Some of you may know Josh Elliott as the soon-to-be former co-anchor of ESPN's morning "SportsCenter". Some of you may not know him at all. If you were not familiar with his work along side Hannah Storm, you missed out. We had no idea he read our site. We really appreciate him taking the time on his last day to give us this exclusive interview over G-chat while his two-year-old daughter sat on his lap. We rip on a lot of people at ESPN but Mr. Elliott will never be one of them. He's a true gem and we hope you watch him on the
Good Morning America. Enjoy.
DEADSPIN: So, Mr. Elliott, good of you to do this. I'm impressed that you are so foolish. You do realize that Good America has close ties to those Bristol thugs, don't you? You're not completely free.
JOSH ELLIOTT: I feel confident in my ability to sit at this keyboard and maintain a sense of decorum, while duly informing. And all while Sarina sits next to me, enjoying some Yo! Gabba Gabba on DVR. The bosses have to at least appreciate the multi-tasking.
DS: Sarina. Hmm. Is that the secretary at ESPN Good Morning (or whatever it is you were a part of for however many years)? You dog!
JE: Easy. You can (and have) laid in to any number of my long-suffering colleagues...but she is, of course, the 2 1/2-year-old reason for my existence. Interesting to think: she's as old as the morning Sportscenter, almost the day. My, how it's all grown....
DS: Gross! Anyway. Moving on. Why do you think so many of your colleagues have fallen into the arms of another when they work at ESPN?
JE: An interesting question, if only because of the continuing fascination so many seem to have concerning the dating habits of a bunch of freakishly motivated folks working ungodly hours in sports-TV programming, most all of whom reside in the same relatively sedate central-CT area. (Which might be the best answer, of all.)
DS: Ah. So it is the location.
JE: As any realtor would tell you.
DS: So your new gig. Lara Spencer is your cohost?
JE: She'll be one of them...
DS: She's quite buoyant.
DS: I've heard only great things about her.
DS: And her buoyancy.
DS: She brings a lot to the table.
DS: With her buoyancy.
DS: Anyway. Will you miss Hannah? You guys had a thing, right?
JE: I'm still wondering where the question is, for the first part. (John Sawatsky would eviscerate you.) As to the second part: I will miss Hannah, tremendously. It was a remarkable almost-three-year run, and through it all...it was never boring...it was never one-note...and, arguably, almost always really, really good TV.
DS: You scallywag! We have some questions from our staff.
JE: Let 'em fly...
DS: "Would you rather let a poodle shit in your mouth or pee on a homeless person's face?"
JE: Who, exactly, is the scallywag here?
JE: Occasionally, Sarina will lean in and ask, "Daddy...what you doing?" In lieu of telling her that I'm submitting to browbeating from some guy in his mother's basement...how would you have me explain that choice?
DS: No explanation. Just pick one. I mean, me, personally, I'd take the poodle. Even though the gentleman is homeless and bathes in his own urine on a daily basis most likely, he's still a human.
JE: No matter how obvious one might find the choice to be, I'll reiterate (for the first time; is that possible?) how much I enjoy my employment, and offer my first "No comment". (Can't imagine it'll be my last.)
DS: Oh for fuck's sake. Fine. Next question.
JE: Such language, AJ...
DS: "Would you rather finger-smash a first cousin or give a tossed salad to a turtle?" (That's from Nick Denton.)
JE: Such a high-brow query from your fearless leader...truly surprising. And people wonder why Gawker Media is thought by some to render the collective discourse for the worse.
Will these evolve into "Who goes further in the postseason—Bulls or Lakers?"-type stuff. Which, if the question lists plays as an evolutionary chart, seems millions and millions of years (not to mention a meteor strike, or two) away....
JE: AJ...Sarina. Think of the child, to my right...
DS: Fine, fine. Oh here's a question. From our I-Team: "Why did everyone hate Erik Kuselias so much?"
JE: I was unaware that everyone hated him. I mean...I'd argue that I qualify as a part of this "everyone" of which you type...and I thought he was a good dude. And I'm glad he found a place where he could settle into one gig.
DS: You lie! Moving on. Here's one from the Gawker custodial department: "Have you ever performed a 'bobsled' at the Bristol offices?"
JE: I...really hope not.
DS: Well just to make sure, I'll give you the definition. According to the custodial staff, a 'bobsled' is when you are taking a woman (or a man) from behind in the reverse cowgirl(or boy) position while sitting on the toilet taking a crap. Apparently you really have to lean back in order for it be effective and keep a firm hold on the lip of the bowl so nothing gets on the floor.
DS: So I'm told.
DS: This is a new custodial staff.
JE: And apparently, very learned.
DS:Well they're from Ecuador or something.
DS: I'll let you mull that over a little more but I'll move on to the next question for the time being.
DS: Have you ever heard an ESPN employee say bad things about Deadspin? Or express displeasure about any of our stories?
JE: Never. Not once. What bones could any of my colleagues possibly have to pick with you, or any of your diligent, double-sourcing, AP-style-favoring staff?
DS:Oh come on.
JE: Personally, the angrier Craggs gets, the better it is for all us blogospheric-leaning fans....And, though not under the aegis of Deadspin (some would argue "thankfully"), most everything that Richard Lawson writes for Gawker, I'm reading...and laughing, hard, while doing so....
DS: So Beadle thinks I'm a douche. Got it.
JE: Does she? Is that via some intrepid I-team reporting?
DS: I've heard rumblings.
JE: From where?
Maybe that was just the custodial department, making its rounds...
DS: Bah. One second. Pooping.
DS: Okay, back.
JE: Did you wash your hands?
Go back and wash your hands.
DS: One second.
DS: Okay, back!
DS: So who's the most worthless person in Bristol? Lynn Hoppes?
JE: That'd definitely be me. I'm a short-timer, and they get no more flotsam-and-jetsam-y than that. For evidence, I offer my remaining online for this. (Though not for much longer...Yo! Gabba Gabba just ended, and the little lady's not so much a "Dino Dan" fan...she thinks the dinosaurs actually live outside the house. I've assured her that she needn't worry, as it's just the I-team....)
DS: Just tell me this. Seriously. Do you think moving on to the Today Show is a good career move? I mean, come on, man. Are you just trying to score more Mom poon?
JE: I don't. Which is why I'm moving on to Good Morning America. As for the move itself....
I think it's a fascinating time to be entering this media-space. News, like everything else in the vaster-by-the-day television universe, is reshaping itself (and being reshaped) by the day...the hour...the minute. I'm completely excited to be entering the fray...and honored, to have been chosen to join the folks at Times Square every weekday morning. Leaving ESPN will be tough, as I think the production talent there is the best in our business. More important, they're my friends...the people I've worked those ungodly hours with, for half a decade now...and suddenly not seeing so many of them every day will be jarring.
DS: I'm sorry. I took a nap. Anyway, when is your first day?
JE: While unfortunate that the character I'm about to quote from the great "Broadcast News" is Tom Grunnick, played by William Hurt...it struck me, repeatedly, this past week...as the days dwindle...
DS: Oh boy.
JE: Grunnick asks, "What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?"
JE: I'll find out, beginning two weeks from Monday.
As for Sportscenter...my last day will be next Friday.
DS: Ha. You fucking sap. The custodial staff is just cracking the fuck up. So what was your answer about doinking Hannah Storm? That was a no comment, right?
JE: My best to the custodial staff. It would seem they've the toughest job of all, 'round those parts....
DS: And good luck to you on the Today Show. That should be fun.