Lame hot takes about fake hustling and leadership on the sports talk radio don’t work anymore

Fans want opinions that make sense, not ones fabricated for controversy.

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

This week, another hot take on the New York Mets went a little overboard. It’s a weekly occurrence and while the need to acknowledge anything said on the midday show on WFAN is feeding into the circus, it’s hard not to stop and acknowledge the car crash.

Brandon Tierney and Sal Licata were paired up last summer upon the departure of Craig Carton from the station. Similar radio personalities, there was a lot of question about whether the two could work well together. Their show has evolved into a hot take mess where they contradict what they said days prior and seem to grasp at any straw of controversy they can find.

Tierney’s latest goof was calling Brandon Nimmo a “fake hustle” guy while noting it’s not a leadership quality. The ongoing debate on this show about the Mets and leadership has gotten exhausting. And if their goal is to attract listeners, it’s not going to work in 2024.

This isn’t the 1980s where people will listen to radio shows they hate

There’s a scene in the film Howard Stern’s Private Parts where they discuss the ratings. His fans listen for a certain amount of time. His haters listen for even longer. The concept of “hate listening” or since the creation of a place like YouTube, “hate watching,” is a fascinating one. We all do it. There’s a person on Twitter we’ll follow simply because their nonsense is so outrageously ridiculous you can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

It’s a little different with a midday show on the radio. There is an effort to put it on. Unless you’re driving around in the car from 10-2, you’re not going out of your way to listen to the radio unless you truly want to. Most of the time it’s background noise anyway.

The old days of fewer channels and terrestrial radio reigning supreme are long over. Our attention spans are shorter. It’s tough to attract new listeners to a dying medium. When there are millions of videos of strangers dancing poorly on TikTok to watch instead, who’d ever choose to listen to sports radio as a rookie?

These horrid hot takes on the radio that have become all too familiar on WFAN aren’t going to attract new listeners. In turn, it’s going to push many away. Incentive to listen to the radio is already shrinking. Society has more streaming services than we know what to do with. Free content in other places, including the plethora of sports-specific podcasts where the opinions are genuine and levelheaded, will win out over nonsensical spewed thoughts. Exactly who are they appealing to?

Nimmo running to first base has nothing to do with leadership. How does one even fake hustle in the first place? You either hustle or you don’t. Rosie Ruiz who cheated to win the Boston Marathon is a fake hustler. Not, Nimmo. 

There are plenty of criticisms of the Mets one could have. They don’t need to be fabricated for clicks on a website. Fans are smart. They’ll catch on. They’ve probably already stopped listening. Soon enough, they’ll have you on mute everywhere.