Monthly Archives: August 2008

Sal Paolantonio talks Football, Politics and Pirates on the DL

Listen to Dan and Nick talk with Sal Pal.

Click here for more information and a clipped up version of the show.

Sal Paolantonio joins the show to talk about his career as a writer, reporter, tv personality and fighter of pirates. 

Yes before donning the sets of millions of sports viewers for ESPN, Sal Pal was at the helm of ships for the Navy, rescuing Vietnamese refugees from being kidnapped from, yes, modern day pirates.

We talk about his time as a political reporter, including his best-selling book on former Philly Mayor Frank Rizzo. We actually get pretty in-depth into the life of and career of Rizzo, who was one of the most polarizing and unifying men – if that’s possible – of his time.

We discuss how one transitions from politics to covering the Eagles.  In this town, that’s not a far leap. We talk about the locker room, and how it’s terrible for both the reporters, and the athletes. He says, on the topic:

“It’s an unnatural act to go into somebody’s house day in and day out, find out their secrets and turn around and tell the world about them.”

We go national to compare the current Brett Favre saga with that of T.O. and ask Sal which was worse.  We then go in depth about the Favre trade, but form a standpoint of how it impacted Sal standing outside in Tampa while Jay Glazer of Fox was in the airport reporting Favre’s trade to the Jets. 

“I flew to Tampa knowing the trade was probably going to go down with the Jets. As it happened, I was the only one they had lit up on camera on the satellite at that time, so I actually had to cover the story. We do our thing on SportsCenter and we’re ready to wrap up and word comes down that Jay Glazer is reporting that the trade is happening with the NY Jets, so they fired me back up and I was able to call some people on the telephone and get some more information as to how it went down.

“Glazer had it first, and congratulations to him. It was a big story and he busted it. It’s disconcerting when you get beat. Nobody likes to get beat – everybody is competitive – but there are a lot of stories out there that I’ve beaten Jay Glazer on. This time he beat me on a big one.”

Sal doesn’t like getting scooped.  That leads us to the a question about the 24-hour news cycle and how that impacts both ESPN and the people who work there. This sums it up nicely:

“it’s wild. ESPN never sleeps. It is a very demanding mistress.”

We also talk about Sal’s two football books, The Paolantonio Report about the most over-and-underrated players in history and his upcoming book, How Football Explains America which is a detailed and analytical look at how the game of football mirrors society throughout the time of our country. 

We end with some talk on the Birds and get his thoughts on Jimmy Rollins’ recent comments about the fans of the city. 

Oh, and we couldn’t let him go without taking shots at Merril Hodge and, yet again, Jaws’ glasses. Jaws told us the Ol’ Gloria Vanderbilts were gone, but he’s still wearing them. Maybe it’s a regular season change.


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Philly Mag Scribe Richard Rys on the DL

Listen to Dan and Nick talk with Richard Rys – Part One.
Listen to Dan and Nick talk with Richard Rys – Part Two.
Click here for the clipped up version of the show.

Richard Rys from Philadelphia Magazine joins the DL to talk about some of the highlights of his ten years covering the city.

In Part One of the episode we talk about his tenure at Philly Mag and if he has seen a shift from harder news to softer societal content that speaks to suburban living perhaps more than Philadelphians. If you look through the pages of the magazine, you’ll see that most of the ads are for some pretty high-end outlets so unless your last name is Utley or Burrell (as explained inside the latest issue) you’re probably not as big a target for them if you live in the city.

We then talk about the fall of newspapers and if he think the situation will engulf magazines at some point. I hate when people who work for newspapers say that the newspaper industry is dead. For crying out loud, this is your job. Do something to fix it. I know the lowly reporters can’t do as much, but people are making money out there. I hate the defeatist attitude by newspaper guys. So we talk to Rich about that with regard to magazines. On the surface, Philly Mag looks pretty healthy with a 260-page glossfest this month, full of 65-70% advertisements and sponsorships.

Since this month’s issue is the Best of Philly, we spend a lot of time talking about some of the Best and Worst in Philly and discuss the way Best of is put together with respect for and regard to advertising dollars. Many people have said that Best of is a shill for advertisers or potential advertisers so we ask how much of that goes into the decision making process.

For full disclosure, I should mention that my father used to work at Philly Mag in seemingly another lifetime. Why does that matter? Well, he started the Best of Philly series, which is now celebrating it’s 35th year running.

