As Bania used to say on the Seinfeld show, “it was gold Jerry, gold”! I want to take credit for a comedy bit that was done on a sports radio talk show on Easter Monday. It was gold. The bit was on the Common Man program, on KFAN FM 100.3 radio out of Minneapolis Minnesota, from 12 – 3. The Common Man “progrum” cannot be called a regular sports talk show. It is an eclectic blend of social commentary, sports, golf analysis, and what the host likes to call “tomfoolery and skulduggery”. You literally do not know what will happen from one segment to the next. You may start out listening to a run down of the upcoming draft picks that seem to be ubiquitous on all other sports talk shows and end up in explanation of the I-94 – 494 slip – in. I can’t explain it but it is about weaving into traffic like closing a zipper. There are assorted characters that slip into the mix and add foils for the Common Man. Mark Rosen, the sports director at WCCO TV channel 4, tries to bring some gravitas to the chaos but is not always successful. There is a female announcer called “Lil Bee” (don’t know her real name) who has recently become a mom and her commentaries on the “Ashleys'” of this world are so funny that I have had to pull over when driving. Brandon Mileski is the interim producer and the seemingly sane sidekick, but when he and Cole are on a run they may be the funniest comedy team since Sacco and Vanzetti.
This blog started because of the partnership of Minnesota North and North Dakota in Mission work and the connections that we have together in our churches and service organizations. We also share sports. There are many Viking Fans up here and there are great rivalries like the football and hockey college teams. The last two hours of the Common Man “progrum” are carried on AM 740 in Fargo and AM 1100 from Grand Forks. So we have this in common too. These “wacked three hours” may be the most cathartic time we can all spend together as we suffer through another Twins/Viking/Wolves/Gopher , whatever, soap opera. We can reserve judgment on the Wild for now.
The bit was a take off on the fact that Minnesota sports fans seem to be snake bit. There seems to be a curse, or at least a miasmic cloud hanging over everything sports in the State with the possible exception of women’s basketball. The idea was that even though the Minnesota Wild have been playing fantastic hockey, and have lifted themselves up from the depths in the standings to a point where they are close to being assured a playoff spot, Minnesota fans were starting to jump off the “bandwagon”. Dan Cole, and sidekick Brandon Mileski took off on the bandwagon jumping concept and applied it to the church. “Are you Jesus fan or not? Yeah sure you like Christmas when you can sing ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Oh Come all you Faithful’, and you love Easter Sunday when you can get all dressed up and say ‘He’s risen’, but where were you on Good Friday? Where are you on all the other Sundays during the year”. It really was classic, extremely funny, true to life and disturbing when one thinks about the connections that can be made between religion and sports precisely because, for many folks, sports is their religion.
It was classic. The reason I want to take credit for it is because it is exactly what I’ve been saying for years. Well, not really saying, but thinking. I would love to have used the Common Man bit in my Easter Sunday sermon, but better judgment prevailed. It really is quite interesting especially for me as a Lutheran, how the so-called theology of glory seeps into our lives in so many ways. Common hit it on the head. You show up for Easter, but where were you on Good Friday? We want winners, but we don’t want to look at the broken bloody body hanging on the cross. The disciples on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday were bandwagon jumpers. All the promises to hang with Jesus, to go with him even into death, quickly disappeared as they ran away in fear.
Anyway if you want to enjoy a “whacked couple of hours”, laugh, cry, kiss a few bucks good bye (these folks are amazing fund raisers for charities) try the Common Man show on KFAN 10o.3 and on many AM stations up here in the North Country. It make take 13/14 tries before you get the hang of it. You may get reeled in like a big fish at times on music. Cole cannot remember what he said or what questions he asked often during the program but he has an encyclopedic memory when it comes to old commercials, jingles and 60’s rock. He also does an uncanny impression of Bob Dylan. By the way an audio of Cole’s then 2 year old son singing the McDonalds Filet-O-Fish song is also gold .
Get on your computer and IHOP the bit and I bet you can find it pod cast. Easter Monday – 2015