Bernstein: A 20th-Anniversary Letter To The Listener
Sports Fan Insider
By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Thanks, dumbass.
No, seriously. Thanks.
You know me well enough to understand that I’m not exactly the sentimental type, so indulge me while I take my turn in acknowledging the 20th anniversary of WSCR Radio, promising that I won’t pander. I’ll leave the obsequiousness to others.
The absurdist nihilism of Boers and Bernstein is in its thirteenth year. We are the city’s longest-ever-running “sports” talk show, and one of the longest-running shows of any kind. And we know we couldn’t do it without you, the mouth-breathing idiot.
Our peculiar brand of radio sadomasochism requires victims, and the athletes and coaches can only supply so much fodder. We abuse each other within the studio, too, of course, but that’s not as entertaining as when you call in, Mr. Guy Who Thinks Some Awful Cubs Minor-leaguer is Good, and you, Guy Who Doesn’t Know He’s on the Air.
Thanks for every insistence that “nobody’s mentioned Angelo!” and every convoluted conspiracy theory that explains a game’s outcome by describing a nefarious cabal of referees, league officials, FOX-TV, the Elders of Zion, Quebecois Separatists, the cast of “Saved by the Bell” and Hillary Clinton.
Thanks, Angry White Hockey Fan. We would be adrift without you clamoring for more hockey talk, and then insisting we stop immediately, due to our utter lack of understanding of your dear game. And while I may not appreciate every nuance of the ancient Canadian code of punching people to rack up invisible points on an imaginary scoreboard, that’s only because I’m gay. Or so you always remind me.
We love you, Bears Meatball. Thanks for always being there for us. You wait on hold for an hour, only for the chance to say “I’ve been a season-ticket holder since 1956, and I think they need to use more fake punts.” You don’t like Lovie Smith because he doesn’t yell and scream, speaks with a drawl, and isn’t Mike Ditka. You want the Bears to run more, you think the McCaskeys are cheap, you refuse to believe Brian Urlacher could possibly be better than Dick Butkus, and you have a regrettable mustache.
We can’t forget you, the Cubs/Sox fan who can only define his team and his fandom in some relation to the other. The fact that the teams are entirely separate franchises in different leagues never impedes your dogged efforts to bring your insipid, workplace bickering to us all.
Oh, and you, the completely uninformed NBA caller, who got caught up in the party of the Jordan era, but never bothered to learn even the simplest thing about the sport. Somebody has to compare Tyrus Thomas to James Worthy, and insist that giving up Joakim Noah for Dwight Howard is a terrible idea, so thanks for having that covered.
And a big note of appreciation to you, the genuinely crazy person with a phone. We can always count on you to tell us about your horrible physical ailments, how the liberals are taking away your freedoms, and how whatever that guy just did to get thrown in jail is actually something you do all the time. We can’t quit you.
Now that the show has branched into this column, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you for consuming it, and wasting your workday in petty comment battles that lead nowhere. Thanks to you included in the subsets already listed, and those in special, new categories.
Thanks for being the reader who gets angry merely about the subject of the column, let alone the opinion expressed. I’m not sure what the point of that is, but it’s gratifying to get such an easy reaction. Thanks for sending me tweets that say you read what I wrote and I suck. All that matters is that you read it, and that’s nice to know.
So The Score moves into its third decade, and the Boers and Bernstein show smolders forward, tilting at windmills. Here’s to many more years of whatever this is that we’re doing together. Know that you are a big, important part of it.
Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of ‚ÄúBoers and Bernstein‚Äù since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.