Courtesy of Ethan Platt

Tom Benoit
Arts and Entertainment Editor

From an LLC fire alarm to a podcast, seniors Tyler daRosa and Matt Holderman have been hosting a sports podcast called “The Sports Degenerates.”

Though the two are both journalism majors at Keene State, they did not meet in the journalism program.

“We had a mutual friend,” daRosa said. “She was in one of my classes… We worked on the project outside the LLC [Living and Learning Commons] and then the LLC had a fire alarm. And she’s like, ‘well, I think that’s a good break for us to go to the [dining commons]. My friends are going there. We can meet up with my friends…’ And that’s actually how Matt and I met,” said daRosa.

“We didn’t meet through sports at all,” Holderman added. “We always say that we would have crossed paths at some point, eventually. You know, if we hadn’t met that night at the [dining commons], we would have crossed paths very soon after, probably since we both have like the exact same interests here at Keene State,” Holderman said.

Holderman shared that broadcasting Keene State College games also brought the two together. Holderman said, “[daRosa] said, ‘I’m already broadcasting games, you should do that.’ I’m like, ‘no way, like– that’s my dream. I’d love to get on broadcasts of basketball games.’ And yeah, the rest is history,”

The podcast originated from needing to fill space in class. The podcast was a part of an independent study daRosa was doing last semester, which gave daRosa and Holderman not only some class credit, but also some experience in their goals of wanting to be in the sports broadcasting industry.

The name, “Sports Degenerates,” came from a former sports blog. “So a group of friends of ours… started a little sports blog that, since then, we haven’t really written in all that much; it was called ‘The Daily Degenerates’,” daRosa said.

daRosa added, “I personally really liked the ‘sports degenerates,’ because I say at the beginning of every podcast, we’re just a couple of college students that love talking about sports, watching sports, listening to sports, everything to do with sports. And I mean, that’s pretty much what a degenerate is.”

Despite being a student-run podcast, the podcast has had some guests, including some well-known sports journalists, “Mike Lynch was such a fun interview.

Mike Lynch and Bob Halloran and Butch Stearns, they’ve all been in the business for, I think, 25-plus years.”

To make the podcast more competitive, the pair began a bet each week, at first with the loser wearing the other person’s team jersey, daRosa being a New England Patriots fan and Holderman being a Kansas City Chiefs fan. To up the stakes, the loser began wearing a robe, which they call ‘the Robe of Shame.’ “We just saw this obnoxiously magenta token colored robe sitting in the room. I forgot it was here. I mean, I think my girlfriend’s had it for years, but never really wears it,” Holderman said.

daRosa added, “I was like, ‘Oh, this is perfect. This is gonna be what we’re wearing. Let’s name it ‘the Robe of Shame.’”

With the two being seniors, they hope they can still continue doing the podcast after graduation. “Why stop? Right now… we’re not getting a ton of listeners or anything, but we’re getting some listeners that is kind of keeping us going. And also, a big reason that we want to kind of keep doing it is because, when we graduate… [we] both have the same career goals: doing sports journalism, or just being anchors or reporters in general,” said daRosa.

daRosa continued, “But there’s a good possibility that we’ll be both in separate parts of the country, because we’ll have to do that for the job. And we kind of look at it as a way, if we continue doing [the podcast], we’d be able to continue staying in touch and possibly continue seeing each other and talking once a week, even though we’ll be in different parts of the country, not right down the road from each other.”

“Sports Degenerates” is hosted on a few major platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and iHeartRadio. New episodes are posted weekly.


Tom Benoit can be contacted at

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