The Jim Rome Show, as with other radio shows, has a number of unique facets to its content. In addition to the "smack talk" used by Rome and his fanbase, the show is primarily recognized for the use of colorful nicknames, the library of takes that Rome regularly features on the show, the most memorable interviews, the show's long-time callers (as well as those calls which are regularly ridiculed on-air), the reading of listener emails, and the frequent use of soundbites for comedic effect. This article is a list of some of the most widely-used and recognizable examples of the different facets to the show's content.
- "The Clones" - Rome's fanbase, stemming from the idea that their devotion to Rome, tendency to support his takes, and use of "smack" and jargon from his shows makes them different from regular people but all the same as each other.
- "Van Smack," "Jimmy Crack Corn," "Romey," "The Pimp in the Box", "Jimothy", "Man Candy", "Snagger", "Romius Prime", and "R-Unit" are all nicknames for Rome himself, used variously by acquaintances and the Clones.
- Rome refers to fans of a sport or team collectively as "___ Fan": e.g., "Laker Fan, "Soccer Fan" (also see "Raider Fan" below).
- The program directors of the affiliate radio stations that carry The Jim Rome Show are referred to as "monkeys" (see John in C-Town below).
- Tickets, especially those to Tour Stops, are referred to as "ducats".
- Residents of New England are often called "Chowds", a shortening of "Chowderheads".
Basketball-related (partial list)
- Ron Artest - "The Tru Warier," referring to Artest having the name of his record label (Tru Warier) inscribed on the back of his head in November 2005. And most recently "Ron-Ron".
- Kobe Bryant - "24," the number he currently uses, first adopted sarcastically during the 2005-06 season when it was announced that he would make the switch.
- Michael Finley - "Billy Ocean," for the facial resemblance to the singer.
- Robert Horry - "Will Smith" or "The Fresh Prince," for the facial resemblance to the actor.
- Phil Jackson - "Phillip"/"Laker Coach Phillip", a reference used by one-time Laker Isaiah Rider to describe Coach Jackson; "Big Chief Triangle," coined by Jeff Van Gundy while he was coach of New York during the Bulls-Knicks rivalry years; "The Big Hippie," which derived from his original nickname "The Big Fat Hypocrite" and his cultivated reputation as a mystic and philosopher.
- Magic Johnson - "Earv," from his given name Earvin.
- Michael Jordan - "45," for the number he wore during his stint in minor league baseball and the early stages of his first basketball comeback.
- Mike Krzyzewski- "Coach kruh-ZOO-skee," contrary to the correct pronunciation of his name (shuh-SHEFF-skee). The usage was originally coined by a caller, but Rome decided that he liked it.
- Steve Nash - "Kelly Leak," for his resemblance to the character played by Jackie Earle Haley in the Bad News Bears movies.
- Shaquille O'Neal - "Clank Fu," in reference to his video game Shaq Fu and O'Neal's poor free throw shooting; "Kazaam," for another movie starring O'Neal; "The Big Aristotle," for Shaq referring to himself as this; "The Diesel"
- Scottie Pippen - "Scott," as Rome feels that no grown man should still be going by the name "Scottie."
- Pat Riley - "The Oil Slick," for his slicked-back hair.
- John Stockton - "Pasty" or "The Pasty Gangsta", for his reputation as one of the dirtiest and mouthiest players in the NBA.
- Isiah Thomas - "Zeke," a nickname long associated with Thomas.
- Nick Van Exel - "Van Smack" (as is Rome himself), "Tha Gangsta Hoopa"
- Jeff Van Gundy - "Balki," for his resemblance to the character played by Bronson Pinchot on Perfect Strangers.
- Larry Bird - "The Hick", a shorter version of "The hick from French Lick."
- Andrei Kirilenko - "Squirtgun", because Rome does not think he deserves the nickname AK-47, because of his crying episode on the sidelines of an NBA Playoff game and his request to play basketball in Russia, rather than for the Jazz.
Football-related (partial list)
- Bill Belichick - "Hooded Sweatshirt" or "Hoodie," for the gray hooded pullover he wears during games.
- Bill Callahan - "Beau Bridges' Stunt Double," for the physical resemblance to the actor.
- Mark Chmura - "American Chewy," (a play on American Beauty) for being accused of sexual assault on a high school girl.
- Bill Cowher - "The Jaw," for his prominent jaw line.
- Dennis Green - "The Nutty Professor", for his resemblance to Eddie Murphy's character, Sherman Klump, in the Nutty Professor movies.
- Terrell Owens - "To," Rome's pronunciation of Owens's standard nickname "T.O."
- Bill Parcells - "The Tuna," a nickname long associated with Parcells.
- Deion Sanders - "Average" (formerly "Average Cornerback" & "Cornerback"), for stating the position of cornerback should be renamed to "Deion" when his skills at the time had become average compared to others corners in the league.
- O.J. Simpson - "Orenthal," O.J.'s given first name; "OJ" (pronounced "Ohj")
- Jim Tressel - "The Sweater Vest," for the garment he frequently sports during games and press conferences.
- Michael Vick - "Ron Mexico," for using the name as an alias while taking a herpes test.
Baseball-related (partial list)
- Dusty Baker - "The Lizard," due to his tendency to frequently lick his lips.
- Don Baylor - "Grimace," a reference to the former McDonald's character during his tenure as manager of the Colorado Rockies, whose color scheme includes purple.
- Barry Bonds - "Baroid," "Barry Bones," "Barry Bombs", or "BALCO Bonds," for Bonds' alleged steroid use and involvement in the BALCO steroid scandal.
- Bob Brenly - "Cowher," for his resemblance to former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
- Peter Gammons - "Andy," for his resemblance to Andrew Jackson, whose face graces the $20 bill.
- Steve Garvey - "Number Six", for his jersey number and his well-publicized issue of fathering illegitimate children.
- John Olerud - "C3PO-lerud," for wearing a batting helmet while playing in the field and his (allegedly) emotionless, robotic demeanor.
- Rafael Palmeiro - "Rafael (or "Ratfael") Palmeroid," for testing positive for steroids and for "ratting out" teammate Miguel Tejada for allegedly giving him the substance.
- Manny Ramirez - "Man-Ram," for the first three letters of his first and last name; "Planet Man-Ram" (usually referring to "Manny being Manny")
- Kenny Rogers - "The Roaster," after Kenny Rogers Roasters, a chain associated with singer Kenny Rogers.
- Jimy Williams - "Jy-mee," in honor of Williams' unusual spelling of his first name.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Jim typically adds several other locations that the team is near to the end of the team name to mock the fact that the team has 'Los Angeles' in their name without actually being in LA.
Others (partial list)
- Tiger Woods - "Eldrick," or "E," for his childhood name, or "Ger," short for Tiger.
- Colin Montgomery - "Monty" or "Mrs. Doubtfire," the latter in reference to his weight issues.
- Phil Mickelson - "Lefty," "Phil Mickelfat" or "Hefty," for his weight issues.
- The Big Ten Conference - "The Big Eleven," in reference to the conference actually having eleven teams since Penn State joined the conference in 1991.
- Soccer players - Rome frequently refers to soccer players by mixing the names of several players together.
- Canada - "America Junior," "America's Hat" (the Clones tend to use these nicknames more than Rome)
- "______-tariat", referring to the show's running joke of comparing WNBA players to horses (see below).
Affiliate cities (partial list)
- Atlanta, Georgia - "The A-T-L" or "A-Town"
- Cincinnati, Ohio - "The 'Nati"
- Cleveland, Ohio - "C-Town"
- Columbus, Ohio -"C-Bus"
- Detroit, Michigan - "D-Town" or "The D" (usually the latter)
- Houston, Texas - "H-Town"
- Jacksonville, Florida - "J-Ville"
- Los Angeles, California - "So-Cal" or "the O.C." (if specifically in Orange County).
Nearby Riverside ("River-tucky") and Fontana ("Fontana-tucky") are also common.
- Omaha, Nebraska - "Bugaha," "Crapaha," & "Neckaha"
- Rochester, New York - "Crapchester"
- 'San Diego, California - "Lo-Cal"
- San Francisco, California - "No-Cal"
- Washington, D.C. - "The District"
Regularly featured takesEdit
Rome gives his opinions on the show's topics in editorial-styled blurbs known as "takes." While he has countless takes on a variety of topics each day, several have gained notoriety status by Rome and the Clones. These topics are never forgotten, and from time to time, they are "reset" (brought back up) if they are relevant to the day's discussion, or if Rome wants to re-introduce the topics to new listeners. These include:
- Sapphire Gin Club - Rome likes to espouse his love of Sapphire Gin and often runs down the short list of his Sapphire Gin club members, Rome's favorite is Sapphire straight-up with a few olives. He also loves Lady GaGa.
- Rome Got It Wrong - As part of the sarcasm in his takes, Rome occasionally refers to an athlete or celebrity by the wrong name, or uses an incorrect reference or association, which sometimes leads to callers attempting to correct him. When Rome claimed that a man playing basketball for the University of Michigan in an NCAA ad campaign was Tony Gwynn, a caller rebuked him, saying "I believe it's Glen Rice." After Rome referred to Brian Shaw as "The Pride and Joy of St. Mary's" (referring to Saint Mary's College of California), a caller said that Shaw actually played at UC Santa Barbara. Rome replied with "I know when I'm wrong...I get paid to do this...and Brian Shaw is 'the Pride and Joy of St. Mary's.'" Rome has also referred to Angels manager Mike Scioscia as "Tony Scioscia," which prompted another unsuspecting caller to attempt to correct him. Rome insisted "No, I know who you mean, it's Tony."
- Drunk Celebrities - Rome often wonders, when a famous person is arrested for DUI, why he/she did not call a taxi, limousine, or ask him to send the "Celebrity Drunk Bus" (phone number: 1-800-BAAAAAAAAAAH!), which would have picked up the inebriated star and couriered him/her home. In a related note, Rome says that "nothing good happens at ______ a.m.," and if arrested, celebrities should never try to get out of it by audaciously asking the officer "Do you know who I am?"
- Keeping Things Positive - In 2003, the New York Jets public relations department denied Rome an interview with running back Curtis Martin, claiming that Martin only did "positive interviews" (implying Rome embodies negativity). Since then, Rome makes sure he only speaks "positive" about the Jets, Martin, or former coach Herman Edwards. On December 8, 2005, in response to a caller who stated that his boss thought that Rome was overly negative, Rome decided the whole show was going to be "positive" and began calling the show "The Garden." The normal bumper music was replaced by soothing, soft tunes, and any callers who stated negative opinions, such as using the words "smack" and "crack-back," were run, which resulted in virtually every caller getting run. Rome spent a great deal of this segment praising Terrell Owens and Barry Bonds as "team players." At the end of the show, Rome proclaimed the boring nature of "The Garden" as the reason he stays consistently negative towards athletes who act foolishly.
- The Law of Diminishing Returns - Rome uses this term to describe the experience of eating hot dogs, doughnuts, and other such foods, which he compares to smoking crack because once he eats one, he enjoys it so much that he eats another to "chase" the high he got from from the first one, but the second fails to meet the pleasure he got from the first, so he then will eat a third or fourth and get sick.
- The Rome Family "Dog Holocaust"' - While he was in college, Rome came home one summer and noticed that the family's three elderly dogs were not around the house or in his yard. When questioned about the pets, his father answered, "The dogs are gone." Thinking that they were just merely running loose in the neighborhood, Rome continued to ask where they were, and his father continued to reply, "They're gone." Finally, his father disclosed that one of the dogs had become ill and had to be euthanized, and he decided to have the other two put down as well.
- Rome's previous jobs - Occasionally, Rome will talk about the jobs he held before getting into broadcasting, describing the various ways in which he was inept at those jobs. An example of this is when he was a teenager and worked at In-N-Out, a So-Cal fast food chain, where Rome stated he had significant trouble placing the hamburgers in their tight wrappers. However, he claims that despite this, he was well regarded for his abilities on the company softball team, which earned him the nickname "Snagger." He also occasionally talks about his job as a salesman (see "Sales Guy" below).
