The Jim Rome Show is a sports radio talk show hosted by Jim Rome. It airs live for three hours each weekday from 9 a.m. to noon Pacific (Noon to 3 p.m. Eastern). The show is produced in Los Angeles, California, syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, the programming arm of Clear Channel Communications, and can be heard on more than 200 affiliate radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as on the Internet from Rome's official website.
History of the show
The Jim Rome Show
began on XTRA Sports 690
in San Diego
as a local, five-hour program, running from 7 p.m. to midnight Pacific. In addition to this show, Rome frequently hosted a Saturday morning show which he today refers to as "Scrub Saturday." At a later time, the popularity of the nightly show prompted a shift to a four-hour daytime slot, running weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific.
In 1996, Premiere Radio Networks picked up the program for national syndication. Sometime after, the show was shortened by one hour and the broadcast location was shifted from XTRA Sports 690 to the Premiere Radio Networks studio complex in Sherman Oaks, California, a district of Los Angeles. In late 2006, as part of Rome's new contract, he was granted a new studio in the San Fernando Valley, and the introduction was changed to describe the show as coming from "Southern California." In March 2007, the introduction reverted back to announcing the specific location as "Los Angeles".
In addition to Rome, the behind-the-scenes personnel are frequently included in the show's content, though rarely with speaking roles. Rome detests the "morning zoo
" format of many radio shows and generally restricts the "XR4Ti
" crew from having speaking roles, although he frequently speaks to and about the crew.
|Jason Stewart |
| Talent coordinator |
(setting up interviews, screening phone calls)
| Outside the show, Stewart is known for having appeared on the reality TV series Blind Date, the ABC sitcom According to Jim (on March 21, 2006), commercials, and for a small role in the USA Network TV movie Murder at the Presidio. Rome made his line from the movie "Heh heh, you always say that" popular with the Clones, so much so that a song was written about him by the band Three Day Weekend. Before he was the show's phone screener, Stewart was a caller to the show while he was a student at Cal State Fullerton, and was known as "Jason in Fullerton." He participated in the Smack-Off in 1995 with a call that coined the phrase "walking the thin line of blasphemy," a line Rome has claimed he doesn't even understand. Rome openly considers Stewart's call one of the worst ever in the Smack-Off and frequently ridicule Stewart for it, as do the Clones. When Rome replays the call, he tends to note that "'this' is the man who is telling you your take is not good enough", followed by a replay of Stewart's call. Stewart is also frequently ridiculed for his facial moles and the fact that a caller once called in to report that he once saw Stewart watching pornography in his dorm room at Cal State Fullerton with several other guys. |
| Senior producer, |
| Rodgers reportedly screens over 2,000 e-mails each day. He has been associated with Rome as a producer for 12 years, and is also a producer on Rome's TV show Jim Rome Is Burning. He is also remembered for interrupting Jim to blast then-Anaheim Angels pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa in the pre-syndication years of the program; something he openly regrets. Rodgers is known for having a "list" of topics which greatly increase the chances of an email being read on the air, although Rome is frequently heard crumpling up poor emails that Rodgers forwards to him. |
|| Delloro handles the technical aspects of the show and runs (hangs up on) bad calls, although Rome occasionally runs his own calls with a "live" manual buzzer. Delloro is most famous for "Alvin's Mix" (see below). At the beginning of his career he had a quick trigger-finger in regard to running calls, occasionally running calls that Rome would have deemed acceptable. |
| Engineer (former)
|| Albers served as engineer for nine years before Delloro and was often nicknamed "Whitey" or "White Man" by Rome, for his extremely bleached hair. He abruptly left the show and moved to Austria in March 2005. Albers was long known to consider The Jungle to be nothing more than his day job. This brought on the infamous phrase "It's just a paycheck," and for an on-air interview with Rome after he quit the show in which he denounced the city of Los Angeles and the "layer of filth" it left on him by his mere presence there. While in Europe, he hosted a radio music show using the name "DJ Humorlos". His idol growing up was guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen. |
| Writer, |
text message screener
| Brandt is known for appearing on MTV's The Real World. He also had a role in Days of Our Lives from 2003-2006. Kyle screens the listeners text messages and is responsible for the "Unfunny, Uninspired, Unreadable Text of the Day," or the "Triple U." The "Triple U" is unofficially sponsored by something that Kyle hates. |
|The XR4Ti Crew
|| see above
|| Rome calls Stewart, Rodgers, Delloro, and Brandt “The XR4Ti Crew," from the brand name of Rome's first car, a Merkur XR4Ti. |
Nature of the show
The Jim Rome Show
, also known as "The Jungle," consists of Rome's opinions on issues in sports, entertainment
, and off-beat news; interviews with athletes and celebrities; and telephone calls and emails from listeners.
