If you think it sounds like two dudes getting together to talk sports over a beer, you couldn’t be more right.
When Eytan Shander and Harry Mayes, both former hosts on 97.5 the Fanatic radio station, were looking for a new way to get their voice out to the masses, Shander wasted no time in hooking up with his former co-host on an afternoon show.
Not only are they friends, but they have great chemistry on the air. They’re two guys who love talking sports, don’t mind bickering with each other and more than anything else, enjoy entertaining.
“When we left 97.5, I knew Harry was going to get picked up quickly,” said Shander, who hosted just about every show possible during his tenure at his previous station. “I wanted to work with him because he has such a great following. People love him, he’s been around. He’s great at doing this.”
The feeling was mutual.
“(Eytan) can never do enough,” Mayes said. “He loves doing this. And he has an opinion on everything. He could do eight hours a day and he’d still want to do more. And he’s great at it.”
The pair hosted a show a few years back, and every day was fun because they would talk sports, but they also enjoyed talking about other things. Usually, when they would dive deep into a topic, one of them would say something that would cause the conversation to go a little off topic. And, usually, that’s when the fun would start.
But when you’re doing radio, you have people dictating what you can and can’t talk about, so sometimes the fun stops and who-is-at-fault-for-the-latest-loss talk goes on and on and on for an entire show.
That’s not what they wanted.
They wanted to get derailed. And now they’re giving Derailed to everyone.
Shander and Mayes recently started a weekly podcast called “Derailed,” which airs every week on ESPN Radio 97.3 in South Jersey. But because they have so many fans in the Philadelphia area, the show is available via podcast on the station’s website and is now broadcast on YouTube thanks to Chris Gregory, with Clutch Shot Productions.
The show is a perfect mix of what you might talk about with your friends while pounding beers. A recent episode covered the Eagles’ ugly loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and the huge trade that brought Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia, so if you just want sports talk, it’s there.
But did you know there was a soccer team that hired a porn star to distract their opponents?
Did you know Shander is sometimes tardy?
Did you know Peter King is a Democrat?
Shander and Mayes touched on all of these subjects and many others during their 45-minute discussion.
There was a lot of passion, a lot of bickering and a lot of laughs.
“I can only stand him about once a week, but once a week is perfect,” Mayes joked.
“When we would do shows together, people would try to bring us back to talking about the Eagles, but our best radio came from when we would get derailed,” Shander said. “People like it. Here, you don’t have people in another room telling you to ‘get back to talking about the Eagles.’ People like it when you’re talking, not being told what to talk about.”
Calling their own shots isn’t the only thing the pair likes about the atmosphere.
Each week, Shander and Mayes recorded the podcast at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken. And now they’re getting a chance to do it in a bigger venue.
On Saturday at noon, Derailed will be recorded live at Chickie’s & Pete’s inside Parx Casino.
“I’m excited,” Shander said. “The Great American Pub was a great venue with great burgers, and Chickie’s & Pete’s at Parx is the perfect place.”
Good burgers and crab fries aside, both Mayes and Shander are happy to be back doing what they love to do and doing it the way they want to do it.
“When I’m doing this, this is exactly who I am,” Mayes said. “I’m not a character on the air. I’m just a guy who loves to watch sports and talk about it. I enjoy talking to people, and I enjoy talking to (Shander) about sports. And he loves doing this more than I do. He always has something to say. If he got done doing a four-hour show and I asked him to do this, he’d be all for it.”
And even though you don’t hear Shander on radio in Philadelphia, he’s still plenty busy. Like Mayes, he’s been working on some national projects and he also does segments on Fox 29 and a few times a week helps host the afternoon show on 97.3 FM in Atlantic City, a station he worked at shortly after he got into the industry. There, he works on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill, the station’s program director.
“I’m truly grateful to people like Mike Gill and Mike Ruble at 97.3, and producers like Candace Johnson, Jess Klein and Jodi Harris, and the anchors from Mike Jerrick to Lauren Johnson, Karen Hepp, Thomas Drayton, Alex Holley and Bill Anderson, who clearly see value in having me on to talk about all things Philadelphia sports.”
He’s still displaying that work ethic that made him so valuable at his former station, where he hosted just about every show you could imagine.
“I love talking Philly sports, it doesn’t matter where or how I’m doing it,” Shander said. “I’m happy I’m still doing it and we’re having a great time working together. You never know where we’re going to end up once we get going. We always seem to get derailed.”
Listen to the podcast here.