It was just a little less than two years ago that the then St. Louis Rams announced that they were headed to LA with plans to move into a brand-new stadium in near future. At that time the Rams had just finished up a 7-9 season, drafted Jared Goff (who struggled quite a bit) and then finished up their first year by firing Jeff Fisher amid a five-win inaugural/return to the LA market.
Enter Sean McVay, and a high-powered offense led by the formerly “inept” QB from Cal. They’re now 9-3, have their eye on the NFC West crown, and have a chance at a bye week in the playoffs with a win over the equally exciting Carson Wentz and the Eagles on Sunday. My question is, does anyone in LA care?
In most markets, the Rams would dominate the coverage on local sports radio, but there’s so many factors at play here. They play in LA, they’re still new to the market, they don’t have their new stadium yet, the Dodgers dominated the headlines through October and did I mention that they play in Los Angeles? I decided to drop in on ESPN LA – 710 KSPN Monday afternoon to hear what Mason & Ireland had to offer.
Monday’s during the NFL season I always like to hit the very first segment of a show as any good host will, by firing away and getting everyone excited again for what happened the day before and what’s next. Steve Mason and John Ireland do exactly that, firing off highlights from Sunday’s win, providing excellent analysis and mixing in a little excitement for Sunday’s home game against Philly. They discuss the team’s attendance at home, which has been good, and how the Rams have capped off the number of tickets sold. Clearly the Rams have a following but does that translate to the main topic of discussion in LA?
As I mentioned before, Los Angeles is soooo different than most markets. There is so much to do and so many sports to follow that as a host, you just can’t devote your entire show to just one team. Steve and John quickly move on to other stories following the first segment including LaVar Ball pulling his son for UCLA, the latest with the Lakers, and USC football after winning the Pac-12 championship. They do such a great job with their pacing throughout the entire hour – they’re in and out of stories for just the right amount of time all while providing clear and concise insight as well as being entertaining.
This is a personality business just as much as it is a sports knowledge/opinion business. Mason and Ireland don’t take a bunch of calls on any one topic which would only slow them down. They keep it moving and they don’t dwell – awesome!
Now, should the Rams get that huge win on Sunday and keep moving forward towards the playoffs, I imagine the excitement will only continue to ramp up and they, like the Dodgers did, will dominate the local coverage. This is LA we’re talking about – they like you when you win, otherwise you take a back seat.
I’m not a fan of much when it comes to LA teams but I’m a big fan of Mason & Ireland – this is my kind of sports radio!
To hear Mason and Ireland’s content click here.