Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Last days of Le Batard start with a little ‘Freedom,’ an analysis of Goofy and disparagement clauses

With Dan Le Batard’s ESPN days coming to an end, things get a bit Goofy.
With Dan Le Batard’s ESPN days coming to an end, things get a bit Goofy.
Image: Getty Images

On the morning after ESPN announced Dan Le Batard’s departure from the company, effective January 4, the Le Batard Show played George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ to begin their radio show for two minutes without speaking.

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In the show’s Big Suey — an additional digital exclusive hour, which began airing after ESPN cut an hour from its program — Le Batard officially broached the subject (for the first time since this tweet) 18 minutes after talking about Goofy. Yes, Goofy, as in, the Disney character, a continuation of yesterday’s age-old debate as to what Goofy is, a dog or a cow. (But if you get the show, you’re not confused, you’re smiling.)

“I’ve gotta read some contract language over the next couple of weeks because it was disorienting yesterday talking about disparagement clauses,” he said, in true Le Batard day-after fashion. “So we might wanna be a little more careful than we have been in these two segments talking about the Disney character Goofy. A blessed icon that all of us around here feel highly about and would never say anything to disparage.”

Then, he actually addressed the elephant in the room saying that the ‘Goof Troop’ is here to stay, just not on ESPN, for whom they are eternally grateful, though.

“In all seriousness, as we speak directly to the audience, and the audience needs to know, we are happy and we’re going to be happier,” he insisted. “We’re going to be someone who is in your life because you have really moved us. Like really moved us in terms of how it is that you have rallied around what happened to Chris Cote and rallied around us in general. And so, just know that we have seen that support, we value that support, we’ve been busting our ass for months now because we value that support and wanna give you the same stuff you’re used to be getting, and we’re gonna keep doing that.

“You’re gonna keep getting it the way you’re accustomed to getting it and it’s gonna get bigger and stronger and I’m actually very grateful,” he continued. “And we’re very grateful to ESPN for turning us into this thing that is a spaceship that commands the loyalty of an army — of the Stugotz Army — that really could make us feel good in what could feel like unstable times.”

Le Batard himself later added that, because of several clauses, the guys can’t discuss the details of his departure yet, but insists that the details are on the way, as are whatever is next for the highly successful program, which was written about yesterday.

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“We will tell the stories at some point … of just the funny stuff that’ll make you amused. Understand in all the framing that we’re talking to you about right now, we really are, as a group, really super grateful to this company that we’ve been able to do all of these absurd things that we do. I still can’t believe it, having done it.”