We Want Answers: Josh Innes, WIP Sports Talk Radio
How is Philly treating you more than half a year in? Considerably better than you might believe. Obviously, there are the comments you read online from newspaper stories or on Crossing Broad … but nobody on there likes anybody.
You’ve made a name for yourself as an acerbic shock-jock alternative to some of the older crusts in Philly sports talk. I wouldn’t call it necessarily “shock jock.” I don’t really like that term. The reality is, there isn’t a ton on the show that I would consider shocking.
Recently you had a guy and his girlfriend on speaker, and you asked him how big her “cans” were. You want to consider that shocking; I just consider it lowbrow. I’m not the first guy on the radio to ever do that. If you listen to Cataldi in the morning, the biggest thing they have is Wing Bowl. They bring the girls in here. And the whole thing is, they’ve gotta have great cans to be a Wingette, or whatever.
Is your radio persona consistent off-air? At a bar, are you going to call out some guy who’s drooling all over Chase Utley? When it comes to my overall demeanor, a lot of people will say, “You’re nothing like you are on the radio.” Not that I’m a fake on the radio — that’s my personality, and those are my opinions — but I’ve gotten to a point where it’s harder to always be at 100. When I go home, I just sit on the couch, don’t really want to talk, don’t want to go out all that much.
You live in Manayunk. Yeah.
I think that’s where every WIP caller under 35 lives. I’ve noticed that. What’s funny is when I tell people I live in Manayunk, they’ll say, “Yeah, you sound like the kind of douchebag that’ll hang out at Lucky’s.” People always use the term “frat humor.”
Maybe they wouldn’t say that if they knew you dropped out of college. Exactly! I try to tell them that. When I was in college, I didn’t go to parties, wasn’t in a frat. I don’t get the concept. Like, “Hey, you can be part of our crew, but first you gotta let Chad drop his balls on your face.”
In the absence of, say, organized religion, I guess we grab onto other stuff to bind us together. Frats, sports. Maybe. I’d prefer to grab onto soft-core erotica on Cinemax at home.
Your dad was the longtime voice of Scooby-Doo. In high school, my nickname was “Scoob.” On my letterman jacket, in a total douche move, instead of having my name on it, it said “Scoob,” because nobody knew my actual name.
You’re from Missouri, grew up in Louisiana, and then did talk radio in Houston. Do you have any legitimate sports loyalties? The one team I’m a huge, die-hard fan of is the St. Louis Cardinals. This city, New York and Boston are the three big sports-radio cities. I feel I’m in one of the best sports cities in the country. I bring all this up because this is where I want to be. I went to the sports store — Mitchell and Ness — and got a throwback Randall Cunningham jersey. I want to be really, really into a team other than the Cardinals.
Who in Philly sports media is doing a crappy job? I’ll look at some of the stuff [the Inquirer’s] Jimmy Kempski writes, and I’ve just not been a fan of anything I’ve read. It feels kind of like fluff most of the time. In the pocket of the team, in a way.
Last question: Who wins a championship first, the Sixers or the Eagles? Neither.
Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.