Free Country Free Ride

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A lot of Americans have had a lot of questions about the Olympics this week. So, I figured we’d reveal the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this summer’s Tokyo Games:

1. “Why do divers shower after each dive?” It’s not to wash the chlorine off, it’s actually to prevent injuries. You see, the pool is cold & can make you cramp up. So, they take a warm shower or sit in a hot tub between dives to keep their muscles loose & cramp-free.

2. “Why does one volleyball player have a different colored jersey?” They’re the only player who can sub in & replace another player in the back row. They’re usually better at defense, so they’re there to cover things like passing the ball & receiving serves.

3. “Why is Russia called R.O.C.?” Remember how Russia got banned for doping a few years back? Well, as a way around that, all of their athletes are competing this year under the name “Russian Olympic Committee” (R.O.C.).

4. “Why isn’t LeBron James in the Olympics?” King James experienced some injuries during the NBA season earlier this year, so he decided to opt out. He’s not the only big name player who decided to forego this year’s Olympics, which may be why our Team USA didn’t do so well on the international court.

5. “How deep is an Olympic diving pool?” Most swimming pools in Tokyo are about 10 feet deep. Meanwhile, international diving pools are anywhere from 10 to 16 feet, depending on the event. So, the high dive competitions use the deepest part of the deepest pools.

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at

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MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Why Water Polo Players Wear Those Special Swim Caps

If you ever get to look closely at water polo players’ actual swim caps, you’ll see that there are lots & lots of holes around the earpieces. Now, with all the splashing that goes on in water polo, it would make total sense for the athletes to wear swim caps that would prevent water from clogging their ears. But, since they’re not actually keeping water out, what do those fancy water bonnets actually do?

The head is the lone part of an athlete’s body that regularly stays above the water, so the bonnets (as they’re actually called) do function as the players’ jerseys, enabling them to tell opponents from teammates (and also determine which teammate is which, since their numbers are printed on their caps, as well). One team will usually wear dark-colored caps, while the other team wears light-colored caps, and each of the goalkeepers wear red.

But the main reason they wear those specialized swim caps is to prevent injury. There are plastic guards built into the caps that cover the athletes’ ears. Regular swim caps don’t have those particular features, which help absorb the impact of the ball or another athlete’s body part so that it doesn’t result in a ruptured eardrum or some other injury. Because, while a ruptured eardrum will usually heal on its own after some time, when you consider the possible damage to the inner ear from additional water infiltration, the athlete will likely have to remain out of the pool until it heals. And, considering how tightly packed the schedule is for Olympic water polo games, the athletes don’t really have the option to sit out for a few weeks until their eardrums heal.

But now you know a little bit more about what you’re watching when you’re up late with the late-night broadcasts from this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at

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MUNDANE MYSTERIES: How Long Does It Take A Tattoo To Heal?

Every tattoo buff will insist that getting some awesome new ink will always be worth it. But before you can wow your friends or family with some amazing body art, you’d have to first actually GET the tattoo. And then, given the nature of tattoos, themselves, you have to then let it heal up. So, just how long will it take for your skin & body to recuperate after getting a tattoo?

Here’s basically how tattoos work: your tattoo artist will use a mechanical needle to inject certain pigments into your skin, namely the dermis. The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis, which is the skin you can see from the outside. The ink applied to the dermis will then be visible through the epidermis. While the process gives you some cool body art to show off, it also leaves you with a plethora of tiny puncture wounds. And the full length of time it takes for your skin to recover will depend on both the size & the location of your tattoo. In the first week after getting inked, you’ll probably experience some redness & oozing, which is totally normal. Then, for 2 to 3 weeks after that you might have some itchy flaking skin. But usually, your skin should be back to normal within 2 to 3 weeks. Full healing for all the layers of your skin damaged by the process, though, can take up to half a year.

But, whether you’re getting an entire movie poster on your back or a lone symbol on your arm, injecting ink under your skin is technically a medical procedure. So, if your tattoo artist doesn’t give you a breakdown for aftercare (and not every state requires them to do so), at least now you know how long it should likely take for your body art to heal.

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at

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Andy Webb, a 25-year Radio entertainer & content creator, is the new Program Director for 99.9 WFRE & host of “The Free Country Free Ride” weekday afternoons from 3pm-7pm.

From his very first job in 1995, in his hometown of Meridian, MS, Radio has been the only occupation Andy’s ever known; from the age of reel-to-reel tape to today’s digital audio, he worked his way up through late-night air shifts all the way up to morning drive. Always an eager student of Radio, Andy has used every opportunity to hone his skills and personality into an affable mixture of humor and gravitas listeners can instantly identify with & latch onto. He’s been featured across many formats, including Country, Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Hot AC, Southern Gospel, and even Urban AC; and, as a testament to his talents and commitment to fun-yet-informative radio, Andy was awarded the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters“Radio Personality of the Year” award four out of five years between 2006 and 2011.

While having attended The University of Southern Mississippi on an Opera Performance scholarship, Andy always followed the path Radio set before him, which has taken him from Meridian to Hattiesburg, MS, to Charleston, SC, and now Frederick, MD. Andy enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma (a fellow Broadcaster), and daughter, Isabel, while also spending his infrequent free time golfing, wood-working, an motorcycle riding.

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