Remember the old cartoon where a man sits behind the desk and above him is a sign that says “COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT”? Imagine an actual job where you are the complaint department. Imagine that your job is to field complaints from the Kansas City Sports Fanbases for the Royals and the Chiefs. The same fanbases who have been persecuted for decades by terrible play and terrible ownership. Would you want that job? A few men have and have lived to tell about it.
I’m referring to the post-game radio host whose job it is to field calls from fans after a game – win or lose. “The callers think the season is over after the first loss of the year,” says former post-game host for KMBZ and WHB and current midday host of The Program on 810 AM WHB, Soren Petro. “Unfortunately the Royals have backed this attitude up by making sure they are out of the race by the All Star break.” Petro hosted through some of the leanest years of Royals baseball and had to deal with fans angry and elated after wins and losses.
Another man who has escaped the ire of the angry, drunk fan is Robert Ford. He did pre and post for 610 Sports for the past several years until he was called up to the big leagues of radio and is now the play-by-play voice of the Houston Astros. “I can tell when the season is over by the lack of callers. Good luck getting phone calls on a Sunday in September when the game isn’t on television and everyone’s paying attention to the Chiefs. During my time in KC, the Royals stopped being relevant once Chiefs training camp started.”
And then you have the drunk callers. Those fellas (or ladies) who’ve been in the bag since the third inning and who are professional coaches since they were cut by their high school freshman team. Ford recalls a couple of his favorites, “ Like the guy who said that the Royals haven’t been truthful with their fans ever since they hid the fact that George Brett had hemorrhoids. Or the guy who had his wife/girlfriend call in and, as soon as I took the call, took the phone away from her to tell me how lousy I was.”
So why even have the post-game show? One reason. Money. “The pre/post game shows are the only place the local station gets to sell commercials,” Petro explains. “They might get one or two 30 second spots in the game, but that’s it. So the only way to make back the money the station is paying to the Royals is to sell spots on the pre/post-game shows.” It’s also a great way to get known as is evidenced by Robert Ford’s next job in baseball with the Astros.
“I love doing post-game. It’s fun,” says Danny Parkins, host of The Drive on 610 Sports. “The callers are hilarious.” Robert Ford also made his own fun, “I remember a guy who called in every night as either Don or Jack; I never took Don/Jack’s calls because he was horrible on the air, but he would stay on hold the entire show.”
So, the next time you’re driving back from a Chiefs or Royals game, listen into the post-game show on the radio, call in if you’d like – but remember, these guys are just hard workin’ fellas who have no affiliation with the clubs they report on. And if they keep you on hold for two hours, change your name from Don or Jack.