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Please Say It Ain’t So, Papa Joe

Hilary Kraus The Spokesman-Revi

I blew it as badly as Scott Norwood in Super Bowl XXV.

Here was my big chance to go one-on-one against nationally syndicated sports talk show host Papa Joe Chevalier.

We were to meet Friday afternoon at the KTRW The Score radio tent at Riverfront Park. That was easy enough. Just follow the aroma of testosterone and look for the group that thought the flyer read Chauvinist Pigout in the Park.

I was ready. Years of listening and disagreeing, followed by month-long breaks. (How many “Bite Me Wednesdays” could I withstand?)

Lately, there had been The Score’s never-ending plug. Meet Papa Joe right here in Spokane.

So I did. And I had the ammo.

Title IX: I was ready with retort. Female sportswriters: Just call me a plethora of factual information. And, of course, this week’s retread topic: Football is a guy thing. More specifically, women just don’t understand the game.

The two-point conversion. We just don’t get it.

The new college overtime rule, forget about it. That’s far too complicated for us Betty Crockers.

But I blew it. After 10 minutes of friendly banter, I was ready to show off my sports savvy. And, of course, rip Papa Joe in the process.

“The new college overtime rule … explain it,” he asked.

“After the second overtime, a team has to attempt to kick a two-point conversion after the touchdown,” I began to explain.

“There’s no such thing as kicking a two-point conversion,” PJ quickly pointed out.

Darn, I should have used a No. 2 pencil.

I knew the new rule, and even though I quickly corrected my response - this time leaving out the word “kick” - my explanation already had sailed wide right.

Could anyone make this mistake? Absolutely.

But because it was a woman’s error, it’s just more fodder for the Father - and his fans.

His fans were out in number. Many showed up for a 1-hour autograph session at Spokane’s annual feast, where complimentary slices of pizza and mounds of strawberry shortcake were hardly in short supply for one out-of-town guest.

Next came his radio gig, a 3-hour program that was heard throughout the Inland Empire, but not nationally. His makeshift broadcast booth was in the downstairs casino at the Mars Hotel.

The Mars, now there’s an interesting choice. Last time I checked the Discovery Channel, there’s still no sign of intelligent life on the Red Planet.

The audience topped out at about 60 men, five women, and a couple of big-haired casino gals who obviously were on the clock.

Karri Doyle of the Spokane Valley, said she was there for one reason. Her husband wanted Papa Joe’s autograph. Her prize would be $100.

Mission accomplished and Doyle was on her way.

But for those who missed out on Friday afternoon at the Mars, you didn’t miss anything new.

It’s hard to deny that Papa Joe does a fine job at what he does. But what he does is an act. Sure, he must believe some of his battle cries, but his words are as premeditated as a politician on the campaign trail who’s forced to answer the repetitive questions about health care, crime or education.

Some of Papa Joe’s issues: Title IX: “It’s affirmative action of the worst kind. It’s taking scholarships away from superior athletes and giving them to inferior athletes.”

Women in sports media: “I’ve known women sportswriters and women sportscasters who know their stuff, but not as well as the men. They don’t know it the same way as the men know it.”

I sure hope it’s an act.

Today, Papa Joe’s agenda includes attending the UCLA at Washington State football game. He’ll be sitting in the stands with the fans.

Even though it’s not Wednesday, let’s all make him feel at home by giving him a big ol’ “Bite Me on the Palouse” welcome.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Hilary Kraus The Spokesman-Review

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