Back in December 2012, Mike ‘The Gasman’ Gastineau left sports-talk radio station KJR 950 AM. After more than two decades on-air at KJR, the longtime Seattle sports-talk personality wanted to try new things - a desire that quickly translated into his recently self-published book on the birth of Seattle Sounders FC.
Now things appear to be coming full circle.
Over the course of the last year Gastineau has set about redefining himself in the public spectrum - new soccer book, Sounders scarf and beer in hand - using his well-honed everyman personality to draw fans to the sport and to the MLS that might not have otherwise been interested.
Including KJR, it seems.
As I first discovered via SoundersNation.com, Gastineau has signed on to do a weekly soccer show on KRJ, every Tuesday night starting on April 15 at 7 p.m. Under the highly conceptualized name of “Seattle Soccer Talk Live,” the Gasman’s show will be recorded - you guessed it - live, alternating weekly between The Market Arms and the George and Dragon Pub. The first show will utilize The Market Arms as a backdrop, and according to SoundersNation.com will feature Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl and Dave Clark of the blog Sounder At Heart as guests.
“As I went around with the book, I kept hearing, ‘Why isn’t there more soccer coverage?’ from people,” explains Gastineau. “It occurred to me that that’s a pretty good question.”
According to Gastineau, a sponsor emerged in January - MetroPCS - that was interested in putting its name on a soccer show at KJR. The station, meanwhile, was also intrigued by the idea of attracting new listeners and growing its breadth of shows. Gastineau gives KJR credit for its willingness to give a soccer show a try. “A lot of stations wouldn’t have even thought about this,” he says.
The scheming culminated with Gastineau putting his name on the dotted line of a contract that will see his weekly soccer show run through November (or possibly December, depending on how long the Sounders’ season stretches this year), with a goal, “at the very least,” he says, of “making it a seasonal thing.” Continuing Seattle Soccer Talk Live year-round, or eventually expanding the program to two hours, are also possibilities, “dictated by the response,” Gastineau says.
“What this allows me to do, frankly, is make a little money in a subject I like, and in a medium I like,” offers Gastineau of his return to the airwaves. “Who doesn’t love sitting around bullshitting?”
That said, with nearly 10,000 copies of his self-titled book sold, and “a lot of lines in the water right now,” as he puts it, Gastineau is also quick to note that the debut of his new soccer show is not a precursor to his full-time return to sports-talk radio.
“Some people will say, ‘I thought you wanted to do something different,’” Gastineau speculates. “One hour on a Tuesday night talking about soccer is different. ... It still leaves me a lot of time to do other things.”