The show's most notable attributes are extensive use of "smack" (Rome's term for "gloatful, uninhibited, and unbridled" sports talk, peppered with personal jargon), name-calling, sarcastic humor, and "takes" -- set-piece diatribes delivered by Rome and the "Clones" (loyal listeners).
Rome periodically wanders away from takes and interviews related to sports, discussing the mechanics of hosting the program, his upcoming vacations, past and future Smack-Offs, anecdotes about the XR4Ti Crew, and the antics of various Clones. Frequently Clones send in their own reactions to these meta-topics, prompting Rome to state: "The most popular topic on the show is the show itself."
Rome has stated on numerous occasions (especially when announcing new affiliate stations) that it can be difficult for new listeners to enjoy the show, as there is a steep learning curve before they can fully understand the format, content, and vernacular. He has also compared acquiring a taste for the show to acquiring a taste for beer, and recommends to new listeners: "Give it two weeks. If you still don't like it, give it two more weeks."
Show format and content
Rome enjoys giving people and places (especially selected affiliate cities) humorous nicknames. He refers to his loyal fanbase as "The Clones" (derived from listeners who will often "parrot" Rome's takes, as though they were clones of Rome himself), while he himself is called "Van Smack" (a nickname derived from, and originally given to, Nick Van Exel
), "Romey", "Jimothy", and "The Pimp in the Box" by acquaintances and the Clones. Dozens of athletes and coaches have been tagged by Rome with nicknames, including Mike Krzyzewski
("Coach kruh-ZOO-skee"), Terrell Owens
("To" -- said like the number 2, mocking Owens' nickname "T.O."), Michael Jordan
("45"), Barry Bonds
("Bar-roid"), Manny Ramírez
("Man-Ram"), Alex Rodriguez
("B of A Rod" and "the Purple lipstick"), Kenny Rogers
("The Roaster"), Ray Allen
("Jesus Shuttlesworth"), John Daly
("Eldrick" "Baldrick"), Steve Garvey
("6"), Jerry West
(The Logo) and Bill Belichick
("Hoodie"). Affiliate cities that have received nicknames include the Los Angeles
area ("So-Cal"), the San Francisco
area ("No-Cal"), Rochester ("Crapchester"), Omaha
("H-Town"), and Washington, D.C.
Although the show's content revolves around current, topical issues, it also has a number of recurring features, some of which appear almost daily and some which are more infrequent, including:
- Sarcastic Humor - Rome's takes frequently contain deadpan sarcasm, which some callers have complained about and/or misunderstood. For new listeners, interpreting when Rome is being sarcastic and when he's serious is part of the show's learning curve. For example: On one occasion, a caller's take seemed to be more of a lame comedy routine. After the call was run, Rome said flatly, "Clones, you are not funny...I, on the other hand...am quite amusing." Unsuspecting listeners might take that as Rome being disgustingly conceited, but Clones would consider it merely a clever way to ridicule the caller's bit. Rome will also use "allegedly" or "reportedly" in a sarcastic fashion when describing a story that is widely perceived to be true, but not journalistically or legally proven. If someone does something outrageous or unusually foolish, Rome will occasionally say that he/she is being criticized by another person who did something similar. Another way that Rome adds sarcasm to his takes is by saying what he means to say, then interrupting himself with a loud "ERRRRR!" to say something that has a more positive spin.
- "War" - Mimicking Auburn's battle cry "War Eagle," callers and e mailers frequently recite the phrase "War" followed by their favorite team, player, or other activity, to show their fondness of it. "Un-war" is used to note something that has fallen out of favor. (See here for details.)
- Jungle Karma - Rome maintains that an athlete's appearance on The Jim Rome Show and/or Jim Rome is Burning or failure to appear for whatever reason will create (respectively) good or bad "Jungle Karma," improving or diminishing the athlete's performance in an upcoming game. He points to the outcome of games after appearances on his show as "evidence." However unscientific it may be, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest the trend may be true. Rome has stated that "the Karma does not discriminate," referring to its effects being dissociated from whether Rome likes or dislikes an athlete. Additionally if an athlete is unable to fulfill his commitment to the show because of circumstances beyond his/her control, no bad Jungle Karma is unleashed upon his/her team.
