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Governor Ed Rendell on Politics and Football

Listen to Dan talk with Governor Ed Rendell.

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

Ed Rendell, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, joins the show to talk about his two careers – one in public office and one talking sports. Seriously, is there a more perfect guest for this show than Governor Rendell. We love sports. We love politics. And in this case, we get the chance to talk a lot about both.

The interview was done in his Philadelphia office, so we start there: Philadelphia. The city of champions. We discuss the genius that is the miniature William Penn statue atop the Comcast Building. Gov. Rendell suggests they should sell those, to which I replied that I would purchase one and affix it to the top of my house. And I would in fact do that.

We talk about the Governor’s life and what a week is like for a man who runs a state and still has time to talk football on TV. How much of his time is spent in Philly? How much in Harrisburg and how much in the Steel City? And I ask a question that you never expect a straight answer to: can he be a real person, or is he always Governor Rendell. In short, no, he can’t be a real person, but only feels that way when he’s in the safe haven of sports. Pretty interesting answer.

We talk at length about his comment regarding the life and family – or lack thereof – of Arizona Governor and appointed head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. CNN’s Campbell Brown took Rendell to task for saying Napolitano had “no life” and “no family” and the Governor talks frankly about his comments, Brown’s reaction and the idea that, as a public figure, you’re always on. The microphone is always pointed at you and if there’s even a cell phone in the room, anything you say can make national news. I ask what kind of pressure that creates when out in public.

I ask the Governor to break down his job. How much of what he does is interviews, press conferences, publicity events and how much of his job, or the job of any politician is rolling up your sleeves and actually governing.

We talk about outgoing President Bush and incoming President Obama. Rendell takes some of Bush’s decisions to task, but in doing so, defends Bush’s ambition for trying to get things done. They were just the wrong things. With regard to Obama, we talk about the scrutiny he’ll be placed under (perhaps more than GW) and wonder how long his grace period will last.

I ask the Governor what his political end game is. There was talk he might be a running mate if Hillary got the nomination, so what further political aspirations does he have? After downplaying his name being on any “short lists” he does mention that after his term as Governor is up, if the position presents itself, he’d be interested in a position in Obama’s cabinet. But, as he says, “what will be, will be” and he’d be just has happy getting a full-time teaching gig.


Onto sports, I ask the Governor what he knows more about: politics or sports. We talk a lot of Eagles chat, including what the legacy of Donovan McNabb will be (and should be) in this town. Rendell wants McNabb to stick around in Philly, going so far as to say, “This team has the making of a Super Bowl contender for the next three or four years.” We also discuss the career of Andy Reid and the Governor explains just how good Reid has been in his time in Philly.

We talk about the fact that we’re one game away from an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl, which would be one of the greatest things for a Governor to be a part of. I ask what his Governor’s bet will be (it involves the two cities donating food to shelters) and I ask what others around the state think of him, especially with his loyal affinity for the Eagles. He mentions that in 2004, when a PA Super Bowl almost happened, he lobbied to the NFL to have the game played in State College (joke, but good idea) and that he’ll happily do it again this time around if both teams get there.

Last, I ask him what athlete or Philly sports figure would make the best politician. His answers might surprise you.


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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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Ron Jaworski talks with the DL

Listen to the interview with Dan and Ron Jaworski

Former Eagles great and current analyst for Monday Night Football Ron Jaworski joins the DL to talk about his career on the field and life after football. Jaws lives and breathes football, and nothing in life excites him more than to talk about the sport he’s worked in – as a player, analyst, reporter, team president and owner – for more than 40 years. null

We talk about Jaws’ career on the field and ask him who he thinks is the best quarterback in Eagles history. We also discuss the drama constantly surrounding the Birds and ask if he feels there was as much drama when he was a player. I ask Jaws if he thinks that a change of scenery helps a player, and while says he does in many cases, he specifically talks about the situation with Donovan McNabb.

Jaws also gives his insights on the changes to Monday Night Football for the coming season, and talks about the role of Tony Kornheiser on the telecast. We talk about the reduced role the sideline reporters will play and ask Jaws what he thinks of the shift in philosophy.

Next, we chat about his favorite part of the job – breaking down game tape. We discuss the NFL Matchup show, and I ask if he’s ever wanted to throw Merril Hodge through the telestrator. If you watch the show, you know you have.

Jaws also addresses the groundswell of animosity toward players who walk off the field and into the analyst chair without going through the years of work it takes to hone such a difficult craft. People are handed a lot of jobs they didn’t deserve, so we wanted to get Jaws’ thoughts on people like Emmitt Smith and Michael Strahan when he has worked for 17 years in television to get to his level of success.

To end the show, we talk a little Soul with their big playoff game coming up this weekend. We also talk about the philanthropic efforts of the team and how they are one of the most successful teams in the league, yet don’t make any money.

To close, I do my best duck and cover to take a quick jab at Jaws….and break some big news for next Monday Night Football season in the process.

Listen to the show above, or link to for the cut ups.

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Special Edition – Darren Daulton Lands on the DL

We’re supposed to do this PW show twice a month, on Tuesdays. But we put up a show on our site today that we had to share with our friends at PW.

Darren Daulton – former Phillies All-Star – lands on the DL…a place he unfortunately was familiar with during his career. This time, however, it’s not a bad thing.

Darren Daulton

We talk with Dutch about his memories of the ’93 team that came oh so close (and ask him about rumors he’s writing a book on the season). We also compare that team to the current squad.

We ask Darren about baseball players having a hard adjustment in the ‘real world’ after they leave the game, and if he thinks players today have it harder because their every move is being watched, photographed and reported upon.

We also ask him about the importance of fundamentals in the game and help him plug his camp teaching said fundamentals. And we ask if he thinks catchers are the smartest players on the team.

Oh, and I think he’s going to help me sue my parents.

To listen to the show, click the link on this page to listen and subscribe to the PW show, or click here to go directly to our site to listen. We also have some clips, for the ADD addled like myself.

Click here to go On the DL with Dutch.

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