In radio, sometimes you have good shows, sometimes you have bad shows. Occasionally, if you're lucky and/or good, you have a moment happen on air where you go "Okay, our audience didn't get that anywhere else on the dial this afternoon." We had one of those yesterday on 1560 The Game.
Anyone who listens to our show (Sean & John Show on 1560 The Game, 3-7 p.m. weekdays, if you need us) knows that Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is a weekly guest on Tuesday afternoons. Houston Texans wide receiver David Anderson is a frequent contributor to our show, especially during football season. You may also know that D.A. doesn't care for some of Richard's opinions on the Texans very much, at least not the ones that he perceives to be "hating" on the Texans.
D.A. has made this known to Richie on our show before. In 2008, then-Texan QB Sage Rosenfels and D.A. made an appearance in studio on our show on a day when Richard was there, D.A. figured out who Richard was and said "Hey, you're the guy who writes all those bad things about us." It kind of came and went, and nothing really came of it.
This year, in our annual "Sean & John Seinfeldian Mock Draft," where 1560 personalities, listeners, and local/national celebrities line up 1 through 32 to draft pop-culture and sports items (points for creativity, of course), D.A. not only traded up to get one pick ahead of Justice, but he proceeded to draft the Houston Chronicle and as his first order of business, D.A. fired Richard Justice and replaced him with his mom (the lovely Katie Anderson) and Andre Johnson's mom. If none of that made sense, let me just explain in plain English, it was D.A.'s way of saying "stop hating on us, Justice."
Now, fast forward to yesterday...a couple weeks ago, Richard was making his weekly appearance on the show when D.A.'s name came up. We mentioned a documentary that he was the focal point of this offseason where a camera crew was following him on his trip to Prague, and they filmed him teaching kids in a small village there how to play American football. (The review of said documentary is for another place and another time, but let me tell you from what I know of it and know of D.A. it has potential to be incredibly entertaining.) Richie, always looking for a good story, said on-air "Man, I'd love to talk with him about that!" (Keep in mind this is after all of D.A.'s playful needling and "public firing" of Richie.)
Immediately, I got a text message from D.A. saying that he would consider the R.J. interview request if he had the chance to turn the tables, and interview Richard on our show in a couple weeks. I floated the idea to Richie during the break, and he was all for it. And thus, Sit Down 2010: D.A. and R.J. was arranged.
I use the term "sit down" the same way they do in an episode of The Sopranos. Any time there is a beef between family members, the least bloody way to resolve said beef is to arrange a "sit down" with the boss, where grievances are aired, voices heard, and you come to some sort of resolution. For me and John Harris, that's what this felt like. In some sense, D.A. and Justice are both members of our radio family -- Justice as a 1560 original employee and D.A. as a great contributor and friend to our show. This situation called for a sitdown, and as it turned out, an airing of grievances (so maybe it was part sit down and part Festivus).
The full segments of the sit down can be found below, but the portion that had everyone talking was this....
Pretty good flurry of lefts and rights there, I'd say. Once the lights went off on our show, both parties shook hands and agreed to talk again after D.A. had a chance to see the final version of the documentary. The best part (and admittedly you had to be there for the off-air parts to see this) is that I think both came away with a better understanding of each other's perspective -- I could tell D.A. had a better understanding of R.J.'s role of it "not being [Justice's] job to be liked," and I know R.J. was VERY understanding of D.A.'s loyalty to his team and his questions about criticism. I don't know that either came away "liking" the other guy any more than they did before the exchange, but the respect level on both sides, I sensed, was high. (Could D.A. have held back on some of the bald comments and little "dork" jabs? Probably, but that was more show than it was mean-spirited. D.A. is not a bully.)
In the end, what our listeners got was a very unique radio experience where you got to see a professional player say virtually everything he wanted to (within FCC bounds) to a writer covering the team, and you got to hear said writer defend himself. How you process it is up to you, but we served it up yesterday for you to do that. As for Harris and I, D.A. and Richard are both good friends of our show and both are important to the culture and fabric of our show. We didn't take sides, nor do I personally plan to. Our hope was to deliver an entertaining, informative, unique show yesterday.
I think we did that.
Here's the D.A. and Justice stuff in it's entirety:
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show", and follow him on Twitter at http://twittter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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