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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Sally Jenkins

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Named the nation’s top sports columnists in the country 4 times by AP sports editors, she is an award-winning author, and currently, a sports feature writer and columnist for the Washington Post. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

WHUT UP Dave, Lo Guss, do you know what the class ceiling is? Yes, it's figurative, but it it can hold people back, but a lot ofpeople now are starting to crack that glass gealing. They are starting tocrack it and you- and I I don't know BIF. We really meant to do this, butwe've had some of amazing people on whohave a lot of lotof people that have broken it, Roan smashed it right have made it where othersfollowing them may not even have that ceiling anymore right and don't havethose stigmas put on them that that they would have had when they started.So today, our guest another one, great story, groundbreaker her love Sports, I think, came frombecause her dad was a very, very famous sports, illitrater writer for years,yeah, Father Dan Jenkins, if you're Fanasidefinitely know his work right and she kind of got that from you know, traveling with him, she's always wantedto be around sports loved it. You know she was a writer for theWashington Post. She became a senior writer for Suports, illustrated. Someof those stories are incredible. How she got those jobs, dozen books, she'se dozen books- I mean she was AP sports editor, like top honor for four times,like best sports writer, WENL also is landed. I mean some of heur books at least one, if not two R about landsArmsthron. I think I think, there's two of those about Lande Armstrong prior tohim, admitting, finally, that he was cheating right right and she doesn't.You know her books talk about. She doesn't seed that way. Yeah. You knowshe has some great perspective on that from some of the awesome interdew views,she's done with lance she's. Also right, I mean probably a crazy interview and she talks a lotabout this about how you know Joe Paturnos. Last week she actually went up there andinterviewed him. She was bedside bedside yeah talking about the wholeSandusky situation, which couldn't have beeneasy for her in dealing with the family and being there and having to ask thehard questions. Yeah witl te whole scene surrounding that scenarioas. Youknow what a what a crazy time that was right, and you know she wit to Stanford so just acculate.After aclat another incredible guest joining us in the Huddle Sally JenkinsSally, thank you for jumping in ta huddle with Dave, and I my pleasure glad to be here one of the things where we always startand I've seen reviews that you've done and it talks about where your love ofsports came from. And so maybe you can go back and tellus for that. Really that spark started for you. You Know You guys mentioned mydad Dan Jenkins. You know he was on the road so much when he wrote for sportsillustrated and my brothers and I traveled with himquite a bit just just in order to spend time with him because he was, he wasgone on a lot of holidays and stuff, and so we got we got to go with him toFootball Games and golf tournaments, and you know look I mean top wroteabout Sunny Jerginson, you know when he was, he had billy were quarterbackinthe Redskin, so you know I can remember meeting Fran Tarkinton as a kid and JoeNameth I mean those guys were around because my dad was a very high profile.Sports Writer for Sports, illustrated and E had good relationships with is thepeople he covered and they were just. I just grew up. Youknow it's sort of. Like Austrian kids...