We spin the Best of talk to the back page – Rys’ Exit Interview – to ask what his ‘Best of’ has been for that feature . We go from Kelly Ripa to David Boreanaz to somehow ending up on Tom Sizemore’s fake schlong. Yep, that reads right. And since we do an audio show, we wanted get some insight into how a Q&A like that is put together. Does he clean up his own questions to make himself sound smarter or funnier? We know people who have done that, so we ask if it’s an industry trend.

We also announce the list of people you want to know…those who are ducking us.

In Part Two of the episode, we talk about Rys’ recent article The Phantom Five, outlining the power structure of the Philadelphia Phillies. This made national news as Philly Mag printed the phone numbers of all the owners. We ask Rys about that and what feedback he’s gotten from the article.

We also talk about the timing of the article and if progress (getting to the LCS, World Series) would be good enough for the city, or since we’ve endured SO MANY years of nothingness, do we need the title the trophy and the biggest parade in any city ever.

We spin that to talk about the other two owners in town and who he thinks is the best. We also ask him our age old ‘next team to win a title’ bet (no, the Soul doesn’t count).

We discuss the upcoming Olympics and how NBC Universal will cover the Games and the issues surrounding China.

Somehow we end with a conversation about Bruce Dickinson’s cod piece. Yes, AJ Daulerio is involved.

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Jayson Stark Rumbles and Grumbles on the DL

Listen to Dan and Nick interview ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Click here for the clipped up version of the show.

*Note – This is a special addition to the PW Presents, linked from our site. We just thought we’d share.

Jayson Stark from ESPN brings his Rumblings and Grumblings to the DL to talk (what else) BASEBALL!

If you’ve ever read Stark’s work, you know that he writes like he talks and his enjoyment for the game really comes out in his columns. He’s never backed down from talking with fans and readers and I think he just really, really loves being a baseball writer.

We ask him to compare what it’s like working for ESPN to covering a beat, and if he ever wishes he were still covering one team throughout the entire season. At its core, baseball is a colloquial game – a front porch transistor radio experience that other sports just aren’t able to capture. So working for a megamart like ESPN takes the neighborhood feel away from the game, and we ask Jayson if he misses that.

We talk about the myriad of responsibilities he has at the WWL. It’s also a wonder to us how he manages to keep such a light-hearted and genuinely excited tone with both his writing, and his ‘alternative’ media endeavors. Seriously, he writes a column, he writes a blog, he does a weekly chat, he does video blogs to go with his columns, he does TV, he does national radio, he does local radio in many markets, including Philadelphia and I think my ring tone is now his voice saying “Manny being Manny.”

We talk about the All-Star game marathon, including the pre-game ceremonies that had many of the living Hall of Famers. We also ask why it was ‘many’ and not ‘all’ of the living Hall of Famers, bringing up the specific examples of Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Sandy Koufax. Sure some people are old, but some just don’t feel like showing up for this kind of stuff. We discuss the notion that players owe it to the fans to be at events like this – especially Sandy Koufax.

Listen, there aren’t many great Jewish ballplayers. When I was growing up, I don’t know if there were any prominent members of the Tribe I could look up to. Would it be so much for Koufax to show up to thinks like the All-Star celebration once in a while? I’m not asking for him to be Phil Rizutto for the Money Store but letting us know what one of the heroes of our generations past is still alive isn’t so much to ask.

We spin the Koufax talk to Stark’s book, where he named Koufax the most overrated lefty of all time. Wow. We talk about Koufax and Nolan Ryan (his most overrated righty) and ask Stark if he felt handcuffed by the term ‘overrated’ or if it ended up being a shrewd marketing tool for the book. We also ask how Scott Boras feels now that Andruw Jones has been totally exposed as a player. Boras.

We end with some talk about the Phillies and while we all still think they CAN win the division, we wonder IF that will happen.

We talk Uncle Charlie and wonder how he’s regarded as a manager in league circles. We talk Brett Myers and debate the logic behind teams trading top prospects instead of calling them up and just going with them. If a guy is good enough to ‘eventually’ be a front-of-the-rotation starter, why not bring him up to learn on the job as the 4th or 5th arm?

Last, we ask Stark about the Elias Sports Bureau. How big is that fruit basket he sends each Christmas, anyway?

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