SportTalk Radio

SportTalk has been a Chattanooga fan favorite for more than three decades, and its starring personalities continue to entertain us with their side-splitting humor and football expertise. CityScope® magazine recently sat down with the trio – Joe Varner (Cowboy Joe), Scott Mcmahen (Quake), and Dave Hooker – to discuss football, high school, and the best superhero of all time.

CS: What is your spirit animal?

JV: Mine would be a Siberian tiger, because obviously it’s a beautiful animal.

SM: Does it have to be Siberian?

JV: No, it can be a tiger. I mean, they’re all endangered, right? They usually stick to themselves – they hunt alone; they hunt at night.

SM:Mine’s a penguin because I just waddle through life looking for the next iceberg.

DH: I would say I’m a liger because I’m the best of a lion and a tiger.


CS: Who’s the best superhero?

DH: I mean, the best is undoubtedly Superman.

SM: Aquaman. Have you seen the way he calms those bull sharks? It’s crazy. 

JV: Superman is definitely not the best superhero. I don’t even really like superheroes; I’m more of a villain kind of guy. I like Venom, Ghost Rider, the Punisher.

DH: Superman would destroy all three of those at once. It wouldn’t even be close.

SM: You wouldn’t even believe what Aquaman would do!


CS: What’s worse: laundry or dishes?

DH: Laundry. Because with dishes, you do them, you’re done, you’re proud of yourself.

SM: Laundry never ends at my house. Bless my wife’s heart.

JV: Dishes. Because I don’t want other people seeing my drawers.

DH: It also depends on how long the dishes have been sitting there. Like, have you ever forgotten about them, and left on vacation, and came back … It’s bad news.


CS: Would you rather be a mascot or a cheerleader for a day?

DH: Uh, I’ve been a cheerleader for a day. It’s when everyone found out I had red armpit hair. It was a bad day. So, I guess I would go mascot. (No pictures of that exist, by the way.)

JV: But you could also just be a male cheerleader.

DH: No, if I had to wear the miniskirt, you have to wear the miniskirt.

JV: If it was with USC or Oregon, I’d be a male cheerleader. Anywhere else, I’d be a mascot.

SM: I was a rifle team member, never was a cheerleader. So I’m going mascot. Something with “fighting” in front of it, or a “hustling tiger.” I always thought that was cool.

CS: What’s the average number of burgers you eat during football season?

JV: 50 to 100, somewhere in there. A lot.

DH: See, I’m really more of a wing guy. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had a burger.

JV: It’s been at least a few hours for me.

SM: I have two before every high school Friday night game. Easy 50 over the season.

CS: Would you rather win the Heisman or the Super Bowl?

JV: I’d rather win the Super Bowl. I just think it carries more merit – I mean, the Heisman trophy is pretty important – but there are a lot of Heisman winners that you have no idea where they are now.

SM: I’ll say Heisman, because I want to be a part of that Heisman house that they have, hanging out with the dudes, the bros.

DH: I would say Heisman, because I would hate to be the backup long snapper and not play in the Super Bowl. I would have wanted to earn it.

JV: Well if I win the Super Bowl, I would have earned it. I would break a 99-yard run, for the win – something like that.

SM: With your speed, that makes sense.

CS: What’s your dream job?

JV: Archaeology.

SM: Postman.

DH: I’d probably like to be Prince Harry. Actually, I want to be William – the one who gets to be king. Harry’s like a backup quarterback.

JV: Well, the backup quarterback has a nice consolation prize.

DH:I want to be king.


CS: How do you like your eggs?

JV: Over easy. There’s no other way.

SM: Scrambled with cheese and bacon bits.

JV: There is another way!

SM: And it’s got to be American cheese.

DH: First of all, I can eat any kind of eggs. But the number one way, if you happen to be at a place serving biscuits and gravy, is to have your eggs topped with sausage gravy. With Tabasco. It’s completely bizarre.


CS: What advice would you give your high school self?

JV: I would say, “Girls don’t bite.”
I was pretty shy in high school. Then in college, I blossomed!

DH: I would say, “Just don’t even think about the whole business school idea.” It’s two years of your life you’re not going to get back. Of all the classes I took, maybe four helped?

SM: I would say, “Learn how to stop and smell the roses more.” I think too many goals can be distracting. Just having that certain drive to accomplish things, and then when you accomplish it – on to the next thing.

CS: What’s a talent you have that other people may not know about?

JV: Woodworking.

SM: Playing harmonica in a band called Doctor Fur. We haven’t played in two years.

JV: Let’s get the band together, man!

DH: Guns N’ Roses took like a six-year break. But me, I’m actually an incredible singer. They’ve heard me do the first couple bars of the Star Spangled Banner.