- Tongues - Many college football teams reward players for exceptional plays by affixing decals to their helmets. Well-known examples include Ohio State, whose players have buckeye stickers, and Florida State, who rewards players with tomahawk stickers. Rome decided that when he has an exceptional segment on the show, he puts a tongue sticker on his microphone.
- Border Wars - Often when leading up to a significant event (such as the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, etc.), or after a controversial game, fans of the teams will call or email the show and denigrate the opposing team's city. This usually degenerates into a back-and-forth "war" between inhabitants of the two cities where nearly every call or email Rome receives is from someone looking to weigh in. It is also quite common for callers in one city to provoke another for seemingly no reason other than its existence.
- "Freaking" - When Rome is exceptionally impressed with an athlete or other celebrity, especially after an interview, he will refer to them using the middle-name title "Freaking." The first such guest was Evel Knievel, who conducted an unforgettable interview, such that Rome from that point on referred to him as "Evel Freaking Knievel." Many others have been given this distinction, including NASCAR driver Richard Petty, who told Rome about how he drove in the 1980 Talladega 500 with a broken neck. Rome's response after the interview was "Richard Freaking Petty."
- The Smartest People in the Jungle - Rome has bestowed this honor upon those whom he considers the most intelligent people he's interviewed on the show. Honorees include: Al Michaels, Bob Costas, the late David Halberstam, Jim Lampley, John Feinstein, and Hubie Brown, with Lampley declared the smartest on June 7, 2006. Alternates include Joe Buck and George Will. Caller Jeff in Richmond received an honorable mention after stating that he was "born and bred for success and achievement." Rome removed Costas from the list once (as it originally was a "top 5") to add another name, which prompted a call from Costas wondering why he was no longer on the list, which resulted in his reinstatement. Recently, Rome has also declared that emailer Amanda in Baltimore is one of the show's smartest listeners, if not the smartest, after she proved to him that she had graduated from both Yale and Harvard.
The principal portion of the show's content is Rome's takes on topical issues in sports, as well as odd news stories. Rome begins each show with a monologue (the "open") consisting of abbreviated takes on the topics he intends to cover during the show. As the show progresses, he will elaborate his take on each topic, adding in new material and also commenting on any phone calls and e-mails that add to or contradict his takes. If new topics are broached, Rome will usually give takes on them as well. Rome's takes are essentially spoken-word editorial columns, and as such are direct and to-the-point, opinionated, and critical and/or sarcastic, depending on the topic. This approach is one of the principal facets of his "smack talking" broadcast style
, and is what helped him make a name for himself. However, it has also led to controversy, as both Rome and the show have been criticized for the pervasively negative and critical attitude displayed toward foolish behavior from athletes and celebrities. In response, Rome has stated that the moment that people stop doing stupid things is the moment he will stop talking about people doing stupid things.
There are a large number of takes which have gained notoriety on the show and which are frequently "reset" (brought back up) if they are relevant to the day's discussion, or if Rome wants to re-introduce the topics to new listeners.
In addition to his takes, Rome conducts interviews with sports (and occasionally pop culture
) personalities. Most interviews are done over the telephone; however, he will sometimes have an in-studio guest, who usually stays for several segments.
Rather than having prescheduled guests for interviews, Rome relies on Jason Stewart to contact potential interviewees, and sometimes does not know who will be on the show until the day before their appearance. This approach sometimes leads to guests not showing up, or losing their calls in the middle of an interview. If an interviewee is expected to call in during a given segment, Rome notifies the Clones that the prospective guest is "on the clock," a reference to a phrase often uttered during the NFL Draft.
There is not a set number of interviews per day, but the show averages about one per hour, per day. All interviews are recorded and saved. The most memorable are often reset in future shows as sound bites.
