The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

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The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz
Dan Le Batard Show logo.png
Genre Sports talk
Running time 4 hours
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Home station WAXY (2004-present)
ESPN Radio (2013-present)
TV adaptations ESPNU (2015-present)
ESPN2 (2017-present)
Starring Dan Le Batard
Jon "Stugotz" Weiner
Announcer Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard
Produced by Roy Bellamy, Guillermo "Billy" Gil, Chris "Fats and Info" Cote, Allyson Turner
Executive producer(s) Michael Ryan Ruiz
Recording studio Miami Beach, Florida
Original release September 1, 2004 – present
Opening theme A mashup mix featuring the Blade theme, Brooklyn Bounce's "This is the Real Bass," and DMX's "Party Up (Up in Here)," featuring clips offering signature moments from the show's various personalities.
Ending theme Gonzalo Le Batard saying, "We will talk to you mañana, this has been the Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio"
Website The Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio
www.theticketmiami.com
Podcast Podcast RSS
Podcast on ESPN Radio

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is a sports talk radio show hosted by Dan Le Batard and Jon "Stugotz" Weiner and broadcast on WAXY AM 790 "The Ticket" in Miami, Florida, and on many ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide. The show is heard locally Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM ET and nationally on ESPN Radio and ESPNU from 10 AM to 12 PM and ESPN2 from 12 PM to 1 PM. The show features commentary on the day's sports news, perspective on other news stories, interviews with sports analysts and sports figures, as well as a generous blend of pop culture and listener interaction. The hosts are known for their self-deprecating humor, which carries over onto the show through running jokes.

Currently, Le Batard and Stugotz are joined on-air by Greg Cote of The Miami Herald on Tuesdays.

After running for nine years on local radio, The Dan Le Batard Show debuted on ESPN Radio on September 30, 2013.[1]

In early 2015, It was announced that the show would be televised on Fusion starting May 19, 2015.[2] After the departure of Colin Cowherd from ESPN, the network moved the time slot of the show into the 10 AM to 1 PM slot formerly occupied by The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and moved the live simulcast to ESPNU, with the Fusion broadcast shifting to tape delay from 1 to 4 PM. On May 18, 2016, Fusion aired the show for the last time as the year-long contract with ABC/Disney was expired and was not renewed. The TV portion of the show then remained solely on ESPN-U afterwards with the show airing live from 10 AM to 1 PM with no outlet for a tape-delay. On January 10, 2017, the final hour of the show began simulcasting on ESPN2.

Regular Segments[edit]