...grow up skiing. You know it was sort oflike that. It was just full immersion from the time. I was a kid so salad didyou play sports when you Werei, I did I plan. I played tackle football with mybrothers. I played right up until they started tooutweigh me by about thirty pounds and then and then I went to touch. What was your position? Oh, I mean you know we played every positio, you know whatever youhad to play on the team. I was usually A. I was little so I was a scatback thihad some speed. I had some speed. Was it always football yourfirs? Because noI mean I was really a basketball that became a basketball nut. I you know Iwas one of those kids who would dribble the ball to school. I played yeah onceI was in high school. I played basketball, volleyball and softball yeah. That's that's sounds like yourdaughter's Dade Yeah. That's about exactly exactly Saly, I'm we're right, beginning volleyball,Suason right now so cuts er tonight. So I M Ryeah, but I was I was one of those Jim. I wasa gym Rad. I would. I would dribble the ball to school. With my left hand,working on my left hand, that's that was make and that's whe ihad been in mylice. My girls have played basketball. I said you gotta. I remember seeing Ithing. Remember David rivers and enerdane point gardhe dribble the balluntil the preacher started talking in Church e Li Literal, I Saidi Sat, youknow, theythink, I'm crazy, WTLALLYS htthere you go you knowone of thebiggest things is that people don't understand how sports can really impactyour life, especially growing up and all the things that it teaches you. Sowhat or some of the things when you were growing up te support, taught youwell, you know the biggest thing that taught me, and this came from my dad.You know when we were watching all of this stuff and meeting these people.You know meet you'd meet someone like Jack Nicolas and my father wouldexplain who he was, what made him great or what he thought made him great, andI never forgot the main thing. My father told me about Jack Nicholas,which was that he said that the reason h he admired Nicholas was because hegot absolutely everything out of his game and his talent and that Nicholasbasically treated it as though to waste. Your potential was a kind ofsin. I can remember my dad saying that to waste your potential as a kind ofsin and so athletes to him- and this is what I've always loved about them too, are people who who really exhaust theirpotential- and you know most of US- don't do that most of us, the elevator goes, it mightbe a forty story building and we send the elevator up to twenty two. You know I knowi do agree with that. I've metsome people that have done profiling andthey talk about talent, and what takes talent is there's more than just you inyour skill set right. It takes Youryer. Your memory hit your brain, performs ittakes everything all these you're mixing this big cake together, and ittakes all this together. If you're missing one ingredient, then the kiksnot going to turn out right and I thino ight with that yeah and you know mostpeople, people I mean, I think the thing that sports teaches you. If youreally embrace it and you listen to the you know the good coaches that youmight get to be around. Is it you have to work at stuff you're, not good atyou know, everybody loves to work at the things they're good at very, veryfew people learne to like working at things that make them uncomfortable andthat's what the great ones do sally did you have a coach, maybe inhigh school or even before I uscool that really made an impression on onyou. I didn't you know my my coaching. I went to an all girl, private schoolin New York City. It was pretty we coached ourselves to be honest, youknow we would. We would go to nixks...

...games and Nicks Wer were great. It wast dad to Busher and Bill Bradley and Willis read and Clide Frasier and we'vego to nick nixk Games and we would study them and then take it back to ourlittle old girl, high school and try to do what they were doing. I mean it waspretty funny, but no, what I know about coaching comes from more than anythingthe books I did with Pat Summer and Dean Smith. I was very lucky as a young sportswriter. I got to be around them and really understand what they did and why they were so good at it, R, toogood ones O to learn from it Mount Rushmor focinoyeah. What was what wasthe garden like back then? When you go, I was great, I mean you know you couldscalp a ticket outside for not a whole lot of money and we put together ourallowance money and go buy a s eat up in the you know, noseplead section andthen slowly creep down and the ushers, because we were little kids. You knowthe ushers would would kind of. Let you go, and you know we'd creep down closer andcloser to the court. Ue when you were young, really didn't know a lot about anyou're, very ou. You know you started doingall these places with your dad.You didn't know a lot of athletes, but then, as you start to understand whothese people are and you study them and mean, obviously you didn't. You knowthe Internet what it is of what it is today, but who was that person? Whenyou were young that you said? I cannot wait to meet them and you got to meetthem. You know probably Joe Nameth mean Joe Nammothwas so huge. When we were kids, we were. We were New Yorkers and when he wonthat Super Bowl, it was just electrifying and my dad had done afeature story on him for sports illustrated and I was walking to homefrom school one day, and here he came in a fur coat walking down the street in Manhattanand there were a bunch of us and we totally chased him down. You know a pat.We were like a little wolf pack chasing him down. The street and he couldn'thave been nicer. He he stood and signed everything we stuck at him and so probably Jon Nam. It was asthrilling as anything. You know. It was weird. I got to know people as as anadolescent. You know I can remember having cheeseburgers with Tom Watson atgolf tournaments, and he was just a really nice guy. You know I wasn't a lot of these people.I wasn't necesssarily as cognizant of their hall of fame status. Always I mean frank, Gifford and pat summerall were around quite a lot. They were breaking into broadcaste becoming thebig time broadcasters of their ero. My Dad was friends with them. They were atdinner parties at the House, and you know things like that. Like I kind oftook it for Gran, I thought I thought they were at everybody's house fordinner. You know, do you think that I knowyou mentionedaboutsometimes, it's very hard to Aro athlets, an get o know them, some ofthem kind of keep to themselves comforting, get to know them, but theymay have opened up to you and been a little different to you when you werein your youth when You'ere in your adolescence compared to when you wereolder and and interviewing them. Do you think that's possibility? Oh Yeah, youknow I mean I was. I was a harmless little amateur when I was hangingaround with my dad. I was just all ears and, and people were very generous, you know they were they were they never acted like I was a past, Imean I knew I was taught. You know, keep your mouth shut and just listen and learn and don't youknow I was never allowed to ask for an autograph when I was with my father that we just didn't do that you know. But then, when I got older and I was avery oun, you know when I was twenty one and just out of college and aworking journalist, you know it was a whole different ballgame and most people actually stayed on the West Coast and most people didn'tknow that I was Stan Jenkin's daughter,...

