In June of 2006, I was doing afternoon shifts on WTPA-FM in Harrisburg. Yes, at one point, I was an FM Radio DJ. Most of the timeslots I had were late at night or overnight (Midnight-6AM)
Needless to say, I’m not an FM Radio DJ anymore. But it was a fun little stint of my life.
One afternoon (a Tuesday, I think) I came to the station about twenty minutes early to prepare for my shift. And this particular week, all that anyone could talk about was the unfortunate motorcycle accident involving Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
For the record, your honor, I must state that I am not, nor have I ever been, a football fan. (Or any major-league sport, for that matter.). It’s just not in me. Never have, probably never will. So on the day after Big Ben’s motorcycle crash, I decided to kick off my shift (at around 3PM) with a break informing the hundred-thousand-or-so listeners that I would not be discussing the motorcycle accident of Ben Roethlisberger at all during that day. My justification was three fold- 1. EVERY single other media outlet was discussing it. 2. I’m not a sports fan and 3. Well, take a listen:
Before the air had exited my mouth of the last sentence about “Big Ben”, the phone lines were jammed. I got calls threatening to KILL me. Literally. Some dude called in and said that he was going to kill me for talking so badly about “Big Ben” – the guy who won the Super Bowl. The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania sports.
“Trapper” – one of the other jocks on the station – called in to the hotline (the line assigned for inter-office communication) and also joined the “I’m gonna kick the shit out of Jersey Mike” party. You see, “Trapper” is a big motorcycle buff AND a big Steelers fan.
So shortly after the break, the program director buzzed in and advised me to offer an “apology” on air. Which you can hear here: apology
Not only that, but the following morning, I got an email advising me that I was on a two week suspension from the station. (Which didn’t really hurt, considering part-time radio jocks earn less than a clerk at Sheetz. I think my rate was around seven bucks an hour)
So the point of this post is simple: I was right, you were wrong, WTPA staff and hundreds of people who wanted me dead. The guy now has his very own “Likes Not Being Raped By Ben Roethlesberger” Facebook Page. I wonder if Trapper and the rest of the crew at WTPA “Like” that page as well?
Look, I know that sometimes I can be off base or “hit below the belt” – but I never say or type anything that I don’t stand behind 1,000%. And that goes for everything.