There is a lowest common denominator that people involved in sports radio marketing try to achieve in their advertising. They realize that the average guy who listens to sports radio probably needs ads for DUI attorneys, no-brainer jewelry stores (to buy the wife's silence during the playoffs) and, naturally, light beer.
And if you think the ads are nuts, try navigating a sports radio website with its ADD-inspired design, random pictures of scantily-clad babes and funny videos of people falling down.
KILT, 610 AM, is no stranger to programming for "regular guys." They have re-occurring segments like "Man Card Court," where the hosts judge stories sent in by listeners as to whether guys should have their man cards revoked, whatever those are, for activities that might seem less than manly.
Hair Balls remembers a few years ago when 610 tried to go all "guy talk" like other stations throughout the country and talk about movies, hot chicks, cars and barbeque. It lasted about a week as confused callers continually asked things like, "Um, yeah, can I still talk about the Astros?"
The most annoying of these attempts at humor and/or titillation is Laura Reynolds and her "Sexy Traffic." Reynolds has been a mainstay on Houston radio as the traffic and weather reporter for the KILT family of stations since 2001. She engages the hosts with some regularity and manages to hold her own with wisecracks and the occasional flirtation, but any ounce of sexiness she might have had on the air prior to starting this routine, disappeared quickly thereafter.
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The segment has Reynolds moaning and groaning her way through a traffic report emphasizing the "wood" in Woodway and discussing "rear-enders." Get it? GET IT???
It's the kind of lame, wink-wink-nudge-nudge humor that would have been perfect for Stephens and Pruett had they thought of it first and if it were actually funny, which is the problem. Listening to it, it's hard to decide whether they were going for funny or sexy. The truth is, we're more likely to cringe than get a boner, which is why we wonder if afternoon co-host Rich Lord is serious when he drools all over the microphone introducing the segment every Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Fortunately, 610 gets it right with other segments like the Shiner Whiner Line where callers can leave voicemail messages complaining about whatever they like and Audio Oddities featuring some of the weirdest play-by-play calls of the the previous week. It makes up for the train wreck that is Sexy Traffic.
While it may seem strange, Hair Balls prefers its sports radio stations to spend their time, you know, discussing sports. There's nothing wrong with a little silly banter or a funny story from outside the world of sports, but comedians, these guys (and gals) ain't. It reminds us of how everyone thought Lanny Griffith was hilarious when he did traffic for Stevens and Pruett. Remember that? Yeah, those were the days.