I mean I was just another rookie sportswriter. You know in a clubhouse trying to keep Billy Martin from screaming atme imsally. I you first kind of have theitch to become a writer. You know I was always a reader. Itstarted in college at the school paper and my father had said you know, try itand see if you like it, it's a good place to meet people, even if you don'tlike it and he had a hunch, because I read so muchthat I might want to try to write something somedayand he told me pretty early on my freshmanyear that I had ability that he could see some spark and he thought I shouldI should explore. It was worts going to be your focus or didyou write on other things? Anyou know I yeah I interned with the old La heroldexaminer as a straight news reporter. I thought I was going to cover politicsor something and very quickly went running back to sports, because I justI loved it, it's what I knew it fascinated me and I thought it wasimportant and you know I just sort of you know I tryI've written other things. I mean I've profiled Hilary Clinton for theWashington Post, I've profiled Howard, Dane I occasionally branch off and do apolitical profile for the paper or a non sport stuff, but I always seem tocome. Come home. I always come home. You feel like there's a differencebetween you and your brothers, because you mentioned your brothers, I tak it. They didn't read as much asyou bcause. I know I didn't read as much as my sister yeah. That was true. That was true, sod, like Yobecause, I'm wondering how your dad being a famous writer and hetook an inkly thing- there's a spark in you for that. What did your brothersend up doing? You know it's funny. My mother owned restaurants and both of mybrothers worked in her restaurants and can really really cook. So I don't knowwhat that says or what that tells you, but thersfamily wit, you guys all gettogether a lot of food, yeah yeah. So but now my younger brother is asurfing photographer. Actually who lives down in Costarica and my my twinbrother is a contractor. He builds really large structures yeah so at Stanford you're. Writing for theschoolpaper Nowho, your probably highly qourted by the professional journalismat that point, being in Stanford being an school paper. What was your first job out of schoolas my first child? I wasn't that heavily courded, but I was lucky to geta job and it was at the San Francisco Examiner covering high school footballand Morin County, which was really really rainy. So it was tough to keepstats because the ink would run on your notepad, but the great thing about itwas there was a. There was a wonderful, wonderful running back playing for one of the high schools inthat league. When I was covering it and his name was Brad Muster emember him he's a great player wasunbelievable. He said every high school record rushing record. There was, and Iwas I was very lucky it's funny. I've had real good luck. I coveredbradmuster when he was a. You know: the Greatest High School football player inthe country. My first beat when I got to the Washington Post, was the NavalAcademy and Navy at the time had David Robinson on the basketball team andNapoleon macallum in the backfield yeah. That's pretty good people towrite about yeah and then I covered Virginia and Virginia. Had Don mccowskyat quarterback win. Imagine Mal when Ou yeah, the magic man exactly n youweredas well. Well, yeah! I had Turk showner. First, we actually firstSteve dills, Turk, shoner and then John elway muster ended up in stanefor tworight. Yes, he did yeah, he sure did...

