By Nick Canzoneri
Talking sports with friends was simply not enough for Sam Rikshpun, the creator of a new radio show called “The Pass.”
After years of watching sports with his family and friends, Rikshpun decided to follow his passion for broadcasting by joining UAlbany’s WCDB 90.9 radio station. The UAlbany sophomore and business major created the talk show last September.
Rikshpun’s show discusses and covers major sports such as soccer, basketball, football, hockey, and baseball. The show even covers new potential landing spots for sports players, talks about the comments of sports celebrities and discusses UAlbany athletics as well.
Since the first podcast which was released on Jan. 29 on Spotify and Apple Music, “The Pass” has gained a following from sports fans on campus, acquiring over 100 listeners.
This semester, Rikshpun began inviting guests onto the show.
“It really makes the show more dynamic and we can get into some pretty heated arguments as well,” he said, “making it even more enjoyable for us at the station and the listeners.”
Before the Super Bowl, Rikshpun had five guests live on air, broadcasting for over an hour, discussing key matchups and predictions before one of the biggest games of the year. Guests included UAlbany students Max Vidal and Jonathan Kurlander.
Due to the competitive nature of the sports broadcasting industry, Rikshpun said he tries to make his show stand out from others.
“I have made improvements both to the content of the show and the way I host it,” he said. ”I try to speak using emotion and using a better selection of adjectives.”
Rikshpun’s show also includes on-air games to engage listeners.
“I try to play games on the show in order to interact with the listeners more,” he said. “With games like My First Thought and The Stock Report.”
The My First Thought game discusses his original thoughts on teams at the beginning of the season and The Stock Report discusses trends and players in all leagues that he would either “buy” or “sell” similar to the activity of stocks.
The University of Albany student-run radio station is trying to expand to different types of shows like “The Pass” throughout the week.
Program Director of WCDB Albany 90.9 Sophie Patka said variety is crucial in order to survive, that they encourage DJs (both music and not) to switch it up as much as possible every week.
“As an educational alternative station, it’s important to showcase a lot of different content,” Patka said.
Patka said that the show is going so well that she hopes it will air more than two times per week.
“We have definitely seen interest in the sports show during our open houses, and I have heard that people listen to and value the sports shows,” she said.
Rikshpun’s “The Pass” airs every Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with different guests, opinions, ideas and games every week.
“It feels really good to have that many people care about the show,” he said.