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i choked on national public radio April 3, 2006

Posted by d.w. in sports.
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last wednesday while greg and i were driving to salt lake, talk of the nation on npr did a piece on fantasy baseball. the guy they were interviewing (i forget who it was and researching it seems like more work than i’m willing to put in — even slightly more work than this parenthetical comment — i.e. it would probably take upwards of 45 seconds to find his name) said that you’re supposed to come up with clever and funny team names like “the whimpering cats” for your fantasy team. i don’t see how that’s funny or clever — although i am a proponent of names that undermine the masculinity of fantasy sports and “the whimpering cats” certainly does satisfy that condition. too many times you see people with names like “i’m going to kick your ass” or “look how big my biceps are.” sometimes there’s even clever names like “‘roid rage” that still allude to machoism. anyways, i decided to call in and tell them a few names that my brother and i have used in the past.

i should interrupt (quickly, i hope) the story to mention that coming up with teame names is probably our (as in brian’s and my) favorite part of playing fantasy sports. we try to change our team names more than we shake up our rosters. in our fantasy football league they cracked down last year and we had to promise to pick one name for the entire year, and what a joke of a year it was.

so i called in to npr and there was a girl screening my telephone call. reproduced here is our phone conversation.

girl: npr. what’s your comment?
me: i wanted-
girl: will you turn off your radio please?
me: oh, sorry. i wanted to tell you my three favorite fantasy team names. they said you’re supposed to pick funny and clever ones and i thought i’d tell them mine.
girl: okay. what’s your name?
me: virginia woolfenste-
girl: no, what’s your name?
me: oh. it’s aaron.
girl: where are you calling from?
me: salt lake city.
girl: okay, now you can tell me your team names.
me: first – virginia woolfenstein 3d; second – the my little ponies; third – jesuszilla, son of godzilla

she laughed at the names and mentioned that she thought they were very clever.

girl: when they say aaron from salt lake city, that’s your cue.

they finally put me on, and i was more nervous than i’ve ever been in my life (except that time when i shook hands with gza).

you can listen to it here .

so my choking has to do with the fact that i’m not actually playing fantasy baseball this year. i lied to neil conan. when they asked me who my star was this year, the only person i thought of was ichiro. but instead of saying he was my star, i said that someone drafted him before i could. so then neil asked who i’d picked instead and i totally blanked because i don’t know anything about baseball. the only guy i could think of was pujols. so i said pujols, which is completely ridiculous since he was probably the first pick in every single fantasy baseball league across the country. there’s no way someone would pick ichiro before pujols (except for me and my brother).

i learned a valuable lesson. if you’re going to call into a radio station, you might want to expect that they’ll ask you a question. otherwise, you might end up the laughing-stock of the entire sports-loving, npr-listening community. it’s a small community, but i can never show my face in it again.

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