Jeff Darlington is a dual threat for the NFL Network: You’ll see him on TV frequently, and then he’ll hit you with a longform piece like this one on Richie Incognito. We mostly avoided actual NFL talk – he’s in Florida and knows the Dolphins intimately; I don’t like the Dolphins at all – and focused on the media, a topic Darlington provided many terrific stories about.
* Not holding back, Darlington talks about what it was like losing out on the ESPN National College Football reporter job to his friend, Joe Schad, a few years ago.
* Despite being on ESPN frequently, and having a nice job at the Miami Herald, Darlington didn’t receive a raise for five years and made a bold move: He set up interviews with three national outlets, flew himself out West, and slept on the sofa of a friend while interviewing. You should hear this hustle story.
* Darlington is a Rex Grossman fan (he went to the University of Florida at the same time as Grossman). His response to my mention of Shane Matthews was one of shock.
* You may remember it, but probably not – hey, what about that time Ron Zook got in a fist fight at a frat house?
* Remember your senior year of college? Fun? Busy? Darlington was working full-time at the Orlando Sentinel covering the Florida Gators. Making $40k a year, he was a baller, buying rounds of drinks for everyone, everywhere.