Most of us are regular recipients of ideas, thoughts and visions from a source and power much higher than ourselves. Whenever it happens, sometimes you may get a few instructions on how to do it but usually there's a "figure it out yourself" aspect. That's where originality comes in to play. What we all tend to discover is that however divine the thought, the "devil is in the details" of planning and execution.
A little over a year ago, Larry Robinson, a Memphis-based marketing exec, was driving to his hometown of Louisville, Ky. and "talking to God" as is his routine on long drives alone. He says that God gave him the idea of doing a sports show to which his initial response was..."you're trippin'." But a year later 'A Little R&R on Sports' is nationally syndicated on 175 radio affiliates of the San Francisco-based Sports Byline Network as well as: American Forces Radio (over 500 outlets), iHeart Radio, ITunes, Tune-In App, CRN (Cable Radio Network) and other media platforms.
So who's trippin' now?
It became R&R after the "R" as in Robinson contacted the "R" as in Robertson – that would be Howard Robertson, also a Memphis-based marketer – to be co-creator and co-host of the show. "A Little R&R on Sports" is purposefully different. It's different because it's the only nationally syndicated sports radio show with African-American co-hosts. It's different because it brings a southern flavor to sports radio, which is traditionally overwhelmed with northeastern hosts. The co-hosts interact from the generational perspectives of Gen X'ers and Baby Boomers too, which is very different.
But perhaps the biggest difference is based in its originality. "R&R" is a sports entertainment show versus another sports talk show. Each week, there are already more than enough sports talk shows full of scores, recaps, self indulgent hosts and crazy callers. This is a weekend program that just happens to share an acronym with the most desirable and appealing part of anybody's weekend or vacation (Rest & Relaxation). So it's got to be engaging, interesting and fun. Going into the 20th show, it has been all that and more.
The show features interesting perspectives, lively repartee, good natured "jonesing" and a good-feeling chemistry between Robinson and Robertson. They even do sports satire, characters and spoken word in features like "Fly on the Wall," "Larry's Lament" and "Uncle Ragus."
They've interviewed great guests including: the iconic Julius "Dr. J" Erving, veteran coach Lionel Hollins, sports super agent David Falk, Detroit Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski, WNBA star Tameka Catchings and NBA Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond. The guests are "originals" in their own right, plus their views and voices don't typically proliferate on sports radio shows. Instead of a random call-in segment, there's "Street Talk," which Larry likes to call a virtual barbershop. It's a free flowing, roundtable discussion with three sports fan from around the country on a conference call.
Speaking of originality, what other sports show uses the appeal and platform of sports to reach and affect men (the most stubborn, hardheaded, hard-to-reach audience of all) about the responsibility for their own health? The segment, called TAP, was created as an acronym for There's A Problem, based on the reality that much too large numbers of men know more about the prognosis and health status of their favorite athletes than they know about their own health.
Through TAP, Robinson and Robertson can "tap" guys on their shoulders about looking out for their health in the words of a popular TV sports segment..."Come on man!" And of course, with the show originating here in Memphis, it would be sacrilegious not to have music. So, thanks to hip hop/old school mixes of DJ Superman (Chris McNeil) live in the studio, music is the tie that binds this program together.
This week's show (May 31st) features an interview with former Milwaukee Bucks great Junior Bridgeman, a phenomenal businessman and entrepreneur with a reported net worth of over $400 million.
"A Little R&R on Sports" can be heard every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on AM 790 ESPN Radio in Memphis. It's also streamed on www.sportsbyline.com on Saturdays at 10 a.m. CDT, Sundays at 7 a.m. CDT and Mondays at 11 a.m. CDT. Log onto www.randronsports.com for more information.
Watch for sports commentary from "A Little R&R on Sports" regularly featured here in The New Tri-State Defender.