Dan Roberts Photo by Adam Ewing
It's been years since the exploits of sports legends Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali were heard live on the radio, but both athletes recently returned to the airwaves via a new program. University of Richmond professor Dan Roberts, the man (and voice) behind the syndicated public-radio segment A Moment in Time, heard locally on WCVE, is now producing 30-second segments on sports history for his commercial radio program, A Sports Moment in Time.
"I always wanted to do something on sports," says Roberts. "We have had a very positive reaction, but boy, better make sure the facts are right. Sports folks are very, very serious about getting the facts right."
This is A Moment in Time's second spinoff. The first, This Moment in Time, began offering a date-specific perspective on history about a year ago on Richmond's Clear Channel stations, while A Sports Moment in Time debuted several months back.
"Dan approached me and wanted to create a more commercial version of A Moment in Time, " says Clay Hamner of LYTHOS studios, who became Roberts' business partner on This Moment in Time. Then, says Hamner, "I noticed through Google Analytics that we had higher traffic on days with sports events." And so, A Sports Moment in Time was born.
Though Roberts is a baseball fan and Boston Red Sox supporter, he generally observes sports from afar. This is where Bob Black, UR assistant athletic director, comes in. Black researches and writes the segments along with his 17-year-old son, Will, an aspiring journalist. "I like being the behind-the-scenes guy," Black says. "I know there are other programs like this, but we try to make it different by telling more than just the facts, by teasing the audience with information they wouldn't necessarily know offhand."
For now, the segments focus on history as it relates to the current sports season. The July 18 sports moment referred to the remarkable double-play combination during the 1910 New York Giants and Chicago Cubs game memorialized in Franklin Pierce Adams' poem, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," also known as "Tinkers to Evans to Chance."
Currently, A Sports Moment in Time airs five days a week on both of Richmond's sports-radio stations, ESPN 950 and Sports Radio 910. Thanks to recent agreements with Talk Radio Network and Business Talk Radio network, the show also airs on more than 200 stations nationwide.