- Merkurs - On occasion, Rome will reset the story of the worst car he ever owned, a Merkur XR4Ti. Although he admits the car was trendy and sporty when it was new, he firmly believes there was about a two year threshold before the car exposed itself as a lemon. According to Rome, the dashboard warning lights lit up so often that he referred to it as a "Christmas Tree]," and when trying to take the car in for repairs, few mechanics had ever heard of Merkurs. Rome loves to end the story by recounting the day he traded in the ill-fated car. After barely making it to the dealership, moments after the paperwork was transferred, the mechanic went to take the car away, and it broke down for good. Merkurs are often referenced by e-mailers, especially former owners.
- Little League Baseball - Nothing from his childhood seems to have stuck in Rome's mind more than a disappointing gift he received playing Little League baseball. At the end of the season, Rome and his teammates were given multi-colored, mini-screwdriver sets, presumably a "man's gift." It ended up being a dull present that none of the boys cared for. Rome also asserts, in relation to his take on ice cream men (see below) that there is nothing creepier than a Little League coach who has no kids. Rome and the Clones also frequently ridicule the commercials for Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills, which feature a stilted and emotionless endorsement from Fred McGriff.
- Butterknife - Rome occasionally mocks a veteran sportstalk host known as Lee 'Hacksaw' Hamilton, who was working at XTRA radio in San Diego when Rome was just starting off. The two apparently did not get along, and Rome's 'Butterknife' nickname is used to mock the 'Hacksaw' shtick. On the show, Rome imitates Hamilton with a loud, gruff voice, barking phrases such as "React to me!", "Have I given you enough to talk about!?", and "Show me your lightning bolt!", a line Hamilton would use on-air when demanding calls from San Diego Chargers fans. Rome has commented that it hurts his voice to do his Hacksaw impression too often. Rome never explicitly explains the 'Butterknife' reference to his listeners, hinting that the SoCal Clones are the only ones who should get the reference to Hacksaw.
- 0-16 "Dream Season" - Since going to a sixteen-game schedule in 1978, no NFL team had ever finished the season winless until the Detroit Lions accomplished that feat on December 28, 2008. Rome's fascination stems from the sheer difficulty of the feat and the level of apathy required to pull off such a pathetic result. Teams such as the Chargers, Bengals, Texans and Raiders have been on Rome's radar, only to "fall short" of the true desire to completely give up and lose every game. The 2001 Lions had come the closest to that mark, starting the season 0-12 before getting their first win. Rome's motto for these teams is "when the going gets tough, quit," and when they drop a close game, he praises them extensively for their ability to "sack up and roll over" or to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" when their "perfect season" was on the line. Since the 2008 Lions completed their run during Rome's Christmas/New Year's break, Rome's January 5, 2009 show was highly anticipated for his reaction to finally achieving his "dream season." He came through with a celebratory take praising "my Detroit Lions" for avoiding an epic choke job against the heavily favored Packers, getting outscored 17-7 in the fourth quarter to break a third-quarter tie, and achieving the dream - "my dream." Rome has also encouraged teams in other sports to set records for underachievement. He rooted for the 2005 Temple Owls to complete a winless season, which they did going 0-11. In hindsight, Rome reviewed the 2004 UCF Knights, who finished 0-11. Rome has also gone on record as pulling for the 2006 Royals to set the season record for most losses in a season (and the 2003 Tigers before that). Talk of this is usually focused during long losing streaks, when such teams "invent new ways to lose all the close ones."
- Male potency drugs - Pointing out that the commercials for "Little Blue Miracles" are obscenely suggestive, Rome could not help but think how inappropriate it was for Pfizer to be the sponsor of MLB's "Comeback Player of the Year." Rome also sometimes references a commercial for a mail order men's medication called Bang that regularly ran in the early days of the show. The commercial featured a breathy female voice saying "Bang!" repeatedly, without ever quite saying what it was or how it worked. To mock the lowbrow status of the show back then, symbolized by the crudely suggestive commercial, Rome resets the spot by mocking the product and saying "Bang!" repeatedly.
- Boy Bands - Rome likes to point out that while they are aimed at teenage girls, boy bands are almost always comprised of adults. Thus, he calls these bands' members "man banders" and takes the liberty of adjusting the bands' names, referring to the Backstreet Boys as the "Backstreet Men," *NSYNC as "*N-Men," and O-Town as "O-Men." He also has called Nick Lachey "Nick Simpson" after Lachey said to the press that he supported ex-University of Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins.
- "Growing A Tail" - Rome was on a United Airlines flight on October 20, 1995, when Gerard Finneran, a 58-year-old business executive, became angry after being denied further alcohol service. In a drunken rage, he proceeded to defecate on the food service cart and spread feces all over the first class cabin. The act of public defecation is now known as "growing a tail" or "blowing mud." Najeh Davenport is also the subject of ridicule from a similar incident.
- "Hell Week" - In the early days of the show on XTRA, most of the topics were locally focused on Southern California sports, especially the intense interdivisional rivalry between the Raiders and the Chargers. The week before each match-up was called "Hell Week" and the show was dominated by fans of those teams, whose calls typically went: "Chargers suck, Raiders rule. GOOD NIGHT NOW!" or "Raiders suck, Chargers rule. GOOD NIGHT NOW!" Even now that the show is national and the Raiders have relocated to Oakland, Rome still refers to the week before each Raiders/Chargers game as "Hell Week," frequently resetting those calls and taking a few new calls for old times sake. Rome often cites "Hell Week" as one of the things (along with depressing live remotes at local bars and restaurants) that pushed him to take the show to a more national audience.
- Gadgets - Rome is a self-confessed "degenerate" for technology and gadgets, especially PDAs, cell phones, and the Slingbox. He claims to own several different cell phones, and refers to his BlackBerry as a "CrackBerry" for its addictive qualities. He enjoys receiving emails which claim to have been sent from a BlackBerry or a Sidekick. He also likes to talk about the pros and cons of the various makes and models, although usually only in passing and only when the topic is mentioned in an email.
- "Cockfighting Across America Foundation" ("CAAF") - In early 2007, Rome proposed the "Cockfighting Across America Foundation" as a way to keep kids off the streets and away from drugs, gangs and violence. He has stated that this foundation is a way for him to "give back to the community" and to "help make a difference" in the lives of America's youth. He has also stated that locking kids in basements to see cockfights can be successful in keeping them off the streets, and that he has taken his own children to see cockfights. However, many listeners failed to spot Rome's sense of sarcasm and parody when he talks about CAAF, and some have reacted angrily to Rome's proposal. On March 13, 2007, after receiving many calls and e-mails from listeners who took Rome's idea seriously, Rome had to clear the air and explain that he was only joking about the foundation. The origin of CAAF comes from an interview Rome once did with Roy Jones, Jr., where the boxer talked about cockfighting and how spending time with his chickens was soothing.
- Colleges - Rome is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and rarely misses an opportunity to praise (at least partly tongue-in-cheek) the athletic achievements of the Gauchos, as well as sports figures with a Gaucho connection. In 2006 the UCSB soccer team won the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship, a result which Rome acknowledged left him with mixed feelings - although Rome knows any national title is worthy of praise, this one happened to be in the loathed sport of soccer (see "Soccer" take below). By the same token, Rome rarely misses an opportunity to criticize Cal State-Fullerton as a glorified community college, and he proclaims a degree from Fullerton only qualifies its students for a job in pizza delivery. This is a needle at show contributor Jason Stewart, a Fullerton grad. Rome and the Clones like to portray University of Southern California alumni as men who live in beachside houses and attend USC football games with their mistresses.
- Vacations - Rome often states, "(he) take(s) a lot of vacation time, because (he) get(s) a lot of vacation time". (See "Patrick Ewing" below).
- Soccer - Rome loathes soccer and extensively ridicules the sport on the show, criticizing it for fan violence (particularly urine bombs), lack of scoring, racism, and diving. He is particularly vicious about "passion" and "creativity," two attributes soccer fans allegedly ascribe to the sport; when he offers a soccer take, he sarcastically cites the aforementioned failings as examples of passion and creativity. Rome refers to the MLS Cup as the "Capri Sun Cup," suggesting the winning team celebrates by drinking the fruit beverage and eating orange wedges, just as a youth soccer team would. Rome has also called soccer a "communist sport" and often jokes about mothers driving their minivans onto the field at halftime to serve orange slices and Capri Sun juice packs. Continuing the theme, Rome dubs the American population of soccer fans "Orange Slice Nation." Rome used to talk about how, to his dismay, his eldest son Jake had developed into an above-average youth soccer player, but in August 2006, he relayed the "happy news" that Jake had gotten tired of soccer and had decided to quit playing. On November 19, 2009, he claimed he was finally warming up to soccer (like he had warmed to horse racing and NASCAR), but then gave it a manual buzzer and a Rickroll, reiterating his hatred of soccer. In June 2010, on the eve of the FIFA World Cup, Rome stated that he was "trying his damnedest" to give soccer a fair shake, especially since ESPN coverage of the games would pre-empt his TV show until June 28, but later revealed that he would limit his soccer comments (if any) to Team USA's performance, and would otherwise ignore the tournament and the sport as a waste of time. Rome's opinion of soccer is so well-known that in 2005 Nike released a soccer-themed advertisement containing a thinly-veiled parody of Rome's tirades.
- Bowl games and the BCS - While the games of the College Football Playoff (and the BCS before that) are closely followed on the show, Rome has no use for the minor bowl games, especially those played before Christmas. Rome points out that some feature lackluster matchups between 6-6 teams; some, such as the MPC Computers Bowl, are played in uninteresting and obscure cities; and others simply have excessively long sponsor names, notably the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Rome feels that most of these minor bowls exist solely to appeal to "gambling degenerates"; in his own words, "There are several reasons to have these games. Gambling, gambling and, of course, gambling." Rome criticized the BCS for being ineffective and unable to determine a true national champion, and referred to its supporters as "BCS honks."
- Golf - Rome considers golf to be "witchcraft," due to the often-inexplicable ways in which a player's luck on the course can fluctuate, using David Duval's up-and-down career as a prime example. He has also discussed teenage golf prodigies Ty Tryon and Michelle Wie and whether they were being too pushed too hard to compete at the highest levels of the sport.
- Bowling - Rome does not care for bowling ("If you bowl, you're a loser") and states that it cannot be considered a sport since it's possible to improve your scores as you consume alcohol. He points out that bowlers often have silly wrist things, a cigarette hanging out of their mouths, and eat greasy food from the concession stand. On so-called trick bowling, Rome can't decide who he finds more ridiculous, the trick-shot bowlers who "snap" a ball backward through their legs, or the spectators at the alley who pay to watch trick bowling.
- NASCAR - During the early years of the program, Rome was openly critical of NASCAR, referring to it as "Neck-Car" and making fun of its drivers, referring to them all as "Rusty", "Dale", "Ricky", or "Ernie." Since then, he has had a complete change of opinion about the sport, and has apologized for his insults. He cites the character of NASCAR drivers and the consistently high quality of interviews given by drivers over the tenure of the show as the main reasons for his change of opinion. The one exception to Rome's praise is Tony Stewart, who to date has refused to grant Rome an interview, and who has been chided by Rome for hypocritical behavior. He has a tremendous amount of respect for former champions Richard Petty and Rusty Wallace.
- Hockey - Rome likes ice hockey and periodically interviews NHL players, coaches, and journalists, with frequency increasing during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To tweak Clones who don't care for the NHL, whenever Rome does a hockey take, he precedes it with a "Hockey Alarm" (a loud goal horn sound effect) to alert the Clones that he's about to mention hockey in the Jungle.
- Wrestling - Rome has no use for professional wrestling, often remarking that pro wrestlers often wear masks (such as Rey Mysterio, Jr.), sit under a sun lamp to get a nice orange tan (a veiled reference to Hulk Hogan), and wear outfits consisting of blue tights. He has a particular disdain for WWE owner Vince McMahon, who kept a PPV broadcast running even after one of his wrestlers, Owen Hart, died in a freak accident during the event (and later justified his decision on The Last Word). Rome also has little use for collegiate and amateur wrestling, citing that the participants wear water polo helmets and unitards, and that they practice their "special holds" on each other on dirty, unsanitary wrestling mats. One of those "special holds" that Rome used to reference repeatedly is The Shocker.
