Friday, September 19, 2008

Le Batard, Fulmer ... sadly, there were no incidents or anything

Here's a bizarre story out of Miami, where Dan Le Ba Tard -- one of the more acerbic personalities on the planet -- cries on-air about having to interview Phillip Fulmer, then essentially acts like a jerk once the coach is on his show.
Le Batard never mentioned the UF-UT game, instead asking Fulmer if anyone ever accused him of running up the score, his thoughts on Tommy Bowden’s man crush on Nick Saban and Fulmer’s relationship with Steve Spurrier.
The only thing Le Batard left out was the coach’s thoughts on the notorious Fulmer Cup, which may soon be renamed the Paterno Chalice.
So as you might guess, Fulmer tired of Le Batard’s line of questioning rather quickly and asked the host after about four minutes, “You wanna talk some football?”
Le Batard replied, “not really coach,” and hung up.

This is pretty typical for Le Batard, who hasn't stopped taking potshots at Nick Saban (many of them deserved) since he left Miami.
To me, though, this is indicative of a disturbing trend in sports radio, where on-air "personalities" either stroke their guests or antagonize them, with no in-between.
I listen to a good bit of sports talk radio -- and I've appeared on a few local programs as well -- and in general, the people doing the interviews go out of their way to accommodate the guests. Particularly when they have football coaches on their shows, they typically address them as "Coach," and essentially grovel at their feet (I'm sure you can listen to Scott van Pelt's interview with Saban earlier this week and get an idea of what I'm talking about).
(Note: Here's the part where I admit that I despise Phil Fulmer, and take a partiular amount of glee in anything that paints him in a negative light.)
On the other hand, Le Batard's "personality" -- both in radio and in print -- continually comes off as one of a petulant child to me: I didn't want Fulmer on my show, so I'm going to avoid asking him about the one thing anyone wants to know about -- ya know, the game he coaches.
I just hope this isn't the direction we're headed in for sports media. It is possible to do your job without being a boot-licker. I know, hard to believe. But it's true.

wlh

1 comment:

Peggy said...

What are your views on Finebaum?