A prominent feature of The Jim Rome Show, as opposed to other sports radio broadcasts is the nature of interaction with the listening audience. Rome somewhat encourages listeners to call the show, and frequently drops the show's telephone number, with the caveat that calls will be screened by Jason Stewart for quality. Phone calls do not take priority over Rome's own takes and the scheduled interviews, so he only fields a handful of calls during any given broadcast, and has on occasion not taken any calls at all. Rome's general mantra is "more of me and less of you is better for the show," being highly critical of radio talk shows which emphasize phone calls, opining that "When some radio jock says 'No one takes more calls than me; this show is about you, the caller,' what that guy is actually saying is 'No one has worked less and has less to say than I do.'" Rome will sometimes take several calls if listeners with a history of good calls (an important feature of the show) are calling the show, or if he has discussed a particularly hot or controversial topic which is generating a large amount of response. Rome frequently describes the segments in which interviews are not scheduled as "wide open" or "open phone," although there is no actual guarantee Rome will actually take any calls at all even in an open segment as he frequently prefers to air his own takes.
Rome responds to greetings, questions, and compliments, but otherwise offers callers free rein to give their takes. If he especially enjoys a call, he will announce that the call be "racked"; this is a signal to the engineer to save the recording of the call. On the other hand, he is notorious for "running" callers who perform especially poorly (although some calls are saved for how poor or infamous they are). These calls are interrupted with a loud buzzer and immediately ceased; the caller will often be ridiculed by Rome and the Clones. Although the actual buzzer is a recording of Rome's voice; the "running" of callers is performed by Delloro, the engineer, although Rome can run a call himself by imitating the noise himself.
Callers frequently include highly derogatory smack directed at other Clones in their calls, rather than at other public figures. Rome refers to this practice as "Clone-on-Clone crime" and does not encourage it, as it detracts from time that could be used for sports takes, although he does not discourage it.
Rules for listener participation
Unlike many programs, Rome has a number of rules regarding what callers can and can't do in their calls. Callers who violate protocol are subject to being "run," (hung up on with a loud buzzer) a prominent and unique feature to Rome's show. Emailers are subject to similar rules, but the nature of email usually means that emails that violate the rules generally do not get to Rome, and simply are not read on the air. The ultimate, all-encompassing rule is "Have a take, don't suck, or you're gonna get run." This is the only rule that is generally stated at the beginning of every show. However, there are several, more obscure rules which would get a pass on most other call-in radio programs. Because there are so many unstated rules that can only be learned by frequently listening to the show, new listeners are generally not encouraged to call until they are more familiar with the show format.
A "take" is generally a short rant with the callers' opinion on one or more current topics. Callers are not expected, nor encouraged, to seek actual dialogue with Rome himself. Rome's interaction with the caller generally is limited to either Rome's discussion of the call after the caller has hung up; or direct intervention. Intervention occurs when Rome either a) "runs" the caller for violating a rule, or b) interrupts the caller to discuss a specific point the caller addressed. The common rules are generally relaxed for first time callers, obviously nervous callers, or callers with "straight" (sports-only, without "smack") takes.
Other rules include:
- Callers who are unenthusiastic, incoherent or extremely offensive are immediately run. There is also an archaic standing rule against reading a written take as well. The "reading" rule has generally been relaxed, as many of the more complex and clever takes could not be reasonably memorized, even by Rome. However, a read call that is not of superior quality will still be run.
- Callers who are "flaming out" (losing their train of thought or stumbling through a take) are expected to acknowledge such, and hang up on their own to keep from getting run.
- Callers are sometimes on hold for long periods of time (sometimes the entire 3 hour show) before they make it on air; those who complain about how long they have been on hold are usually run, with Rome ridiculing them for wasting their own time.
- Due to a seven-second delay, callers must listen to the show through their telephone with their radio turned off. Otherwise, when Rome puts them on-air, they will miss their cue, get run, and be subject to ridicule. Rome often comments on how if he can hear his voice through the phone (due to the delay), the caller is not paying attention.
- Callers are expected to pay attention to the show and generally stay on-topic. This was exemplified once when Rome reset his "gambling degenerates" take. Thinking he heard the name "Ellen DeGeneres" over the radio, a caller started defending the actress, and was immediately run.
- Callers cannot start their calls by stating their names. When Rome goes to a caller, he announces their names and where they are from. Callers who repeat this information will be run, and Rome will ridicule them for telling him something he and the listeners already know. Rome rarely relaxes this rule, even for first time callers. Similarly, callers are not allowed to use nicknames, which Rome refers to as "self-glossing." Occasionally, call screener Jason Stewart will direct the caller to state his nickname to Rome, in an attempt to get the caller run. Occasionally, callers will avoid Stewart's trap, mention the baiting on-air, and subject Stewart to ridicule from Rome and the Clones for the rest of the day.
