Q/A with Darren Rovell: On leaving CNBC for ESPN; ‘It felt bigger’

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*********

Posted on Aug. 20

As any good business reporter knows, the element of risk is a theme in many stories.

So now the tables turn on Darren Rovell. Risk now is a part of his story in his recent jump from CNBC to ESPN.

Rovell had the sports business gig all to himself at CNBC. He also had his own sports business show on the NBC Sports Network.

Rovell, 34, landed many high-profile interviews and developed a huge following on Twitter (now in the 240,000 range). He carved out a nice niche at CNBC.

Rovell, though, decided to … Continue Reading

Q/A with Dino Costa: Mad Dog host says his show offers alternative to ‘homogenized garbage’ of sports talk radio

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

********

Posted on Nov. 26

At one point during our interview, Dino Costa said, “I don’t want to sound braggadocious.”

I’m thinking, he doesn’t want to sound braggadocious? This is a guy who has been telling me for the better part of an hour that he is the best thing going on sports talk radio. And the vast of bulk of programming in the format, he says, is a bunch of “homogenized garbage.”

Then again, listeners of The Dino Costa Radio Show wouldn’t be surprised.

His evening show on the Mad Dog Radio channel on SiriusXM (7-11 p.m. … Continue Reading

Q/A with Rich Eisen: His on-camera emotions about Sabol; progress of NFL Network; the Real Deion

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*******

Posted on Sept. 24

Rich Eisen tried stand up comedy in a former life. Humor is a big part of his repertoire as the signature host of NFL Network.

Viewers, though, saw another side of Eisen last Tuesday. Eisen was visibly emotional in announcing the death of NFL Network President Steve Sabol. Here’s the link.

Eisen knows how much Sabol meant to his life. Without Sabol, he said, there would be no NFL Network.

Eisen has been there from Day 1 in 2003. He brought the channel on the air, saying “Your dreams have come true.”

Nine … Continue Reading

Sherman Q/A with Jim Rome: Doing nothing would be greater risk

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

******

Posted on May 21

If Jim Rome talks smack in the forest, but nobody hears it, does it count as smack?

Rome is well into his second month hosting his new show Rome on CBS Sports Network. Thus far, the latest version of Rome has evolved into a fast-moving show that continues to attract big-time guests: David Stern, Aaron Rogers, Matt Kemp, Justin Verlander, Charles Barkley among others.

“It’s early on, but I am as proud of this show as any show I’ve ever done,” said Rome in his distinctive tone during a phone interview with me.… Continue Reading

Q/A with Jay Mariotti: On two years out of spotlight; his side of what happened on that night and aftermath; and his next step

I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*******

Posted on Oct. 29

The email in my inbox had a familiar name: Jay Mariotti.

Earlier that day a couple weeks ago, I had written a post about Mariotti. I wondered why he had taken two years off and if anybody would hire him again?

The email read: “You’re welcome to ask me questions. Don’t have to guess when I can give you context.”

Mariotti has a point. If I am going to comment and speculate about him, I should allow him to give his side. That’s the way I operate.

I followed up, asking if he was … Continue Reading

Q/A with Jeremy Schaap: On missing Olympics; goal for radio show; and long-form journalism at ESPN

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*******

Posted on Aug. 7

Jeremy Schaap has one clause specifically written into his contract with ESPN: The network has to send him to the Olympics.

So why isn’t he in London? And why wasn’t he in Vancouver in 2010?

As fate would have it, his wife, Joclyn, gave birth to couple’s first child during the last Winter Olympics, and they welcomed a boy Monday morning.

As a result, Schaap had to stay home again and watch on tape delay on NBC like everyone else.

“I had to call and say, ‘Hey guys, you know that whole Olympic … Continue Reading

Q/A with Andrea Kremer: Why NFL Network hired her to cover league’s most controversial issue: player safety

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*******

Posted on Oct. 15

The biggest threat to the future of the NFL is the repercussions of increasingly bigger players banging into each other at increasingly higher speeds.

Not to be a doom and gloomer, but if something truly catastrophic happens during a game, it will cause the country to re-examine this thing called football.

So it’s big news that the league-owned NFL Network just hired Andrea Kremer to cover the one issue that threatens the entire sport.

Sunday, Kremer made her debut on the network as the new “health and safety” correspondent. She did a story … Continue Reading

Q/A with John Clayton: His 24/7 study (obsession) of football; That’s what I do

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in. Happy Holidays to all.

*******

Posted on Sept. 17

Here is what’s more amazing than John Clayton becoming a YouTube sensation (more than 2 million views) with his new ESPN SportCenter ad: The fact that he even took a day off to shoot the ad.

Clayton rarely takes days off. Maybe 10, 15 tops, all year, he says.

The truth is, a day off separates him for doing what he truly loves: Studying football.

Study, not cover, is exactly what he does for ESPN. Hence, his nickname, “The Professor.”

I always have been fascinated by Clayton. In Chicago, he does a weekly … Continue Reading

Q/A with Tim McCarver: On being candid, his critics, and going into the Hall

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in.

*******

Posted on July 9

Tim McCarver gave me my one and likely only mention during a national telecast of a World Series game. He credited me for a line in the Chicago Tribune during the 1987 Minnesota-St. Louis series on ABC.

I wrote that the teflon roof of the ugly Metrodome “looks like your grandmother’s old jello mold.”

“I remember that line,” said McCarver 25 years later when I reminded him of it.

Whether he did or not, it was quite a thrill for a young reporter to get some exposure on national TV.

Fortunately for McCarver, he has had much better … Continue Reading

Q/A with Frank Deford: Legendary sportswriter tackles toughest subject: Himself

Note: I’m going to be out for a couple of weeks. However, I’m leaving behind some gifts for the holidays: The best of my Q/As. I’ll feature a new one each day through Jan. 2. Please check in.

Today I start with my favorite: Frank Deford.

******

Posted on May 29

If somebody asks what’s the best part of doing this site thus far, I say that’s easy: Interviewing Frank Deford.

If there was a Mt. Rushmore for great sportswriters of the last 50 years, one of those faces would belong to Deford. While it would embarrass him to hear it (or maybe not), he remains a hero to people like us who grew up turning to the back of Sports Illustrated to see if Deford had a piece in that week’s issue.

I’m not going to wax poetic about Deford’s work … Continue Reading