Friday, December 18, 2009

Dan LeBatard, go to your room!

While I posted my whole Best of the '00s package of lists last Friday, Fienberg has slowly been working his way through his list of his favorite 31 shows of the decade, one a day since the start of December. (And at much greater length, and with more thought, than I gave any single show on my lists.)

Proving that we are not, in fact, the same person, Dan has a bunch of shows on his list so far that appeared nowhere on any of my lists. And today, he paid homage to the one show I couldn't figure out how to include in any of my lists, short of contriving a "Best Sports-Related But Non-Sports Programming of the '00s" list just so I could salute ESPN's wonderful "Pardon the Interruption."

Fienberg and I disagree vehemently on the merits of Dan LeBatard as guest-host (I'm of the opinion that LeBatard is the one fill-in who, particularly on days when it's him and Tony together, brings the show somewhere into the quality neighborhood of a Tony/Wilbon episode, whereas Fienberg claims to turn off the set when he hears the word "Bam!"), but overall, he says a lot of things I would have said about the only show I watch every weekday.

So go read that, and at the end there are links to all his previous Best of the '00s entries.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

BAM!

Anonymous said...

I hate LeBatard so much. How can you diss Bob Ryan like that? He's the quintessential American sportswriter.

Joemo said...

LeBatard is the best fill-in co-host. The antagonistic relationship with the regulars (esp. Reali) is very entertaining.

Scott said...

I like LeBatard. You can tell he and Tony really get along have respect each other. And LeBatard tends to look at things in a different way. Bob Ryan is my least favorite. I think he's a blowhard

Matt said...

LeBatard is among the least objectionable of the guest hosts, but the show plummets dramatically in quality with any guest host, especially when it's two guest hosts. The format's a great one, though, and I'd love to see it adapted to other topics--e.g., pop culture.

Daniel said...

My dislike for LeBatard may be that the antagonism feels too real and therefore gets in the way of the actual discussion of sports. And for the Anonymous poster defending Bob Ryan, lemme make it clear that as a New Englander (of sorts), I would *never* diss Bob Ryan's sportswriting. However, being a great sportswriter and being an appealing TV personality are two VERY different things. Ryan has also been far better on "The Sports Reporters," where he can be dry and boring and not pretend to be funny. -Daniel

Anonymous said...

LeBetard is pure gold when you compare him to someone like the horribly bad J.A. Adande. Even when he's speaking off the cuff, it sounds like he's reading off a teleprompter.

Hatfield said...

I'm a big LeBatard fan, just because he seems to have as much fun as Kornheiser and Wilbon, and is actually funny.

Thanks, Alan, for linking to Fienberg's countdown. I've been following it, reading the entries on shows I know as I go, and it's great. Perhaps more typos than usual, but hey, he's doing a lot in a short time. Hopefully your readers will head over there en masse.

And no, I don't work for HitFix.

Anthony Strand said...

I have no opinion on LeBatard, because I never watch the show with fill-in co-hosts. But I think it says something that I don't watch sports - actively can't stand any organized sport, in fact - and I adore PTI. Kornheiser and Wilbon seriously have Siskel/Ebert-level chemistry. It's so much fun to watch them bounce off of each other.

dmalato2 said...

LeBatard is the only fill-in that I'll watch. I agree, he brings the show almost to the Tony/Wilbon level. I actually wish they could work him in more somehow. I need my LeBatard fix.

Anonymous said...

I'm ok with Dan LeBatard as a fill in guess at this point, and this is something I wouldn't have said a year ago. He looked ridiculous in the recent ESPN documentary about "The U". I also like Bob Ryan, probably because I've read his columns since I was six years old. Other than those two, the guest hosts they select are useless. Don't get me started on how awful Dan Shaughnessy was on his appearances.

Ben said...

PTI is easily a top-5 show for me...except when Lebatard is on.

The reason is simple; he doesn't take the show seriously. Like your colleague wrote in his article, Tony and Mike give each topic its proper due, whatever level that may be. LeBetard constantly ignores the games - or Tony's obvious jokes - and just acts incredulous that certain questions are even asked.

In other scenarios, LeBetard is fine, insightful. I don't loathe him, but I don't like him on there either.

alynch said...

LeBatard is the Wild Card. He might say something insightful about the subject at hand, or he might cut the brakes to the van and jump out the back.

compain87 said...

I love it when lebatard is on and no matter what he does with games he will always lose whether he take it seriously or not. even though he doesnt have the same chemistry as wilbon/kornheiser he still brings a different view. i won't lie though i enjoy him to cause i'm a dolphins fan and you can't go wrong with someone from miami

Tim said...

LeBatard and Ryan are tenable fill-ins, but the chemistry is still never as good as it is with Tony and Wilbon.

http://npinopunintended.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/happy-time-for-pardon-the-interruption/

Eric said...

I've come around on LeBatard. He's probably my favorite fill in now (though I'm still disappointed that Simmons never made it on this summer.)

I have to give a plug for Uncle Tony's radio show, which can be streamed live or downloaded in podcast form from espn980.com.

nfieldr said...

Like you Alan, I watch PTI EVERY day. And my wife knows by now that there is no talking while it's on. In fact, she usually retreats to her home office when I fire up the DVR to watch.

As for LeBatard, he's definitely polarizing... you either love him or hate him. Well, not really, I guess because I don't love him, but I still enjoy the show when he's on. I definitely can't say the same for Adande. He's my least favorite fill-in except for the those shows in past years where they tried to use Jason Whitlock. Man...those shows with him and Adande (or Stephan A Smith) were just brutal.

Nicole said...

LeBatard is French for "the bastard" so every time I see Dan LeBatard I think Dan the Bastard. Based on some of the comments here, it appears to be applicable.

Steve Wirzba said...

Good ol' PTI. I live in Canada, and appreciate being bid a good night at the end of every show.

Adam said...

Good night, Canada!

The show is both simple and brilliant. I'm just waiting for the Simmons-Klosterman guest-hosting duo.

kyle said...

anyone but rick reilly. that hack makes my skin crawl.

LA said...

I don't know who this guy is, but surely people have noticed his name is one "S" away from being "Le Bastard."

Oaktown Girl said...

Keeping with the All Lebetard All The Time Thread theme: I'm cool with him filling in on PTI. In fact, I can't keep myself from smiling when he says "Bam!" and then Tony feigns disgust in response.

Anonymous said...

Can't stand Kornheiser.

Sam said...

I agree it is a step down when PTI has fill-ins but I don't mind the LeBatard as much in part b/c the PTI staff seem to enjoy mocking him - esp. since he clearly doesn't understand or doesn't care about the rules of the different segments. It is great that he is so oblivious and doesn't understand why he gets yelled at by Kornheiser, et al (reminds me of Jimmy McNulty "What did I do?" when it is obvious to everyone but him) - so it is at least worth a chuckle or two which you don't get w/ the others guest hosts.

Anonymous said...

LeBatard is great.

A lot of what he does is a sarcastic mocking of the super-serious gas bags who pollute sports talk radio.

Le Batard used to have a sunday morning radio show on espn radio but eventually left and was replaced by Mark Madden, who is exactly the type of host Le Batard attempts to poke fun at.

His radio show on 790 the Ticket in Miami is also tremendously funny and thoughtful at the same time.

I like Le Batard.

Anonymous said...

LeBatard, as has been said, works best with Tony. But Bob Ryan works really well with Wilbon.

He's never on anymore, but Norman Chad and either guy were hysterical in the early days of the show.