...and then the bearerse, so you went from San Francisco to La.Is that what what HAP Yeah I had a couple of short stops. I had one shortstop in La, and then I was at the San Francisco Examiner and then the SanFrancisco Chronicle, where I covered pack ten football and then and then gotcalled up by the Washington Post to come to the majors. I read where you covered when you werein la you had to cover like a Hollywood insider article, and you had to callsomebody and ask them a couple questions. It Yeahi was the only job I could get. Iwas the assistant to the gossip columnist at the told La Herald, whichwas the hearst paper very sensationalist paper and Bet middlerhad performed a show and she had worn a diaper on stage and she had thediaperhad sort of fallen off, and I had to call and ask whether she had exposedone breast or two Wi was Abu, one thousand nine hundrdand eighty three well. That was way before the super bowl with with Jana Jacon yeah. This was a thiswas a wardroke matfunction that way predated that one. Yes, that's right! Now what the booksso you're writing papers you're doing a lot of work covering a variety of stuff.When did you write your first book? I wrote my I can't remember the year,but it was a book about football. It was called, MEM will be boys and it wasa. It was a book that the publishers at the time wanted tobook a football book for women. This is back in the days before people reallyunderstood that women actually comprise. You know pretty much as big of a partof the audience as man, and so there was this idea that you had to somehowtalk to women about football in a slightly different language. You know,which is, of course silly, but so I did a very small book called MemmoBe Boys, and that was the first thing I did. I guess it was in the n early sand then Pat Summet called and wanted wanted to write a coaching book, and soI helped her do that and then that lot to Dan Smith and so for a while, I wasin the business of helping other people write their books. Yeaso, it was a lotof fun. Was that you on the cover of your first book yeah? Yes, it WasadRichkin Jersey, that kind of dsh doesn't it ekind of Gusnnmr. I don't recall what they put me in forthat Deawayou, like meonelike atsumit iyeah, its such alegend in her sport and just renowned in such a great person like what aresome things you maybe learned from pad som of that you didn't know going in. Imean you know. Everything I mean pat was really the biggest influence on meother than my father. To be honest with you, she finished the job. You know she. I was a much younger, less accomplishedperson when she got a hold of me, and I mean it was everything from dressingbetter to presenting better to to I mean the things that she taught meabout. Well, I mean so, for instance, here Iam I'm helping Pat Summit writer book and I was watching her habits. You knowher work habits and she just she always did the mostdifficult things. First, the things that she didn't want to do and wasn'tlooking forward to doing. That was the first thing she did every day. You knowyou know how the rest of us put it aside and we're like I'll get to thatlater. I'm dreading doing that it was a first thing, pat tackled every day. wasthat thing she really didn't want to do? It was as a great lesson for a youngperson. You know it just was. That was prettypriceless and the other. You know onething thatshe would tell her kids and that she told me, is you don't ever let anyonedefine you you define yourself, you...

...tell people who you are you? Don't letthem tell you who you are and then yeah very much so very much so you know indwhat she really meant by that was and the other thing that she would againtell her players, and you know you might get away with doing something thewrong way, but you know you would know it and people have to believe theydeserve success. Champions really believe they deserve it. I mean that was an insight that Icouldn't have gotten from anyone, but her I mean so many times I mean if youwatch the Patriots. One thing that really stands out is they believe theydeserve it more than annybody else Rightye. Because of the work in theEthics Yeah Yeah I mean pad always said you know, behind any kind ofcompetitive character is conditioning Yo. You cannot cheat the grind. Youhave to put the work in and if you put the work in you'll believe you deserveit and that actually wins out. You know, that's what wins? No, what did she kindof TEAC you about? You know in yourindustry n, especially sports when you started, is probably pretty mildominated yeah between her and your dad. What could you learn about them? How toovercome or see pass te? You know pat never complained, and my fathercertainly wasn't going to. Let me complain. He was like, if you're goingto do this, you know you're nobody's victim victim. Hood wasnot anything either. One of those people was into you know complaining victim hood. It'syou know. Pat came from such poverty, I mean she really came.She came from a practically a dirt floor. Cabin where the water was supplywas a pump off the back porch. You know no, no one who played for her had beenany poorer than her or come from any further back than her, and you knowwhen you're around someone like that, it's pretty hard to complain, you knowand I'd had every advantage growing up. Thanks to my dad and so yeah you just you deal with it. It'sjust not the worst thing in the world to be a woman in a man's business, as padaways said, try being a woman ina man's world, I