s a pretty chaotic show, much more understandable in its visual format. In a purely audio format, it’s easy to lose the thread of who’s saying what in the constant wisecracking, shouting and overtalking. Reali has a mute button and he uses it for great comic effect, but it typically doesn’t help. Perhaps the best thing about the show is the fact that Reali as host/moderator/scorekeeper gets to openly call the writers on their BS. It’s incredibly satisfying to hear a sportswriter spout off some utter nonsense that even a sports novice like me can see the holes in and then hear Reali bark “Oh, come on!” or some variation on that. Of course, it’s also quite frustrating when someone spouts off some utter nonsense and Reali agrees with them. But this is the price of opinion journalism. It’s a good-natured, high-energy, funny show.
2 ½ stars.
At Midnight just isn’t quite scratching your “arbitrary point system” itch.
Avoid Like the Plague If
Hell is other people . . . five other people all talking at once.
Best Entry Point
Don’t think I’ve ever heard a particularly bad episode of this show or a particularly outstanding one. Just download the most recent one.