Welcome to Intern Horrors, the weekly feature wherein interns, and the people who use them, shine a light on the worst aspects of internin'. This week: a radio host loses an egg roll, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a run-in with Warren Sapp.
Remember all that business with WFAN and the shrieking know-it-all staffer who was not identified as Sal Licata but probably was Sal Licata? The one that ended with a defense of crypto-Licata and an ominous reference to an egg roll: "If you want a really good horror story from a WFAN intern, you should try tracking down the kid who ate Mike Francesa's eggroll"? Well, this is that egg roll story, courtesy an anonymous tipster:
There was an intern who was a complete pain in the ass. For example, when Ron Darling was hosting a show, he brought in like 40 things for him to sign even though that is completely against the policy of the newsroom. And when he was told he could have one thing signed, but not everything, he still tried to get Darling to sign everything and pissed him off royally.
So one day the newsroom staff ordered chinese food (which Francesa paid for, contrary to popular belief he's actually a really good guy and treats the staff tremendously). The annoying intern asked if he could have an egg roll that was sitting out and everyone just ignored him. Next commercial break, Mike came out of the studio, looked for his egg roll and said "who the fuck ate my egg roll?" At that point, the 5 or so of us in the newsroom all pointed to the intern completely throwing him under the bus. Mike didn't flip or anything, but if you can imagine a moment of awkward silence, followed by Mike saying ""It's not good kid...not the worst thing in the world...but not good." Mike then went back in the studio, slammed the door shut, and we all burst out laughing while the intern looked like he was going to cry / crap himself. For the rest of his internship, we kind of tortured him about it.
Hot on the heels of the Pirates firing one of their pierogies, we have another anonymous tip about how terrible it is to be a Pittstern:
In the summer of 2006 I was an intern for the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Operations Department. This was, by all estimates, an amazing internship for a guy who wanted to get into the business side of sports (worked out so well that I am now not in the business side of sports). This team lost 95 games, and was truly atrocious. I have no less than a dozen stories of how inept that franchise is. However, here are two stories that better demonstrate the "intern horror" you have requested:
1) After the MLB draft, I began interning in the video room & helped with video scouting. The video room was connected to the clubhouse & I interacted with the players on a daily basis - which was USUALLY pretty fucking sweet. My unpaid job, for approximately 10 hours a day, was to watch game film and enter info for each pitch (pitcher, hitter, pitch type, location, result, etc..) into a huge database.
"Superstar" Jose Bautista was hitting a robust .220ish - slumping all the way down from about .300ish in the beginning of the year. He came into the video room and was watching film of his previous ABs against whomever the pitcher was. He noticed a pitch was labeled a slider when it was, in fact, a change up. Bautista became convinced this was the reason for his prolonged slump. He began screaming at me about how this one mislabeled pitch was ruining his chances of baseball immortality. Meanwhile, this same pitch was being looped on the TVs and showed Bautista missing the pitch by a solid two feet and damn near falling over. I found this funny. Bautista became more enraged and continued berating me about how bad I was at MY job. So an unpaid intern got chewed out by a career .239 hitter for doing what he has earned millions of dollars doing - having a shitty batting average.
2) A similar events took place inter-league play when the Pirates hosted the Twins. Pirates legend Ian Snell was starting and pitching completely out of character, which is to say, successfully. Snell was facing one of the Twin's generic white power hitters with runners on base when the broadcast showed his stat line. I said something along the lines of "he's pitching well". The next five hitters all get hits in about a 10 pitch span & the Twins come from behind to win. Silence - and angry glares from everyone else in the video room. Apparently, my recognition of Snell's moderate success caused the universe to conspire against the career 38-50 pitcher - forcing him to run out of gas and throw repeatedly hittable pitches to the eventual AL Central champions. First, I got bitched out by my fat boss with bad teeth and a huge penis envy complex of the players he worked around because I "jinxed" Snell's performance. Next, I get bitched out by Snell for the same thing. The next day Snell makes more accusations about how I derailed his inevitable path to Cooperstown & I have had enough. I respond with "its not my fault you hung 3 consecutive breaking balls." I wasnt allowed to work in the video room after that.
Yet another anonymous submission about seeing one of the most dominant NFL players of the last 15 years butt-ass naked:
Earlier in the decade, still in the period of alcoholic bliss known as 'college,' I was working as an intern for a major metropolitan newspaper (that would probably prefer not to have its masthead associated with the topic of intern terrors) and, as a lowly coffee-schlepper, had to work any and every angle just for the bliss and privilege of being allowed to print my drivel in their reputable product. I was regularly, and often immediately, with from stories in the paper's Washington DC bureau where I worked because the paper's office there had most of its bases covered.
So, I instead pitched the sports section of the paper an idea: a piece on the men and women who act as chain crews at football games. Miraculously, it worked! I got to hit up a few games, interview some really fortunate folks, but felt that at this point in time (circa 2003) I needed to include an actual athlete's voice. I decided that man would be none other than Warren Sapp, the most obnoxious SOB in the NFL. So, after a game, I went into the Bucs' locker room with the intent of outright embarrassing myself and setting Warren up for an asshole moment by asking: "Warren, do you ever have any concern for the people on the chain crews when chasing a player out of bounds?"
Naturally, I knew he was essentially going to laugh at me and tell me to fuck off. But, I stood around his locker, waiting for the behemoth lineman to take questions. Finally, after most of the team had emerged from the showers, I (and everyone) hear a lion's roar as the biggest prick on the Bucs emerged from the steam. .... with the smallest prick in the room. Warren whipped off his towel and I almost laughed at him. Charles Haley, this man is not. Never has there been a baby penis like that not attached to an actual baby, or Michael Jackson's tonsils. After that, I had no problem asking Warren the stupidest question he would hear all day, and he had no problem putting me in my place for asking it. Whatever, I thought as I hopped in my car to head home. You're hung like a thimble.
Have you ever been "paid with experience" or tricked someone with that same line? Send in your stories, subject line: Intern Horrors.