mean that's the deal and you you know you in my case everyraise and every promotion and every good assignment I ever got necessarilycame from a man, so it didn't do any good to sit around and bitch about. OhI'm, a woman in a man's business. I was actually championed by a lot of men.You know so you focus on the good. You focus on the positive and you focus onyour advantages and you use your disadvantages asmotivation. Well, Lik. I have a question for you: It's a littledifferent here coming from my perspective of being in aloandiremember that when you know it kind of started letting femal reortersin the lock room. For me it was very uncomfortable and other guys, you know,took aanage of it and they walked around naked. But I an remember being alock of rooms, anjust being like his feels really strange. No, it is YeahAni, USI, just kind of Wa there's a lot of times. I wasn't even out of myuniform Ye and the press was in there and it sometimes it really bothered me.So it's strange for men to be in there right, like okay, it's a strangesituation period when one person's naked and the other one isn't. Okay,that's weird! That's an inherently uncomfortable position. I don't carewho you are cameras. You know cameras are in those lockeros microphones, it'sa very strange deal and a strange setup and you know the way I approached itwas like. You can't be courteous enough and, and I mean my personal policy is Idon't talk to naked people- I wait till they have their clothes on. I meanthat's just me. I don't go like if I'm in a NF lockerroom- I just don't go. You know walking up to people that don't have theirpants on it. Just there's nothing right...

...about that to me, so you probably intomy t tun when I see cameras walkin up to guys. You know what I mean it's likewow. I find a way to stand. I find a way to stand behind someone. That'swhat I do I mean. I'm always you know I'm never in the front row. Let's putit that way. Wsell one time dust took me into the lock room at a Solderdomeand I think I still have lashbacks iimars. Maybe I was pretty confident going in and Iwasn't quite as confident leaving and I still Shakeit Wella when Ewhen I playedforthe Vikingsint my last year in two thousand and eight and we won ourdivision after the game. A couple guys wereundressed already and one of the most Vasante Shanko. He was our tight endcompletely undressed cameras in there, the owners in their you know, coach,childrens and everybody else was in there and Vishande was right behind theowners, but naked and wemy phone was blown up because all of hour, friendswere calling me and saying, like they literally didn't black out anything andthere's, there's AH completely naked behind the owners in the locker roomand just like they couldn't believe what they were watching. I mean that'sthe you know when everybody whenever thers one of those controversies aboutwomen writers in the Locker Room. I'm always like you know what how about westart talking about the cameras before we talk about the women, I'm like whatis more embarrassing. You know mythr Vorittrae, Johnson, O Osr Orber Tay. He was one of ourlinemen play yeah. He he used to get so upset about us that he just startedwalking around to the lock room naked all the time he didn't care right andhe would say: okay, I'm going Ta do all my interiew. You want to talk to me,I'm going to be completely naked, you're, not giving me any time. It wasmore upset at Thi, yeah yeah, then really the reporters, but I mean that's.That's the thing it's like this. This gotta go ahead. Sorry, he was threehundred fifty pounds. You know and he's just saing here, but it was we just Uto sit there and we just were like Gein Ra yeah. I mean I, U feel like you knowyou want. I mean I think locker rooms are interesting places you get, you get genuine emotions. You know it'slike the press rooms are by the time guys get in there. I don'tknow it's just it's very that's onnatural to and it's very stilted conversation. You know in locker rooms. Lockcros areinteresting places and I defend the pressis right to be in there because, becausepeople really want to know that's what people want to know more than anythingis you know what did a guy really say and really feel about what justhappened on the field, and you just can't really get that in a pressuroomthat much you know so, but there has to be. There has to be like to me there'snothing we can't solve with courtesy. You know a little courtesy and a littleconsideration. You know give guys the little time to put some towels indbathrooms robes on give. You know, give them a couple minutes to marshal their emotions, and you know,and then let us in and Wellyou know. How do you feel if youlook at t from the other side from a Woman's sports perspective? Like is thelock room, the same yeah? Well, the lock rooms are open. You know what theydo. I mean it's a very simple solution. Bathrobes I mean basically, the womengo into their shower room, they shower and a lot of most of them get dressedback there. A before they ever come out, you know- and I don't know howrealistic that is, because I've never been in an NFL shower room, but but in women's locker, like women'sbasketball, locker rooms in the NCA you know were men are in there, there'sno question about it and it just seems to work out and by the way you don'tsee a bunch of naked people. They find a way not to have naked athletes inthere, so it just just seems like there'sjst, so many people likeinyeahthe yeary, a an Ersyotget Youa...

