WASHINGTON — Ah, it’s that wonderful time of year where baseball season bleeds into football season and everyone complains about what’s being talked about on their radios and televisions.
“There’s no argument as to what should be talked about,” Chad Dukes said on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday afternoon. “There’s no argument.”
“What should be talked about is what the most people are interested in, in your particular category, phylum, however you want to call it,” he said. “If I wanted to talk about what the most people were interested, I would probably talk about food all day, because 100 percent of you eat food. Right?”
“This is a sports-talk radio station,” he said. “Which is stupid, but it is. They do that because sales people can’t sell regular talk stations. It’s very difficult — they need a hook.”
It just so happens that, on the same day the Redskins opened their season on Sunday, the Nationals clinched the NL East championship, the organization’s fourth division title in six years.
“Who’s got the worst ratings out of the Big Four? Who brings the least people into their proverbial stable,” Dukes asked. “Well, that would be hockey, and it’s not even close. Hockey. Be as mad as you want, that’s just the way the metrics issue it out. Has nothing to do with whether I like to go to hockey games, or I like to talk about hockey.
“I would like to do half an hour, 45 minutes on the UFC every single day. You know why I don’t do that? This isn’t my show; this is CBS Radio’s show. Until Entercom rolls in here, then it’s Entercom’s show. And I am their vessel. I’m merely an advocate, at this point.”
This isn’t the first time Dukes has made remarks like this around this time of year.
“Football is here and you will not hear the Washington Nationals discussed one more time this season on this radio show,” he passionately informed his listeners in Sept. 2015. “You had your shot, Washington Nationals. You had your shot, Nationals fans.”
Coincidentally enough, weeks later arguably the biggest sports story of the year — Jonathan Papelbon choking out Bryce Harper in the Nationals dugout — reached out and gripped the sporting world by the throat for days.
“What comes after that?” he said of sports popularity Tuesday. “Well, you can argue, depending on what demographics you look at, it’s either baseball or basketball. You’re skewing older, it’s baseball. You’re skewing younger, basketball does better. So I’ll leave that up to you.”
“Then there’s 50 miles of bedrock,” he said. “Then there’s the ocean, then we get to the earth’s crust, and there’s college football. Right? Then, you take a balloon, you fill it up with hydrogen and you go up into the stratosphere, and there sits the NFL. There’s the National Football League. I can’t make this any clearer.”
“Now, there are some variables here, which I relent to: when it’s the postseason, when it’s a big story, when somebody’s been signed,” he specified. “Eh, you can move it all around. But for anyone to question why, the Monday after opening week of the NFL, when the Redskins have played, that that is what dominates the conversation… If Nationals Park is on fire, the Redskins are still going to lead the show. And that’s it.”
“It’s not what I want,” he said. “It’s not what anybody wants. Wants got nothing to do with it.”
Dukes then went on to defend The Sports Junkies for their own decision to talk predominantly about the Redskins, calling out fans for having the audacity to question the editorial judgment of a radio show that’s been successful for more than 20 years.
“I’m not even really angry about it,” Dukes said. “I just, I want to — on the record — get that business out of the way, because I am amazed at how many people don’t understand. I mean, people in the industry don’t understand! Chris Russell has no knowledge of this. He does not get it. He thinks we should be on here teaching people about hockey. If I worked for the NHL Network, maybe. If I had some sort of stock invested.”