- Mixed Martial Arts - In contrast to wrestling, Rome comments positively about mixed martial arts, and often interviews guests from the MMA world, including UFC president Dana White and various fighters. Although acknowledging that many listeners don't care at all about MMA and consider it human cockfighting, Rome insists that many listeners do care enough to make it worthwhile to include the sport in his program.
- The NIT - Rome has nothing good to say about the "other" college basketball postseason tournament, claiming the only thing the winner can say is "We're number 69!" Rome has similar feelings towards the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball "First Four."
- Women in sports - Even though he is a great admirer of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, Rome has no love lost for the WNBA, the NCAA Women's Tournament, the Women's NIT, women's soccer, or any other professional women's sport. Rome has also frequently asked NBA Commissioner David Stern when the WNBA will be disbanded, only to be rebuffed. Rome has a lackadaisical attitude toward the success of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team in the World Cup.
- Homosexuals in professional sports - Rome is open toward homosexuals in professional sports, mainly those who have the courage to "come out." For many years, he believed that the day an active professional athlete would come out was still far away, as he judged athletes' general attitudes toward homosexuality as being close-minded. This attitude was reinforced by a 2002 show interview with retired MLB outfielder Eric Davis in which Davis expressed his misgivings at homosexuals in the locker room, and by the reaction to John Amaechi's coming out in 2007, especially the homophobic comments by Tim Hardaway. Rome has said he would be supportive of his son Jake (now 13) coming out as an adult if he was homosexual. Rome has spoken positively of the coming out of the NBA's Jason Collins and the NFL's Michael Sam.
- NCAA Baseball - While he loves to talk about the major leagues, Rome hates college baseball. In his opinion, any sport where someone can hit six or seven home runs in a game is not worthy of discussion. He only acknowledges the sport during the College World Series, often sarcastically imitating the "PING!" sound of an aluminum bat hitting the ball.
- The Olympics - Rome feels that the Olympics is the most overhyped sporting event ever, explaining that he is not interested in obscure athletes playing odd sports (save for basketball and hockey) that only get attention once every four years. Rome has described the double luge as two men wearing condom suits, and has mocked women's curling for the weird screams and yelps uttered by curlers like Jennifer Jones as they push the "cheese wheel" down the ice. He also refers to the Games as "The WNBA on steroids" and "The X Games but less interesting."
- "Softball Guy" - Similar to his feelings about bowling, Rome also finds jest in men's softball leagues. Rome feels that "Softball Guy" takes the recreational game much too seriously, puts sophomoric nicknames on the back of his jersey (such as "The Rammer"), uses equally immature jersey numbers (such as 0.08, a DUI reference, or 69, a sexual reference), addresses the umpire as "Blue," keeps team statistics, and tends to consume inordinate amounts of alcohol. Rome also notes that "Softball Guy" is frequently a former youth baseball player who claims he would be in the major leagues by now, if not for a high school coach who "had it in for him."
- "Likes to Bet Guy" (AKA "Gambling Degenerates") - Rome frequently references the stereotypical sports gambler. Noting that casinos designate obscure and unequivocally minor sporting events with gambling odds, Rome has decided it is likely for the purpose of satisfying the "gambling degenerate". Rome explains how "Likes to Bet Guy" cares more about if his favorite team covers than if they win, and refers not to their overall record, but their ATS (against the spread) record. Rome also ridicules newspapers who publish daily betting lines and label it as "for entertainment purposes only." A caller to the show once claimed to be a heavy WNBA bettor; upon further questioning by Rome, he said his system was to bet on every single game, picking the favorite against the spread. This call only lowered Rome's opinion of "Likes to Bet Guy." Rome has vowed never to be the type of host who pads his program with "picks" for weekend sports action.
- "Likes to Fight Guy" - Much like Rome's stereotypical "Softball Guy" and "Likes to Bet Guy," "Likes to Fight Guy" is self-explanatory (on occasion, all three are one and the same). It is a frequent reset on the show, especially when celebrities and/or alcohol are involved.
- "Corvette Guy" - While driving his Mercedes SL65, Rome encountered a man driving a Corvette who was showing off and appeared to taunt Rome by urging him to street race. This left Rome quite unimpressed, and he has spun this story into a take ridiculing anyone who tries to live vicariously through their car. Rome was dismayed by the fact that callers subsequently identified the make and model of Rome's car, as well as the Corvette's, with nothing but the minimal information Rome provided over the air when describing the story.
- "Sales Guy" - Occasionally, Rome talks about his first non-radio job after college, when he was a traveling salesman. In his own opinion, he was horrible at the job and only lasted a short time before quitting, so he admires anyone who can put up with the stress. He particularly likes explaining a "trick of the trade" he used when he was behind quota, unable to sell any goods or acquire any prospects, and feeling miserable. He would visit a restaurant for lunch, pull business cards out of the fishbowl when no one was looking, and bring the cards back to his boss as "leads." Another trick Rome often references is "trapping" a lead by saying, "I'll be in your neighborhood tomorrow; what's better for you, morning or afternoon?" (He sarcastically complains that this trick never worked when he tried it, even though all the sales manuals said it would.) When Rome offers a "Sales Guy" take, Clones who are salesmen themselves invariably call or email the show to offer their own horror stories, sympathy, and support.
- "Raider Fan" - Rome regularly disparages crazed fans of various teams or sports with a "Fan" label, but the term with the most staying power is that of "Raider Fan," his prototypical Oakland Raiders supporter. In his view, "Raider Fan" lives to get drunk and smoke marijuana, wear silver and black face paint, don garish silver and black costumes (or Darth Vader regalia), attend Raiders games in the end-zone seating area known as the "Black Hole," and fight constantly before, during, and after games with anyone and anything. Whenever Rome does a take on news affecting the Raiders, he constantly speculates how the news will affect "Raider Fan," usually concluding that it will make "Raider Fan" very angry. Rome also references "Raider Myopia," suggesting that "Raider Fan" is always overly optimistic about the team's chances of winning upcoming games, despite evidence to the contrary.
- The Bowtie Revolution - Rome (or emailers) will occasionally bring up a fictitious list of men, led by pro linebacker Dhani Jones, who wear bowties in public as an attempt to bring them back into mainstream fashion. Current members of the Bowtie Revolution include: Tucker Carlson, Donald Duck, Pee-Wee Herman, Matthew Lesko, Les Nessman, Bill Nye the Science Guy, "The Monopoly Guy", "The Guy on the Pringles Can", Orville Redenbacher, and George Will. Mr. Peanut and Colonel Sanders had originally been announced as members, but were eventually removed from the list when a closer look revealed that neither has ever sported a proper bowtie. Jones, however, began to fall out of favor on the show when he defended Michigan after they lost to Appalachian State in 2007.
- Chiropractors - On the August 15, 2001 show, Rome griped about chiropractors, questioning why anyone would open up a medical practice at a mall, displaying propped-up human skeletons and offering "bent pens" (spine-shaped ballpoint pens) and free back alignments. This angered the ACA, who argued that their profession offers more than just back alignments.
- Ice cream men - Rome is wary of ice cream men, who he believes are sexual predators who use the sweet dessert to get at children. This view was only strengthened after a 2005 incident in Wisconsin where an ice cream man was arrested on a DUI charge and later found to be a registered sex offender. After a second high-profile incident, Rome stated that it had become an "ice cream epidemic." Rome often comments that the reason ice cream trucks play calliope music is to "cover up the screams."
- The Rat Family - In the early days, Jim Rome would burn on "the Rat Family", several athletes and celebrities who were ugly and vaguely looked like rats. In recent years, he has shunned the term as part of his moratorium on smacking on personal appearance ("Personal appearance is not show fodder"). Emailers and Tweeters (and, from 2008-2012, texters) who try to reference the Rat Family get reprimanded and sometimes blocked.
Television and moviesEdit
- Good Will Hunting - This apparently is Rome's favorite movie, and he will sometimes quote the line "How do you like dem apples, AAHHHH" in a faux New England accent.
- Top Gun - Rome and former guest host Skip Bayless both have a crude fascination with the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun, which shows the "greased up" actors flexing their muscles between points while the song "Playin' with the Boys" by Kenny Loggins is heard in the background. Neither understands why that scene is in the movie, and Rome has gone as far as labeling the scene "softcore gay porn." In 2008, when Paramount reportedly wanted to make a Top Gun sequel and bring back Tom Cruise to play a flight instructor, Rome criticized the original movie, declaring "Maverick killed Goose" and that Maverick compounded the killing by throwing Goose's dog tags into the ocean "like a girl," leaving Goose's wife and children with nothing. As for the sequel, Rome complained that the whole point of Cruise's character as someone who breaks all the rules is lost as an instructor, and that the only thing Maverick could possibly teach flight students is how to "find the cougar instructor and get with her." When Cruise told an Australian TV show in May 2017 that Top Gun 2 was going to happen, Rome took the opportunity to restate his objections to the idea, adding that Iceman (Val Kilmer) was now too fat to get into a plane, and that "drones do not play beach volleyball." When Rome does a Top Gun take, themes from the soundtrack and "Playin' with the Boys" are aired in the background.
- Star Wars - Rome has no use whatsoever for Star Wars; after a 2004 call from a Clone who compared LPGA golfer Annika Sörenstam with Anakin Skywalker, Rome stated: "If you are over the age of twelve and you still care about Star Wars, you...are...a...loser." Rome would continue to make his attacks on Star Wars fans by commenting on the numbers of attendees at a Star Wars convention in Indianapolis being larger than those appearing at a Tour Stop in Detroit on the same weekend. In August 2001, Rome spent an entire show ridiculing Star Wars and its fans upon news that the upcoming Star Wars prequel would be named "Attack of the Clones." Against Rome's attempts to keep his son Jake away from Star Wars influences, Jake has discovered Star Wars, especially Darth Vader, whom he describes as "cool." On May 4, 2017, Rome stated he would acknowledge Star Wars Day for those Clones who were Star Wars fans, adding "May the Fourth be with you.... nerds." Whenever Rome does a Star Wars take on the show, music from the soundtrack (including the Imperial March) and R2-D2 sound effects play in the background.
- Reality TV - Rome has little use for reality TV shows, often making fun of programs like Man vs. Beast, Celebrity Boxing and The Surreal Life. He has commented, "If you don't hate reality TV, you're not smart." He has tried to avoid talking about American Idol (which he often calls "American Karaoke"), but after that show's second season Rome complimented then-Mets first baseman Mo Vaughn on his singing victory (a reference to Vaughn's weight, resembling that of Ruben Studdard).
- Blind Date - Rome singles out this reality TV program for starring show contributor Jason Stewart in one episode. Stewart's "blind date" with a young woman resulted in Rome disparaging the woman as a "909 skank" (a reference to an unfashionable California area code), blasting the program as a waste of time, and complimenting J-Stew for realizing this early on by repeatedly insulting the woman on-camera. Rome sometimes refers to J-Stew as "the best contestant Blind Date has ever had." Despite this sentiment, Rome has a good relationship with Blind Date host Roger Lodge and has regularly featured him in on-air interviews, as a guest host, and as a Forum panelist on Jim Rome is Burning.
- COPS - Rome dislikes this long-running program, claiming that every episode is the same. His complaints include the "Bad Boys" theme song, and how most of the incidents occur at a trailer park in Florida, Las Vegas, or Texas. Rome notes that the suspects are often 50 pounds overweight (or 50 pounds underweight), shirtless, wear a greasy mullet, drive an IROC, and the first words out of their mouth are a disingenuous "What are you guys doing here?" Inevitably the suspect's girlfriend comes out of the trailer with a black eye, telling the officers to let him go because she "deserved it." Also notable are the couple's numerous dirty children and the meth lab inside.