...stuf in and right, you know, and andgus how about the children? How about People's kids yeah? My kids have beenin Hos Lorea, I mean there's sponsors, kids, you know friends of the owners.Kids, I mean it's just no. I mean the number of people in apostgame lock room. You know it's amazing to me, like. I never knowwho all those people are actually, especially at a big game: soas crazy,like Sooy, snuck, inwhat Wa that yeah two years ago, Eactua left yeahyeah, because there's just so many people in there it's yeah same yeah.You've covered a lot of lo of stories. What was your fav like, if you thinkback when you're in the Washington coast and you've been doing this for along time? What was assignment that you got thatyou said I can't wait to really get to the Hart of what This S. Oh, you knowyour first Olympics is just just blows. The top of your head off. You know it's Teso. My very first Olympics wasthe Calgary Winter Olympics, I'm forgetting the year. I don't even know what year that was,but it was the Calgary Winter Olympics and it was Brian Boitano won the goaldmetal and figure skating with the most perfect performance. Riallian hittenfigure, skating history. It was an epic and I got to cover that, and that wasthat was a real stunner. I just I loved every minute of it. You know speed skating, you know Ski jumpan Ewas all it was a wonderland for a sport. tredder it was greatright. You knowevery Olympics is pretty, is pretty wonderful. I mean I'll. Tell you what the PatriotsKansas City Chiefs, Football Game, playoff game this past year, was justabout the best game I've ever recovered. I mean what an epicthat was Mahamsagainst Brady I mean it was. That was really something yeah I mean that was just really what agame I I mean I've covered a lot of football, and that was that one standsout. As I mean I just remember, sitting theregoing, you are so lucky. You are the luckiest person in the world. You getto be here tonight so that that stands out. You Know Rider Cup Golfed, you knowgolf events. Some of them have come right down to the wire and been justelectrifying. I mean T at that stands out sally. What's the difference in youropinion, between like e the whole scenario, when the writer cups inEurope versus wented o the United States with the crowds with just itkind of every yeah yeah, you know they're both it's the greatest home field advantagein the world. I mean you know. If you're over there I mean they just gobezerk and like the people act like maybe the US crowds are somehow worseor more obnoxious, but they're. Not they really aren't it's. They thereeverybod is rowdy over there and it's you know it's all high spirited. I just love. I love that Homefieldadvantage that hearing a noisy golf crowd is an anomaly and a lot of fun.You know it's, it's so unique. Ocogoeou know bcuse,it's I or six days or what is your access asreported to a golfer? Is it you know? Do you get t them? You can'tyeah, you get you've, get all kinds of time at golf and Golf and tennis bothon there's, if you cover them regularly, if you're around and if you're, ifyou're a regular sportswriter that that they see weekend and week out, youget an awful lot of access and theyre very intimate sports, I mean you canget closer to a tennis player or a Golfer, then probably any other worldclass at athlete. You know if you'R, if you're, if you'vegot a courtside seap or your right, you...

