In this episode, we talk with David Aldridge of TNT, and formerly of the Philadelphia Inquirer. David has had quite the career, working for the Washington Post and ESPN before his most recent stops, covering everything from the Redskins and Bullets in DC to the big four in Philly to Stanley Cups and World Series to the Barcelona Olympics in ’92. And that’s not forgetting his fantastic work covering the NBA.
We talk with David about the change in the industry of sportswriting, and how the career arc has changed to fit TV into the model. I also ask David about where blogs fit into the mix, and if sportswriters feel that bloggers are taking a shortcut in the industry and haven’t paid their dues.
David was one of the few sportswriters who left his job in the last few years on his terms. He wasn’t forced out, didn’t take any buyout, just left on his own. I wanted to know why this was the right time for him to leave. I also wanted to talk about his time with the Inq, specifically the criticism he would get for being a sportswriter living in a different city.
I couldn’t have a guy like DA on and not talk about one of his colleagues at the Inquirer – Stephen A. Smith. We have a lengthy discussion about race, and the lack of a strong African-American presence in sportswriting in the city. DA states it’s a nation-wide issue. I press him on if SAS has become the de facto spokesman for black sports commentary, and David’s thoughts are both candid and well thought out, which leads to an interesting conversation about race and media and where to find strong black voices.
We finish with some quick hits about the NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant and which is a bigger problem for the league – drugs or gambling. And since David is one of the biggest political buffs around, we ask him who will be our next president.