Fox Sports Radio personality Amy Van Dyken could be perhaps the most sociable host on the network. As she’s heard alongside Rob Dibble on “Fox Sports Tonight,” she can also be read in many tweets sent during the show. She also makes it a point to reach out to listeners on Twitter when she’s not on the air, as well.
And Amy is just like you and me, in that she’s human. We all have made at least one mistake at some point in our lives.
So on Monday night, the day after the running of the Daytona 500, in which the spotlight shone early and often on its sole female participant, Danica Patrick, Amy had noted that there were two female drivers in the race, before correcting herself, acknowledging that she was thinking of Johanna Long, who had participated in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona the day prior.
Amy would eventually correct herself. But apparently, it was not fast enough for one listener, who goes by the Twitter handler of @AirChecked, who lists himself as a “producer” and “sports media savant” on his bio.
Claiming that he had tuned into the Fox Sports Radio evening program “for [the] first time ever,” Mr. Checked, who bragged that he’s “worked in sports radio for ten years,” proceeded to post audio of what he called Van Dyken “struggling,” as well as hurl insults at her (“a complete idiot”) and the program’s staff (“who’s producing that gong show?”).
The thing that had Mr. Checked’s pants in a bunch was the fact that Amy didn’t amend her statement about the number of female drivers in this year’s Daytona 500 until after the hosts ran a pre-recorded interview, which appeared to have followed a commercial break.
“I said it as soon as we were [back] on,” Van Dyken wrote to Mr. Checked, before asking, “What’s [your] job?”
“The mistake has to be corrected before break, and not awkwardly swept under [the] rug,” Mr. Checked implored. “That’s all.”
Shouldn’t Mr. Checked be saving his expertise for the radio show that he’s currently producing? Or perhaps he’s not producing any shows at this time, judging by how much time he has to listen to other radio shows and critique them – and post the incriminating audio online, to boot.
“It was an honest mistake,” Van Dyken said. “It happens. Ripping me won’t help.”
It was at this time that the ESPN Radio/Fayetteville, NC afternoon host known as “Sully” came to Amy’s defense. In response to Mr. Checked’s request that “I just want better broadcasting and producing,” Sully said: “We all want better broadcasts, but mistakes will happen. She acknowledged it and moved on. What more can she do?”
“I don’t mind the mistake,” replies the mysterious radio producer. “I mind that the correction didn’t happen before the break. It was awkward.” He concluded by imploring Amy: “You’re on national radio. Act like it.”
Amy’s been in sports radio for a few years more than this producer she’s arguing with – and he’s giving her this classy advice?
“I can’t and won’t apologize anymore,” Amy wrote in her fourteenth tweet on the issue – which was probably thirteen tweets too many. “If my PD [program director] has an issue, he will tell me. That’s [whose] opinion really matters.
“Sports [radio] is awesome because we [are] live and mess up,” she added. “Makes us human [to] listeners.” (Would this make Mike Francesa superhuman?)
Seriously, though: To spend this much time lecturing a host on an error when you’re on the outside looking in on Twitter, as opposed to the other side of the glass, is childish as it is fruitless. If you want to inform a host of a gaffe he or she made, write a tweet or two and be done with it. By instead engaging in a Twitter fight, it won’t look good for the next radio show or network that he submits his resume to.
Just think about it: By the time he wrapped up his contact with Amy Van Dyken, he may have already found the perfectly-produced radio show.
But alas, it wouldn’t happen – not just because radio broadcasts are overseen by humans, who are prone to mistakes every now and then, but Amy and Rob on Fox Sports Radio is one of the better offerings in their daypart. So it really would be AirChecked’s loss.
By the way – I wonder if the current background on Amy’s Twitter page is sort of a tribute to this person.