  • Looks Like Game – observations about sports figures and what they look like sent in by the radio audience. Example: "Wade Phillips looks like someone you would find on a bottle of barbecue sauce." Originally called, "The Game," it has quickly grown into one of the most popular and far-reaching elements of the show. The show now holds the annual tradition of matching up entries in the Looks Like Game with teams in the NCAA Tournament and updating the results with each round. The Looks Like Game is also frequently the ending to athlete interviews, particularly if the athlete is associated with a team that has a popular entry. In addition, weekly interviews during the baseball season with Tim Kurkjian are concluded with new submissions to the Looks Like Game because Kurkjian finds the game particularly humorous and often gives uproarious laughter to the segment.
  • Grid of Death — it is well documented that Le Batard finds "prediction radio" ridiculous and does not make picks for games.[citation needed] During the 2015 NFL season, in lieu of such a segment, and to demonstrate the randomness of the NFL (and to be hilariously funny), the show participated in the Grid of Death. The game consisted of a Bucket of Death that was carried by the "clumsy, insecure, genderless Grim Reaper," played by staffer Allyson Turner, that contained mini-helmets of NFL teams. The helmets were chosen at random by each member of the show staff, including Le Batard and Stugotz. If the selected team won, nothing happened. If the selected team lost, that staff member had to select a "humiliation" from the Grid of Death. The humiliations spanned a wide range and involved everything from funny costumes to difficult food challenges to hard challenges like cleaning out the rhino pen at Zoo Miami. As the game evolved over the season, producer Mike Ryan began adding more helmets to the bucket such as, "Instant Death"(now known infamously as "Double Death"), a black helmet that sent the selector directly to the Grid of Death or the "Golden Helmet of Life," that granted three bye weeks. Others included, "Swap Helmet", "Dan Buys You Dinner" (now known as "Prime 112", a well-known Miami steakhouse) and "Any Team". Additionally, teams from other sports were added, and still are, at various times there were helmets for the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, and Greg's Lobos – the fantasy football team of Greg Cote, among others. Several guest hosts took part in the Grid of Death and ESPN personality Sarah Spain elevated herself to commissioner of the Grid of Death by the end of the season. All disagreements regarding the grid were sent to Spain and she would often call in to render verdicts.
  • The Ron Magill ShowZoo Miami's Ron Magill takes calls from listeners with their questions about the animal kingdom. Le Batard maintains it is the most popular segment of the show every week.
  • "Stugotz' Weekend Observations" — on Mondays, Stugotz gives his game notes from the previous weekend's sporting events. Before the segment, Papi claims, "Nobody in the media will tell you what happened better than my boy Stu." Weiner frequently shouts, "Daaaaan!" before he gives a hot take, and has been known to use very anti-climactic knock-knock jokes. After each game note, Mike gives a beep sound. Stugotz has understandably been known to put Sean Miller on blast during this segment, and often tells sports figures or teams that they should say hello to Art Briles in Hell. Dan Le Batard has been openly opposed to this segment, but the listeners have frequently voted in favor of this segment.[citation needed] In June 2016, much to the disappointment of his fans, Stugotz admitted that he doesn't write all of the game notes.[citation needed]
  • Celebrity Prognosticator – The segment was based in Le Batard's assertion that NFL "experts" who pick games do not actually have any knowledge that make their picks worth valuing and are guessing like everyone else. To prove this point, a random celebrity joined the show to pick NFL games against the spread. The celebrity's picks were in competition against Colin Cowherd and if the celebrity does a better job of picking than Cowherd he or she is invited back the next week. If the celebrity loses, the show finds a new prognosticator. As a friend of the show, Alan Thicke, appeared frequently in the segment and was reigning Celebrity Prognosticator at the time of his death in 2016. Other Celebrity Prognosticators have included, Carrot Top, Billy Bob Thornton, Alice Cooper, Big Boi and Ric Flair, among others. Mike & Mike imitated the segment, renaming it "Celebrity Picker", beginning on September 11, 2015, with Ty Burrell. Le Batard acknowledged on air that Mike & Mike "stole" the segment and said they will find something to steal from their show.
  • Greg Cote's Back in My Day – a satirical segment in which Greg Cote narrates a four- to five-minute story about a modern trend that is especially troubling to him.
  • Greg Cote's Soup of the Day - a short segment introduced by Papi LeBatard as Soup De Jour in which Greg Cote describes a soup and provides detailed instructions for its preparation.
  • Black In My Day— ESPN NBA analyst Amin Elhassan regularly frequents the show and does a "black" version of Greg Cote's "Back in My Day." His most notable segment involved asserting that the movie Teen Wolf was actually about how white people wanted to be black.[citation needed]
  • Guillermo's Epic Sound of the Day – a producer, Guillermo "Billy" Gil, introduces a sound clip that typically involves someone saying something stupid.
  • The Club — at the end of the last show of each week, Le Batard declares "The Club" open. Clips from the show, usually from the past week, are played over a background of Debbie Deb's 1987 dance song "Lookout Weekend." This segment is often punctuated with a clip of Stugotz admitting that he didn't know Jonathan Coachman was black.
  • ESPN 2 Minutos — at the end of every show on ESPN2, Stugotz and Mike Ryan chat in the studio about that day's show and discuss other takes that may not have been mentioned during a two minute segment. On Tuesdays, "Dos Minutos" is replaced by "Greg Cote's Show and Tell," where the entire production staff gathers in the main studio with Stugotz as Greg Cote brings in and describes a random item from his garage. On Wednesdays, "Dos Minutos" is replaced by "Wild Card Wednesdays," a segment in which Guillermo asks Stugotz questions off the show's Twitter feed.