- America's Funniest Home Videos - This long-running ABC-TV program is frequently ridiculed by Rome and the Clones, who normally refer to it as "America's Stupidest Home Videos." The claim is made that the "accidents" shown in the home videos are usually staged. The propensity for rednecks to film and be the subjects of the videos is also noted. Coincidentally, Rome himself was spotted as a member of AFV's studio audience alongside his wife and children. After being called out by a caller in March 2007, Rome explained this appearance to the Clones by claiming that he got AFV tickets from a friend as a favor to his son Jake, who loves the show, and that he was attempting to avoid the studio audience cameras.
- HBO - Rome has gone on record as being a fan of some HBO original series, including The Sopranos and Entourage. Breaking sports-talk format, Rome has had several actors from those programs appear as guests on the show.
- Die Hard - Recently emerging as a rival for Good Will Hunting as Rome's favorite movie, Die Hard quotes (at least, those safe for terrestrial radio) became a show staple in 2008. Rome is particularly fond of Alan Rickman's character Hans Gruber's quotes ("Clay... Bill Clay", "Shoot the glass!", et. al.), as well as Ellis ("Hans, bubi, I'm your white knight!"), Theo ("OH MY GOD, the quarterback IS toast!") and the star of the movie, Bruce Willis as John McClane ("Come out to the Coast! We'll get together, have a few laughs!").
- Glengarry Glen Ross - Beginning with a reference to the line "Coffee's for closers only", Rome has expressed his fascination with Alec Baldwin's memorable rant in this movie. With Alvin's pending nuptials, Rome dubbed him "Man's Game" after part of this scene. Rome spent an entire show segment going over the rant, airing some of the more memorable, radio-safe quotes (such as "A-B-C - A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing! Always be closing, always be closing!"). Rome could identify with the struggling salesmen, having failed at sales himself.
- Say Anything - Rome and the Clones interpret the famous boombox scene with John Cusack as the actions of a creepy stalker, and make jokes about the movie being a document of his arrest for stalking. Rome says the song Cusack's character plays on his boombox, Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," refers to the pepper spray he's going to get.
- The Bad News Bears - This was Rome's favorite baseball movie when he was a kid, but on his show it has notoriety for introducing the phrase "liquor-fueled lesbian rampage" to the Jungle, referring to a Tatum O'Neal nightclub incident from 2005. In his take Rome wondered how Kelly Leak, Tanner Boyle, or "that lush" Buttermaker would have intervened with Amanda Whurlitzer.
- Dungeons & Dragons - Much like his antipathy for Star Wars, Rome has nothing kind to say about adults who play Dungeons & Dragons or other role-playing games, pointing out that most are not savvy with women, live in their parents' basement, and seem to have a unusual fascination with a twenty-sided die.
- Poker - Rome's take on poker is that the game has been oversaturated in recent years on TV (most notably Rome's former network, ESPN). He also remarks that the majority of players are either eventual college drop-outs, or wear sunglasses.
- Fantasy football - Rome is fine with casual players of fantasy football, but mocks serious players as losers who neglect their personal relationships and jobs for the sake of their fantasy team. He remarks that if they did the math, the countless unpaid hours they spend preparing for the draft room, reading fantasy football message boards, scanning the waiver wire, and paying for hot tips aren't worth the cash prize or the risk of getting fired. He further notes that all this work can be undone if, in real life, the coach substitutes an undrafted scrub in for your guy at the one-yard line, who then scores a touchdown that you should have had. Rome has labeled the championship game of fantasy football season "Knobs v Tools." Whenever he discusses football news on the show that potentially affects fantasy players, he sarcastically raises a "Fantasy Alert" sound effect to inform the Clones. He has also classified and described four different types of Fantasy Football Draft Room Guys: The Stat Geek, The Drunk, Wing-It Guy, and The Jerk.
Some of the most memorable (and sometimes forgettable) interviews on the show include:
- Mark Grace– During his playing days, the personable MLB first baseman appeared regularly on the show, and because of this was once considered the best athlete in the Jungle. Grace is now remembered primarily for soundbites taken from two interviews. The first describes an encounter with fellow Cub Greg Maddux. During a game, Maddux appeared uncomfortable on the mound, leading Grace to think he might have pulled his groin. Upon going to the mound, Grace realized that Maddux was actually noticeably aroused, and remarked: "(laughing) Dude, you love to pitch, don't you?!" The second derives from when Grace was in the middle of a particularly hot hitting streak, and his teammates were commenting that he must have been getting with a bunch of "slumpbusters." Grace explained how baseball players (who are commonly superstitious) would attempt to break a batting slump by going to a bar, seeking out "the gnarliest, ugliest chick," and taking her home to "lay the wood to her."
- Steve Elkington- One of Rome's favorite interviewees, the Australian pro golfer drops in often and shares stories from his experiences on the PGA Tour. These stories include tales about Colin Montgomerie's "sweaty undies," about him and his friends getting "loaded up on froth and bubbles," saying that he "sees cat, mate" at a party in Las Vegas with Brad Penny and others, and a wild night at a bar with John Daly, where Daly got knocked out trying football tackles against some rugby players. When Rome played a clip from Daly's country album, Elkington remarked, "You must be pulling my sausage, mate!" Other resets are from when he killed a deer from a friend's living room, and his encounter with a profanity-spewing Tommy Smothers. He has also referred to Phil Mickelsen as "Hefty," a nickname Rome sometimes uses. Rome has proclaimed that "Elk" has overtaken Mark Grace as "best interview."
- Evel Knievel- During a May 2002 interview with the motorcycle daredevil, Knievel recounted the story of his ill-fated 1974 attempt to jump Idaho's Snake River Canyon, and went on to lambaste NASA engineer Robert Truax, who had designed the failed Skycycle X-2 rocket, calling him "an egotistical little know-it-all bastard," and blamed him for the death of Gus Grissom. Rome asked Knievel why he would attempt the jump if there was only a 50/50 chance of surviving (as Knievel had previously admitted) Knievel answered, without hesitation, "Do you know who the hell I am?" Rome has marked this occasion as the only time he has ever been speechless in his life. Knievel also stated during this interview that "all women are prostitutes in their own way." During another interview in 2003, Knievel shared with Rome that he owned a diamond encrusted cane that doubles as a flask for Wild Turkey. On May 17, 2007, after a reset of Knievel's first interview, Knievel called and said that he only accused Truax of working with the astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 events. Rome replayed the audio, and Knievel's clarification was consistent with it.
- Isiah Thomas- During an interview on The Last Word on Fox Sports Net, Rome and NBA player Chucky Brown discussed the differences in per diem between the NBA and the minor league Continental Basketball Association. Brown, who had just returned to the NBA from the CBA, stated that CBA players would get $25 for meal money and go to Denny's or McDonald's, while NBA players would receive $80 and could eat at restaurants like Red Lobster. Rome later interviewed Isiah Thomas on The Last Word. Thomas, who owned the CBA from 1999 to 2001, responded to Rome's greeting with, "My pleasure. I just got back from Red Lobster." This line has become an oft-reset soundbite on the Jungle, which Rome expanded to cover Thomas' troubles toward the end of his tenure with the Knicks, replacing the Red Lobster line with an impersonation: i.e. "I just got back from settling a sexual harassment lawsuit."
- Stewart Elliott- Rome interviewed the jockey after his unsuccessful bid to ride Smarty Jones to a win at the 2004 Belmont Stakes and thus the Triple Crown. During the interview, Rome asked a question regarding the horse's attitude of being a champion. Instead of giving an elaborate answer, Elliott simply said "That's right" and dead air followed. Jokes by listeners suggested it would have been more interesting to have interviewed the horse. Since then, Rome has stated that while he may not always ask good questions in interviews, he still expects interviewees to elaborate on their answers, per the nature of an interview.
- Charles Barkley- Barkley and Rome had disliked each other until Rome met Barkley through a mutual friend; the two have now made amends and Rome periodically discusses NBA issues with the ex-player and TNT host. In one interview, Rome noted Barkley's statement that radio talk show hosts know nothing and are merely looking to stir up controversy by saying outrageous things, then asked Barkley why he chose to regularly appear on The Jim Rome Show as a guest. Barkley took the opportunity to bash Rome's own fill-in Skip Bayless as the absolute worst example of this type of host, contrasting him with the relative straightforwardness of Rome himself. Rome was put off and tried to defend Bayless as a bona fide host whose opinions were genuine and not calculated. Barkley was unconvinced and said so.
- Alonzo Mourning- In the early 2000s, Rome brought the retired Heat center onto the show as a guest to discuss the NBA and his playing career. Mourning thanked Rome and began by describing a major charitable endeavor he was involved in, then urged listeners to consider getting involved with the fight against kidney disease. The interview quickly turned sour; whenever Rome tried to shift the conversation to basketball, Mourning repeatedly launched into a variation of this spiel. At one point he chided Rome for trying to bring sports into what was a serious discussion. Rome quickly wound up the interview. In later shows, he said that although part of the unspoken agreement for an athlete interview is that the athlete can "plug" whatever he is working on, the other part is that the guest must give the host and the Clones something interesting and related to sports. Although praising Mourning himself for his intelligence and dedication to his cause, Rome all but declared that Zo would never again be invited into the Jungle for violating the unspoken agreement. In May 2017, analyzing a TV interviewer's awkward attempt to get Derek Jeter to talk about something other than Jeter's charity, Rome reset the Alonzo Mourning interview, terming it "an all-time Jungle low" and observing that the Clones now regularly compare any bad interview on Rome's show to it.
- Ben Mezrich- Rome has interviewed a few times with the author of the book Bringing Down the House, the story of the MIT Blackjack Team. During an interview on September 18, 2006, Mezrich recalled a research trip to Japan in which he saw what were called "Five Minute Clubs," and described how he observed that the Japanese treat sex simply as a "bodily function." The comments earned him the Huge Call of the Day, and prompted heavy e-mail responses. Mezrich has expressed interest in writing a Rome biography.
- Joe Simpson - In 2004, Rome interviewed the mountain climber and author of Touching the Void, a true-life story about Simpson's disastrous Andes climbing expedition, and the title of a just-released movie based on the book. Rome was impressed by Simpson talking about how he escaped certain death while injured in an icy mountain crevasse, and also by his calm acceptance of his climbing partner abandoning him to his fate. Simpson told Rome he would have made the same choice in his partner's position.
- Sheldon Kennedy- Kennedy has been interviewed twice on the show to speak about his sexual abuse at the hands of his hockey coach Graham James. In his November 14, 2006 interview, he spoke about his autobiography, Why I Didn't Say Anything - The Sheldon Kennedy Story, and how he coped with his problems after revealing what happened in 1996. He also revealed that James moved to Europe some time after his release from prison and still coaches youth hockey there.
- Michael Franzese– Franzese, a former high-ranking member of the mob, described some of his activities related to gambling and athletes, and what it was like leaving the mob. He now travels and speaks at events about the evils of violence and gambling. Rome last interviewed him a few days before a biopic on Franzese premiered on Halloween 2014.
- Eric Wynalda - In 2004, the former U.S. National Team member and current ESPN soccer commentator called the show to chastise Rome for his ceaseless anti-soccer tirades. Afterwards, Rome was impressed enough to declare that Wynalda was the only soccer person allowed to call the show. However, on April 4, 2007, Rome read on air a part of an interview Wynalda gave to FulhamUSA.com writer Christian Franek in which he stated: "Jim Rome can suck my dick! And he should be very afraid, because I’m the kind of guy, if I get too many drinks in me, I will club his ass. I’ve been on with Jim Rome, and I said, 'Let me get this straight, you’re more impressed with water polo???'" Both Rome and the Clones harshly criticized Wynalda for his comments. Shortly thereafter, Wynalda called the show and apologized. Rome, although still angered by the comments, accepted Wynalda's apology, stating "I think we're still good," and was praised by University of Memphis coach John Calipari for doing so.
