I learned something really interesting today, which is that Steve Somers is still alive. You people out there probably know New York’s flagship sports talk radio station WFAN mainly because of comic book hater and sugar-free mafia cosplayer Mike Francesa. Ah, but when I was growing up, there was an entire ecosystem of strange radio lizards orbiting about Mike, the most curious of which was Somers, a man who talks like a tape recorder playing at half speed and always sounds like he got drunk and time-traveled here from 1971.
Somers, who looks like Jim Henson’s horny cousin and who goes by the note-perfect radio moniker “The Schmoozer,” still plies his trade every night at 6:30 p.m., where he entertains calls from New York’s angriest sports fans and lulls them to beddy bye with his impossibly languid voice. I did not realize he was still on the air until today, when the fine radio monitors at @BackAftaThis posted this flawless clip of Somers introducing John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the only baseball writer to not vote Jacob deGrom for the Cy Young award (he voted for Max Scherzer instead), and who apparently couldn’t psychologically handle 30 seconds of Somers gently poking at him in his dulcet, lounge-lizard patter:
I’m gonna transcribe the meat of the exchange for you, but you should listen to it because it’s nothing without Somers’s flawless, oily delivery.
“John…. Can you look at yourself in the mirror? John?”
“Can I? ABSOLUTELY.”
[brief, incredible pause]
“No. No no no. You’re looking for 15 minutes of fame and attention…”
“Steve this interview is over, thank you. Goodbye.”
[longer, even better pause]
“What? Well, there’s a guy.”
Incredible. As someone who used to listen to Somers in his Oldsmobile on the way back from running tables in the 90s, I feel like I’ve been given a gift. It brings me strange comfort to know Steve Somers is still out there in the ether, sending his mellow vibes out into the night. I hope he broadcasts nude from a hot tub, with a little miniature gold replica of Fort Knox embedded in his chest hair.