Category Archives: Podcast

Steve Sabol on the DL

Listen to Dan talk with Steve Sabol.

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

Steve Sabol of NFL Films – one of the true innovators in professional sports – joins the show to talk about his career and company in the ever-changing sports landscape.

The one job I always wanted was to work at NFL Films so I ask if having a job there is as much fun as I’ve always imagined it to be.

We talk about how football has passed baseball as the national pastime and if there was one moment that helped that switch or it was just a natural progression. He talks about the importance of both television for football and football for television.

We talk about the Ice Bowl, and get a great story about how it was so cold it broke Sabol’s zoom lens, meaning he had to carry his tripod down the field to follow the action from exactly 30 yards away in what was one of the most memorable moments in NFL history. We spin that to talk about the hyperbole in today’s sports landscape and I ask if we can ever know if something is really the best ever when EVERYTHING nowadays is the best ever. He agrees in general that it’s hard to have perspective on things, but referenced the Manning-Tyree catch in last year’s Super Bowl and how he and many others knew they were witnessing history.

“I think when you’ve been to all the games and you get to a certain age you get very reluctant to say that anything that’s current or modern is better that anything that was in the ‘good old days…”I’m one of eight people who have been to every Super Bowl. There is no doubt in my mind that play is the greatest play in Super Bowl history.”

We talk more about the Ice Bowl and get the truth about the ‘Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field.’ Listen to the clip, but basically Sabol wrote that line for the Packers highlight film and Vince Lombardi took it out.

“When I said on the Frozen Tundra, he put a big red line through it and said ‘take this out. I’m not going to have my stock holders believe that their $250,000 investment doesn’t work.’ So I changed the phrase to “in the ice-bucket chill of a Wisconsin winter.”

“How the phrase Frozen Tundra came into being was the Dallas Cowboys, in their highlights, they felt the reason they lost the game was because of the conditions of the field. So Tex Schram loved the line and said, ‘put it in. On the Frozen Tundra, because dammit, that’s how we lost the game.’ So that phrase appeared in the Dallas Cowboy highlight film and as long as Lombardi was alive it was never allowed in the Green Bay Packer film and was banned from any of their press releases. When Lombardi went to Washington we brought it back and it caught on.”

So every time the Packers fans call it the Frozen Tundra, they’re spitting on the grave of Vince Lombardi. Eh, maybe the spit will freeze before it hits his tombstone.

NFL Films has ‘100 million feet of unforgettable football moments’ so I ask how many of those film reels are now hard drives. We talk about the transformation to digital media and if the 24-hour news cycle and on-demand world we live in has changed the focus of the work NFL Films does. I also ask if with all the innovations he’s instituted in sports that are now being used by everyone (multiple camera angles on replays, microphones on players, etc) if he ever feels like he’s competing against himself.

We discuss the layoffs at NFL Films a few months ago, and yesterday’s announcement that the NBA is doing the same. If pro sports aren’t recession proof, what is? Are fans being priced out of the market and in a few years sports as we know it will be watched at home on TV, produced by people like Sabol on an elaborate sound stage?

Is the Autumn Wind a pirate or just a crazy old man? We chat about Al Davis and if the Raiders are just going through a tough time or if Davis has totally lost it. We also talk about why I’m a Broncos fan (it’s actually because of Sabol).

Last, I get the scoop on the old electric chair he had in his apartment (he called it a ‘Jesus Christ’ piece) and if the 1972 Dolphins football I have is real, or a bunch of his forgeries. It’s on the record, so if it’s real, let the bidding war begin.

We just passed one year on this show, and this was a hell of a way to start year two.

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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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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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Mayor Michael Nutter takes over the DL

Listen to the interview with Dan and Mayor Michael Nutter

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter sits down to talk about what it’s like running one of the biggest cities in the country. We discuss the roles of being Michael Nutter the mayor and Michael Nutter the man and how he’s able to maintain balance. I ask him if he can even have a personal life with his professional life being so public and I can honestly say that this was the first time in my life that I was “Punk’d” by a public official of his stature. A milestone moment for me.
Mayor Nutter

We talk about the upcoming Presidential race including his role to this point and what he sees for the coming months. It was national news that Mayor Nutter supported Senator Clinton over Senator Obama, much to the chagrin of many residents in the city of Philadelphia. I ask the mayor about his feelings on that now that Senator Obama has won (presumptively) the nomination.

We also talk about race and politics and I wondered if young African-American kids now have a different career arc – a different “when I grow up….” dream – now that Senator Obama is one step from becoming President Obama. To follow that, I ask him if he’s thought about his career goals and what he wants to do after his time as Mayor of Philadelphia is finished.

We discuss several issues facing the city, including education and crime. Did you know that while 45.8-percent of the population in Philadelphia County is African-American, yet that number jumps to 76.7-percent for the incarcerated. As the leader of this city, I ask the mayor how he feels about those numbers and what he plans to do in hopes of leveling that discrepancy. (Note: he does not like my suggestion).

We then talk about green…as in making the city a greener place to live with different recycling programs and initiatives to become more efficient. That conversation is juxtaposed with a discussion about the ever-changing skyline of the city and if big buildings means big business for the city. We spin that to a conversation about business in the city and if the laws are actually hurting small business owners in order to help large corporations.

Finally, we talk sports, including the problems the Phils are having on the bump and if Pat the Bat should be an all-star (he, like I, thinks yes). I violate several interstate commerce laws to ask him which team he’d bet on to win the next title in the city and we close with some quick hits about his favorite cheesesteaks, top movies of all time and what he really thinks of Nutter Butters.

The mayor is a great sport and honestly the coolest mayor I know.

Listen to the show above, or for the ADD addled like myself, you can click one of the links below to listen to a segment of the interview:


Listen to the mayor talk about…

• being a regular guy.
• the Presidential election and how race is (and isn’t) a factor.
• his typical day at the office.
• the problems facing the city, including the racial disparity in prisons.
• the green initiatives that the city is implementing.
• business in the city and if the small business owner is getting squeezed.
• the Phils and what they’re going to do on the mound.
• his favorite cheesesteak, movies, TV show and snack cookie.

For more information, go to http://ontheDLpodcast.com.

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