While living overseas my life changed overnight with the discovery of the world of podcasts. I’d always been a fan of talk radio, but France’s version of it left something to be desired. Even if I could actually fully understand it, I really didn’t care about Paris St-Germain and Olympic Marseille. With podcasts, however, I learned I could listen to a multitude of offerings: BBC news reports and documentaries, 60 Minutes, Meet the Press, ESPN radio and Slate Magazine. Plus, they were available anytime and anywhere. Now that I’m back in the States I’m still an avid podcast listener. Sure, there are more radio stations, but I don’t like being a slave to their schedules and annoying advertisements.
One of my favorite podcasts currently is Slate’s, ‘Hang up and Listen’. This weekly sports conversation show typically has 3 segments and lasts about 40 minutes. It’s not your typical show as they delve into topics a little off the beaten path and then spend a little more time on them. And where else do you get Team Handball references from time to time including just this past week in regards to the USOC’s funding of minor sport federations. Of course, this is entirely attributable to the number 1 Handball fan in mainstream journalism, Stefan Fatsis. Fatsis, who used to write for the Wall St Journal and can now be heard regularly on NPR, never misses an opportunity to promote the sport and has written a couple of feature articles, most recently in the NY Times.
NY Times 9 May 09: Team Handball Has It All, Except an American Interest: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/sports/othersports/10cheer.html?_r=1&ref=sports
While the show already gets quite a few downloads they would like to bump up their subscription numbers. Subscribing to the podcast via ITunes or downloading the show is entirely free; they just want more subscribers to impress advertisers. Where the promotion of Handball comes in is that they are having a contest to see who can come up with the best story about converting someone into a regular listener. The winner gets to be a guest analyst on the show. This posting is my plea for converts and hopefully we’ll have a windfall of Handball fans that convinces the regular hosts to bring me into their midst for a show.
Slate ‘Hang Up and Listen’ podcast page: http://www.slate.com/id/2243238/
To simply download an episode: ttp://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/media.slate.com/media/slate/Podcasts/Sports/SG10021501_HUAL.mp3
‘Hang Up and Listen’ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/hangupandlisten
And finally, if you’ve become a convert drop me a short note at firstname.lastname@example.org so I include you in my submission.