Sports talk radio, for the most part, is the most irritating form of audio entertainment. Hours are spent arguing and debating the merits of players or teams using hyper-analytical statistical breakdowns that usually involve reading into meaningless details like "body language cues." Remember the "LeBron shoulder bumping Coach Spoelstra means they hate each other" sports ridiculousness of 2010?
But when it comes to sports talk radio, Miami has been spoiled. We've been able to escape sports talk drudgery thanks in part to airwaves dominated by the likes of nationally recognized sports commentator Dan LeBatard, his co-host Jon "Stugotz" Weiner, and Marc "Hoch" Hochman, who co-hosts 790 The Ticket's Hochman & Zaslow in the Morning.
Hochman is a radio hack. Not only has he corrupted Zaslow with his sports radio idiocy (before the morning show, Zaslow had a reputation as a super serious sports guy), but he's brought the following terms and concepts into the South Florida sports lexicon: honked off like a goose, Mt. Rushmore, Loaded Potato, the Hall & Oates bit, the Hochman burger, the Sports Comic, and so many other silly radio gimmicks that it won't be long until Hochman hosts an End of Disco night that will lead to a riot that pours into the streets.
In honor of all that the two hosts have accomplished, the Miami Marlins will celebrate the pairing with their own Hochman & Zaslow day on Thursday, August 22. We reached out to Marc Hochman with questions about his partner Zaslow, the surprising success of the morning show, and a request for our own special Mt. Rushmore.
New Times: How much time do you think it took to break Zaslow from being a super serious sports guy? I think every Miami sports fan has argued on Twitter with that guy over the Heat's starting center at some point in the past three seasons.
Marc Hochman: I was surprised at how quickly Zaslow turned from super serious sports guy to fun radio partner. Don't get me wrong; he still has the serious sports guy in him and it comes out... sometimes directed at me... sometimes at callers... often times at tweeters. Especially if it involves the Miami Heat. He seems to have a real emotional attachment to that team, which I guess is good. I don't think I've ever felt about a team the way Zaz feels about the Heat.
Since you're having your own day for the Miami Marlins, does that mean you're going to call the game like Dan LeBatard and Stugotz did a few years back? And could you possibly do an even better/more horrific job than they did?
After LeBatard and Stugotz were allowed to call an inning of baseball during a real, regular season game, I think the Marlins learned their lesson and that opportunity will never be offered to radio hosts again. They were beyond brutal. They were a disgrace to America's pastime, and that's why it was so good.
For our "Hochman and Zaslow" day at the Marlins game, we're fighting just to get interviewed on TV by Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton. If not, we'll just throw out the first pitch and sing 'take me out to the ballgame' during the seventh inning stretch. And we'll boo Hanley Ramirez a lot.
Give us the "Mount Rushmore" of ways you'd rather be spending your Thursday than going to a Marlins game to be cheered on by the 347 fans in attendance?
Riding my bike, checking out a book at the library, eating a Hochman Burger at Miami Subs, watching Ellen.
We have a "honked off like a goose" for you: the fact that you give Stugotz so much crap for being a New York Jets fan living in Miami, but you're so openly a Chicago Bears fan that is also a cocky Heat fan (and would probably be a cocky Dolphins fan if there were any reason to be one).
I'm definitely not a Bears fan anymore... I root for them, but I absolutely root for the Dolphins more than the Bears. Don't forget, I came to University of Miami in 1987. I've been here 25 years now. I've lived longer in South Florida than I did in Chicago. The Bears were the last Chicago team that I was still rooting for, but over the last couple of years I've found myself rooting for the Dolphins and watching the Dolphins' games instead of the Bears. In fact, last season I gave up NFL Sunday Ticket for the Red Zone Channel because I wasn't watching the Bears games anymore, and that's the only reason I had Sunday Ticket. I have a 9 year old son that loves sports too, so I want to raise him to root for the Miami teams. The Hochman household is definitely Heat, Marlins, Dolphins, and Panthers fans. (And the Hurricanes and FAU Owls too!)
Just one serious question: Hochman Burger, Hochman and Zaslow day at the park, and becoming the highest rated morning show in less than two years of existing -- did you think you'd get this kind of success so fast?
I can't believe all the things that have happened since we started doing the morning show. It's always a guy's dream to have a burger named after him, always a dream to throw out the first pitch at an MLB game, and who knows what will be next? Perhaps my hair will grow back.
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Can you please stop doing the Hall & Oates bit? This is our official request. P.S. We pray for the return of the Sports Comic.
I feel like the "Hall and Oates" bit will become for me what "Roy!" became for Neil Rogers. Something I'll be able to do for 20 or 30 years and everyone will still love it as if it was the first time they heard it. It's truly radio gold.
Clubhouse Box, Home Plate Box, Base Reserved, Baseline Reserved, Bullpen Reserved and Home Run Porch tickets to Hochman and Zaslow day are on sale for $5 apiece, as long as they're purchased through a special The Ticket Miami link on the Miami Marlins' website.