Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks: Dan Le Batard

We've never met Dan Le Batard, but this is how we picture him: green makeup, pointy hat, always carries a broom. He's looking into a crystal ball, wherein a typical Miami Herald reader is stuck, motioning helplessly, calling: "Dorothy? Where are you?" Le Batard cackles, and flying monkeys then fill the skies. And the next morning, his column appears on newsstands. Or something like that. The most common complaint about Le Batard is that he's so aggressively pro-athlete that even his most plaid columns feel like they should come with pom-poms. But let's go to the vital statistics:

Name: Dan Le Batard
Columnist For: Miami Herald
Attended: Chaminade-Madonna College Prep (Lions); University of Miami
Nicknames: Dan LeRetard, The Bastard, Billy the Marlin
Most often seen/heard on: Pardon The Interruption, Around the Horn, Cold Pizza, 790-AM "The Ticket"
Most resembles: Kent Dorfman
Best description on Road From Bristol: "He's an arrogant, lying, self righteous prick who should have been fired 100X over for the lies he writes in his column. — JoeyT
Fun rumor: Once dated Heat TV host Jill Martin, who broke it off with him because he was too fat.

What does Dan Le Batard think? He thinks that if you didn't vote for Shaquille O'Neal for NBA MVP, you're a racist. (As preposterous as the first column was, the follow-up, where he attempts to clarify his stance, is even lamer). He thinks that "No one who looks like Steve Nash" should win the award. He thinks that Ricky Williams should have been elected Pope. He thinks that steroid use is no big deal. He has a man-crush on Billy Beane. All of this — save perhaps the Billy Beane part — is what comes from attending the University of Miami. It changes a person. We are convinced that this school should be detached from the rest of Florida and pushed out to sea — but not toward Cuba, which would make Le Batard happy.

Then there is the electronic Le Batard, whose appearances on "Pardon The Interruption," "Cold Pizza," "Around the Horn" and "The Sports Reporters" will probably lead to Earth's destruction sometime in the dim future, when those waves eventually reach an alien civilization with enough technology to takes us out. But as annoying as he is on TV and radio, he's twice so in print. Take this recent lead, about the Miami Heat:

More fun. More athleticism. More volume. More drama. More attitude. More confidence. More electricity. More versatility. More youth. More stars. More bench. More flash. More relevance.

More Excedrin, please. Then of course there's the fact that too often he just phones it in. In this column, there are 22 paragraphs, 15 of the short, one-sentence variety. There's more air in this piece than in a typical bag of circus popcorn; it contains fewer insightful thoughts than a Klan rally. But that's our Dan — coasting along, intoxicated by the fumes of his own fame. Dan, if you're going to do schtick, could you at least be funny? Here's an idea: Instead of holding hands with Ricky Williams, try hanging out with Dave Barry for a day or two — you work at the same newspaper, for God's sake.