- Callers are generally expected to refrain from singing (whether actual songs or parodies), on the grounds that those who attempt to sing typically have no business doing so. There are many exceptions to this rule; generally defined as singing takes that Rome personally finds amusing. The general rule discouraging singing was instituted after the permanent banning of Willie in K.C., a caller that was known for singing takes, as he made a call that was deemed anti-Semitic. However, in more recent years, "parody" songs have become more commonplace on the show.
- Callers cannot make their takes into poems. Clever haikus are the sole exception; although Rome encourages Haikus to be sent via email.
- A questionable, but frequently stated rule is that callers cannot substitute female names in place of male names in order to question an athlete's masculinity. This is an inside joke relating to an incident Rome had early in his career with Jim Everett, in which Everett assaulted Rome because Rome continually called him "Chris" (referring to female tennis player Chris Evert). Rome has, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, stated repeatedly that this tactic "is not what we're/the show's about". Ironically, frequent caller Rachel in Houston is subject to the reverse, often being called "Reginald," "Ronald," etc. with no penalty by Rome.
- Callers are discouraged from predicting that their calls will be strong enough to get "racked," i.e. (calling their shot), on the grounds that the vast majority of such calls have been of poor quality.
Huge Call of the Day
At the end of the show, the best overall call taken is dubbed The Huge Call of the Day and replayed with much fanfare. Although this seems like a "contest" there is generally no prize and the competition is generally for bragging rights. There are no set criteria for what earns a call Huge Call status other than Rome personally enjoying the take. Most Huge Calls feature exceptionally insightful and/or pointed commentary, and/or a great deal of smack that is not only articulate but inventive and humorous. On rare occasions, an extremely odd call will be named as the Huge Call. Sometimes a Huge Call from a previous show or a notable Smack-Off call will be replayed if no calls get racked. Rome will also use segments of an interview as the Huge Call if he feels it is appropriate. Notable instances include interviews conducted during the broadcasts on Radio Row during the week before the Super Bowl (when Rome takes few if any calls) and a 2006 interview with Jeff Gordon. If content in the show’s last segment runs over the time needed to play the Huge Call, it will be played in part or not at all.
Sometimes Rome will award Huge Call winners with a prize, typically provided by a show sponsor. These prizes have included the Slingbox, gift cards from J.C. Penney, and cases of Snickers brand "Charged" energy bars.
There are a number of Clones whose history of solid calls to the show have earned them "legendary" status. There have also been a number of callers whose calls have become "infamous" on the show due to their poor quality; these calls are frequently reset for mocking and/or comedic effect. One caller, Willie in K.C.
, was permanently banned from the show for making antisemitic
remarks, which offended Rome, who is Jewish
Rome frequently reads emails and SMS text messages on-air, usually around ad breaks. Some emails are simple statements of satisfaction about the show or comments on interviews. However, many emailers write their messages in the voice of athletes, public figures, or even the aforementioned "infamous callers," responding with a comment that reflects one of that person's most embarrassing public moments. These particular emails almost always relate to whatever topic(s) were just discussed on the show, usually in a sarcastic and/or ironic fashion. These signed emails are generally supposed to be ironic, rather than an actual attempt to imitate the figure themselves responding. Rome will occasionally remark on the oddity of receiving email "signed" by someone strange; including himself, his family or the XR4Ti crew. Rome will always mention that it is funny when his "family" (such as "Rome's Dad") emails the show, yet do not know their own name or Rome's personal email address. Rome also mentions that it would be miraculous to receive an email from his father, who is deceased, or from himself without knowing he sent it. Occasionally a Clone will email him as a member of his crew, prompting Rome to wonder why Stewart or Delloro, on the other side of the glass, would email him and not speak to him directly. In addition to writing in the voice of a famous person, some emails are written in the voice of an inanimate object. The most creative and obscure personified items are the most popular, and are often read on-air.
Emailers frequently add postscripts, such as "war-" (see "War" reference above), smack about other emailers, or qualifications. Emailer Dave in St. Louis began the custom of using qualifications with "non-hunter," a veiled reference to a press release by PETA that suggested male hunters have small genitalia. Sexual preference, ethnicity, or marital status are also used as qualifications. Dave in St. Louis has also popularized the use of the expression "Make the world a better place, punch (an unpopular/undesired person or group of people) in the face", a sentiment that Rome often disagrees with. Another common postscript, "___ lives here" can be props or ridicule of a certain team, etc. It is in reference to a sign seen at the November 9, 2006 Rutgers vs. Louisville game which stated "Undefeated lives here." (Rutgers had started the season a surprising 9-0, but lost the very next week). One of the newest postscripts is "[name], U.S. American," in reference to Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton's convoluted response in the 2007 pagent.
