Most of my four-gig iPod is taken up with audio books. There's a little music, too, mostly country-western tunes or torch singers such as Diana Krall. I get along with my iPod, not looking for more than it provides: easy company on a walk or when standing in line.
And so it went until I had the thought, the thought that always brings trouble with it, to wit: "Why not be more productive?" Followed by, "Why not listen to sports podcasts while I'm about my duties? There must be a million of them."
Actually, there are 893 podcasts listed under the "sports" category at podcasts.yahoo.com. There are, in fact, a blizzard of niche podcasts: Boston Celtics, Pittsburgh Steelers, Irish football, computer games, wrestling, boxing, surfing, climbing, the whole schmear of sports.
Everybody has their own intro music and announcer. The Fantasy Football Guys, Lyle and Kevin, are introduced by a woman who sounds like she's been calling bingo games for the past 30 years.
I should note that there are 153 subscribers to this program, which, when put next to 300,000,000 Americans, is a depressing number. On the other hand, KNBR, a 50,000-watt clear-channel sports-talk radio station, has 45 subscribers.
Kevin opens the show with a cheery, "One of us is awesome. One of us sucks. You guess which one it is." Intro music trails off. "This podcast and live show brought to you by Favre Forever, now on DVD," blah, blah, blah, "and available at www dot fantasyfootballguys dot com." Silence. "No, I'm sorry, www dot profootball dot com."
Lyle makes a nasty laugh. "What a moron. It's right in front of you. You can't read it."
Kevin says, "Lyle leaves his house to come over to the -- quote, unquote -- studio. This is, what, show 40 or something?"
"This season, it's the 38th," Lyle says.
"And we did how many last year, another 40?"
"I don't know."
Kevin says, "Lyle doesn't bring his computer."
Lyle, getting angry, says, "I forgot it, man."
"So, guess which one of us sucks," Kevin says. "You, sir. You."
"All right, fine, I suck, whatever. Can we move on now?"
"I guess we can," Kevin says, using a twisted, I-hate-your-fucking-guts tone of voice. "Well, you know, we talked about last week's show, last week's... What am I trying to say?"
"Games?" Lyle says as if speaking to an annoying imbecile.
Lyle, still talking to the imbecile, says, "So, now we're going to preview the games upcoming."
Kevin says, "Both Lyle and I are off work this week." His voice trails off as if remembering a long-ago vacation. "Kind of tough, getting into the swing of exactly what it is we're doing." Silence. "You know what, if both of us had a computer, it might be a little bit easier. But, for some reason, my list of games has disappeared."
Lyle, says, wearily, "Well, you know what, just find it. Take your time, man."
Kevin says, "This game I'm coming up with to talk about is Arizona and San Diego."
"Nice," Lyle's voice brightens. He's going to work. "This is a Who Cares Bowl, beginning with Who Cares."
Dead air. Finally, Kevin says, "That's all you gotta say about it?"
"No, man. It really doesn't matter. San Diego is kind of in a must-win situation if they want to have first-round bye and home field throughout. That's an important thing, but besides that, I mean, you know..."
Kevin says, "Yeah, but the thing about it is, a lot of people have done -- like, say us -- without fantasy football for the year, as far as playing in the games, a lot of people's championships are this week..."
"Ill-advised though that might be..."
"No, they're not," Lyle says.
"I would say about 10 percent of the fantasy-football community have their last game this week."
Long pause. Kevin says, "Okay, we owe everything we can give to those 10 percent."
"I'm not disagreeing with you," Lyle squeals. "I was just commenting about the game."
"Well, why don't you have your computer then? Obviously you're not as dedicated as some of us."