Running gags/Inside jokes/Trivia[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Cannonball! – Because Stugotz maintains he is too afraid to approach "dangerous" topics (typically racial), he will often play a sound clip from the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy featuring Will Ferrell screaming "Cannonball!" to indicate he is stepping away from the topic and would rather go outside to the Clevelander pool.
  • NFL Breaking news – Stugotz randomly interrupts Le Batard during a long point with the "ka-chung" sound effect from the 90s newsmagazine A Current Affair, and delivers three updates about the NFL. The joke began with legitimate free agency news through the first few days of the 2014 free agency period. The joke has now been extended by giving "news" about nominal players, players making visits to teams or training camp reports. Stugotz has also begun adding random saying as the final breaking news in one of the groups of "stories" such as, "Rome wasn't built in a day" The joke often features an exasperated Le Batard begging his partner and producers to stop or pontificating about their ridiculousness. Producer Mike Ryan has also used the sound effect to interrupt Le Batard or Bomani Jones during an uncomfortable racial point.
  • Hard Network Out – For some reason, unbeknownst to humanity at present, professional journalist and Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote cannot understand the concept of the hard network out at the end of an hour of the show and will continue to talk through the break. There was a period on the show wherein Le Batard would wear a hat with a clock on the brim to help Cote understand how much time remained at the end of a segment, but to no avail. The phenomenon has now morphed into Le Batard and Stugotz attempting to trap Cote by waiting until late in an hour to ask his opinion, setting him up to ramble through the out. The show maintains frequently that this feat is not a contrived gag but is an actual problem for Cote that they exploit to great comedic benefit. Le Batard and Stugotz also use this as a prank; during an episode in February 2017, the two had Cote on the phone to discuss a Twitter beef with Dwyane Wade, and cut him off at the hard network out before he could respond to Dan's question regarding it. Le Batard admitted he was on the show just so they could cut him off.
  • Shockular – A sound effect of Le Batard's father Gonzalo saying, "Show killer" in his Cuban accent. The clip is usually played when Greg Cote tries to make a bad joke. On the February 24th, 2016 episode, John Amaechi was christened the "Overseas Showkiller" and the sound effect was played for him.[citation needed]
  • The Hakeem Nicks Laugh/Loser Game Show Sound - Jokes are a major fixture of the show and one-liner jokes occur quite often. For example, during one episode Stugotz made the accusation that "Gone with the Wind" was overrated and decried the length of the movie. He punctuated this grievance with the joke "How long does it take for something to blow away?". When such a joke is made, it will invoke one of two sounds, either the Loser Game Show Sound (The Tuba Riff from The Price is Right, played following a contestant losing) or the Hakeem Nicks Laugh. The Hakeem Nicks Laugh was sound taken during an interview that Dan said was an otherwise useless endeavor as Nicks hadn't been saying anything interesting, and Dan insists the subtle "heh heh heh" of The Hakeem Nicks Laugh was the only thing of value found in the interview. There is a fine line that a joke must fall on one side of to garner either of the sounds. If the joke is firmly a "dad joke" or is otherwise incredibly corny, it will induce the Loser Game Show sound. If the joke has more cleverness or includes a very subtle sexual innuendo, it will inspire the Hakeem Nicks Laugh which carries a particular measure of victory to the show's personalities. Greg Cote, for example, regularly inspires the Loser Game Show Sound and is rather surprised when he gets the Hakeem Nicks Laugh. Stugotz is particularly proud of himself when he gets The Hakeem Nicks Laugh (his joke above did, in fact, earn him the laugh). Occasionally Dan will request that a poll question be put up for the audience to vote on whether or not the joke deserved The Loser Game Show Sound or The Hakeem Nicks Laugh.
  • The Washington Racial Slurs – While not a gag, Le Batard has maintained he will not say the name of the Washington Redskins on air because their name is a racial slur that offends people. He instead, refers to them as the Washington Racial Slurs.
  • Useless Sound Montage- Producers of the show compile a montage of sound after an NFL weekend, composed of sports clichés during coach or player press conferences, and sometimes of NFL analysis. Le Batard often refers to it as "coach gibberish" during the segment.
  • Sports Polls that Make Fun of Crappy Sports Polls - The show is generally irritated by absolute reverence given to sports and one method of rebellion against this is putting up "sports polls" that have nothing to do with sports. Usually the Sports Poll that Makes Fun of Crappy Sports Polls involves a question brought up during conversation and sometimes involves a question the show's personalities are arguing about. The Audience Vote will serve as the decision as to who wins the argument. Dan often grades the show based on the randomness of the poll questions, the more random and non-sports related the poll questions are, the better Dan considers the show to be. The audience vote, to date, has never come back 50/50, and everybody on the show is anxiously anticipating this statistical anomaly.
