By Samantha Thompson
If you’ve ever journeyed up the monstrous Merrill hill and wandered your way to the backside of Crown, you would find yourself at a long narrow path leading down to a small cabin-like building sitting in the shadows of the trees. This is the home of KZSC’s own weekly sports talk show, "Slug Talk" on 88.1 FM, "The best source for Slug sports."
Once venturing inside the building, you would find yourself surrounded by walls covered in layers of brightly colored posters, stickers, and banners, along with shelves full of old records and new CDs.
Amidst the colorful chaos are the show’s own colorful characters. The "Slug Talk" crew consists of KZSC Sports Director Justin Bercovich, Ben Kutcher, Justin Heineman, Warren Sampson, and resident comedian Elliot Steingart. Every Friday they gather to prepare for their broadcast, which hits the air live at 4 p.m. sharp.
"This show is purposely dedicated to giving the athletic program the time and coverage that they normally wouldn’t receive," senior Justin Heineman said. "It’s a time for the athletes to get recognized for what they do because they don’t get scholarships."
Heineman went on. "They really don’t get free anything. They have to do everything themselves just to be able to play.""Slug Talk" was founded in the winter of 2004 by Carl Nasman and Ivan Bettger, who started the show to provide coverage to UC Santa Cruz athletes. It is in that same spirit that the show continues.
"There’s nothing else. There’s nothing like it," senior Ben Kutcher explained. "There’s no sports talk show around that focuses on Santa Cruz sports or Slug sports. It’s an injustice to not know anything about our sports department."
Over the years, the show has evolved from its original half-hour slot to a full hour which now includes a scoreboard, updates on recent Slug sports events, TWISSH ("This Week In Slug Sports History"), and a calendar which notifies listeners of upcoming events. The show often brings in UCSC athletes and coaches to speak on-air.
Another highlight is "Friday Night Lights," which brings in Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Jim Seimas to discuss local high school football.
There is also a segment of sports-related comic relief provided by senior Elliot Steingart. "The Elliot Steingart Show" airs at 4:45 p.m. during "Slug Talk."
As Steingart enthusiastically said, "The show is fun for everybody."
Twice a year the show does a pledge drive. As a non-commercial station, KZSC could only survive with the help of donations from local businesses and listeners.
The "Slug Talk" crew puts time and energy into their weekly show without receiving class credit or compensation. According to Bercovich, they put on the show for the enjoyment and pride of broadcasting for UCSC’s often-overlooked athletic teams.
"These kids are no worse than any other person who goes to Berkeley or UCLA and plays sports," Heineman said. "I think they should get some type of media coverage just like everyone else."Slug Talk will be broadcasting the women’s soccer game against Chapman University live on Friday, October 27 starting at 3p.m., one hour earlier than the usual timeslot of 4p.m.