RICK: Hey, it’s “Rick and Mike and Anthony Talk Sports on the Radio.”

MIKE: Mike here. Wow, Rick. Fifteen years we’ve been doing this.

ANTHONY: Two years.

MIKE: You’ve been doing it two, we’ve been doing it fifteen.

ANTHONY: It just feels like fifteen. (Ding sound effect.) They’re having some fun in the booth.

MIKE: Fifteen years, and we’ve never had a day without sports to talk about.

RICK: Last one was 1994, with the baseball strike. Not your usual baseball strike.

ANTHONY: Three strikes, you’re out. (Ding.) Okay, knock it off.

RICK: So we’re “Rick and Mike and Anthony Talk Sports on the Radio.” And that means — you know where I’m going with this, Mike — we usually talk sports, on the radio.

MIKE: But today there’s no sports.

RICK: Today there is no sports. Because of the coronavirus.

MIKE: Covid-19.

(Sproing sound effect.)

RICK: No sports. But we have to talk about something.

MIKE: That’s right, Rick.

ANTHONY: That’s right, Mike.

RICK: I mean there will be sports in the future. But right now there isn’t sports. If we were to go to the baseball stadium right now, there would be no peanuts, no Cracker Jacks, no hot dogs. Not one hot dog! And more than that, Mike, it would be empty. No runners on first, on second or on third.

MIKE: Which I, for one, think is bad.

ANTHONY: No joy in Mudville, Rick.

RICK: I feel you. I wish they were playing baseball. Don’t need the crowd, but I wish they were playing the game.

MIKE: Me, too.

RICK: Or March Madness.

MIKE: Absolutely.

ANTHONY: Or the PGA tour.

MIKE: I’m less interested in the PGA tour, Tony, but I take your point.

ANTHONY: I wish there were sports instead of not sports.

(Long pause.)

ANTHONY: We could take callers.

MIKE: Nah. We can fill the time. There’s other stuff to life than sports.

RICK: I own a leather recliner.

MIKE: I’m married.

RICK: Are you, Mike? Good for you.

MIKE: Been married as long as I’ve been on the show, Rick.

RICK: That’s good, Mike. Who are you married to?

MIKE: To my wife. You were in my wedding.

RICK: Ah, yeah, listen, you know I don’t like to get into this stuff on air.

(Long pause.)

RICK: My marriage failed.

ANTHONY: Let’s take callers.

CALLER: This is Tim in Waterville. What happened with you and your wife, Rick?

RICK: (Heavy sigh.) I’ll tell you what happened. You can blame her, or you can blame external factors, but the problem, the No. 1 problem, was myself.

MIKE: Rick, I have to disagree with you. The problem was external factors. It was, ah, what’s his name?

ANTHONY: Fanucci! Stan Fanucci. 5’11″. Built like a linebacker. Blue eyes, exactly the color of a Marlins jersey.

MIKE: That’s right, Yvonne’s ceramics teacher.

RICK: It wasn’t external factors. Stan Fanucci couldn’t have disrupted my marriage if the fundamentals had been there. In a marriage, you need to function as a team. You need, No. 1, communication, No. 2, respect, No. 3, mutual respect, No. 4, honesty, No. 5, space. We had none of these things. A man who puts up so many walls and defenses around himself because he is afraid of intimacy and vulnerability, who fundamentally, on a deep level, is intimidated by smart women, because he has so little confidence in himself that he feels deep down that any woman he would be able to see as an equal would know that he was an inferior man, a small man — that man is not going to be in a successful marriage, Fanucci or no Fanucci.

ANTHONY: I think it was Stan. I think what you’re saying is true, but if Stan had not been in the picture, the outcome would have been different, Rick.

CALLER: Dan in Waterburg. I want to talk about the Orioles’ pitching lineup. I have an idea about it.

RICK: I have an idea about you, Dan. It’s more of a question: Who hurt you? Ah, ah, let me finish. Who made you call in to this show when we don’t have sports and we’re having an intimate conversation, a real conversation, to ask a dumb, pardon me, a dumb-butt question about the Orioles. Something is deeply the matter with you, Dan in Waterburg, and you’re afraid to face it. Name one person in your life with whom you have real intimacy. Name one.

CALLER: (Beginning to sob.) Ed Kranepool.

RICK: Do you know Ed Kranepool? Ed Kranepool was a Met. Are you saying to me — no, let me finish! Be a gentleman —

ANTHONY: He hung up.

RICK: I got a question from the booth. Question: Is Mike a good father (ding sound effect) or a bad father (sproing sound effect)?

ANTHONY: Mike’s a good father.

MIKE: Name one thing I have done as a father that was good. Name one.

RICK: You —

MIKE: Name one.

ANTHONY: Tony wants to say that you are there for your kids. You go to their sports games. I’ve seen you at Wayne’s games.

MIKE: Wayne didn’t want to do sports. Wayne should be an artist. Wayne is no good at baseball. But he knew that sports were the only way to relate to me, his father. Just like my father did with me. I crushed something beautiful in that boy’s spirit and I regret it every day. Every day! I don’t understand one thing about that boy. When it comes to him I am like a dog staring at a football. I don’t understand that it’s not just a ball like other balls. I don’t understand that it is a special ball to be treated with reverence. I think, that’s just some ball. I don’t see the shape of my son. I don’t see the colors of my son.

RICK: Ah, we have a call.

CALLER: Ben in Waterston. Who hurt you?

RICK: Good question, Ben. I know exactly who hurt me. No. 5, my father. No. 4, my family as a broader unit. No. 3, society. No. 2, Dave Cranshaw, in the eighth grade. No. 1, myself.

CALLER: Thanks, Rick. Love your show.

RICK: You’re not capable of love, just as I am not capable of love.

ANTHONY: I view Rick and Mike as surrogate father figures who will perhaps approve of me if I can just know enough about sports.

MIKE: That dynamic of the show had entirely passed me by, although you have been on the air with us for two years.

RICK: I wish I knew a way of being close to anyone.

MIKE: We’ve got Dave on the line from Watertown! Dave, you’re on the air.

CALLER: Rick! It’s Dave here. Dave Cranshaw. I just want to say I’m sorry.

(Ding sound effect.)

RICK: I’m sorry, too, Dave. It was a long time ago.

CALLER: (A long sigh.) Masculinity is a prison.

RICK: Amen to that, Dave. (Sproing sound effect.) Amen to that.

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