  • Fake Joe Zagacki- During the show's local hour in Miami, executive producer Mike Ryan often imitates Joe Zagacki, the local radio broadcaster for Miami Hurricanes football. Ryan often mocks the excessive and intrusive advertising during Zagacki's broadcast by adding extra sponsors for every location around the field. Ryan has also extended his Limited Fake impressions to singer Michael McDonald, and once interviewed the actual Alan Thicke as Limited Fake Alan Thicke.
  • Stump the Meech- When John Amaechi appears on the program, he is played clips of Stugotz mispronouncing or stumbling over words and is asked to try to identify them. Typically the segment is played with a best-of-five scoring to determine if Amaechi has won.
  • Kentucky Fraud Chickens – Generally released on Stugotz when he makes a ridiculous assertion or bold-faced lie, the staff assaults him with the word, "Fraud," squawked out like a chicken clucking. Recently, one of the chickens in the flock has become sentient and speaks in full, rushed, squawked sentences to point out Stugotz's hypocrisy.
  • Paul FINEBaum/The Paul Fine Bucket - The show has a system of monetary fines in place for conversational misdemeanors. Dan is fined $5 for "tone issues", which he will often levy on himself, and is fined for messing up an individual's name, although how much is on a sliding scale. Stugotz is fined for "phlegm issues" though his fines aren't incurred simply for being phlegm-soaked and vile; he is fined when he coughs into his microphone without hitting the cough button, which mutes the microphone. Stugotz is also fined $5 for reading the internet incorrectly. Greg Cote is fined $5 for breaking the show beyond repair. Guillermo is fined $2 anytime he makes a fundamentally useless contribution into the microphone. Roy is fined for lousy hockey updates. Finally, Mike Ryan is fined $2 for "music snobbery" which entails Mike sharing little known music facts or opinions, ostensibly to add to the conversation but more likely to flaunt his music knowledge. A stipulation has been put in place for Mike to avoid his fines; if he commits music snobbery in a limited fake Mel Kiper voice, he is exempt from any and all music snobbery fines. The show is threatening to put all fines into a Fine Bucket that is designed like Paul Finebaum's Hair Island Head and all money can be won back during the Grid of Death.
  • The Dirty Demon of Debate - Occasionally lack of conviction when arguing about sports will summon the unholy Dirty Demon of Debate from the pits of Sports Radio Hell to chastise those not firmly entrenched in an opinion. The Dirty Demon of Debate emerges with red light and if one listens closely, the Demon also enters to the sounds of Jets fans chastising their team during halftime of the Butt-Fumble game, which Dan has often said would be the sounds you would hear as you descend into hell. The Demon just wants opinions and will often descend back into sports radio hell with the phrase "I'll hang up and listen". The Dirty Demon of Debate's arch nemesis and antithesis is the Cowardly Angel of Nuance who limps in with tepid and lukewarm takes that are ornamented with positivity and leave the listeners unsatisfied and unfulfilled as a radio audience.
  • The Hot Take Diva - When Stugotz is feeling particularly comfortable, he will lie on the table, don lipstick, and give hot takes. This was inspired by an interview Mariah Carey gave wherein she did the interview lying on her side. Arguably the bit's finest moment was when The Hot Take Diva was backed by the sultry sounds of Kenny G playing saxophone in the background during Super Bowl Week, 2017.
  • Watching Television - ESPN's First Take begins at the same time as the national show everyday and is on televisions in the studio while the show is live. When Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman become particularly animated Mike Ryan plays the sound of Stephen A. reacting to the news that Magic Johnson had been named Lakers GM in a shout ("AHHHHHH!") and the show stops and the volume on First Take is turned up so the listening audience can indulge. The Stephen A. sound has precedence and can interrupt anything else on the show, including guests and planned segments.
  • Surfer Hockey Expert - A tragically underused resource, Surfer Hockey Expert will occasionally make an appearance when insightful commentary is needed on Hockey. Surfer Hockey Expert likes to give his hot takes away from the microphone because he is always leaning out an open door to check out surf conditions, because of course. In much the same way "aloha" means both "hello" and "goodbye", the phrase "hang-ten shakabrah" can refer to something that is both good or bad.
  • The Penalty Box - In May 2017, the show set up a penalty box that hosts and producers can get sent off for two minutes for different violations. This was set up by Dan to primarily use to penalize Greg Cote on Tuesdays for bad jokes, but Dan, Stugotz, and even Mike Ryan have been sent to the penalty box for various reasons.

