Childhood friends Brian DiMenna and Scott Ishii love sports so much, they wanted to create the sports radio talk show they wished they heard while growing up. So, they did!
RFB: Tell us a little bit about the creative (or other) path(s) that led to you doing your show and to RFB.
Brian: I grew up on sports talk radio and was an obsessive Mike and the Mad Dog fan in my formative years. But I started wondering why sports talk radio wasn’t just generally better and always kind of wanted a shot at it. I’d also dabbled in standup in my 20s but never enough to really make it a career, and gradually saw my creative outlets dwindle as I got older. So I think we both found ourselves wanting some kind of creative outlet — and now we can subject the RFB audience to our weekly ramblings.
Scott: I’ve always been more likely to listen to sports talk radio and podcasts than music, and wondered what it would be like to be part of the discussion rather than being on the sidelines. Brian and I have been trying to team up creatively since we were kids (including the time we wrote a pilot for a TV show that got us an unsuccessful meeting with Comedy Central). After we both got married and had kids, we sort of shelved those ambitions for a while, but this felt like a great opportunity for us to get those juices flowing again. So, here we are!
RFB: Why did you choose RFB?
Brian: Jon Reid, who is the host of the delightful Race to the Bottom, is my brother’s friend. I’ve followed his show (along with a bunch with envy), and then realized maybe Scott and I should do the same thing. RFB seemed like a good home for our vibe and particular brand of sports talk.
Scott: I got a text from Brian about submitting an application for a show with Radio Free Brooklyn and couldn’t wait to pull over at a rest stop to respond (I was driving my family to Cape Cod at the time), and think I said something like, “you better not be joking about this.” I didn’t know much about RFB to be honest, but the more I learned, the more excited I got and felt we had something to contribute.
RFB: Giants Among Men, being a sports talk show, is something RFB doesn’t have much of. Give us a hint of what makes you different and what listeners can expect from each show.
Brian: Scott and I are childhood friends and I think that comes through in our show, so I hope people will find it a bit like spending an hour with a couple of friends talking about sports. Between Scott’s coaching / teaching experience and my time in sports media we actually have something approaching what one might call “expertise,” in the loosest possible sense of the term. And we’re funny!
Scott: A lot of people love sports but Brian and I managed to make careers out of it in one way or another (as he mentioned above), so I would say that between the two of us we’ve got a unique perspective to offer. Combined with our lifelong friendship and deep familiarity with each other’s personalities and sports fandom… I think we’ll be an entertaining pair on the radio!
RFB: The COVID-19 pandemic continues, but that hasn’t stopped you from debuting a show! Tell us about the challenges and rewards of your process so far — and maybe a little about your in-home studio setup as well.
Brian: I’m still tinkering with the home studio which is really just my bedroom. I’m hoping to upgrade the gear as we go along, but right now it’s a laptop, headphones and a relatively solid microphone — but the key will be keeping the kids out while recording!
Scott: The creative process has been very rewarding. It’s one thing to be generally informed about sports and another to look at what’s happening and try to talk about it from a unique perspective. I have a long way to go, but I’m enjoying the process quite a bit. My studio is really just my laptop, headphones, an Amazon microphone — and whatever room in my small apartment that can offer peace and quiet when trying to record.
Tune in to Giants Among Men Thursdays at 6:00 am.