This week's Deadcast guest is Dan Le Batard, who brings news that Bill Simmons will be making his guest host debut on "Pardon The Interruption" sometime this summer. Get that Larry Bird head-on-a-stick ready.
I talk with Le Batard about where he ranks in terms of annoying substitute PTI hosts. I argue that Michelle Tafoya was the worst, but he then trumps me with the time Dan Shaughnessy did the show with him. Oh, that's not an attractive pair. Here's how I rank the subs thru history, from acceptable to awful:
2. David Aldridge
3. Le Batard
4. JA Adande
5. Norman Chad
6. Bob Ryan
7. Rick Reilly
8. Jackie MacMullan
9. Max Kellerman
10. Stephen A. Smith
11. Jay Mariotti
12. Michele Tafoya
13. Dan Shaughnessy
14. Skip Bayless
Whatever your opinion of Simmons and his broadcasting capabilities, I don't think he'll have much trouble rocketing into the top five of that list.
I also bitch to Le Batard about his Ray Lewis testimonial in ESPN Magazine from a while back - an article that, to me, epitomized ESPN's (and ESPN Magazine's) tendency to cover athletes favorably in exchange for access. Le Batard argues, "It wasn't for me to say one way or the other whether or not I believed him," and that he was only there to present Lewis' side of the story because the other side had already been so well covered. I don't really buy that. But whatever.
More from Le Batard:
On pure journalistic integrity: "It's a utopian thing to aspire to, but it's not terribly human… I don't know where some of these lines are."
On Berman inducting Ralph Wilson into the Hall of Fame: "I don't think Chris Berman has the same ethical responsibilities that a newspaper reporter or a newspaper columnist has." (I strongly disagree with this.)
On Kornheiser in the MNF booth: "I think the idea of having a comedian up there works… but (he and Dennis Miller) both started meeting Bob Kraft, and it just changes things… Like, did you see Kimmel when he was in the booth? It was great because he didn't give a FUCK!"
On broadcasters: "I think all of it is pretty silly and masturbatory, the idea that we put broadcasters on games in general… I don't think there's one broadcaster you could put in the booth who would bring one more viewer in."
On going on PTI: "There are probably 800,000 people that shut the TV off the moment they see the utilityman is in there."
On Barkley: "Tell me if you can come up with anyone else in sports who is that opinionated and that beloved." (Barbaro? Barbaro hated Jews, you know.)
On Shaq: "(He) stabbed Stan Van Gundy in the back… He wanted Stan Van Gundy to stop making him work harder."
Was it a douche move for Michael Phelps to hang up on him? "Uh… yeah?"
He also talks about getting smacked down by Jay Bilas, and he answers delightfully obnoxious questions from you, the readers. And does he talk race? Of course he does. He's Le Batard. All in all, Le Batard is quite the good-natured fellow and makes for an excellent guest.