- David Stern - Rome had a solid on-air relationship with former NBA commissioner David Stern until June 2012, when during an interview Rome asked if the NBA draft lottery, won by the New Orleans Hornets, was fixed. Stern responded with a resounding no, chastised Rome for asking, compared the question to the loaded question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" and took cheap shots at Rome, accusing him of building a career on "cheap thrills." This led to a heated exchange between Rome and Stern, with Stern ending by taunting Rome for pouting and saying that he "had to call someone important like Stephen A. Smith." The Clones overwhelmingly responded with e-mails attacking Stern and affirming that they believed that there was in fact a fix on the lottery based on Stern's reaction. Aside from a tense 2013 interview on "Jim Rome On Showtime", the two have not spoken since that infamous interview, and Rome has made it clear that Stern is not welcome back in the Jungle until he apologizes for his conduct toward Rome.
There are a number of Clones whose history of solid calls to the show have earned them "legendary" status. Some of the most well-known of these callers include:
- J.T. the Brick - J.T soured Rome with his later radio career and, in many ways, has become the anti-Rome. J.T.'s show on Fox Sports Radio focuses heavily on callers, which Rome considers indicative of a host that does very little work. Although their relationship is chilly to non-existent, Rome has not withdrawn J.T.'s "lifetime exemption" to participate in future Smack-Offs.
- Smack-Off win: 1995
- Doc Mike Di Tolla and Jeffrey E. Di Tolla, Esq. - "The Brothers Di Tolla" are Classic-era callers that have three Smack-Off victories between them. Doc Mike was the first two-time Smack-Off champ. The two are professionals; Doc Mike is a dentist, and Jeffrey is a lawyer, hence his nickname "Esquire".
- Smack-Off wins: "Esquire": 1996; Doc Mike: 1997, 2000
- Steve Carbone - Steve, formerly "Stevie from LMU", was the show's phone screener prior to Jason Stewart, known as "Phoneslap." After his employment ended (on amicable terms), he called into the 1998 Smack-Off and derided the Clones, claiming "I am not a [censored] Clone!" His tirade won him that year's Smack-Off. In later years, he would relent and admit that he is, indeed, a Clone.
- Smack-Off win: 1998
- Sean Pendergast "the Cablinasian" in Houston/Chicago - The Cablinasian (a take-off of Tiger Woods' self-named identity, as Pendergast is Caucasian) was once a regular caller and then only called the show during the Smack-Off. He is respected for his "incredible, Hall-of-Fame game," as Rome refers to it, but is also criticized for being pompous, arrogant, and derisive toward the Clones. Pendergast has bragged that he is "a made man in the Jungle" which allows him the privilege to only call the show "twice a year" - once to make his Smack-Off call and once to claim his victory. This, plus the appearance of being favored by Rome, has made him a controversial figure in the Smack-Off. Only five-time winner in Smack-Off history. Pendergast was deemed ineligible for the 2008 Smack-Off because he took a job with Houston-Bellaire radio station KGOW, a competitor of the Jungle's Houston affiliate KILT; as long as Pendergast remains on a competing station, he is considered ineligible, as Rome does not want to be in the unenviable position of giving airtime on one of his oldest, most loyal affiliates to a rival station's host. Pendergast did not take kindly to this development and has made a point of criticizing and mocking Rome from time to time on his station since then.
- Smack-Off wins: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
- Silk in Huntington Beach - Silk is often portrayed by Clones as being homeless or poor, wandering the streets picking up beverage cans for money and living in a cardboard box. As another running gag, he is often portrayed as a racist, a homophobe, a homosexual, and working at a 7-11. Rome and the Clones usually address him as "Silk Brah," using a stereotypical "surfer drawl." He often travels to out-of-town Tour Stops. His full name is Eric Silkenson.
- Smack-Off win: 2001
- Jeff in Richmond - Jeff is ridiculed by the Clones for his deep Southern accent, staunchly conservative political views, yelling into the phone, quoting the WWE champion's catchphrase, embracing NASCAR before it was mainstream, and his putative status as a stereotypical redneck. Jeff delivers his calls using a bombastic, melodramatic schtick, beginning each call with "Jim, thanks for the vine, and thanks for the time," saying "Jim" repeatedly, and ending every call with a set list of "wars" (including the Commonwealth of Virginia, George W. Bush, and call screener Jason Stewart: "Mr. Automatic J-Stew, without the nicks and cuts of a blade.") and screaming "GOOD NIGHT NOW!" He has also claimed to be "born and bred for success and achievement" and to have an Armani suit, a "luxury sled," successful real estate business dealings, a wife named Tammy with a body like "a stick of dynamite", and a "ten-acre countryside estate" in the "Commonwealth of Virginia." "Left-fringe" clones, such as Trapper and Silk, are frequent targets for his abuse. He also seems to have a fixation on his "good friend and colleague" Bob Costas, after Costas mentioned him by name during an interview.
- Smack-Off win: 2002
- Iafrate - A self-described "unmitigated loser" (for losing Smack-Off 2002 to Jeff in Richmond), Iafrate is known for both his smack and his singing talent, as the linchpin of his winning Smack-Off call was a parody song called "Whitey's Dad." Iafrate is believed to be Kenneth Chasen, the senior rabbi at the Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, as Rome has called him "Kenny" on-air, and Ken Chasen is listed in the album notes from Rome's 1998 CD Welcome to the Jungle.
- Smack-Off win: 2004, 2008
- Brad in Corona - A new-school caller, Brad in Corona made his debut in June 2008 with an epic call that ended prematurely when he was run for cracking on "uncircumsized Euros". He ultimately earned a spot in the 2009 Smack-Off, and won on the power of a take involving comparing the Brothers DiTolla to Gilbert and Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds. Smack-Off win: 2009, 2011
- Vic in No-Cal - Vic is another recent caller to the Jungle whose delivery style is best described as seemingly deadpan, prompting some Clones to say that Vic's takes sound "pre-written" and similar to "Robo-Tiger." However, Rome continuously praises Vic, and saying that he doesn't know whether Vic's delivery style or unexpected takes is more hilarious. Smack-Off win: 2010
- Chael Sonnen - UFC fighter invited to Smack-Off 2012 as a mystery celebrity guest who won the event. Smack-Off win: 2012.
- Mark in Hollywood - He won the Golden Ticket to the 2012 Smack-Off, though a glitchy phone kept him from winning. He returned to the 2013 Smack-Off and, by manipulating his iPhone voice Siri to insult Mike in Indy, won the 2013 Smack-Off. Smack-Off win: 2013
Other famous callersEdit
- Trapper in Dana Point - Trapper dates back to the show's pre-syndication days. He is most notable for injecting left-wing political opinions into his takes (for which he is mocked by other Clones) and closing his calls with the phrase "Tramps like us", a line from the Bruce Springsteen song "Born to Run". In recent years, Trapper has become nearly universally hated in the Jungle not just for his left-wing opinions but his seemingly depressed vocal tone. Regardless of his low reputation, Jim Rome seems to like him.
- Terrence in Sierra Madre - Another caller from the show's pre-syndication days, Terrence has achieved notoriety for his large number of racked calls and for competing in several Smack-Offs but never winning; he has been dubbed "Best Caller Never to Win the Smack-Off." Terrence traditionally calls in on "Zero Tolerance Fridays" only, at the rate of about once a month. In his 2005 Smack-Off call, Terrence parodied the previous winning calls, including Iafrate's song; Rome and many of the Clones felt that if Terrence had sang just a little bit more of his song, "Hey, Mister J-Stew", he would have edged out Sean for the title. Rome invited the Clones to attempt to finish the song in subsequent calls, before coming to the conclusion that only Terrence could complete the song, which he would eventually do in a later call.
- Greg in Vegas - Greg's calls are often punctuated by a fascination for athletes and others such as Tom Dempsey, Ron Santo, Aron Ralston, and Alex Zanardi, who were born without or lost limbs for various reasons. He had a potentially winning call during Smack-Off 2003, but it is believed that he lost his chance of winning after he suggested that golfer Tom Watson had to assess himself a two-stroke penalty during the U.S. Open for employing long-time caddy Bruce Edwards. Edwards was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease at the time and would pass away the following year. Rome often wonders whether to run or rack Greg's calls due to their content. Terrence's unofficial title of "Best Caller Never to Win the Smack-Off" has often been attached to Greg as well.
- John in C-Town - This caller dates from 1998 and soon became one of Rome's most devoted Clones. He often pushed Rome for a Tour Stop in Cleveland, and frequently talked about Cleveland's "monkey" (program director of the local affiliate), and how he was constantly "banging the monkey" (lobbying the affiliate), which earned him criticism from other Clones and eventually resulted in the infamous "Lunch with the Monkey" tape (see "Classic Soundbites" below). John recently moved to New Hampshire, and sometimes still calls as "John in New Hampshire via C-Town".
- Dan in D.C.- Dan is best known for winning seven straight Huge Calls, which is still a Jungle record. He is also one of the few callers to get racked after being run. Most Clones thought he should have won Smack-Off 2000 but lost because D.C. was not a three-hour affiliate. Rome's comment was "Dan, bang your monkey, it cost you the title." Dan is best known for his Bison Dele take and his Dikembe Mutombo impression: "Who wants to sex Mutombo!" After Smack-Off 2003, Rome offered him a position on his staff with Rodgers and Stewart. Dan only worked there for a short time and has not called the show since it was taken off the air in D.C. Dan currently hosts a sports radio program in the Washington area and writes an online column.
- Joe in the O.C. - Another relatively new caller, he has an impressive Smack-Off record, having finished in the top 5 calls four of the last five years, including second place in 2007. He is most famous for being run in error by call screener Alvin Delloro in February 2005, when Alvin was just starting out.
- Rachel in Houston - One of the Jungle's few regular female callers, and a frequent Smack-Off contestant, Rachel is a polarizing figure who is either revered or despised by the Clones. Clones who dislike Rachel often refer to her using R- male names, especially after she calls the show. Rachel has a long-standing feud with Justin in Boise, who, converse to the smacks of masculinity by other detractors, has made repeated passes at her during his own takes.
- Oren in Denver - Oren made Jungle history in the summer of 2005 by being the first Clone whose very first call to the show was so impressive that Rome immediately offered him an invitation to Smack-Off 2006. Oren accepted the invitation on his second call, and has since been awarded the Huge Call on a handful of occasions and also been run. Oren has a tendency to respond in kind to callers who criticize him, and has running feuds with Jeff in Vancouver and Jeff in Richmond. In Smack-Off 2006 Oren was run for rambling during his take, but Rome stated he would be invited in the future. Like Rachel, Oren is a polarizing figure in the Jungle. Detractors often call him "Snoren," "Boren," "Urine," "Oren-thal" in reference to O.J. Simpson, or even "Kerwin in Riverside" after an estranged Classic-era caller that Oren claims was his inspiration to call. In addition to his entrance into the Jungle, Orrin is recognized for the worst incidence of "Clone-on-Clone violence" in the show's history with a call on February 24, 2006, in which he railed against Jeff in Richmond, who on the previous day called Oren "Boring ERR Epileptic in Denver" in a smack-back on new, inexperienced Clones. Rome hailed it not just because of the level of animosity in the call over one little crack, but because he dared to call out a legendary Clone and a former Smack-Off winner.
- Rich in Indy - In September 2005 he made the best "short call" to the Jungle with his reference to a Cowboys meltdown being "as predictable as a scripted Joey in New Bedford or Jay in Providence phone call." He was subsequently racked. He is also a successful e-mailer. In April 2006 he wrote an e-mail referring to the 'disturbing volleyball scene in Top Gun ', which had a shelf life of three days.
- Justin in Boise - Justin is a relatively new caller to the Jungle whose early calls were characterized by a static-filled cell phone connection. Rome himself commented on the bad connection, and one caller told Justin to get rid of "that potato you call in on." Justin has been awarded the Huge Call of the Day a half dozen times. There is an ongoing feud between Justin and Rachel in Houston, who claims that Justin has a crush on her.
- Jeff in Vancouver - Jeff is known as a representative of Canadian callers and frequently parodies the stereotypes other Clones have of Canadian callers, including ending all his calls with "I am OOT!" He has developed a rivalry with Orrin in Denver. After two years of racking calls, he earned an invitation to the 2007 Smack-Off.