...know by the rope I mean I don't knowany other sport where you can stand quite so close, O to a great athlete,as you can in golf, so that has its own its own charm and,if you're around a lot, the athletes recognize you and they get to know youand they welcome you. You can walk up to him on a putting green or at thedriving range and and have a chat which is difficult to do in a lot of othersports sally was her noticable difference between the style ofotheuropean writers would approach thealters versus how the Americans, you know the European writer seem to bea little closer to the players. To tell you the truth, I mean they'll go up.You know like a Scottish Golf writer has had a pint. You know with with Roymacel Roy or with you know, en Poulter, which I'm not so sure a lot of Americansports triters have gone out for a lot of beers. With Tiger Woods. I mean SOS kind of going back to themaybe the sand S, you know covering football and you no, maybe even therelationship, Your Dad Ha is Fr. Yeah I mean you know my dad had cocktails withsunny and billy I mean that's, you know he would and then he would he keep wallexactly that didn't make him. You know that didn't make him special. Did it lot of carhills yeah so well, I thasback to that today. Is I'm not speaking for all athletes orwhatever, but sometimes we get up. We get a feel like there's a stigmaagainst us that if we do go out with with a reporter they're going to writesomething about us that you know we're having drinks. I remember in DC when Ithere was a new cigar club coming on and I went down. I asked me to comedown and open the club for them and I got a Fox and I you know I suppose, toGarve every now and then I got so much hatemail from that from that doing thatthat that was really hard on me that these parents and were saying my kidslook up to you and your smoking cigars. That was, I was, you know, kind oftakin a back because of that yeah. You know it's a different world right, social media and and the growth ofmedia in general, the growth of television. You know it was a muchsmaller world when my father was covering NFL teams in the in the S and s. Youknow it just just wasn't, and especially in the S, so you know. Ijust think that athletes today have to deal with a level of reallyphosphorescent. You know exposure that you know a sunny or billious famouses.They were didn't. So it's just a different. It's a different deal and Iyou know I admire the the kids thatown themselves in public the way a Megan Rapino does or the way that youknow even a bigger Mayfield. You know you know or Andre Agasy was alwaysgreat about sort of understanding his fame and exposure andsort of not becoming embittered by it or soured by it, but embracing the goodabout it. Film Nicholson's very good. That way. You know you have to you have to admireand commend them for owning themselves, knowing who they are and being solidenough on the inside to handle it as gracefully as they do. Soally you've written a couple booksabout land's Armstron. How did that go about, and how did you get looked upwith him? You know the same way. I got hooked upwith Pat Summot or Dean Smith, publishers and agents, and lawyers putus together, and I liked him I loved working with him.He was he was a charmer, I'm still friends with him. You know, I think he made some terrible mistakesand he knows I feel that way, but IV forgave him. You know we've. We have an under, Ithink we understand each other he's apologized in a very heartfelt waythat I accepted and was actually very grateful to receive. I really like him. I have to tell Yoait's you know. I know people are amazed...

...by that, but I do you know I always gotthe best of him. I saw his best side and whatever elselance is or was he beat cancer and has done an awful lot of good work in thatarea, and so and I admire that and respect it. So so I liked him. I was fascinated by him.It was very interesting. I happened to believe he was legitimately the bestcyclist in the world. At the time. I don't believe his tortof Frances were amiscarriage of competitive justice, so that helps you know. What's that like when you first wearn,I mean it kind of came down pretty part and fast on it. what's t yeah I mean?Well, I think you know, look it wasn't a shocker. I mean I had known. It was apossibility for years I mean you know I would say to him. You know. Lance isthere', something you need to tell the world and you need me to help you do it,and I mean I asked him point blank you know. Are You doping? Is theresomething you need to tell me, and the answer was no. The answer was always noand I've had to take him at his word. I couldn't you know, shoot him withSodium Penathal, but you know I certainly wasn't shocked. I knew it wasa possibility. You know the stakes were very very highfor him. He was supporting a large foundation and a lot of people, and Ithink admitting the guilt was just too hard for him and I think had he done ithimself had had he called a press conference and told people you knowI've made. I have something to confess. I've made some mistakes, he'd be AndyPetit today, instead of instead of what he is, you know I think people couldhave. I mean this is what I told him. Okay, you know I just hate that I hadto hear it from someone orther other than you. I'm angry that I had to hearthis from Yusada rather than you. You should have told me this first and Ithink everyone feels