I believe in my friends. They’re good people. All of them. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t be friends with them. It’s that simple. Not that I’m some expert on relationships or anything. But I feel like I’m a pretty decent judge of character. And what my friends have is quality character worthy of my faith. There’s no doubt in my mind. As a result, from time to time I use my bias towards these friends of mine to sell the world on the things they represent.
Today is one of those moments I’ve chosen to be selfish about a few of my friends. You may have heard of these particular people in passing before. They are, in no particular order, Ian Furness, Jason Puckett, Josh Sabrowsky, and Ashley Ryan. They all work for Sports Radio KJR (950 on your local AM dial; 102.9 on local FM), they’re all good at what they do, and they all happen to thrive at their jobs from 1:00-3:00 p.m. each weekday. Furness is the lanky Canadian host of the show bearing his name; Puckett is the plucky, wise-cracking everyman sidekick; Josh is the easy-target/producer; and Ashley is the girl who knows sports and has boobs…or something like that.
Now before I go on, let me address the obvious question: Am I biased? Well yes, clearly I am. That would be the natural inclination, of course. These people are good to me, and hopefully I am just as good to them. But you know what, whether I’m biased or not is irrelevant. Because you cannot deny when something is both efficient and effective. And that is precisely what the midday show on KJR happens to be.
Each day, the Furness Show takes the air for a mere two hours and provides relief. Relief. That’s it. It’s a breath of fresh air. To those of you who listen to sports talk radio on a regular basis, you know how seriously hosts — and, in turn, callers and guests — can often take themselves. It’s kind of a joke. Here we are talking about adults playing games and instead of having fun (which is what sports are all about, keep in mind), we’re more apt to turn this into something along the lines of a nuclear treaty discussion.
Furness, Puck, Ashley and Josh are different. They genuinely enjoy working with each other. They have an even-keel perspective on the world around them — something that many sports radio hosts lack. They’re hilarious. They aren’t stupid. They’re not pompous. They aren’t ignorant. And they aren’t willing to roll over and die for the listener. Which means they actually stand for something that matters to the people.
Here’s the thing about talk radio: the goal is to rile the masses. How does one do this? By capitalizing on irrationality and helping the unintelligent listeners get emotional about inane bullshit. It’s the type of thing that I’m sure has turned many of you off from talk radio entirely. Frankly, I don’t blame you. But if you’re in that group and seemingly couldn’t care less about broadcast banter, you might find as we continue here that the Furness Show is actually worth caring about.
By not succumbing to the listener, Furness and company are doing you, the astute sports fan, a favor. They’re bringing you discussion you can tolerate, in a format that makes sense and is enjoyable to listen to. They know what they’re talking about, they debate interesting topics, and they employ a format that allows them to display their affinity for one another. It’s absolute aural pleasure. Aural sex, one might go so far as to say. And who doesn’t like aural sex?
For those of you who do know a thing or two about sports radio, you may be avoiding the Furness Show because it’s a “Coug show,” meaning it’s for Washington State Cougar fans, by Washington State Cougar fans. Fact is, the Furness Show is as much a “Coug show” as this website is a traditional sports blog.
Sure, Furness and Puckett are Washington State University alums. But they’re far from the stereotype of the college homer. They’re objective and they have a grasp on reality, two things we want in all individuals, let alone radio hosts. And if there’s any doubt about that, just look to the two people who comprise their quartet: Ashley is a USC alum and Husky fan, while Josh is both a Washington grad and card-carrying purple-and-gold diehard.
On top of all that, there’s a basic understanding among many of the local media members that Furness and Puckett are GGTKs — or as Gem Diamond explained in the class ring episode of Saved By the Bell, Good Guys To Know.
Take one look at Twitter. No other sports radio hosts in this city interact with their fellow media members the way these two do. It’s like there’s a fraternity they happen to head up. It doesn’t matter if you write for The Seattle Times, The Tacoma News-Tribune, The Everett Herald, work on one of the TV news stations, or happen to lend your voice to the airwaves just as they do; Furness and Puckett get along with you regardless. They just do. And that’s a rarity in the media business. It doesn’t happen often. Not to this magnitude, at least.
To a fan, what that means is that the people you trust to bring you the news, trust these guys. Ipso facto, you should trust these guys, as well. And yes, I just like saying “ipso facto.”
There has to be a point here, I suppose, and there is. I’m lobbying for the Furness Show to get more airtime. Two hours isn’t enough. In the world of radio, two hours is miniscule. These guys deserve better. They’re exceptional at what they do and they have a passion for doing it. You have to respect that, whether you like them or not. Most people can’t say that about their jobs. Most people go to work and languish for eight hours. But for two freakin’ hours a day, these four individuals work as a unit to talk about sports in a unique way that makes sense to a normal human being. I appreciate that. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this article and enjoy this website, you might appreciate that, too.
So I’m imploring you to do what you can to make this cause worthwhile, to help them get more airtime. Listen to their show. Follow them on Twitter: @IanKJR, @JasonPuckettKJR, @AshleyLolaRyan, and @KarateEmergency. Write letters to the station, if you feel so compelled. Just support these guys. Not because they need the support necessarily. But because it never hurts to go out of your way for good people. And that’s really what they are: good people. Good people who happen to have a product that you may find interesting.