Below is an excerpt from Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN, which is finally in paperback so those readers anxious for more Bristol back-biting don't have to carry around the cumbersome hardcover. The new version includes more bitchy anecdotes from Bill Simmons, further details about Tony Kornheiser's on-air insults about Hannah Storm, and, of course, more from Keith Olbermann, who maintains that he didn't treat his one-time co-anchor Suzy Kolber as horribly as most people think.
I hate to put this on the record, but I'm really annoyed that Suzy has portrayed herself as this sweet bystander victim all the time. I swear on my niece's head that this is true. When those touch-and-go negotiations for her to stay in '96 ended, we were all working in a trailer while they rebuilt the newsroom, and Dan I were even sharing a computer. And one day she comes in and tells everybody—and I mean every on-air guy on the network was in this double-wide—"I'm leaving for Fox. It's been real." And as soon as she was out the door everybody stood and applauded. McQuade came over to me and said "Well at least her time here produced something positive. You get her computer.
Two-and-a-half years later, maybe the day after I got to Fox, now she's leaving there to go back to Bristol and she sweeps through the news bullpen to say goodbye and damned but it doesn't happen again. She says her farewells and as soon as she's out of earshot, the row of writers stands up and starts applauding and cheering.
I liked Suzy then and I like her now but she wasn't just sinned against."
"Suzy's statement seven or eight years later that I had caused her to go into the bathroom and cry really affected me. I mean, it provoked genuine introspection and sincere guilt. But, honestly, that was the first I'd ever heard of it. I mean, we shared an office desk for six months and she never even hinted that however I had treated her it was a problem.
In fact I had been proactive in trying to help her, because Norby and Mike Bogad were really pushing her around during the earliest rehearsals. My agent, and a very good woman friend of mine at ESPN, came to me and said "you know, you can be a little intimidating sometimes, you should take Suzy out to dinner and be her friend." That floored me, but I took their word for it, and I tried to remind her that while she was the newcomer, they had bent over backward to try to get her, and the very biggest wigs at Cap Cities had personally pushed for her, and while it made sense for me to lead things off because I was by that time established with the brand, she should not just sit there if they shunted her off to the side or sent her on these punishing trips to Edmonton to interview Doug Flutie or whatever. I said I'd back her up completely. That night, we parted closer than ever. And the next day she was in Norby's office demanding that she get the lead story instead of me!
Excerpted from Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World Of ESPN with permission by Back Bay/Little, Brown,. Buy it on Amazon. In May, we published a guide to all the bitchy in-fighting in the hardcover edition of the book.