Past[edit]

  • Roy's Top Ten – Roy Bellamy performs this list on a regular basis, and the humor of the segment is multi-faceted. Part of it is derived from Bellamy's sometime mangling of the delivery, part is the often uproarious laughter from Stugotz, but the underlying, veiled theme is that nine of the ten on the list is Afrocentric in nature, and the number one answer is always Caucasian in nature. Written by Roy and producer Mike Ryan, and previously former producer and co-host Marc Hochman, the list is always subject to being misconstrued by a casual listener as racist, but the show's (and Le Batard's) racial color-blindness allows for a lot of latitude in this regard.
  • GOTZ-YA! – When Stugotz does something "Stugotzian" (e.g., telling a blatant lie, bringing the show to a screeching halt with bad information, or dismissing Le Batard by saying "Perhaps..."), the GOTZ-YA! sound clip is played. In this clip, The Big Voice or Papi thunders in with "GOTZ-YA!" and this interjection is immediately followed by Jamaican reggae horns.
  • Abby's Weekend Report - Stugotz's wife, Abby comes on each week to report/indict Stugotz's weekend exploits. The success of the bit hinges on Stugotz generally not helping around the house and Abby calling him out. The bit is immensely successful.
  • Wann-stache – The "Wann-stache" is a reference to the facial hair of former Miami Dolphins head-coach Dave Wannstedt. There are many instances where Le Batard asks callers for symbols related to the Wann-stache. For example, in January 2008 with the Dolphins' hiring of Tony Sparano, callers were asked to name Sparano's facial hair. The resulting calls were disastrous.
  • Violent Sneezers – Dan recalled the story of former MLB pitcher Goose Gossage throwing out his back while sneezing. He then challenged the callers to name others in the world of sports that seem as if they would do the same. Dusty Rhodes seemed to be the only clear-cut consensus among Dan and the listeners. Mixed with popular songs, including House of Pain's Jump Around, was a sound bite of Fake Dusty Rhodes proclaiming with his trademark lisp and Southern accent, "I'm a violent sneeza!"[3]
  • Gonzalo "Gonzo" Le Batard – Le Batard often surreptitiously calls his father and records the conversation for fodder for the show. With a heavy Cuban accent, Le Batard's father laments the fates of Miami's sports teams, especially the Florida Marlins. "Gonzo" is aware that his son records their phone calls, but doesn't know when or which of their calls are being recorded. Prior to his father's knowledge of the recordings, Le Batard himself deemed the act as "felonious". Le Batard's baiting of his father about various disappointing aspects of the Miami sports scene always produces humorous results.
  • Fake Callers – During the show's local hour (more so before the show went national in 2013) callers would often imitate and pretend to be "fake" sports figures and celebrities. Many callers became popular and would call regularly into the show. There was the Fake Howard Schnellenberger (Fake Howard Schellenfraud), Fake Stephen A. Smith, Limited Fake Jason Jackson, Fake Pavarotti, Fake Cote[disambiguation needed], limited Fake Himalaya Operator (Kevin Luehrs) (also known as the Music Express).[4][5]
  • Mowing through Callers – Listeners are given the opportunity to call in and ask experts questions on a given sport. Listeners and experts are both encouraged to ask and answer questions as quickly as possible and the segment features background music that becomes increasingly fast and intense as it goes to press people to go faster. Le Batard maintains John Clayton is currently the best expert at this segment.
  • Call-in Policy – Le Batard rarely takes calls during the show unless it involves a segment where listeners can ask guests questions, such as with ESPN Baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian or Zoo Miami director Ron Magill. In these segments, Le Batard insists that callers not begin their calls with a pleasantry (such as "What's Up?" or "How Are You?"), a policy originated on Tony Kornheiser's original DC-based radio show. Violators will have their call immediately dropped and followed by the 'Suey' montage. Stugotz is known to fail to enforce this rule when Le Batard is out-of-studio, as callers are more frequent during these Le Batard-less shows. The show also,regularly reads tweets ftom listeners and polls them on pointless topic. When tweets are of a particular type of offensiveness to the staff, they may be followed by soundbites like "You don't get the show" or "He's...that...guy."
  • Suey – The "Suey" is named after a term Luther Campbell used to describe a rap record by basketball star Kobe Bryant. Campbell called it worse than garbage, worse than sewage..."suey." There is a suey montage, which consists of an initial "suey" and a flurry of other past show sounds, lasting 15 seconds or more in duration. The show still holds the annual 'Suey Awards', which awarded some of the worst moments from the show's previous year.
  • The Rants – Following The Decision, the 2010 televised event in which LeBron James announced his intention to join the Miami Heat, Le Batard started the show delivering a five-minute rant celebrating the then-defending MVP's decision, as well as the signing of Chris Bosh and return of Dwyane Wade. He delivered another shortly after and it became a tradition to unleash a new rant after each major Miami Heat accomplishment. In 2011, Le Batard gave a rant following series victories over the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. In 2012, rants were given after an Eastern Conference Finals win over the Celtics and an NBA Finals victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 2013 versions were in honor of victories over the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, the latter of which was the longest in show history. The rants are usually delivered to a rendition of "O Fortuna."