- Dave in St. Louis, "Non-Hunter" - A prolific and legendary e-mailer, Dave is noted for always signing his e-mails with "Non-hunter" (a veiled reference to a PETA media release claiming that hunters have small genitalia) and for adding the postscript "Make the world a better place, punch [somebody] in the face" (usually Alex Rodriguez, on whom Dave often assigns various effeminate attributes). He decided to call on April 30, 2007, to try and get in the Smack-Off. He was good enough to get "on the bubble," but Rome asked him to e-mail to confirm that he wanted to give the Smack-Off a try. His response was good enough for Rome to invite him.
- Megan "the Manual Buzzer" in Sacramento - On March 6, 2007, Megan called in and laid smack on the Sacramento Kings and Ron Artest. Her "war" was "War replacing 'Honey, I have a headache' with the manual buzzer." She then imitated the manual buzzer. Although Rome said the smack was strong, he jokingly derided her for her "weak-sounding" manual buzzer. Regardless, her manual buzzer made it onto Alvin's Mix, and she was invited to the Smack-Off. Later in 2007, Rome credited her when she called against Michael Vick and gave a stronger, much angrier manual buzzer.
- Chad in Portland - Chad Doing, an on-air personality for radio station 750 The Game AM in Portland, is a long-time emailer to the show who began calling as well as emailing in mid-2007. On June 29, 2007, he won the Huge Call of the Day before Rome took his usual two-week July vacation. On July 16 when Rome returned, Chad presented a Bee Gees parody of the show (based off of "More Than A Woman"). He was run in the middle of the parody and was subject to much ridicule. Since then, Chad has developed a running feud with caller Mike in Wichita, who he refers to as "Mike in Wichitard" and has insulted in two parody songs, one of Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" and one of New Kids On The Block's "Hanging Tough." Both of these earned Chad the Huge Call of the Day.
- Ray-Ray in Tampa - Ray-Ray was the first caller to receive a non-automatic invite to Smack-Off 2010. He's known for his wailing voice, and his sign-off: "I don't talk smack, I smack talkers."
- See Infamous calls
Rome regularly reads listener emails during the show. These emails frequently include references to funny or embarrassing comments or incidents made by athletes and celebrities, and several have become staple references that are frequently heard. These include:
- Steve Francis: As the Orlando Magic were struggling, Francis called them "the worst team since sliced bread" which induced several "worst [object] since sliced bread" emails.
- Kenyon Martin: "My kidney! My kidney!" - Said by Martin as a joke during a New Jersey Nets game, when teammate Alonzo Mourning complained of fatigue. Mourning had returned to the NBA after kidney replacement surgery.
- Dexter Manley: After his NFL career was over, Manley claimed he was able to graduate college while being functionally illiterate.
- Al Martin: Martin claimed he played college football at USC in 1986, attempting to tackle Michigan's Leroy Hoard in a game. However, he did not attend USC (much less play football), and USC did not even play Michigan in 1986. Martin also takes some grief for simultaneously having two wives in different parts of the country.
- Tim Johnson: The former Toronto Blue Jays manager told his players stories about his experiences in the Vietnam War, despite not having fought in it.
- Margot Kidder: On April 23, 1996, Kidder was found incoherent, lying on a woodpile in the back yard of a Glendale home, with her dental plate missing. She was subsequently admitted into a mental hospital.
- Shawn Kemp: A former NBA power forward for numerous teams, Kemp is notorious for fathering numerous illegitimate children, his weight, and chronic drug problems.
- Patrick Ewing: "We make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money." - A famous comment by the former New York Knicks center during the 1998 NBA lockout, arguing that the players should not make any concessions regarding salary rollbacks.
- Billy Hunter (NBPA Executive Director): "On a scale of one to ten, it's about a 60 or a 65." - A comment Hunter made on the show during an interview regarding the separation between the owners and players of the NBA during the drafting of a new labor agreement between the two.
- The Chick from Rome's Christmas Party: This is referenced because of an encounter Rome had with an unidentified woman whose desire was to enter the adult entertainment industry. According to Rome, however, untalented entertainers do not strive to be in porn, they "end up in porn."
- Rome's Sister's Cat: This is referenced because of an accident that Rome's sister had with her pet cat, in which the cat was strangled by its own leash after getting stuck in a tree.
- Rome's Nephew: After listening to the program, and hearing the term mentioned, Rome's seven-year old nephew asked of Rome what a "meat whistle" was. Rome told him to ask his father, adding that the program was generally not for children.
- Steve Garvey: Garvey, the former MLB player, once said in an interview that he enjoys "pumping chicks." When Rome began discouraging Garvey e-mails, clones began signing them "Number 6" instead, Garvey's uniform number.
- Wade Boggs: References to heavy alcohol consumption, specifically his involvement in a lawsuit in 1996 where he was charged with becoming intoxicated and verbally abusing a flight attendant. Other celebrities who have had public problems with alcohol reset on the show include Billy Joel, Oksana Baiul, Al Unser, Jr., and Mel Gibson and his anti-Semitic rant (see also "Celebrity Drunk Bus").
- Larry Hagman's liver: Usually a reference to alcoholism, or someone or something needing to be "replaced."
- Darva Conger: References to someone in the media spotlight wanting to be left alone. Conger made a name for herself by appearing in the reality show Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire, posing in Playboy, and seemingly doing everything she could to not be out of the spotlight. Listeners always finish their emails from her by quoting her line: "I just want my life back."
- Michael Jackson: Generally referred to as "Wacko Jacko" by e-mailers and by Rome, the pop singer is the victim of constant ridicule on the show. Rome imitates Jackson by using a high-pitched voice and yelling "Macaulayyyyy!!!" Of late, his mocking of Jackson involves the "adult alarm" (see below).
- U.S.A. vs. Canada: Constant "border skirmishes" erupt between the two nations, usually from minor e-mail cracks that almost always build up enough to take over the whole show.
- Marcus Allen: Generally referred to when a statement is felt to be trivially obvious, referring to Allen's tenure as a studio commentator on The NFL on CBS.
- Al Gore: The former Vice President and Presidential candidate is often referenced by emailers stemming from his claims to have invented the Internet. Emailers mock Gore by attributing a long list of inventions to him. Current Vice President Dick Cheney is also a frequent topic, in reference to his hunting accident.
- O.J. Simpson: Nearly exclusively referred to as "Orenthal" by emailers and Rome, Clones frequently send in emails "signed" by O.J. that allude to his involvement in the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. In one instance, Rome received an email from "Orenthal" prior to the release of the Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace stating how he was "looking forward to the lightsabers" because he heard that "people disappear when you whack them with one."
- Bert & Ernie and Marcie & Peppermint Patty - A popular email topic on the show is the questionable sexual orientations of Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street and Marcie & Peppermint Patty from the Peanuts comics. Whenever Bert & Ernie are referenced, Rome rants: "Bert & Ernie are not gay, they are not straight, they are PUPPETS! They do not have a sexual orientation!" As for Peppermint Patty (sometimes called "Peppermint Poundstone" by emailers, alluding to comic Paula Poundstone) & Marcie, Rome comments: "I do not know why Peppermint Patty wears Birkenstocks, why she is dirty, why she wears flannel, and I do not know why Marcie calls her 'sir.' They are CARTOONS!" Lately, when an email references either couple, Rome pretends that he doesn't understand it. The topic has become so popular, emailers have created email addresses related to the topic, such as MarcylovesPeppermint@blank.com or BertandErniearePuppets@blank.com.
- Cheddar Cheese Guy: Rome once did a Lay's potato chip commercial in which he stated that it should be obvious that he is a "cheddar cheese guy" (in reference to the product he was promoting). This has prompted emails from "Feta Cheese Guy", "Mozzarella Cheese Guy" and virtually every other cheese in existence. In response to a newer ad campaign, Rome has announced he is also a McDonald's Premium Chicken Sandwich guy as well.
- The Losers at Stucknut.com: In reference to the unofficial fansite message board of the program. Usually implying sterotypical computer geeks, who are devout Clones, and are thought to be devoid of girlfriends, cars, popularity, etc. A similar reference involves adult Clones who still live with their parents.
- Reche Caldwell - During the January 14, 2007 AFC Divisional Playoff game, the New England Patriots wide receiver dropped a key pass, and was photographed with a wide-eyed expression of surprise after the play. The Clones extensively ridiculed Caldwell for the expression after the game, and since then topics considered to be painfully obvious to most are noted as being surprising and are "signed" by Caldwell.
- Travis Rodgers' List - Rodgers, the producer and e-mail screener, has a preferential list of topics which increase the chance that an e-mail will be read on-air. Rome frequently recalls the list on-air, especially for new listeners who feel their takes are being ignored. Topics include: proper use of the word "unsavory," (the words "jerk" and "kook" are also noticed), Bo Diaz, Jewel, Yoko Ono, John Cook, Billy Martin, Rick James, Mama Cass (or the ham sandwich on which she allegedly choked to death), Appalachia, the two Coreys , John F. Kennedy, Jr., World War II , Foghorn Leghorn, Bob Crane, man-perms, adults who still live in their parents' basement, Billy & Benny McGuire (the fat twins from the Guinness Book of World Records), Carrot Top, the word "retard," his neighbor with the hot tub in his front yard, and haikus, to name a few. Rodgers also likes messages from people with clever, Jungle-related email addresses, and those who work in the show's sponsors into their takes.
Dozens of celebrities and sports figures have had isolated embarrassing episodes or have experienced odd circumstances. Most are forgotten within months, but Rome's emailers have a knack for refreshing everyone's memory. Such references include Jayson Williams, Gene Siskel (and how the "thin guy" died before the "fat guy"), Ted Williams' posthumous condition, John Rocker, Milli Vanilli (specifically the band member who died, as Rome claims to never be sure if it was Milli or Vanilli), Siegfried & Roy (specifically the one mauled in 2003; Rome also claims to never be sure which one of the two it was), Jared from Subway, Jennifer Wilbanks ("The Runaway Bride"), Matthew Lesko, open-faced roast beef sandwiches, the French yelling "We surrender!", the 2002 MLB All-Star Game tie, the University of Florida media guide that mistakenly had a photograph of a crocodile on the cover, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim name dispute, and So-Cal weathermen who go crazy over seemingly routine rainstorms.
Rome has a large archive of soundbites from celebrities and regular people who said or did something embarrassing or unusual within range of a microphone, and he loves to mine this archive for on-air ridicule. A clip is usually only played when a take, either from Rome or a caller, makes reference to it.
See also: Alvin's Mix
In July 2006, in the wake of the Manual Buzzer take (see below), show engineer Alvin Delloro created a medley called "Alvin's Mix," consisting of fragments of dozens of classic soundbites used since the show's inception. Rome has described "Alvin's Mix" as sixteen years of radio rolled into a little over five minutes. Alvin has also created double-speed, half-speed, and backwards versions of "Alvin's Mix" for Rome to play for comedic effect. Many of the regularly-played clips listed below are represented in the medley.
Alvin continued to add more soundbites to the mix until 2010, when his attention turned to "The Week That Was" and other audio for the show.
From the inception of the show until 2006, bad calls were run with a loud horn-like buzzer. This buzzer was replaced in 2006 by Rome's imitation of the buzzer, dubbed "the manual buzzer." A female-voiced version, uttered during an otherwise strong call from Megan in Sacramento, has become unexpectedly popular with Rome as a "lame" manual buzzer, and the two are often interchanged with each other. Rome sometimes beats Alvin to the punch on a bad call by dropping a "live manual buzzer" before Alvin can use the recorded version. In 2010, the manual buzzer was modified by adding a track of LaDainian Tomlinson rapping "I don't like that call, not a very good call!" from his rap "Electric Glide". When there is a guest host while Rome is "in the basement", the original buzzer is used.
- "The Star-Spangled Banner": In 1993, Carl Lewis attempted to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a New Jersey Nets game. Lewis sang the entire song off-key and at a range too high for his voice. After his voice broke on the word "glare," he stopped and said "Uh oh," then said "I'll make up for it now" near the end of the song. Rome often replays the latter half of the clip, complete with his own commentary throughout and the buzzer at the end. Other forgettable renditions that Rome and e-mailers reset include Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith) at the 2001 Indianapolis 500, Roseanne Barr at a 1990 San Diego Padres game, and Madison Rising at a 2014 NASCAR race.
- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame": For every home game, the Chicago Cubs invite a famous personality to Wrigley Field to sing this traditional seventh-inning stretch song. Unfortunately, many renditions have been less than spectacular, and some of these have gained Jungle notoriety. In 2004, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were invited by the Cubs to sing the song. Ozzy can be heard slurring his speech, forgetting the words, mumbling what he thought were the lyrics, and then cheering at the end of the song. On May 24, 2005, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon attempted to sing it. Things started off poorly when Gordon told the crowd it was great to be at "Wrigley Stadium," then started to sing - amidst a chorus of boos and jeers from the Cub faithful. Gordon also went on to forget some of the words and finish the song after the crowd had. During a February 7, 2006 telephone interview, Rome felt that Gordon redeemed himself after making light of the subject, when he warned Rome not to do the same thing himself. In yet another botched rendition, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is heard screaming the lyrics at a speed faster than the beat of the song.
- Ashlee Simpson: Simpson, already infamous for botching a lip-synched musical appearance on Saturday Night Live, sang her hit song "La La" badly off-key at the 2005 Orange Bowl halftime show. Rome plays the last lines - "You make me want to, ah, ah, ah, screeeeeeeeam!" - including the boos and jeers clearly audible throughout the stadium after the song was over.
- John Daly: The champion golfer recorded a country music CD, for which Rome often plays the opening lines of the track "You Don't Know Me (Like I Know Me)" as an example of why athletes should never record an album.
- Three Day Weekend: On May 6, 2005, Terrence in Sierra Madre's call during the Smack-Off featured a song called "Hey Mr. J-Stew," which he left unfinished. After the Smack-Off, Rome asked the Clones to call in and finish the song, which led to disastrous results. This continued until a Houston rock band named Three Day Weekend sent in a tape of a professionally-produced song about J-Stew. The song, entitled "Mr. Automatic," quickly became a hit among the Clones and is occasionally played as the Huge Call of the Day. Rome has called the song one of the top 10 funniest moments in the history of the show and one of the greatest songs he has ever heard.
- "Michael's Dad": In 1999, Las Vegas musician John Niems wrote a ballad in memory of Michael Jordan's deceased father (James R. Jordan, Sr.) that was featured on his release, Twelve Tracks. The show's affiliate in Las Vegas, upon hearing the track, sent it to Rome, who began to pound on the song mercilessly. A portion of it was used on the Welcome to The Jungle release as part of the "Nice Radio" clip, and Iafrate's song "Whitey's Dad" was a parody of the song.
- Peyton Manning: When the Indianapolis Colts were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs after the 2002 season, kicker Mike Vanderjagt gave an interview on Canadian television where he said that he tried to motivate a dejected Manning during the game. After hearing about Vanderjagt's interview, the normally calm and collected Manning let out a scathing rant during the live telecast of the Pro Bowl, calling Vanderjagt an "idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off." Rome often comments about Manning saying "idiot" four times during the exchange.
- Danica Patrick: During the 2005 IRL Grand Prix of Sonoma, after she was taken out of the race in an accident, she told her crew on the two-way radio (which was picked up on live TV) that Ryan Briscoe was a "stupid idiot." Rome comments on how redundant the phrase "stupid idiot" is, and enjoys playing the soundbite repeatedly (see below).
- Jason Stewart on Blind Date: Show contributor J-Stew's appearance produced a recurring clip for The Jim Rome Show. At the end of the episode, the young woman described her failed date with Stewart: "Jason is not my type; he's an idiot. I never want to see him again...no second date."
- Tonya Harding: Rome often plays a 9-1-1 call made on February 22, 2000] by Harding, in which the former figure skater claimed to have suffered physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, Darren Silver, when in fact Harding had struck Silver on the head with a hubcap. While Harding is yelling at the operator that Silver "has thrown me to the GROUND," Silver can be heard in the background shouting, "You're a liar! You're a liar! You are a felon, and I have nothing to hide, so come on over, officers!" After playing the clip for the first time, Rome exclaimed sarcastically regarding Harding, "What a delectable flower of femininity," and has since noted that the 9-1-1 operator is curious about Harding's boyfriend's middle name.
- O.J. Simpson: Among Rome's staple "Orenthal" fodder are several interview tapes and 9-1-1 calls from the former Buffalo Bills running back. One such call involves Simpson's attempts to get his then-girlfriend to go into rehab, because "she spent all last night doing drugs with Pedro Guerrero" (Simpson pronounces it "Go-Rerr-O"). A 9-1-1 call made by Simpson's daughter Sydney, in which she complained about her father in a tearful, somewhat disjointed rant before ending the call with the exclamation "You're a loser!", received some attention from Rome for a while, but was dropped from the show because Rome felt it was too creepy.
- Woman with the crazy kids and the 9-1-1 operator: On April 4, 2005, a woman named Lori called the Watauga, Texas 9-1-1 dispatch explaining that her two teenage daughters were fighting and out of control, and that she needed the police to come over. Operator Mike Forbess responded "OK, do you want us to come over there and shoot her?...[silence]...Are you there?...Uh, that was a joke..." At that point the woman became enraged at his comment and subsequent attempts at apology. Rome plays the clip to ridicule both of them, noting that while Forbess's joke was immature and unprofessional, had the woman displayed the same control and authority against her daughters that she did with Forbess, then there would have been no need to make the call in the first place. On April 24, 2006, after another Clone-prodded reset, Rome dissected the clip and gave detailed analyses of what was funny and pathetic about it, then declared it officially over (due to him being sick of it from overplay). On July 31, 2007, Rome reset the clip in reaction to Harmon Killebrew jokingly saying that he would shoot Barry Bonds, and added that Mike Forbess's lazy "What's goin' on?" to start off the 9-1-1 call was an indicator of trouble to come.
- Marijuana user: In 2011, a marijuana user called 9-1-1 to find out how much trouble he could get into for growing marijuana in his home. He was later arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Rome made fun of him for having trouble getting through the call, and took great delight in the baker's response when asked about his emergency: "Eehhhhh, let's not get into that yet." He also complimented the dispatcher for keeping her cool while handling an obvious non-emergency call from a stoner, and for correctly informing him he could be charged with possession.
- Adam "Pac-Man" Jones: In May 2017, a texting driver ran a stop sign and T-boned the side of the notoriously hot-headed Bengals player's Rolls Royce. When Jones called 9-1-1 to report the accident, the conversation did not go smoothly, as the dispatcher had trouble getting his exact location and Jones yelled multiple expletives during the call. In analyzing the conversation, Rome faulted both sides: Jones for losing his cool and dropping F-bombs, and the dispatcher for being unnecessarily rude when collecting information ("Is that really a Rolls Royce?"). He also sympathized with Pac-Man's state of mind by recalling his own rear-end accident (with his son in the car) caused by an inattentive driver. Rome criticized the teenage driver for running to TMZ to tell the story, where he proclaimed he turned down an invitation from Jones to visit Bengals camp and added "People are more important than things" - a ridiculous thing to say when his addiction to texting nearly caused a serious accident.
Soundbites that get run into the groundEdit
- Adult Alarm: After a suggestion from Rome, the "manual buzzer" was combined with the "walrus" (a sound that caller Tommy in Detroit made during his debut call to the show in April 2006) in a lengthy loop. On June 28, 2006, an e-mail suggested that Michael Jackson wanted it for an "adult alarm", and it has been known as that ever since. The soundbite features Rome speaking in his "Jacko" voice and telling "Macaulay", among other things, to "get your Underoos on" as the adults are "inside the perimeter" while the "alarm" plays in the background. The sound effect, which resembles a klaxon, was also suggested as a possible cell phone ring tone or car alarm, and has since been made into a YTMND site.
- Lesley Visser: During Super Bowl week in 2007, Rome interviewed Visser on Radio Row. After recalling a story John Madden had told her, Visser broke down in a raucous laugh. Rome has since replayed the laugh as a response to many bad jokes, including Tiger Woods' "Ranger Rick" quip. However, Rome has recently taken to using a number of strange or amusing laughs and comparing them to Visser's, declaring her the "champion." Visser's laugh has also been combined with "The Laugh" and laughs from Tonya Harding, Lou Piniella, and others in a montage clip.
- Nancy Kerrigan - On occasion, Rome will also reset another figure skating-related incident by playing a clip of Kerrigan screaming "Whyyyyyyyy???" and crying after she was assaulted on January 6, 1994 at the Olympics tryouts. Calling Kerrigan's screams "creepy," Rome attributes the whole incident to a bumbling crew led by her rival Tonya Harding. Rome has also noted that the screams are made even creepier with the calliope music from the skating arena audible in the background. Kerrigan's scream was revived again after Mitch Kozad of the University of Northern Colorado football team stabbed a teammate to get his punter job in 2006.
- Lunch with the Monkey - In August 2000, Rome received an anonymously-sent tape which mocked John in C-Town, a longtime caller notorious for bragging about "banging his monkey" and bringing a Tour Stop to Cleveland. The tape was a heavily looped and edited medley of John in C-Town calls, with John saying "monkey, monkey, monkey/lunch with the monkey/Because of me we have the mother of all Tour Stops" and other show-related phrases repeatedly. Rome has referred to this nonsensical tape as "maybe the funniest thing I have heard on this show," and the Clones latched onto it as a way to lampoon John in C-Town for weeks on end. Show engineer Brian Albers subsequently created an edited version of "The Tape", slightly rearranging some of John's quotes and laying bumper music in the background. Subsequent calls from John would prompt Clones to ask Jim why he played "The Tape" again, while airings of "The Tape" would prompt them to as him why he let John on the air again. On at least one occasion, "The Tape" was played over one of John's calls when he went off on a rant on the Buckeyes.
- Some of the shorter soundbites are occasionally played over and over again for comedic effect. These include (but are not limited to) Danica Patrick's "stupid idiot," Mel Gibson's line "Gimme back my son!!!" from the 1996 movie Ransom, "The Laugh," Tommy in Detroit's "walrus," Ozzie Guillen's "Psshht...please!", Megan in Sacramento's "lame" manual buzzer, Mike Gundy's "FAT!!!"
- Mike Tyson: A few vicious remarks by the boxer immortalized in sound clips include "I want to eat his children" (speaking of Lennox Lewis, who had no children), "You're a scared coward," and "Look at you scared now...Scared of the real man." Prior to his 1997 fight with Francois Botha, Tyson had a vulgarity-laced interview with Russ Salzberg of UPN-9 where, in response to Salzberg's complaint about his use of profanities, he told the reporter to "turn off your station." Tyson is also ridiculed for a statement he made saying that he could sell out Madison Square Garden just to have people see him masturbate.
- Joe Namath: During a 2003 NFL game between the Jets and Patriots, Namath conducted a live interview with ESPN's sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, in which he was noticeably drunk. Asked by Kolber about the team's struggles, Namath leaned towards her and said, in a slurred speech, "I want to kiss you. I could care less about the team struggling." Rome likes to imitate Namath's slurred "strugg-gaaa-ling."
- Mark Madsen: During a rally celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers 2000 NBA Championship, Madsen took to the microphone, and yelled to the crowd, "Thank you to the greatest fans in the world! Yeah! Who let the dogs out?! And to those who speak Spanish, les agradecemos, y les decimos que el año que viene, lo haremos otra vez!" (translation: "We thank you, and we'll do it again next year!") By the end of his speech, he was yelling so loudly, his words were barely intelligible. Madsen learned Spanish on a Mormon mission to Spain, and consequently pronounces his words like a Spaniard.
- Mike Piazza: On May 21, 2002, after a New York Post gossip columnist claimed the Mets player was a homosexual, Piazza held a news conference with the sole purpose of debunking the rumor. He began his comments with "First off, I'm not gay, I'm heterosexual." This has led Rome to ponder what he planned to say 'second off.' Rome often imitates Piazza saying that the pitcher was trying to get him out by throwing cutters. Piazza said this after participating in the All-Star home run derby.
