Ladies and gentlemen of the newscasting profession, I regret to inform you that you may be about to lose one customer - me.
It won't easy to drive me away because I have long been a newscast addict. I am in the news business. I need to know what's going on, and radio news is the ideal way to keep in touch.
However, in recent years you have been making it more and more difficult for me to remain tuned to your broadcasts because you have been feeding me more and more sports scores at a pace that no human can follow. You fellows talk faster than I can listen, so it's obvious that if you want me to keep trying you're going to have to tell me less and tell it to me slower. You are now heaving data at me by the shovelful, as if you were Casey Jones' fireman on a night when the train is 15 minutes late and trying to make up lost time.
My distress becomes particularly acute on weekends. Once a sportscaster begins reading college football scores, the listener knows he has time to go out and get a haircut and still get back in time to hear that Midland beat Concordia, 40 to 17; Valley City nosed out Huron, 83 to 0; and, as some of the more inept announcers put it, "Slippery Rock and Hedgemore were even with both teams playing to a 13 to 11 tie." Not just one, but both, mind you.
The football list seems to be endless. By the time every college in the nation has been mentioned, the listener is in such a stupor that he is only vaguely aware that the announcer is now talking about a new sport: "Whalers 4, Stingers 3," he intones, and the groggy listener tries to shift mental gears to evaluate the significance of this new piece of intelligence.
Said to relate, the gears refuse to mesh because the announcer has by this time thrown into the gearbox an olio of Bruins, Hawks, Suns, Jazz, Bulls and Penguins - to say nothing of Pacers and Racers, Nets and Jets, and Bullets and Rockets. Several branches of football, hockey, basketball, horse racing, trotting, soccer and assorted other sports have become so intertwined that all the listener needs is the addition of the horseshoe pitching results and he'd go completely bananas.
There may be some who can listen as fast as the results are broadcast to the audience, and there may even be some who would care to make the effort. But I am not among them. I have what I consider to be a normal male interest in sports, but I cannot endure it in endless detail. So it comes down to this, ladies and gentlemen of the newscasting profession: Either you're going to begin dishing out less or I'm going to begin listening less. If you turn me off, I'll turn you off.