DL400: A World Cup Conversation with ESPN’s Bob Ley


This is the 400th episode of our little show. In that time we’ve probably done…carry the one…close to 200 interviews, including conversations with some really big names. But for a show that considers itself a sports media show, there are very few people in our industry who garner the universal respect and esteem as Bob Ley.

Considering Ley is anchoring ESPN’s fantastic coverage of the World Cup that culminates in the finale this weekend, it is my incredible pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with him, especially for one of the episodes that ends in 00. Those do feel more like milestone moments, even if it is just one more show than yesterday.

We discuss, at great length, the World Cup to this point and spend a lot of time focusing on the production by ESPN. Ley shares some insight to the interaction between those on the set — and the fortune of having analysts from USA, England and South Africa along with Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

We discuss some of the World Cup storylines, including the importance of Landon Donovan’s goal for the 2022 World Cup bid as well as Ley’s time in Africa what it’s been like being away from the United States for so long, yet (on TV at least) feeling no different than being in Bristol. He makes certain to point out that they are very aware of being in Africa, not Bristol.

Beyond the World Cup, I asked Ley who his favorite interviews have been, and he tells some fantastic stories about his opportunity to sit and chat with several American Presidents. He then tells a wonderful story about his time with Desmond Tutu, which is seriously a must listen.

A transcription of some of this will be up on TSB later today. Thanks and enjoy the matches.

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One Response to “DL400: A World Cup Conversation with ESPN’s Bob Ley”

  1. mlmintampa says:

    It’s amazing in that for all the crap ESPN deserves for The Decision, their World Cup coverage has been absolutely outstanding. It seemed like the production followed the professionalism of Ley.

    I love Ley, but having Chris Fowler there was a great move. There are a lot of college football fans (and possibly new soccer fans) who watched Fowler just to get their fix before September. Maybe he can have McManaman put on a mascot head for the final.