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Still Barking: 25 Years of Washington Sports Coverage with John-Paul Flaim

From early beginnings to 'The Sports Junkies' we all know and love, a look at what it took to get to a quarter-century

If you love sports and talk radio, and you're in the DMV, you know who The Sports Junkies are.

Thanks to phone apps like Audacy, you don't even have to be in the area to pick up your favorite sports talk show from 106.7 The Fan. You can stream it anywhere you get a data signal or internet. 

But to understand where your favorite sports talk quartet came from, you have to start at the beginning. And that's where my conversation with John-Paul Flaim, one of the junkies, started when talking to him about his new book titled, "Still Barking: Friendship, Brotherhood, and 25 Years of The Sports Junkies".

Data and the internet were two of many things we take for granted today that weren't around as we know them back when Flaim and three of his friends began their journey. 

JP, Cakes, Bish, and EB couldn't just fire up their cameras and upload a video to YouTube, TikTok, or whatever social media platform is popular this month. They did it the old-fashioned way. 

Cable access television. 

"We were all kind of doing our separate things," Flaim told me. But one conversation with EB changed all that. "He came over to my house one night during my first summer of law school when I was back home with my parents and he said, 'Hey, would you want to start a cable access tv show?', because his mother-in-law saw some...guys that we grew up with, and they were doing a cable access tv show. It was a lightbulb moment for me...once we started doing it...we really thought we had something."

Four friends. A college basketball player, a law school student, a graduate student, and a Toys 'R' Us manager were dug in and doing well, but they needed something to help catapult them to the next level. 

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A newspaper article would be that something. From there, it was on to the next 25 years of their lives, and the immeasurable amount of sports fans they've reached. 

Just four guys hanging out and talking about sports.

It's impossible to encapsulate all the junkies have been through in the quarter-century since they began. 

But Still Barking does a great job of telling the story. Reading it is as entertaining as listening to the show is, but there's a realness to the 'characters' that Flaim captures, especially in closing when the author reflects on the loss of his mother and the impact of family in trying times. 

"(It) is obviously the most personal," Flaim said. "In the end, my boys are there for me. And that's what the books about...the friendship and the brotherhood that's going to exist forever."

Pick a reason for reading books based on sports, and this one has it. Nostalgia, pursuing and achieving dreams, insight into a business many view with wonder from the outside, comedy, and of course, friendship. 

Flaim also voiced his appreciation of the audience who has been with The Sports Junkies throughout the years.

To get your own copy of the book, head to the Still Barking website, and check out my full interview with John-Paul Flaim, on the Locked On Washington Football Team Podcast.