- NASCAR: Rome has had engineer Alvin Delloro put together many of his positive comments about NASCAR drivers into one soundbite, which he uses as his definitive opinion about the franchise, especially after interviewing drivers. Some time after the soundbite's debut, it was edited to add "He's not Tony Stewart" at the end as a not-so-subtle jab. (see NASCAR entry under Takes above)
- Jason Stewart: Stewart participated in the 1995 Smack-Off, when he was known as Jason in Fullerton. His call is occasionally ridiculed by Rome and the Clones, mainly for repeatedly calling other Clones "weaklings," stating the points of his call with "First off," "Second off," etc., and for the statement "I know this is probably walking the thin line of blasphemy in the Jungle..."
- Michael Vick: In the wake of his dog fighting scandal, the quarterback supposedly released the following statement, read publicly by his attorney Billy Martin: "I also want to apologize to my Falcon teammates for not being with them at the beginning of spring training." Rome and the Clones ridiculed Vick and his lawyer for apparently being unaware that NFL teams participate in training camp (held during the summer), and not "spring training" (a Major League Baseball term).
- Bill Parcells: The former Cowboys coach made a regrettable comment to members of the media during a mini-camp press conference on June 7, 2004. Speaking of "Jap plays" (i.e. sneak attacks, a crude comparison to Pearl Harbor) Parcells said "Mike [Zimmer] wants the defense to do well, and Sean [Payton], he's going to have a few...no disrespect for the Orientals, but what we call Jap plays. O.K. Surprise things. No disrespect to anyone." Rome will often mention that whenever you hear the phrase 'no disrespect to...,' someone is about to get disrespected.
- Reggie White: Until the Packers defensive lineman died in 2004, Rome had a clip from White's 1998 speech to the Wisconsin State legislature, in which he uttered some racially insensitive statements, including, "The Asian is very gifted in creation, creativity and inventions. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television into a watch."
- Tiger Woods: Woods is the subject of four clips. In 2004, Rome debuted a clip dubbed "Robot Woods," in which Woods utters the phrase: "The golf course looks good, my golf swing feels good, I like my chances." In reality, the "quotation" was spliced together from various interviews. Rome uses it to demonstrate Woods' aloofness to the media, suggesting he uses this bland "response" for all questions asked of him. Rome also plays a Fuzzy Zoeller clip in which the veteran golfer, when asked about Woods' first Masters victory, responded "The little boy's driving well, he's putting well, he's... uh, he's doing whatever it takes to win. So you know what you do when he gets here, you pat him on the back, say congratulations and tell him not to serve fried chicken, next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell he serves." In 2005, a new Woods clip came into circulation, when he made an unfunny quip about being a "Ranger Rick on the golf course," which Rome punctuates with a sting. In February 2015, the injury-prone Woods was quoted explaining his withdrawal from Torrey Pines: "My glutes are shutting off, they don't activate... I tried to activate my glutes the best I could, but they never stayed activated." This strengthened Rome's portrayal of him as Robot Woods and encouraged Alvin Delloro to add some robot sound effects to the clip and Rome to use a robot voice to mock Woods's "glute activation" talk.
- Ron Jeremy: Rome will occasionally play an audio clip where Jeremy can be heard saying "Hi, this is Ron Jeremy, coach of the Miami Heat, and you're watching Jim Rome Is Burning." This is a reference to the strong resemblance Jeremy poses to former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy. Rome has enjoyed this promo so much that he has exempted Jeremy from his usual porn insults.
- Torii Hunter: In an August 2007 interview, Rome repeatedly asked the Minnesota Twins outfielder about his choice not to wear a cup. He responded, "Oh hell no...I can't wear no cup, you know, there's too much down there, man."
- Boo Weekley On April 17, 2007, following his win at the Verizon Heritage golf tournament, the PGA golfer was interviewed by Rome. He explained how the cold the high winds felt on the course, and said "those last few holes will make your butt hole pucker-up." The word "butt hole" was singled out by Clones, as it was also uttered in an interview by Steve Smith. During an interview on Radio Row, he blasted a writer, calling him a "butt hole" for publishing a unfavorable column about him.
- Rafael Palmeiro: On March 17, 2005, Palmeiro testified before a Congressional hearing regarding steroid use among MLB players. Palmeiro emphatically denied "juicing," saying: "I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco's book is absolutely false." However, on August 1, 2005, he received a ten-day suspension after testing positive for steroids. Rome enjoys replaying and dissecting Palmeiro's testimony, playing the above quote including "The reference to me in Mr. Canseco's book is absolutely..." then interrupting it with "TRUE!" Rome and the Clones often refer to Palmeiro as "Ratfael Palmeiroid," not only for getting caught "juicing" but for (apparently) perjuring himself before Congress and for later trying to lay blame for his positive test on teammate Miguel Tejada.
- The Old Guy from "The Roger Penske Organization": In the mid-1990s, when Rome was still critical of NASCAR, an angry elderly NASCAR fan once made a disorganized call to Rome's voicemail, claiming to be a representative for the "Roger Penske Organization" (instead of its real name, Penske Racing). The man threatened to lead a boycott against the show, claiming he was collecting "thousands of signatures" from angry fans because of Rome's "lying and talking about NASCAR, and calling the NASCAR drivers different names that are...uhh...not the names of the drivers." At the end of the call, the man threatened to take the fight "all the way," a vague statement which Rome never understood. The man left no contact information and was never heard from again. His plan, however, backfired as Rome played the message on the air and subjected him to ridicule. Despite this soundbite's age, a portion of it is included in Alvin's Mix.
- John Feinstein - During a telephone interview with Rome, Feinstein's toddler-age daughter Bridget began playing with her brother's toy drums. After Rome mentioned the racket, Feinstein excused himself and stepped away from the phone, but could be heard yelling "Bridget! Bridget!" in an attempt to stop the noise. Feinstein returned and attempted to continue his train of thought, but is still frequently teased for that incident.
- Howard Dean and John L. Smith: Rome often replayed and mocked Dean's infamous January 19, 2004 rally speech following the 2004 Iowa Democratic caucuses, in which an emotional Dean screamed "and then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House! YEEEAAAAGH!!!" On October 15, 2005, Michigan State head football coach John L. Smith had an angry rant at halftime after his coaching staff botched a field goal attempt, which led to an Ohio State touchdown. In the clip, Smith screams to the reporter, "We should have been in the ball game, we're down a field goal! We sent him in...We shouldn't have sent him in. That was a damn coaching mistake. The players are playing their tails off, and the coaches are screwin' it up!" Rome found that it sounded eerily similar to the aforementioned Dean soundbite, and got Alvin Delloro to edit them together. The two soundbites are now always played back as one.
- Allen Iverson: In an interview after the 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in the 2001-02 season, it was revealed that Iverson was known to miss mandatory training sessions. He responded with one of the most infamous examples of the disconnect between athletes and reality: "I mean listen, we talkin' 'bout practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We talkin' 'bout practice. Not a game, not a, not a, not the game that I go out there and die for, and play every game like it's my last. Not the game. We talkin' 'bout practice, man. I mean how silly is that? We talkin' bout practice. I know I'm supposed to be there, I know I'm supposed to lead by example. I know that, and I'm not shovin' it aside, you know, like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I do. I honestly do. But we talkin' 'bout practice, man. What are we talkin' 'bout? Practice?" Rome has called this "the best soundbite ever." Iverson himself parodied the "Practice" bit during his introductory press conference with the Pistons in 2008, only to miss a morning practice on Thanksgiving.
- Allen Iverson's mother: In 2002, Rome played a soundbite from an interview with Iverson's mother in which she loudly defends her son from his critics. Her quotes included "Did Lawanda tell you that?" and "You wanna keep it real, you keep it real with me." Rome also noted that she referred to her son as "A.I." Two other women can be heard behind her, repeating everything she says just as loudly. In the segment after the soundbite (which happened to be the final segment of the show that day), Rome, Travis Rodgers, and Jason Stewart did their own version of it, revolving around plugging the show, an upcoming Tour Stop, and the show's sponsors. Rome has said that his favorite quote from this bit is J-Stew saying "Chew it!" in response to Rome talking about Extra chewing gum. Stewart also said in an exaggerated ebonic tone: "Don' fo'get Mahk Moda," referring to Mark Mulder's scheduled appearance on the show the next day; this has become an oft-reset soundbite on its own. The segment as a whole is the origin of the XR4ti Crew.
- Pete Gillen: The former Virginia men's basketball coach, when asked about the Duke basketball team, responded, "Certainly, Duke is Duke, they're on TV more than Leave It to Beaver reruns." Rome likes to imitate Gillen's heavy Brooklyn accent and cadence, repeating the quote as "Leahve It To Beavuh... reruhns!"
- Ryan Leaf: In 1998, the highly-drafted rookie quarterback for the Chargers refused to talk with the media after some rough outings early on. After one miserable performance in which he had been benched, Leaf screamed at San Diego Union Tribune reporter Jay Posner: "Don't talk to me, all right? Knock it off!" which was captured on video and shown countless times on TV.
- Jim Mora: On November 25, 2001, after a devastating loss to the 49ers, the head coach of the Colts engaged in a long rant berating his team for its poor performance. The clip includes such quotes as: "That was a disgraceful performance. We threw that game. We gave them the friggin' game. In my opinion, that sucked. It was pitiful, absolutely pitiful." and "Ah-- Playoffs?! Don't talk about... playoffs?! You kidding me? Playoffs? I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game."
- Larry Robinson: While coaching the Los Angeles Kings, Robinson spoke out on the increasing incidence of NHL players taking soccer-like dives on minor contact with the intention of drawing penalties. "I don't know what to expect anymore...I'm going to instruct my guys to do exactly this, 'If somebody puts a stick on you, just fall,’ because that's what it has really turned into. All because a bunch of the prima donnas in this freakin' league don't want to get touched. They're whining [because] they can't get their 60 goals... 'I can't get my 60 goals...I can't get my 60 goals.' We have a few fffff...whining little babies in this league who don't want to get touched. That's why they have to resort to this. I'm all in agreement that hooking and holding shouldn't be there, but not to the point that you can't touch anyone any more."
- Dennis Green: On October 16, 2006, Green's Arizona Cardinals held a 20-0 halftime lead over the heavily-favored Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, but collapsed in the second half, eventually losing 24-23. During the post-game press conference, Green was asked what he thought about the Bears' comeback. He exploded, "The Bears are who we thought they were. That’s why we took the damn field. Now [slams the podium] if you want to crown 'em, then crown their ass! They're who we thought they were...and we let 'em off the hook!" then stormed out of the room. The following day, Rome proclaimed the soundbite as the rant of the season, and has since claimed that Green's striking the podium is actually him giving himself a tongue (referring to Rome putting tongue stickers on his microphone when he has an exceptional segment on the show), per a caller's suggestion.
- Donald Trump: In late 2006, comedian Rosie O'Donnell insulted the real estate mogul, calling him a "snake oil salesman" and saying that he was bankrupt. Trump responded with an extensive tirade in which he insulted nearly every aspect of O'Donnell's life and career. Both Rome and the Clones expressed praise for the quality of Trump's smack, with many callers and e-mailers saying that Trump had already won the 2007 Smack-Off. Rome was also delighted by O'Donnell's weak responses.
- Dan Hawkins: In February, 2007, the Colorado Buffaloes football coach was answering questions in an offseason press conference. After he mentioned an anonymous letter from a player's parent apparently complaining about not enough time off before summer conditioning, he unexpectedly screamed: "It's Division One football! It's the Big Twelve! It ain't intramurals! You got two weeks after finals, you got a week at July 4th, and you got a week before camp starts, that's a month! That's probably more vacation than you guys get! And we're a little bummed out that we don't get 3 weeks!? [lowers voice] Go play intramurals, brother! Go play intramurals!" When playing the clip, Rome notes Hawkins' concluding nod to Hulk Hogan, and wonders why coaches still don't realize that rants like this are never forgotten, but hang around to be replayed forever. He also likes to interrupt the clip by mock-shouting questions that Hawkins duly answers: "What division?", "What conference?", "Is it intramurals?"
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