Controversies[edit]

Tim Hardaway's homophobic comments[edit]

On, February 14, the week of the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, former Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway appeared on the show. When asked if he would be accepting of a gay teammate, such as retired NBA center John Amaechi, Hardaway replied: ‘First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team.’

Hardaway continued, ‘You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known,’ Hardaway said. ‘I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.’

NBA commissioner David Stern, upon learning of the remarks Wednesday, banished Hardaway from All-Star weekend in Las Vegas.”[6]

Following the comments, Hardaway apologized and attended counseling. He has also made public appearances supporting gay rights, including one in El Paso, Texas in response to an attempted recall.[7]

David Samson’s criticism of Ichiro Suzuki’s contract[edit]

On July 11, 2007, Florida Marlins team president David Samson was featured on the show as he often is. When told by Dan about the report of Seattle Mariners player Ichiro Suzuki signing a 5-year, $100 million contract, Samson was in a state of disbelief. He went on to say that no player in baseball was worthy of that amount and that this deal would surely return the league to the days of ridiculous contracts, surely ruining the sport.

The next day, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe appeared on the show to share opinion on the matter. He began by asking if Samson had just entered baseball yesterday. He then went on to criticize both Samson and the Florida Marlins franchise, while calling the deal as one of a well-managed franchise.[8][9]

Jay Bilas and racial questions[edit]

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas was on the show on April 7, 2008 to discuss NBA Draft prospects. When Le Batard asked if race was a factor in drafting, specifically if Michael Beasley would be drafted as highly if he had the same numbers but were white (the discussion originated with Tyler Hansbrough's low draft projection despite his numbers). Bilas responded “this is stupid,” and proceeded to end the interview.[10]

Michael Phelps insults Le Batard[edit]

Michael Phelps appeared on the show shortly after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After not liking Le Batard's line of questioning, Phelps abruptly ended the interview however did not properly hang up the phone. Phelps could then be heard in the background calling Dan an "idiot".[11]

The Magic Johnson Controversy[edit]

