DL412: Haynesworth, Ozzie, Whitlock & Mike Golic Cheating At Fitness Tests

We talk about the Albert Haynesworth situation and how every media member is now trying to pass Mike Shanahan’s fitness test. The most recent is Mike Golic, who didn’t actually pass the test, despite ESPN giving him credit for doing so.

Not only did Mike Greenberg call out “one minute eleven” when Golic passed the line on the first run — a second late on the 70 second mark — before they decided he had actually crossed the line at “one minute ten” you can CLEARLY see that Golic isn’t exactly getting to the cone before he makes his turn.

Total cheater, but what do you expect from someone who went to Notre Dame. (We kid because it’s fun).

Nick and I also talk about Ozzie Guillen’s comments comparing the treatment of Latin players to Asian players, and how the ChiSox have handled the situation as well. Oddly enough, we think it’s not only great that Ozzie speaks his mind, but great that MLB can then come out and defend its record when challenged by one of its own managers. A PR win all the way around, we feel.

We touch on the whole Whitlock situation that Daulerio wrote about at Deadspin, as well as Joe Paterno being 150 years old and still coaching. Has it gotten to the point that his own assistants are using negative recruiting to get them players? It has to be.

Thanks for listening. If you try this conditioning test, please don’t cheat.

Nick and I talk about , Dom Brown’s debut, the and what that means from a PR perspective (and how to fix that if you’re ESPN) and other stuff, including a little on the shakeup at ABC and how TV has changed in the last five years and some talk of the MLS All-Star Game.

Quick recap, so go listen. And thanks for doing so.

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.

Click to listen…

Thanks to the folks at ESPN, I was able to talk with Ian Darke about his call of Landon Donovan’s amazing goal. For a transcription of this conversation, please visit The Sporting Blog. In addition to the call, we talk about John Harkes’ reaction in the booth, the importance for American soccer and a bit about the situations in England, Italy and France.

Thanks to the folks at ESPN, I was able to talk with Ian Darke about his call of Landon Donovan’s amazing goal. For a transcription of this conversation, please visit . In addition to the call, we talk about John Harkes’ reaction in the booth, the importance for American soccer and a bit about the situations in England, Italy and France.

And since Darke is now officially part of the fabric of American sports with this call, would he ever want to branch out and do some college football?

Again, go to TSB to read, or listen above. Thanks and Go Go USA!
And since Darke is now officially part of the fabric of American sports with this call, would he ever want to branch out and do some college football?

Again, go to TSB to read, or listen above. Thanks and Go Go USA!

What a holiday weekend in sports. We start with a conversation about Roy Halladay’s perfect game, but rather than discuss the game between us – full disclosure, I was watching the hockey then switched over and tracked back to watch after the fact while Nick had the foresight to watch both – we thought it would make more sense to talk with one of the men who had the opportunity to call the 20th perfect game in Major League history.

Scott Franzke, radio play-by-play man for the Phillies, joins the show to talk about that amazing performance, and what it was like in the booth. At what point did they start to think they might be witnessing something special? How was Larry Anderson during the game, and were they conscious of superstition throughout the broadcast? How many times did Franzke mention the word perfect? Did he say “perfect game” before it happened?

We also discuss the historic nature of calling something like a perfect game. After Dallas Braden’s perfect game this season, Nick and I talked about beat writers crafting the “perfect game story” knowing that more people will be reading that day than, perhaps, any other in a writer’s career. For someone doing play-by-play, Franzke doesn’t have the luxury of thinking out what he’s going to say, and hitting a delete key. So how perfect did he try to be? Did he have something in his mind for the last out should Halladay complete the perfect game?

And seriously, how nervous were they in the booth? More on this later today on The Sporting Blog.

The Weekend that Was:

Nick and I rundown the weekend in sports, including the Stanley Cup finals (and the ratings for game one that some people — looking at you John Gonzalez — thought wouldn’t be good because of the holiday). We also discuss the rest of the series, and if the Flyers should be worried or feel fine with the fact that, on the road, they were in both games.

Next, we spend a lot of time talking about the game both of us attended on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The U.S. men’s soccer team defeated Turkey in their final Send-off Match before heading to South Africa for the World Cup.

