I hope everyone enjoyed a happy, healthy, and most importantly, SAFE Fourth of July. No JPP’s, if you know what I mean.

It’s the “dog days” when it comes to sports. Free Agency in hockey and hoops starts to settle. No Joey Chestnut yesterday (Vegas Mack is still, honestly bothered by that), and baseball is “all we have.” That’s not true. 

We have the WNBA, the Olympics soon, and it’s crunch time on the PGA Tour. There’s plenty to talk about. Certain “broadcasters” just choose to be lazy. Honestly, it’s disrespectful to the business. It’s disrespectful to sports in general.

Before you keyboard warriors fire away from mom’s basement, hear me out. A backstory if you will. 

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. Yeah, talk about spoiled. Out of the Golden Gate I came and Super Bowls were the game. The best part of where I grew up and when, were the elite broadcasters throughout my childhood. My mother, before she passed, was a strong, proud, Italian woman. I had a strict bedtime. My father was a hard working dude. He ran a connection of warehouses in “Nor Cal” and… worked harder than anyone I’ve ever met. 

He had this old ass dial turning radio (don’t ask me the age of it, as I was freaking 9ish, it was… red with two dials). My dad had to work late a lot, so my mom, the Italian one, would put us to bed a lot of the time when a typical 8-9 year old should be in bed. The problem was, the Giants were in mid game, most nights at home. 

Button pushing me (shocking right?), “cracked the code” one night, realizing there was a plug on the wall behind my bed, which gave me a great idea. For context, my favorite baseball player of all time was/is; Will Clark. My mom, as sweet as The Thrills swing was, could swing a wooden spoon sweeter than Will. I was playing a dangerous game. 

I pulled my mattress away from the wall one night, box spring in place, and plugged my dad’s old ass, red radio with two dials in and found KNBR 680. I discovered the legendary voice of Hank Greenwald calling Giants games. A few pillows were conveniently placed, and I finished every game for a few seasons. I was hooked. My passion and respect for this business was lit, fueled, and has burned ever since. 

I’m sure right now you’re thinking, “What the hell does that have to do with anything?” Stay with me. 

My respect for this business and this industry has burned since that day. The legends that helped shaped my passion–Jim Rome, Dan Patrick, JT The Brick. JT was on the bay area air waves in my early teen years. My mom, unfortunately, was no longer with us by then.

I was at a friend’s house one time, around 7th grade or so. He dared me to call in to JT’s show late at night. I wasn’t scared. I did it. It was probably the worst call on sports radio history, but JT gave me a shot. I still remember my hands shaking,  but I got through it. That’s what being a sports fan is all about. 

Have a position and be passionate. We lost that somewhere.

The origin or moral of the story is this. My better half had hand surgery about a week ago. Today, we were driving to her follow-up appointment, and as I often do, I pulled up a random sports show (I like to give everyone a chance, after all, that’s what sports is all about…opportunities right?) and I was disgusted.

Five times in a block set, he was asked by his co-host a question. All five times his response, on air, was, “I don’t have an opinion on that.” Are you serious? 

Another time, he was talking very strongly about a team in the MLB, that he swore at the beginning of the year was going to “shock the world” by his words. His co-host asked, “What do they need at the deadline?” I lost my mind when he said, “I don’t know.” 

If you proclaimed them to shock the world, I would assume that you’ve watched them relatively closely. You should know, or believe you know what they need.

The sports media world is changing and evolving. That’s a good thing. At the same time, just because it’s “baseball season,” it doesn’t change. Have an opinion, have a side, welcome the debates. That’s what makes sports so great. Differentiating opinions.

Don’t be lazy. The legends before us in this business (who are still going strong are better than ever like I mentioned above), don’t “phone it in” because it’s only baseball season.

Some of you are new to us. 

Here’s my promise for those that are new to The Mike Arana Show. Myself, and my awesome crew that you see (Vegas Mack & TJ), and my crew that you don’t see, will NEVER make a video for “clicks.” I don’t ask my guys and gals to do things because it will piss people off and draw attention. That’s disrespectful to the game and the legends that paved the way for us to be here now. If we’ve got nothing to say on a topic, guess what? We’re not going to talk about it.

We will never force a narrative for no reason. We all have too much respect for this business. We are all too passionate as sports fans to do that. You will likely not agree with us at times, and that’s what is great about sports. We don’t have to agree. That’s the backbone of it all.

Tag a friend. Tell a buddy.. Keep it healthy and respectful. Let’s all be sports fans and keep our passions going. Welcome to The Mike Arana Show. We are who we say we are. We didn’t let them off the hook. That’s the damn truth.

Written by:

A Bay area transplant to the Desert Southwest, Mike spent two tours at the acclaimed Academy of Radio & TV Broadcasting. You have heard Mike throughout the valley over the years in the morning on KDUS, Evenings on KMYL, as the radio voice of the GBL Mesa Miners as well as a fill-in host on KXPS in Palm Springs.