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Homophobic Bet Stirs Seattle Airwaves

(This story was published in 2002).

UPDATE: The Softer Side of 'Softy', February 19, 2002

KJR-AM 950 sports radio in Seattle thinks making fun of gays makes for quality broadcasting.

Sports talk show host Dave "Softy" Mahler has made an on-air Super Bowl bet with Steve Sandmeyer, who does sports updates. The payoff? If Mahler loses, he has to have his ear pierced on-air. If Sandmeyer loses, he has to go to a gay bar and walk out with three phone numbers. Mahler was adamant that he would not go to a gay bar - he would rather have his ear pierced. In fact, he didn't even want Sandmeyer going to a gay bar.

ESPN's NFL columnist John Clayton even got in on the act Wednesday when Mahler filled him in on the bet. When he heard what the stakes were, Clayton asked, "Does Sandmeyer want to lose?"

Mahler, jokingly, said that he did. "Oh geez," Clayton said, laughing, continuing to joke with Mahler about Sandmeyer having to go to a gay bar.

Listeners have called the station to complain, but to no avail. The bet is even being used as a promotional spot.

When one gay listener, John Kerr, wrote a letter to Mahler complaining about the bet, Mahler's response was: "John, Thanks for listening to the show. Dave."

Station program manager Rich Moore did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Read two listener's letters to the station

Feb. 5 Update: Since the Rams lost, ``Softy'' lost his bet and had his ear pierced. Sandmeyer was spared the trauma of going to a gay bar.