Late Wednesday night we were sent a link by a man named Tony Adragna about an encounter with ESPN college basketball analyst and Indy radio host Dan Dakich. The entire story is worth a read as Dakich made it a point to call out Adragna on his radio programs multiple times yesterday amidst one of the busiest news days of the year.
The Reader's Digest version goes like this - it started when Adragna tweeted this questioning Dakich for painting members of the media with a broad brush since Dakich is himself a member of the media. Dakich got wind of it somehow (Twitter searching his name possibly) and hit back at Adragna on his radio show. Adragna sent an e-mail trying to clarify his position and Dakich again fired back. Things got really bizarre though when Dakich made a threat to blackball Adragna, a recent Indiana broadcast journalist grad, from ever getting a job in the sports media. Adragna posted the audio of this quote from Dakich on his blog:
"And you ripping me, and it wasn't today Tony, you ripping me just makes me say no because the line is long for people every day who send me notes to try to help them get a job in this business, so you go to the end of the line. And in fact, if you do something stupid enough I know the head of NBC, I know the head of ESPN, I know the head of CBS Sports. You want to get into that, all I gotta do is make one phone call and you're done."
One phone call and you're done.
That's a national college basketball analyst and former coach of the Indiana Hoosiers threatening to blackball a recent college graduate and basically destroy his career before it's able to begin. And for what... a tweet offering a mild critique?
It's no secret the sports media is full of some enormous egos, but I've never seen such a brazen attempt at an abuse of power over something so insignificant. Dakich is a great college basketball analyst, probably one of the two or three best ESPN has, but this is some kind of bizarre behavior. (For what it's worth, Dakich also got into a lenghty Twitter fight with former Hoosier A.J. Guyton where he bragged about his own popularity at Indiana.) Does Dan Dakich have an enemies list that he keeps updated and sends to network executives of people who don't like his radio show just in case they ever want a job one day? It's too absurd to be real and makes you think Dakich is playing some kind of cartoony supervillain.
But if this story wasn't weird enough, after taking a pummelling in social media for his bullying behavior once the story went viral Thursday morning, Dakich tweeted that he's invited Adragna on his show to co-host next week, saying in a rather jocular way, "the kid has sack."
Love the comeback by @tonyadragna ..invited him to co host when I get back next week..kid has sack..love it— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) June 27, 2013
So let's get this straight.
1) Dan Dakich hates being criticized on Twitter or via e-mail, to the point of threatening to call executives at ESPN, NBC, and CBS to make sure said person never gets a job in the business.
2) If you write a blog post about being bullied and threatened by Dan Dakich and have the audio evidence to back it up, he'll invite you to co-host his radio show with you because you have "sack."
Does anybody understand this at all?
Dakich is beyond pathetic. He searches his name on twitter every day and responds angrily. He often does this at night, usually with a boast that women love him. It never seems to fool the person he's bitching at, as his wife as dumped him and his claim of popularity with women seems incongruent with searching your own name on twitter late every night.
This guy is probably so overcome with self-loathing, he has to cover himself with self-praise every morning. What a sack-less son of a bitch this guy is. You should tell the network heads what he said - totally alert them to the entire story, and it's quite likely he'll suffer a BIG backlash from the executives he's probably never met. Payback's a bitch, ain't it? Be vicious and tenacious. You could get a job as a result of it. Wouldn't Danno be surprised? LOL! Srsly, do it and lemme know how it all works out. ;)
This guy is probably so overcome with self-loathing, he has to cover himself with self-praise every morning. What a sack-less son of a bitch this guy is. You should tell the network heads what he said - totally alert them to the entire story, and it's quite likely he'll suffer a BIG backlash from the executives he's probably never met.
Tony has always seemed like a good guy to me. FWIW, Dakich has me blocked on twitter too and it had to have happened because he twit searched his name. Never really had an issue with Dakich but this makes him look like a giant asshole
What a bizarre story, and it brings to mind a concept I have thought about before: As a journalism student, how do I approach critiquing the sports media world I want to work in? I certainly don't want to stay away from opining on sports media entirely. I think it's important and I have at least semi-interesting things to say. But if I criticize ESPN, will I be barred from getting a job there? If I argue with someone who works at the local radio station, will he tell the Program Director not to hire me? It is far from a huge problem, but it is an issue with which I have to deal.
I don't doubt that Dakich was overreacting, but I get the sense that, as always, we're not getting the complete story. I imagine there was more interactions between the two, and probably interactions that make the IU grad look a little less like a victim.
If you listen to Dakich regularly, as I do, you know that he addresses this issue rather frequently. Usually, when he addresses issues in the media, he begins by saying something along the lines of "And I guess I am part of the media now." In other words, he does acknowledge that he is part of the media. However, long-time listeners of his show know that when he criticizes "the media," he is speaking to a more narrow group of media members than maybe it seems.
Additionally, for those that don't follow Dakich on Twitter already or only recently started, this is an old question that he has addressed numerous times both on twitter and on his show. My guess is that he was just fed up with it and reacted poorly.
Because of the backlash, Dakich realizes he screwed up. He invites Adragna to co-host as a way to smooth things over and avoid further embarrassment. Dakich and his producers also know that people who don't normally listen will want to listen to that show next week since this story has national exposure.
Next week's show will likely be a lovefest and there won't be much of a confrontation. I do hope that Adragna asks if Dakich does a twitter search for his name although I'm sure Dakich will blame a producer or intern for the search.
@JamesSantelli well you could always get a real job.
@NJRedman Nah, only fake jobs for me.