If Rome dislikes an email's content, he will often heckle the author, then discard it by crumpling the printout in front of the microphone (or activating a paper-crumple sound effect). In the case of a particularly offensive email, Rome also will chastise the author without reading the email on air, and/or chastises Travis Rodgers (who screens and presents selected mail to Rome) for bringing him the email. Allegedly to stave off floods of these kinds of emails, he will warn listeners of jokes and references that he does not want to see. Offensive emails can also earn the author criticism from other Clones. A prime example came on May 22, 2006, when Julian in D.C. suggested that Elmer's and Alpo were ready to welcome Barbaro to work for them after breaking down in the Preakness Stakes.
During the last half-hour of the show, Rome will announce the Huge Email Contest, in which he reads a handful of emails which were especially funny and/or interesting. Sometimes he will declare a winner, but this is not held to the same level of prestige as the Huge Call of the Day. More often than not, there will not be a contest, due to a lack of quality emails. On certain occasions, Rome will lose focus of the email contest if a topic of his dislike arises. This happened on February 22, 2008, when Rome received and email from Troy in Tampa in which he war-ed "bums stealing bread from ducks". This comment sent Rome into a nine minute sarcastic rant about the Clone's seeming infatuation with the homeless. Consequently, the email contest was not completed.
The emailing customs and rules evolved from the early days of the show, in which Rome accepted faxes from the Clones and ran a Huge Fax Contest on the show. Similarly, in 2008, Rome began accepting SMS text messages with similar rules to email.
All email is screened and presented to Rome for on-air reading by Travis Rodgers, the show's senior producer. According to Rome, Travis Rodgers maintains a bulletin board which features the best or oddest emails which have been received on the show. Occasionally Rome will receive an email which he feels merits inclusion on the bulletin board, and will ask Rodgers if it is worth adding to the board. Rome also states that Rodgers has a "list" of topics that he finds funny; any emailer who sends an email with one of the topics on the list will get read on the air.
Like the Huge Call, on occasion, Rome will offer prizes to the Huge Email of the Day, particularly if the sponsor has a large number of prizes to distribute. Past prizes have included buckets of David's brand sunflower seeds, Planet of the Apes DVD box sets, and, more recently (and on extremely rare occasions), even a Slingbox. Those emails that do win such prizes are usually thought -out, prose-style missives, in contrast to the "quick-hits" that make up the vast majority of emails received and read on the show.
Rome has a large archive of soundbites from celebrities and regular people who said or did something embarrassing or unusual within range of a microphone, and he loves to mine this archive for on-air ridicule. A clip is usually only played when a take, either from Rome or a caller, makes reference to it. In July 2006, in the wake of the Manual Buzzer take (see below
), show engineer Alvin Delloro created a Medley
called "Alvin's Mix," consisting of pieces of dozens of classic soundbites used since the show's inception. Alvin continues to add more soundbites to the mix, and it was last updated on October 18, 2007. Rome has described "Alvin's Mix" as sixteen years of radio rolled into a little over five minutes. Alvin occasionally plays the mix in double-speed, backwards
, or half-speed, for comedic effect.
Music and sound effects
Like other radio talk shows, The Jim Rome Show
has distinctive bumper music
and sound effects integrated into its format. At six minutes after each hour, the show opens with the song "Lust for Life
" by Iggy Pop
. The segment at the bottom of each hour opens with "Welcome to the Jungle
" by Guns N' Roses
, referring to the show's nickname. The final segment of the show is opened by the song "Up All Night" by The Boomtown Rats
, which was used in Rome's original late night show in San Diego. Other songs used as bumper music for commercial breaks include:
When the show is about to end, Rome plays a "Huge Call of the Day" (if there is one), then after the huge call, a boxing match bell rings three times, then followed by a quick sound drop and "Lust for Life" is played once again to close the show. Sound drops used include:
- "That's whack" - Ex-Lakers head coach Del Harris attempting to say a line from Shaq's rap album.
- "Ohhh, unbeebable" - A quote by golfer Jumbo Ozaki, when asked about Tiger Woods.
