If you’re a die-hard sports fan, or simply want to learn more about what goes on, Akshay Guthal (Q27) and Michael Vetter (Q28) are now “on-air” to talk about the latest and greatest sports news through their own radio show, Play Ball. The newbies were recruited this semester by their good friend Dylan D’Andrea, who previously hosted the show solo. Every Tuesday at 7pm, they meet up to discuss a variety of sports and “what’s big.”
Dylan, a journalism major, created Play Ball as a way to set time aside to chat about his passion. For Akshay and Michael, the feeling was mutual. The show allows them to take a break from the chaos of the week, research current sports events, and debate over some of their favorite topics.
“We mainly do it for fun, and we’re all good friends,” Michael noted. “It’s basically just bringing the conversation that we have behind closed doors, on air.”
Despite being huge sports fans, talking over radio is definitely an adjustment from casually debating with some friends. When asked about the transition, Akshay added, “I’ve never done anything like this before with people listening to what I say. I was a little nervous.” Having a conversation through a public, live medium is a bit odd, and both Akshay and Michael mentioned some of the challenges they have faced in the past couple weeks.
For example, when it comes to a radio show, hosts always need to have something to say. There can be no silence, regardless of whether or not someone already touched on a point. The content of what is said also needs to be a bit filtered because each comment is no longer private. When providing sports commentary, the debate can get a bit competitive, and both emphasized that it is important to remember in the end that they are a team.
“In a sense, you are talking about a competition so naturally you become competitive talking about it. At the same time, you are talking with your cohosts, so you need to remember that you are giving a show together.”
Though there are some challenges, the show has been beneficial for improving communication skills. When talking to a live audience, Akshay and Michael have learned to speak better and focus more. Responses to questions and general conversation become more concise, so rambling or redundancy is avoided.
Overall, Play Ball has been a great hobby for the pair of seniors. When asked about any advice they would give to students considering starting a radio show, both were very encouraging. Michael says, “Just do it. Don’t think about it too much, and be yourself. Make sure your radio show is on something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.”
If you’re looking to start your own sports radio show, you can go to WMUCsports.net and email the address provided to request your own prime time. The radio shows are on the internet rather than on FM radio, so it is easier to reserve a spot. You can tune into Play Ball at ter.ps/playball!