Jim Miller, the co-author of “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” has been on the interview circuit since the book hit the shelves earlier this week. On Tuesday, he checked in with ESPN’s Mike and Mike and then, yesterday, he dropped by Dan Patrick’s studio. Next week, he's coming to AA. Patrick, who was employed by ESPN for 18 years before jumping ship, went back and forth with Miller for almost 20 minutes. The conversation was quite entertaining. To no surprise, it was a much better interview than the one conducted by Greenie and Golic on ESPN airwaves. Miller seemed a lot more comfortable with Patrick than he did with the two Mikes, which led to some nice little anecdotes from the author of the 750 page hardcover. One of my favorites had to do with the intensity of Tony Kornheiser’s grudges and the impact that Kornheiser’s 2010 suspension had on some of the ESPN employees that Miller had spoken to for the book.
I already knew Kornheiser was a little nutty so I wasn’t shocked to hear about how ridiculously unforgiving of a man he is. His tumultuous history with ESPN goes back several years. The second suspension Miller mentions was a much less publicized fiasco than the Hannah Storm controversy. According to Miller's book, TK was taken off his radio show for two weeks and PTI for one week in 2002 for swearing during affiliate breaks and going after the station's general manager. ESPN wasn't happy because those commercial breaks were streamed online at ESPN.com.
Miller eventually turned the tables on Patrick and started firing the former ESPN star some questions of his own. Miller wondered why Patrick, who wasn’t happy at ESPN, would stay with the network for as long as he did. Patrick blamed the Bristol brass for making him feel trapped.
Wow! That sounds like a fun environment to work in. Nice job by Miller to get some quality nuggets out of Patrick. According to most reviews, Miller did a nice job with the book as well. I guess the guy knows how to ask the right questions.
Bob Bender writes about the sports media at Press Box Daily and is the Supervisor of Sports Production at Westwood One Radio.
@LFJeremy - Uh... regardless of WHO won, Nantz could have used the same phase
As for the Nantz criticism - Gus Johnson could not have saved this game. Have you ever listened to Gus Johnson announce a boring badly played game? It's horrible. I agree Gus is great, but only when the game being played allows him to be.
I thought Nantz did a decent job in the tournament. If you watch the last 30 seconds of the Ohio St/Kentucky game you will see what Nantz is capable of doing with an exciting finish.
That said - I don't understand all the hate for Nantz... he's a great announcer, not nearly as bad as some of the other #1 announcers. His puns were probably meant to add a little life to an incredibly boring game. I imagine he even chuckled about it with Clark and Steve after they went to break. Why take it so seriously, like he stuck his chest out and rehearsed it a thousand times over the weekend. Nantz is a pro - one of the best. He doesn't need to rehearse this stuff - writing that makes you sound stupid.
Also - one more thing. I remember being a kid and absolutely loving Dick Vitale because of his "passion, emotion, excitement" - now look where he is - he's on your Awful Announcing Mount Rushmore. And I agree he should be there. Just be careful what we ask for with Gus... he could be heading in the same direction.