- "I think what I'm supposed to say is thank you, I'm out" - taken from a call by an elderly lady who surpassed all expectations, delivering an impressive smack-filled call.
- "Yes! And it counts!" - A trademark call by Marv Albert, which he uses during basketball games.
- "That's-When-You-Know-What-The-Answer-To-That-Question-Is" - Boxing referee Mills Lane during his Tyson/Holyfield post-fight press conference.
- "Without the nicks and cuts of a blade" - J-Stew in a Norelco commercial.
- "Clones is strong as horseradish!" - a quote from a former KILT program director in reaction to the Houston listeners rejecting a proposed tape-delay of the show.
- Denny Neagle imitating a steam whistle.
- A clip of Rome saying "HU-HU-HU-HU-HUUUUUGE!" (possibly digitally altered to achieve the effect)
- "That marijuana make you lazy" a clip from Rashaan Salaam.
- "You got a big dump in your pants" a quote from boxer Peter "McMeat" McNeeley.
The Smack-Off is an annual invitation-only competition, held in mid-to-late spring and which takes up the entire program on a Friday. The contest is a way to recognize the best callers to the show, as well as a means of determining the best caller of the year. Rome refers to the Smack-Off as the most important show of the entire year.
Year in review
In late December, Rome holds a special program called the "Year in Review." This was originally a one-day affair but was extended to three days in 2005 and two days in 2006. Going month by month, he recounts the good, the bad, and the ugly of the year that was in sports. He also mixes in the best of the off-beat news stories that were featured on the show. For this show, Rome schedules no guests and takes far fewer phone calls, preferring e-mail responses.
A Tour Stop is a limited access show, often held in an arena
or other large venues, and featuring sports-related guests, activities and surprises. A few times throughout the year, Rome will reward a syndication city with a Tour Stop. The tour stops are currently on an indefinite hiatus, as the last one was held in 2004.
During Super Bowl
week, Rome typically broadcasts live from Radio Row
on-location at the game's host city. Since there are many celebrities that peruse Radio Row, the show's format is more interview-oriented, allowing Rome to conduct many impromptu interviews with passers-by. As a result, no calls are taken and fewer emails are read. Sports topics, aside from the Super Bowl itself, usually take a backseat during this week, as the guests usually discuss their current ventures. Rome has on several occasions referred to Radio Row
as "Magpie Alley".
, Independence Day
, Labor Day
, etc.), a pre-recorded Best of the Jim Rome Show
is aired, hosted by producer Travis Rodgers.
The Jim Rome Show
offers a 60-second teaser
called The Rome Report
for affiliates to air daily. The Rome Report
usually offers a brief synopsis of one of Rome's takes from that day's program. The reports serve as commercials for the program, and are often broadcast during afternoon drive time
Rome's contract with Premiere Radio Networks stipulates copious paid vacation time, six weeks in addition to national holidays. At length he announces when he is going to be "in the basement" (on vacation) and for how long. He justifies his frequent absences to the Clones by proclaiming, "I take a lot of vacation because I get a lot of vacation" (a parody of a comment made by Patrick Ewing
during the 1998 NBA lockout). To ensure live content on days when Rome is absent, The Jim Rome Show
is hosted by a rotating stable of guest hosts, including:
- Boxing/Olympic analyst Jim Lampley. Lampley has been known to blast emailers for poor grammar and overall stupidity. Rome sometimes resets a Lampley rant in which he ridiculed the "media-driven hype" surrounding the year 2000 and how it was erroneously referred to as the beginning of the new millennium. Lampley has not hosted the show since being arrested in January 2007.
- Sportswriter Skip Bayless. When Bayless hosts, the show generally has a recurring theme, typical examples being his belief that the Ohio State Buckeyes stole the 2003 BCS Championship, his self-proclaimed addiction to Diet Mountain Dew, and his obsession with the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun (which Rome shares). Bayless also actively debates callers, as opposed to Rome, who rarely does so. Bayless is a polarizing and unpopular guest host, and many Clones call him "Skip Clueless." Rome, for his part, has no problem with Bayless and occasionally needles the Clones with the news that Bayless will be guest-hosting. Bayless has hosted the show on a less-frequent basis since joining the cast of Cold Pizza/ESPN First Take.
- Author and columnist John Feinstein. Feinstein's appearances are usually low-key in tone and dominated by interviews. He also appears frequently on the show as the subject of a Rome interview.
