“The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best,” said Rome. “At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades. Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.”
“Jim Rome’s ‘Smack Off’ is a sports event like no other,” said Eric Spitz, Director, Programming, CBS Sports Radio. “The ‘Clones’ represent the most passionate, knowledgeable and creative sports fans around; the preparation and ingenuity they put into making their ‘Smack Off’ truly original is just amazing. This year’s contestants have their work cut out for them and I’m sure they’ll deliver just as always.”
This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000. MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion, Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author, Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.
During each edition of “Smack Off,” fans offer their best rant on the sports topic of their choosing. Participants include previous winners and runners up who have landed themselves a spot in the Top 10, as well as frequent and even first-time callers throughout the year that impress Rome enough to score a Golden Ticket.4
Each year, “Smack Off” participants up the ante on their personal execution and delivery. In 2015, Leff in Laguna sounded off from a rented helicopter that hovered just above Rome’s studio, but when he didn’t cinch the title he upped his game for 2016 by showing up unannounced at Rome’s Irvine, California studio and delivering his “Smack Off” while sitting next to the host. Finally, he took home the top prize!
Over the last 23 years “Smack Off” has featured well-known sports figures such as University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and retired NBA player Tom Tolbert, while others including J.T. the Brick, Sean Pendergast and Jay Mohr used the “Smack Off” to launch their own radio careers.
Rome has been the outspoken host of “The Jim Rome Show” since the launch of CBS Sports Radio in January 2013, broadcasting live weekdays from 12:00-3:00 PM, ET. A one-hour highlight version of the show, titled “Jim Rome’s Daily Jungle,” is available as a daily podcast exclusively on CBS RADIO’s Play.it network. Rome also anchors three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature the “CBS Sports Minute,” heard on hundreds of stations nationwide including WFAN (New York), WSCR (Chicago) and WIP (Philadelphia).