In Feb, 2017, Magic Johnson was named as the President of Basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers. Le Batard then questioned his qualifications and cited less than successful ventures into both NBA coaching, and NBA broadcasting as well as his television show The Magic Hour as evidence that giving Magic Johnson a position in which he apparently lacked experience was a questionable decision. Of particular note, Le Batard stated that Magic Johnson's main qualification for this job was his ability to be charming and charismatic as well as his fame. Le Batard made the following comment:

"What you’ve got here though, is a testament to the power of fame. And a testament to the power of a modicum of charm. Because Magic Johnson is charming. But, Magic Johnson was given a late night television show, because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 11 shows. Magic Johnson was given a head coaching job of the Lakers, because he’s famous and charming, failed in 16 games. Magic Johnson, not interesting as a broadcaster, given broadcasting opportunity after broadcasting opportunity, because he’s famous and charming. And now, he gets to run the entire Lakers organization because he’s famous and charming. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. He’s a very kind man, to be in his presence is to be awash in all the things people like about celebrity, he will make you feel special, but he wasn’t good at any of those jobs I just mentioned, and he got all of those jobs, bypassing a whole lot of people who are more qualified, because he’s famous and charming."

Other ESPN commentators took offense to Le Batard's accusations that Magic Johnson was unqualified and also suggested that race played a part in Le Batard's accusations. Keyshawn Johnson, was asked by Jorge Sedano "If you are insinuating that Dan is, like, being prejudiced here..." and Keyshawn Johnson responded "That's what I'm insinuating". Sedano defended Le Batard, saying "Well then you are 100% wrong." [12]

LZ Granderson also hinted that race played a role in Le Batard's comments, stating that Le Batard implied through his comments about Magic Johnson's charisma that Magic Johnson had gotten the job through "shucking and jiving". Michael Wilbon also criticized Le Batard's comments on Twitter, though Wilbon's criticism abstained from any discussion of race. [13]

Le Batard and his staff defended the original comments by pointing out that Le Batard had brought similar criticism to John Lynch, Bill Parcells, and Phil Jackson, all of whom are white and who were given their executive roles in sports without previous executive qualification.

Ultimately, this whole controversy was forgotten quickly and served only as an excuse to play one of the show's favorite clips involving Donald Sterling: "Biiiiiig Magic Johnson. What has he done..."

Twitter beef with Michael Rapaport[edit]

Stemming from the Magic Johnson controversy, actor Michael Rapaport, took to twitter to call out Le Batard for his comments on Johnson, insinuating a twitter beef between him and the show's crew.[14] On February 24, 2017 Rapaport tweeted out, "Dan Lebatard askin why Magic is runnin the Lakers & the rest of the world is asking why his Father is on TV show everyday. Who's qualified!?" [15] Le Batard, responded to Rapaport by tweeting, "The idea of my father feuding with Michael Rapaport is delightful and why I got into journalism." [16]

The situation escalated over the weekend as executive producer, Mike Ryan, then jumped in to defend Le Batard where he buried Rapaport, pointing out the actor's many forgettable role's in his movies. After a lengthy back and forth, Rapaport still insisted on attacking Ryan, and eventually, another of the show's producer's, Roy Bellamy, jumped into the discussion. The twitter beef reached its climax with Rapaport posting a racist photo of Bellamy, and resulting in Ryan and Bellamy finishing their war with Rapaport. [17] Following the weekend, Le Batard briefly discussed the events that had occurred over the weekend on his show, and proclaimed the end of Rapaport's guest appearances at ESPN. Le Batard stated, "These things are all about value. How much value do you have to the company? Not enough to be putting up racist stuff on Twitter. He doesn’t work for the company. He’s on The Jump every once in awhile. So I’m guessing this is gonna cause him a problem. He doesn’t have enough value to the company, I don’t think, to withstand something like this.” [18]

On February 28, 2017, Rapaport released an edition of his podcast, I Am Rapaport, in which he fired back at the show once again, repeatedly insulting Le Batard and co-host Stugotz. Rapaport also threatened them with a defamation lawsuit for accusations that had been made about him having herpes stating, “You’re claiming that I’m not going work at ESPN? Let me tell you something. If I'm going down, the whole s— is burning down. If I'm going down, we’re talking about defamation." [19]