- Former ESPN anchor and current NFL Network personality Rich Eisen. Eisen once commented that he had always thought the show's email address was "email@example.com" until he guest-hosted. (The actual address is firstname.lastname@example.org, but Rome tends to say "haveatake" quickly.)
- Roger Lodge, host of Blind Date and a frequent interview guest on The Jim Rome Show. Lodge is also a frequent panel guest on Rome's ESPN program Jim Rome Is Burning. On both of Jim's shows, Lodge has taken to making the guarantee to shave his head, should a specific outcome occur. This is a guarantee that Lodge has always failed to follow through on.
- Fox Sports Radio personality Andrew Siciliano (from Gametime Live). On May 12, 2006, while Siciliano was guest-hosting, a caller coined the term "teammateship" (referencing Barry Bonds as an example of bad "teammateship"). This amused Siciliano, who remarked that the term should be entered on the Wikipedia article about The Jim Rome Show. Shortly thereafter, a caller stated that he had done so, prompting Siciliano to wonder "where these Wikipedia people come from." Siciliano has quickly gained favor with Rome, and he is usually the one to substitute if Rome leaves on short notice. Andrew is referred to as "Van Whack", "Substitute Jim", or "Rome Junior" by many of the Clones, and as "Deep Dish" by Randy and Jason Sklar. Siciliano is also a frequent panel guest on Rome's ESPN program Jim Rome Is Burning.
- Pop culturists Randy and Jason Sklar (of the ESPN Classic program Cheap Seats), whose subject matters are rather random. Randy is also a frequent panel guest on Rome's ESPN program Jim Rome Is Burning. The Brothers Sklar often date themselves with their frequent discussions on 1980s athletes of professional tennis, professional wrestling and the St. Louis Cardinals.
- KLAC radio personalities Petros Papadakis and Matt "Money" Smith. The pair, who host an afternoon show for the sports-talk radio station and Jim Rome Show affiliate, filled in for Rome on Presidents Day 2007 and during Fourth of July week that same year. They have also appeared on Jim Rome Is Burning.
- WDFN radio personalities Mike "Stoney" Stone and Bob "Wojo" Wojnowski. The pair, who host an afternoon show for the Detroit sports-talk radio station and Jim Rome affiliate, filled in for Rome on July 13, 2007. Stone has also appeared occasionally as a subject of Rome interviews.
- Kansas City Star sportswriter Jason Whitlock, who has also appeared as a subject of Rome's interviews.
- Comedian Jay Mohr. Mohr also occasionally calls in to Rome's show. He participated in the 2007 Smack-Off and finished in 7th place. When he appears in The Jungle, Mohr is referred to as "Slam Man".
- Actors Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly from HBO's Entourage hosted the show on August 15, 2007. The idea for Ferrara to host the show came about in an interview two weeks prior to Ferrara's guest-hosting, when Rome offered Ferrara a guest-host spot next time he goes on vacation, and Ferrara indicated his willingness to fill in as host.
Former guest hosts of the show include:
- Fox Sports Radio personality Steve Czaban. He hosted several consecutive days in 2001 when Rome's son Jake was born, but no longer guest-hosts.
Future of the show
Since its inception, The Jim Rome Show
has always been offered on terrestrial radio
, and has not been offered on satellite radio
. The show is, however, offered on streaming
through the official web site,
On May 6
, Rome made a return to TV
with Rome Is Burning
(later Jim Rome Is Burning
) on ESPN
, and occasionally hinted about switching the radio program to satellite, or abandoning the radio program altogether, in favor of television full-time.
Rome is often quite vocal about his frequent displeasures with affiliates, specifically those who do not carry the entire three hours, air the show on tape delay, or frequently pre-empt the broadcast. Rome has openly admitted that he is intrigued by the idea of satellite radio and broadcasting the program free of affiliates' interference. However, he is also aware of some listeners' problems with paying for satellite radio, and has received numerous phone calls and e-mails from terrestrial radio listeners who have said that the humor of the show has brought them through difficult times or keeps them entertained at work.
On April 27, 2006, Rome stated that he will keep the radio program going, but initially made no commitment to satellite or terrestrial. On July 11, 2006, Rome announced that he signed a multi-year deal wih Premiere Radio Networks to keep the show on terrestrial radio. In addition, he stated that the show may be simulcast on satellite radio in the future. Clear Channel provides content exclusively to XM Satellite Radio, including the entire Fox Sports Radio network.