Shawn Arnell isn't sure what he did to piss off CBS Sportsline columnist Gregg Doyle so badly. On Tuesday we detailed their radio interview in which Arnell, co-host of KARN's "Morning Animals" show in Little Rock (that's him to the right), jousted with the feisty online columnist about a piece he wrote on Thursday on Arkansas football. "He kind of caught me by surprise with all of the name calling and attacks; it was kind of amazing," said Arnell, who broadcasts the show with Wally Hall on weekdays. "But hey, he taps into the passion of the fans, and stirs things up. That's his schtick." Arnell asked Doyel to appear on the show in part to discuss Doyel's recent Sportsline column, in which he called out Arkansas fans for some of the dirty tricks they had directed at former Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt. (One man, a computer specialist from Little Rock, allegedly tried to obtain Nutt's phone records through the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act). Doyel concluded that Nutt, now the head coach at Mississippi, should try to run up the score on Arkansas for revenge. Charming. The teams met Saturday with the Rebels winning, 23-21. The conversation quickly devolved, with Doyel calling former Razorbacks quarterback Mitch Mustain "a prostitute," and Nutt "a pimp" for their roles in a recruiting controversy. From Doyel's column:
Mustain is the little boy who chose Arkansas because Nutt hired his high school coach, Gus Malzahn, then got angry when Nutt decided Malzahn's spread pass attack wasn't the right system for a team featuring future NFL running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Mustain is at Southern California now, not playing for the Trojans. Think how upset little Mitch's mommy must be. Watch your back, Pete Carroll.
"If Doyel really dove in and investigate the situation, he'd realize that there is enough blame to go around for everyone," Arnell said. "That's what we asked him when he was on the show; 'Did you spend any time in Arkansas before you wrote the column, Gregg?' He came back with some answer about not having to be in Washington D.C. in order to write about Obama and McCain. He wouldn't answer the question." The interview can be heard here. "I'll say this about Gregg, he's found his niche, so give him credit for that," Arnell said. "He's found a style that he's comfortable with. But to call college kids names and talk like that about one of the mothers, that shouldn't happen. That shouldn't even happen when talking about the NFL. As uncomfortable interviews in my career have gone, that one rates a 10." The highlight for everyone involved, and indeed the clip that KARN is using in its promos this week, is when Doyel yells at Arnell to "shut up! Just shut up and let me talk!" "Yeah, let the great Gregg Doyel speak," Arnell said. "Gregg Doyel must be heard!" Doyel's brand of shock journalism is nothing new; Jay Mariotti has made it an art. Many stations have him on for no other reason than to rile up listeners. But Arnell swears he was never spoiling for a fight. "The phone lines lit up, I'll admit," Arnell said. "But we didn't ask him on for that. I just wanted to discuss what he had written. I don't know how it all went south."