Miranda Lambert never listens to them. Longview head football coach John King never listens to them.
According to their commercials, no one ever listens to them.
But tonight, from 8:30 p.m.-midnight, Harlen The Sports Guy (Harlen Lobley) and Pigskin Bob (Robert Taylor) will tee up the Friday Night Scoreboard Show on KYKX 105.7 FM for the 200th time.
The success of the show isn’t hard to explain. East Texans love their high school football.
Harlen and Pigskin (I’ve known them long enough to call them by their first names) aren’t hard to explain, either. They love East Texas and high school football.
It’s a match made in, well, East Texas.
Another part of the duo’s success is they don’t take each other – or pretty much anything – seriously.
“Our first contract in 2004 was for 11 shows. Frankly, I’m surprised we made it to 12 shows,” Harlen said.
They did, and then some, and along the way they’ve provided listeners with an appetizer (scores) each Friday until the main meal of stories and photos is served in the Longview News-Journal the next day (shameless plug I know Harlen and Pigskin would appreciate).
It isn’t just about the players on the field, either.
Cheerleaders, drill team members, band kids, FFA students and even a mascot have been recipients of 128 $1,005 scholarships over the years. They’ve given away 20,000 “I NEVER Text & Drive” wrist bracelets and created the “1N4” campaign to raise awareness that one in four East Texas children don’t know where their next meal is coming from (a partnership with the East Teas Food Bank).
I’ve been a guest on the Friday Night Scoreboard Show’s annual preseason kickoff event for almost a decade.
We talk football and eat more than we should, discuss our families, whine about the long hours we’re about to put in for the next 17 weeks – and then acknowledge how lucky we are to do what we love.
If you listen to these guys, the love they have for East Texas high school football is obvious.
But, of course, I never listen to them.
Time is running out to vote for The GOAT (Greatest of All Time).
Vhttps://www.news-journal.com/contests/ and help us settle once and for all who was the best player to ever suit up in East Texas.
Voting ends for the regular season next Friday. Every player is in the running until then, and we’ll cut the list down to the top five vote-getters for a five-week playoff stretch before unveiling The GOAT on Christmas Day.
This is an online contest only, so please don’t email me your votes.
Currently, John Tyler’s Earl Campbell leads the voting, followed by Demarrio Williams of Beckville, Larry Centers of Tatum, Pat Mahomes of Whitehouse, Todd Fowler of Van, Adrian Peterson of Palestine, Edwin Simmons of Hawkins, Jackson Sampson of New Diana, Edd Hargett of Linden-Kildare and Y.A. Tittle of Marshall in the top 10.
The next five has Bobby Taylor of Longview, Kevin Johnson of Waskom, Max McGee of White Oak, Keyou Craver of Harleton and a tie with Kris Boyd of Gilmer, Jeff Wilson of Elkhart, Don Meredith of Mount Vernon and Billy Sims of Hooks.
■ This week’s Game I’d Pay To See If I Had To Pay To See Games: Pittsburg at Spring Hill.
Spring Hill is in the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and first-year head coach Jonny Louvier has the Panthers playing for the third-seed against Pittsburg.
Pittsburg, ironically, was the team to knock Spring Hill out of the playoffs the last time the Panthers earned a postseason berth.
My second favorite mascot of all time, behind the elusive Whampus Cat, resides in Rensselaer, New York at the Doane Stuart School.
Trust me when I say you don’t want any part of the Thunder Chickens.