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On Geoff Blum and the Collywobbles

How Houston’s color man connects with fans one weird word at a time

Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies
This man is a Texas Treasure
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

If you’ve been watching the Astros during Wednesday games this season you may have noticed a slight expansion in Geoff Blum’s vocabulary, and if you’re part of Astros Twitter you may know why.

Back on June 7th Houston was facing off against the Rangers on a balmy evening in Arlington. Gerrit Cole was on the mound twirling a gem while the boys in orange were doing God’s work by tagging up Cole Hamels. Right around the middle of the 6th inning, Blum would get into some friendly banter with a fan about how the word “supple” made it onto the broadcast, which is usually a word better left to the leatherworking industry.

That led to someone suggesting that supple was not quite as bad as everyone’s favorite five-letter word, “moist,” to which Blum replied:


The original poster, who goes by the handle @LMac_1326, would throw down a damp gauntlet and challenge him to say it on air, which Blummer gladly picked up and ran with. Within 20 minutes he delivered the goods and the foundation for a new game within the game would be set.

A few days later LMac threw out the suggestion of a regular on-air word challenge, but crowdsourced by Astros fans, and Blummer would have to work it into a broadcast. He would promptly accept with the only caveat being that it would need to be just once a week, and suggested the name and hashtag #WeirdWordWednesdays himself. Calls for suggestions were sent out and, of those, 4 were selected.

It was glorious:

And so it has gone every Wednesday since with few exceptions. There have been slangwhangers and snollygosters, the collywobbles and sassafrass, firkytoodling and foofaraws, pickleweasels and slobber-knockers, with a bumfuzzle in the mix. Blum has gone 11-1 on the challenge, seamlessly working the week’s word into the broadcast and always drawing comments of appreciation from fans.

Of course, the game wouldn’t be possible without the work of LMac, a recently displaced Houston native who has been a fan since high school. She would watch as the Astros were swept out of the 2005 World Series as well as last year when they brought it all home, etching that memory in her heart as well as her city’s. Because of that dedication and her love of Houston sports, she takes a little bit of time each week to spread excitement for the game and help connect fans with the team in some way.

“It’s something I look forward to every week and it really makes it fun to have Blum interact with us as much as he does,” she said. “He doesn’t have to make the time to do it and the fact that he does just shows how awesome he is. Can’t thank him enough.”

Blummer is a rare breed of broadcaster who educates in an entertaining fashion and makes an effort at keeping fans engaged. He pairs quite well with Todd Kalas as the two of them are constantly working together to keep fans in the game on social media as well as in the booth with exciting calls and insightful remarks. Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate how good of a broadcasting crew the Astros have and the efforts they put in where others might just stick to the basics. They are an important part of what makes this team so special.

LMac will be collecting suggestions for the final poll of the season this Tuesday, which is placed the morning before the game and will run up until several hours before it begins. If you’d like to participate, keep an eye on #WeirdWordWednesdays on Twitter and watch the game to see if Blummer can deliver one more time in 2018.