By Jesse Wood
Oct. 10, 2014. While Mountaineer Talk began several years before David Jackson, also known as the “Voice of the Mountaineers,” came on board, Jackson said he’s now in his 15th year hosting the radio show that is broadcasted weekly on the radio waves west of Burlington during football season.
Mountaineer Talk is Appalachian IMG Sports Network’s weekly coaches’ call-in show, and each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m., Jackson and his broadcast partner Steve Brown talk with ASU head coach Scott Satterfield and other guests such as current and former players. While the event is also streamed live on App State TV for premium subscribers, patrons of The Rock Sports Bar and Grill can catch the action in person.
Jackson described the atmosphere as “very laidback” where the broadcasters, callers and patrons have a chance to directly interact with the coaches and student athletes, who generally mingle with fans after the show.
Along with talking about the prior game and the upcoming matchups, Jackson said that the broadcasters and callers also have a chance to make personal connections with the coaches and players, something that doesn’t generally happen in interviews immediately after the game and especially not so much when Jackson is calling the game live on the air.
Jackson noted that Mountaineer Talk gives him the opportunity to talk about players’ academic pursuits; personal hobbies and goals; how they became aware of Appalachian State University when they were in high school; and why the ended up choosing to become a Mountaineer. This is something that isn’t practical during a game because there are some 100 players on the team and also because it somewhat interrupts the flow of play-by-play announcement.
“[During the game,] I can’t necessarily say ‘Malachi Jones wants to be a doctor. Touchdown Appalachian,’” Jackson joked.
He added that this personal touch allows listeners to get to know the players on an intimate level that may lead to them “rooting for that kid” on game day and throughout their career at App State.
Jackson noted that Appalachian standouts who moved on to the NFL still come back around and talk on the radio show every once in a while.
He also mentioned the “tremendous” relationship that the show has with The Rock Sports Bar and Grill.
Jeff Reynolds, owner of the establishment, said he loves hosting the program and even signed a two-extension to host the radio show last year. He said he pays $6,500 a season to host the show and another $600 per playoff game.
They stream the show live on the TVs in the bar and also broadcast it over the speaker system in the bar and restaurant. While the establishment always has a good crowd with some of the ASU Football diehards, Reynolds said he doesn’t necessarily look at it as an investment for just those Thursdays.
He noted the numerous radio stations that feature the show in markets such as Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Asheville.
“We have folks [and alumni] come in from different areas of the region and say, ‘Yeah. We hard about it on the Coach’s Show.’” Reynolds said. “So yeah it’s been really good, very helpful.”
Reynolds concluded, “I am glad I do it, and I am going to continue to do it.”
The Rock Sports Bar and Grill is located in the Walmart Shopping Center at 276 Watauga Village Dr. Suite G in Boone. For more information, click to http://therocksportsbar.com/ and its Facebook page or call 828-386-1723.