Dan LeBatard does it all for ESPN, and his little Florida empire is expanding (more on that later). Longtime readers of this site will remember the days before his TV fame when he wrote a few pieces for us, like this and this. I spoke to LeBartard today as he was driving into work. He just bought a new car (hint: It’s sick), it is a convertible, and so the sound quality of the call is a bit off, but we had fun with it. Note: I haven’t tallied the exact number of obscenities, but this podcast certainly contained the most cusswords of the previous 14, perhaps more than the earlier 14 combined.
I thought the best stuff came in the last 15 minutes when we debate (!) sports media, and the future of it.
* Accurate quote that may jolt some people: “the smartest people aren’t in this business.”
* Young internet-types do dumb shit. So do old columnist-types.
* LeBatard talks about a focus group at ESPN that said nobody cares about one man’s opinion. Two opinions going at one another? That works.
* I told him that focus group consisted of fools. And then we got started on the Stewart/Colbert shows, and how come there isn’t a funny sports version.
* He doesn’t think it can work due to lack of talent. I think it can, and outline some of the keys. We go round-and-round on this topic.
* Oh, and there’s a tiny bit of news in here that isn’t finalized, but it will be: LeBatard’s radio show is going national. When the deal is complete (it will get done), he’ll be on ESPN radio after Van Pelt’s show, taking over the Jonathan Coachman spot (he took over Doug Gottlieb’s spot last year). So you’ll be getting more Dan LeBatard in your life whether you like it or not.
* Blast, things I forgot to ask about: Getting hung up on by Vitale & Jill Martin.
Producer Michael Shamburger, who listens to all the podcasts and cleans them up, said to me on gchat: “This is more like a show than a podcast.” Why is LeBatard great? No ego, and he doesn’t care.
Episode 14: Mike Greenberg, ESPN Radio
Episode: 13: Manish Mehta of the Daily News and Judy Battista of the NYT Talk Jets, Tebow and Sanchez
Episode 12: Evan Silva and Josh Norris of Roto World Talk About the NFL Draft
Episode 11: NFL Podcast with Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports, Who Hates the Draft
Episode 10: Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports on the NFL Draft and College Football
Episode 9: NBA Playoff Talk with Howard Beck of the New York Times
Episode 8: Talking Michigan-Louisville and the NBA with Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks
Episode 7: NFL Draft Talk with ESPN’s Todd McShay
Episode 6: Kevin Ware Reaction, with John Ourand, Dan Steinberg & Clay Travis
Episode 5: Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network
Episode 4: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports
Episode 3: Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports
Episode 2: Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports
Episode 1: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors