Monday nights on the WPTL Real Country station, EC (exceptional children) teacher Mike Matthews takes the mic to co-host a radio talk show called The Locker Room Sports Show. Matthews says that the radio show is a platform where people can have an open and engaging discussion about all kinds of things, sports and otherwise.
“People call in to ask questions and disagree,” Matthews said. “People can call in any time and we’ll talk with them. We talk about anything people want to talk about. The other night we talked about who was the best Beatle. We don’t talk politics a whole lot because our show is mainly sports. But we’ll talk about any issue that comes up in sports.”
While governmental politics are usually not the topic of conversation, sports politics are open for discussion and the show does not shy away from calls regarding sports news. However, Matthews says that he finds it important to stay neutral about sports politics on the radio show.
“You want to talk about it and let everybody formulate their own opinions. I just want to give out information. Sort of like you talk about politics in school as a teacher. You want to talk about it, but you don’t want to say, ‘I feel this way.’ And if they ask you, you stay out of that, because you want them to come up with their own opinion. You have to throw out both sides,” Matthews said. “And if you throw out both sides without saying your opinion then people will want to talk. But if they know what you think, they’re just going to call and say, ‘You’re wrong!’ And that doesn’t make an engaging conversation.”
Since starting the radio show, Matthews has found that he can uplift many people during his sports discussions.
“When you say nice things about people, you make them feel good,” Matthews said. “Parents want to hear their kids’ names, especially high school parents. They want to hear their kid’s name on the radio. It’s nice. A lot of people call and say, ‘Thanks for talking about my kid on the radio,’ and we just say, ‘Absolutely.’”
Every Monday, Matthews and his co-host David Crompton host the show for 90 minutes, starting at 6:30 PM. The radio show is broadcast on the station WPTL out of Canton, NC. The station hosts multiple segments that cover sports, local news, weather, and community events. Matthews has been airing for about a year now, but he has been reaping the benefits of a press pass for much longer than that.
“I started this when I learned my daughter was doing it. I started lying, saying I write for the Falcon Tribune. They give you a media pass and you sit in the press box and get a parking spot; you could eat the pregame, and walk around on the field and all that, whether you talked to a person or not,” Matthews said. “Now we are actually legit because we got the radio.”
The show hosts many guests from local to national organizations. They talk with professional athletes, NASCAR drivers, NFL coaches, and local coaches. In addition, the show attracts many sports fans who call in to talk to the hosts or offer a conversation topic.
“We get a lot of calls about sports politics, with people disagreeing. We have our opinions, but we don’t ever tell [the callers] they’re wrong,” Matthews said. “Because we just want to listen! We want people to have a voice and an opinion without someone saying ,‘Hey! You’re wrong.’ Because everybody sees it differently. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re expanding and making it bigger to maybe a couple nights a week, and, hopefully, we can get there.”
By: Katie King, Copy Editor