I worked the match for Sporting News, so we give a rundown of some of the storylines that came out of the even. I also try to convince you, Nick and myself, that soccer is now for the cool kids. If a member of the media says they don’t watch soccer now because it’s boring, that’s an old and tired meme that will, finally, make them look stupid. Soccer isn’t boring, we just weren’t any good at it. Now, we might be.


We talk about Lakers Celtics and if we’re rooting for the Lakers (and Kobe) or just rooting against everything related to Boston. We also talk about which is a more lame way to win a game, a walkoff balk or a walkoff grand slam where you break your leg.

Thanks to Scott and click here to listen…

DL376: Flyer’d Up Bandwagon, The Graying Line of Media & Dead Animals On My Lawn

We start with some talk about the Flyers making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but in no way do we gush like we have in the past about the Phillies. We’re unabashed bandwagon hoppers this year.

Oh, we’re having a mayoral bet with Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo’s Big League Stew. What should be ask for from Chicago? We’re putting up some TastyKakes. And for the record, , but do not expect them to do so.


We talk about the Dwayne Bowe story that’s circulating from ESPN the Magazine about a chicken in every pot, or in this case, a woman in every room. Should this get him in trouble with the team? Is his “bad judgement” as Nick put it the fact that he was a part of this or that he told the media about the clandestine situation that has been going on for FIFTY YEARS? And that’s our question: when did this start to become news? Hasn’t this kind of thing happened since professional sports began, but what wasn’t news decades ago — a secret kept by the media from the public for the players — is now front-page stuff.

And this story didn’t come from a gossip blog. This was testimony in a national magazine. We discuss the transition of the media going from being on the player’s side of this imaginary line to being on the public’s.

We also touch on the story from Friday on Deadspin about the woman who defecated in a trash can (due to, what she claims, were medical circumstances). Why is that on Deadspin? Because it happened at ESPN. Nick and I take both sides of the way Craggs handled the story.

DL373: Lottery, Donaghy, Dancing, 3D Beadle, Protests & More

Today’s show we talk about the following things: • The NBA Draft Lottery • Tim Donaghy’s book publisher woes, and who to believe when there’s a criminal involved who may, in fact, be telling the truth. • Dancing is mentioned. It’s not pleasant. • ESPN Upfronts, including 3D and lots more Michelle Beadle. • Yankees [...]

DL335: SportsCenter Gets Pranked, Kornheiser Gets Suspended & How Listening to the Radio is Now Considered Reporting

Two big media stories today, and both involving ESPN. First, SportsCenter got pranked called last night with someone claiming to be Brian Westbrook. This actually happened at a TV station where Nick worked, so we talk about how this can get through on the air and what kind of planning it takes to pull off a prank like this. You’re a douchebag for thinking it’s funny to prank call live TV and send it in to Howard Stern for 30 seconds of “fame” but you’re a dedicated douchebag. .

Inside the Press Box:

We talk about the Kornheiser suspension. Yes, it’s a story I said a few times was not a story, but now that word came out that ESPN suspended him for two weeks, it’s a story. ESPN made this a story by completely overreacting to something that was posted on the blogosphere. Well played, World Wide Leader.

We also talk about this back and forth between AJ Daulerio of Deadspin and Jason Whitlock. that Deadspin isn’t giving credit to The Big Lead for this story, instead pushing the angle that the real story is Gary Braun’s dig on Chris Berman — that Tony facilitated — and THAT’S why Tony was suspended. Daulerio trusts his sources, but Whitlock thinks it’s bunk, and AJ is only going with that angle to rumor monger in an effort to steal the thunder from TBL to Deadspin.

Whether you believe the Berman rumor or not, what TBL did is NOT REPORTING. Someone listened to the radio. That’s it. Someone listened to the radio and wrote down what Tony said and posted it on a blog. What is a good thing to post on a blog? Certainly. It got a ton of traffic and spread throughout the internet. But it’s not news and it’s not reporting. The fact that ESPN suspended Kornheiser wasn’t broken by them — he wasn’t on PTI, said on Friday “I’ll go to my room now” and explained it on his radio show on Tuesday morning. Again, LISTENING TO THE RADIO IS NOT REPORTING. It’s smart blogging, but let’s back off on who “owned” this story.

Continue reading and listen to the show…