On the May 5, 2017, episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, hosted by Bill Simmons, a long time friend of Le Batard, Rapaport once again brought up the beef between him and the show. He repeatedly insulted Le Batard, Stugotz, and the show's producers saying they were only there to get his coffee. Simmons was uncomfortable for the entirety of Rapaport's rant against the show saying, “I still feel awkward because I like all those guys. I wish this would work out.” [20]

Diamond Dallas Page Curses Out Le Batard[edit]

On April 4th, 2017, professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page appeared on the show following his induction in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The interview appeared to be going well, until a question regarding a non-kayfabe feud with Scott Steiner was asked, specifically, a question about eye-gouging. Page called Le Batard a "monkey" and went on a profanity-laced rant directed at Le Batard.[21] Of particular amusement to the rest of the show's crew was the fact that Billy Gil ("Guillermo") was the executive producer for the day as the normal executive producer, Mike Ryan, was returning from his annual trip to, interestingly, WrestleMania. Guillermo was caught completely off guard by Page's rant and realized in the middle of it that he was the one in charge of the "dump" button when profanity is used. Whether or not Page was legitimately angry or simply engaging in a kayfabe feud with Dan is unknown.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matt Yoder (27 September 2013). "Dan Le Batard launches ESPN Radio show Monday". Awful Announcing. Bloguin. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  2. ^ http://wearefusion.tumblr.com/post/111576430949/espns-dan-le-batard-to-bring-his-signature-voice
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWHb3tAqKNQ
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBqgrRFiRqg
  6. ^ "Retired NBA star Hardaway says he hates 'gay people'". ESPN.com. ESPN. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2007. 
  7. ^ Zirin, David (22 August 2011). "Hardaway makes up for comments, stands up for gay rights". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ 790 the Ticket David Samson's interview on July 11th Updated 2007-07-11, retrieved 2007-07-12
  9. ^ 790 the Ticket Bob Ryan's response to Samson's remarks Updated 2007-07-12, retrieved 2007-07-12
  10. ^ 790 the Ticket Jay Bilas talks NBA Draft with Le Batard 04/07/2008
  11. ^ 790 the Ticket Dan Le Batard interviews Michael Phelps 09/25/2008
  12. ^ "ESPN vs. ESPN: Keyshawn insinuates Le Batard's Magic jab racist". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  13. ^ "Michael Wilbon goes after Dan Le Batard over Magic Johnson criticism". Larry Brown Sports. 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 
  14. ^ Baumgard, Josh (2017-02-25). ""Actor" Michael Rapaport goes after Le Batard family on Twitter, gets eviscerated". Slice Miami. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  15. ^ MichaelRapaport (2017-02-24). "Dan Lebatard askin why Magic is runnin the Lakers & the rest of the world is asking why his Father is on TV show everyday. Who's qualified!?". @MichaelRapaport. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  16. ^ Show, Dan Le Batard (2017-02-24). "The idea of my father feuding with Michael Rapaport is delightful and why I got into journalism.https://twitter.com/michaelrapaport/status/835290722295300100 …". @LeBatardShow. Retrieved 2017-06-11.  External link in |title= (help)
  17. ^ Ryan, Mike (2017-02-25). ".@roybelly Don't waste anymore time with ignorant @MichaelRapaport. Take a hint from his ex-wife and leave his ass for a woman.". @MichaelRyanRuiz. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  18. ^ "The Michael Rapaport/Dan Le Batard Show Feud Has Gotten Very Personal". The Big Lead. 2017-03-02. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  19. ^ "Dan Le Batard-Michael Rapaport ESPN media war 'for the ages' gets down, dirty". Sporting News. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  20. ^ Baumgard, Josh (2017-05-06). "Cockroach Michael Rapaport attempts to reignite Le Batard beef on Bill Simmons Podcast". Slice Miami. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  21. ^ "Diamond Dallas Page Flips Out and Curses at Dan Le Batard During Live ESPN Interview". Complex. Retrieved 2017-06-08. 

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