Josh Zerkle from With Leather joins the show today to talk, laugh and generally offend. And that’s why we love him.

We touch on Joe Theismann in the booth before getting into the Jenn Sterger name-clearing extortion plot. What name, exactly, is she (or her PR people) trying to clear? Haven’t they done more damage to her reputation than had they just kept quiet the whole time?

We parallel the Sterger situation to that of Alicia Lane and Rich Eisen. Lane could make the case that her reputation was being sullied (by co-worker and creepazoid Larry Mendte) but how can Sterger? This is nuts.

We touch on Favre, too, and wonder if this will hurt his legacy. With the internet the way it is now — compared to back in the days of Joe DiMaggio, or even Mickey Mantle (or, heck, even the 90s Cowboys), do we romanticize the past more than today? Can anyone, truly, have a “legacy” anymore with how eager we are to “humanize” everyone on the internet?

Is it the media’s fault, and should amateur athletes — college kids — be off limits? Zerkle points out that the Cam Newton situation is way more about college football than it is about one particular kid, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that we, media, have taken this kid’s life apart in the last month. And he’s just the next in a long line.

This, to the surprise of both of us, leads to an in-depth back and forth (dare I say argument?) about whether college players should or should not be paid. I think they should not, and the benefits they get now are a fair reimbursement for their services. I also think that paying players is not financially viable for 85% of schools around the country, so if players were to be paid, it would do far more to create a haves and have nots than we have now.

Zerkle posits that maybe that’s a good thing, and his model goes way beyond the traditional “stipend” idea. He suggests that kids should be able to negotiate their own deals — that not EVERY college player should get paid, but if a kid is worth it (i.e. making money for the school) he should be able to work one against the other to get the best deal for himself.

That model is insane. But it’s fun to discuss. We do agree, however, that a fair compromise would be to let agents sign players while still in school, working on their behalf for future earnings, so long as no money changes hands (the college baseball model). We think it could go one step further if the agents were able to loan money to players while in school, with an agreed upon standard loan payback rate of interest. That way, the schools don’t have to worry about paying players and don’t really have to worry about buying players because the agents are handling all of it.

If an agent can’t provide receipts of reimbursement for funds he gave a college kid while in school, he’d eventually lose his license. It’s certainly better than the system now.

Last, Zerkle and I talk about if we were Cecil Netwon, would we go to the Heisman Trophy ceremony to see our son win the award. Then Zerkle said that he doesn’t think Newton will win, or at least win to the margin that I do. I think everyone has voted for him, safe the few who have already announced it. I don’t think the vote will be close.

We have a cheesesteak bet on it.

Thanks to Josh for the last-minute conversation, and to you for listening. If you’re coming to our party, you’ll get to meet Josh too. Drinks are on him.