Almost anyone who has ever dealt with ESPN's Len Pasquarelli tells us he's kind of a dick. And by "kind of a dick," we mean, "actively chewing the heads off kittens while he's speaking to you." You can add Portfolio magazine's Jeff Bercovici to that list.
Bercovici, working on a story about ageism, called Pasquarelli to discuss a comment he'd made about Joe Gibbs being "too old" to coach the Redskins. Pasquarelli apparently isn't used to being questioned.
Moments into our conversation, Pasquarelli accused me of trying to "ambush" him after hearing the sound of my typing. Was this meant to be an interview? he demanded. Of course, I said; that was why I had identified myself as "calling from Portfolio magazine."
Nevertheless, Pasquarelli felt I had misled him by not explicitly stating that I was calling to interview him; he had been under the impression that I was simply a fellow journalist calling to compare notes. I apologized for not being clearer, and attempted to explain that I had tried to send him an email laying out who I was and why I wanted to talk.
It gets better: Later, Pasquarelli lectures Bercovici on the "rules" of journalism. (Telling Len that he does a blog for Portfolio might have been a mistake on Bercovici's part; never, ever say the word "blog" to an ESPN personality.)
Bercovici eventually hung up, exhausted by the "conversation." And who said ESPN wasn't accountable?
Is Len Pasquarelli Too Old to Cover Sports? [Portfolio]
(UPDATE: Here's another great Grouchy Len story.)