Monthly Archives: September 2008

Todd Zolecki Talks Phils Playoffs on the DL

Listen to Dan talk with Todd Zolecki.

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

Todd Zolecki joins the show to talk about the Philadelphia Phillies upcoming trip to the Post Season!!!!

Zolecki is the beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. And he’s from Milwaukee. Conflict of interest? We ask. Personally, I wouldn’t let him within 100 feet of the clubhouse this week. Just sayin….

We talk about the job of a beat writer, and just how daunting that job is. Jeff Pearlman called the baseball beat the toughest job in sports journalism, so we get Todd’s reaction to that assertion. We also talk about his relationship with the players having to go into the locker room every day and ‘work’ them to get information. Sal Paolantonio likened that to going into your neighbor’s house and learning their deepest darkest secrets, telling the world, then going back in the next day and doing it again. We talk about how close Sal is to the real thing.

We discuss the changes in his job over the last three years, going from working a near-empty press box in September to sharing his job with at least a dozen writers at Philly.com. How do they divvy up the coverage?

Did he even bother going into the champagne bath on Saturday? Is the clubhouse just an absolute madhouse, and Todd shares a great story about his clothes getting ruined, and how he learned his lesson from last year’s afterparty. Did he get the Jade McCarthy treatment?

We talk on the field stuff, including the merits of Ryan Howard being the MVP. Is Howard even the MVP of the Phillies this year, or should that honor go to Brad Lidge? Exactly how important were these two to the success of the team? Short answer: very.

We compare this year’s team to last year’s squad. Now that the Phillies have been there before, and looking at the teams in front of them, do the expectations change for this season? How far do they have to go for this season to be a success?

Last, we talk about the Philly fans. What is our reputation around the country? Are we as hated as Red Sox fans? Do we just care too much? Are we the best fans in the country, the worst….or both?

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Mike Greenberg Talks About His Career and Germs On the DL

Listen to Dan talk with Mike Greenberg.

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

Mike Greenberg of ESPN joins the show to talk about his career at the WWL, the many hats he wears, and yes, germs.

Being under the weather, there was no better guest to have on the show than a noted germophobe in Greenberg. He gives me some tips on how to get better fast. As of writing this, I’m not sure any of it is working.

We run though a typical day in the life of Greeny, including a discussion about how he’s able to get on the air at 6am and talk about events that end well after he’s in bed. Basically Tivo has changed the landscape of early-morning sports talk.

We talk about the vastness of ESPN Radio and if he feels he has to be all things to all people. ESPN Radio is really trying hard to brand themselves in Philly, so we talk about going up against an institution that is WIP’s Morning Show. Is it hard in a town like this to get a foothold on the sports landscape?

People have called Mike and Mike the USA Today of sports talk, because of the aforementioned size of their show and diversity of their listeners. I ask if he feels he has to ‘dumb it down’ to appeal to more people. His wry reply:

“I think I have to dumb it down because of Golic. It is impossible to have a conversation on a high, intellectual level with a man whose idea of fine literature begins with Doctor and ends with Seuss.

“I remember one time I referenced ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and Golic honestly did not know who had written it or what it was. That was the day I realized, ‘you know, I’m not going to be able to do some things here.’

But seriously….

“I would never say that we ‘dumb it down.’ I don’t know that I’m that smart or that dumb, but I think we talk about sports on the same level that most people talk about sports. I don’t know that you have to be all that smart to talk about sports on a very high level.”

We talk about his relationship with Mike Golic and why it has worked for nearly a decade. We spin that to talk about the demise of Mike and the Mad Dog.

“We have never had a real serious disagreement. I think that our off the air relationship is the reason for that. I honestly think our partnership should be a model for all business partnerships everywhere and that is that our relationship is purely professional. And by that I mean that we get along well, we don’t have any problems, but we really don’t socialize outside of work.

“In all the years we’ve been together, I think our wives have met three or four times. His kids and my kids have never been in the same room at the same time…we have a PERFECT professional relationship. We get along great…but we really don’t do much together off the air and I really think that has been to our benefit. ”

We joked with Sal Pal that Greeny should have been mad that he was scooped with the Favre story. Sal said that Greeny is a fan, not a reporter, so I wanted to get Greeny’s response to that comment. We also talk some Favre, and talk about what but more about if he thought the story was over-covered. That spins into MNF and what it was like getting to call a game on Monday night two years in a row. And we talk about what it’s like working these games with Ditka.

We end with some MetroSexual talk and Greeny’s assertion that he’s the Kelly Ripa of sports talk radio.

Last, is there anything he hasn’t done in his career that he wants to do before he’s done?

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Buzz Bissinger Talks On the DL

Listen to Dan and Nick talk with Buzz Bissinger.

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

Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize winning author and foil to the sports blogosphere, joins the show to talk about his career as a writer, interviewer – and yes – new media-discussing town hall panelist.

Listen, our audience is very diverse so there are some of you who only know Bissinger for what he said on Costas Now, and the aftermath that ensued. There are some of you who read sports books or live in Philly and just said, “what’s Costas Now.” There’s something in this for both of you.

We start with a conversation about his what he is most proud of, A Prayer for the City. We follow by asking him about Ed Rendell, and which career he thought Rendell was mostly likely to have – governor or football analyst for CSN.

We talk about his most famous work, Friday Night Lights, specifically about picking up his entire life and moving to Odessa Texas on a chance a book might come out of it.

We talk a lot of baseball, including a New York Times article from 2007 about Kerry Wood which we translate to how the Phillies treat Cole Hamels. This leads discussion about the overuse or underuse of pitchers in the minors and references his recent op-ed about the overbearing phenomenon of the parent-coach and how it ruins kids early.

We also talk about many of his articles for Vanity Fair, including one on Don Imus (he doesn’t like Imus very much) and one on Stephen Glass that was turned into the movie Shattered Glass. That leads us to a discussion about the need for editors, which spins us nicely into the world of internet writing. Venerable sportswriter Murray Chass wrote in an email to me last week that he does not need editors. And clearly in the case of Stephen Glass, editors did not do their due diligence. Buzz has said before that one of his issues with sports blogs is that they have no editors and no one to clean up the content, both in quality and in substance. We ask him what he thinks of Chass’ comments and what he thinks about the importance of editors.

Yes, we talk about blogs. And Costas. Now.

We talk briefly about that night and what his thoughts are many months later. Does he regret anything? He answer that and talk about his relationship with Will Leitch, Big Daddy (Balls) Drew and some of the others blogs out there.

We also try to find out why he decided to do every interview that asked him in the weeks following. I’d have probably just gone into a shell, but he was out there taking punches from anyone. Anyone. His response is quite interesting, given his initial comments on the veracity and validity of blogs.

We also discuss how that night extended the conversation about newspapers and new media. What does he think about the Mariotti’s of the world now saying newspapers are dead? Always good when you can take a shot at Mariotti.

Finally, we talk about his legacy. What will his Deadspin Hall of Fame induction speech say? Is he concerned that this is going to stay with him the rest of his life? And we somehow find a way to take a shot at Stephen A. Smith.

We had no clue what to expect with this interview. He could be sick of talking about it. He could have been angry that we called him unprepared. But he was contrite, informed and in a way, soft-spoken. I hope it’s worth your time to listen.

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