that way. I think had he had it come from him. Instead in instead of getting quotecaught, he would have a much different. Hewould have had a much different public experience. I think he'scomparable really with very bong, so I think they're both always the best ofwhat they did. U and they didn't even need the extra boost I mean you know Idon't know I mean he. His version is that it was literally you had to do itto level the playing field. It was the price of competition in that era thatthe guys that he was going up again said he really. If he he legit. Youknow he believed he was better than them or certainly their equal, and thatthere was an you know, an unequal playing field. If you, if you weren'tdoing what he was doing, you know, so I don't you know it's funny, it'sweird guys. I don't judge him the way. Other people do. I never have. I don'tjudge dope quote dopers. I object to that language. That terminology we talkabout dirty athletes or doping athletes it for the life of me. I do notunderstand how transfusing retransfusing your own blood into yourbody is a dirty thing to do. I really don't I never have you know we call itdoping. These substances are things that people use to recover fromincredibly ardulous sports. I just don't have the heart to sort of call that dirty or cheat. You know I just have very, very mixed feelings.I don't think we've thought very clearly about doping in general. A lotof these substances are fur recovery. You know when you've ridden up and OLP.I mean you know it's it's your Pintis Thatif.He was just me. Outn talked about it and said why he was doing it. I thinkit would have made it a lot. DIFFERENC yeah exactly I mean like. I think thatwhen I like him best and I've told him this, you know I'll read an interviewhe's given where he talks about about quite honestly about doping. Whatmotivates people to do it? Why they feel they have to what it does ordoesn't do for you? It's always fascinating and you alwayslike him much better. You know once...

...you've read that and I'm like you know,this is the guy I know, and I'm just I'm glad other people arestarting to hear him and and get to know the guy. I know youknow because I think he's at his best when he's most at his most honest aboutall that stuff, I liked him for his candor about cancer. He was reallysmart and interesting about it and I think he's he can be the same about theissue of Dopin, a thinkgon back to bonds, ones, worse,hasn't admitted anything, but he was sort of caught up in the same. You knowthat Yeara as it turns out now, it seems like a high percentage ofplayers are doing that an he's just trying to I don't he may a be leader ofit, but he was almost. It was necessary for him to Participatein. I mean you know. I think they all feelthat way. They all say that you know it doesn't justify it.Obviously it's a rule and they broke it. You know, but again I have very mixedfeelings. I really think we need to reexamine a lot of these substanceswhat they do. You know things float on and off the band list I mean caffeine,you know floats on and off the band list. You know a lot of these things, don't even helpathletes. The way they've been oversold to athletes by Scheisters. You know the band list is a very dicysubject and I feel like we're over criminalizing it. I think we need to do a lot morecareful thinking about what constitutes acceptable recovery methods and versuswhat is literally, you know an impermissible boost. You know, but thiswhole idea of natural versus unnatural, that we're in is such a bullshit gray areas excuse my language,I mean the most unnatural performance differential in the world is money. I mean if you want to talk about whatseparates out athletes and performance. The athletes who have the money to getgood training and good coaching have a huge, unnatural advantage. Its thegreatest performance enhanceer in the world is Jing No. Now I agree because when I played Ihad a family and yeah, I've made some money, but I couldn't go and train and do some of the things andspend my money, like other guys, were doing you know, but I also go back to when I play with Bill Romanasky when hewas at the end with Theroa, how I have to spend money on my body keep makingmoney as long as possible, which I understood that as well, but I also youknow, get there has to be balance between, like you say, unnatural andnatural, and it is hard because there are so many substances out there t thatathletes are given. You know, opportunity to take and willingly andthey take them willingly. I mean that's here's the thing like it doesn't makeany sense for some patriarchial organization, like the USOC or the IOC,which frankly are morally bankrupt to begin with, and then they're going totell a downhill skier. Oh, don't take that. Don't take a steroid, you might hertyourself to guys who are hurdling down the face of an olp on an ice sheet. Youknow at seventy five miles an hour right, you're Goinna you're, going totell a cyclist who descends on a bike in the Pyrenees where he could killhimself. Oh, you know, don't don't take, don't don't take a blood transfusion atthe end of the day after he's ridden a hundred and twenty miles up a mountain.Don't take a blood transfusion at the end of the day to til feel better. Itmight not be good for you, I mean what kind of sense does that make. I meanwe're not talking to athletes in a way that makes any sense to them whatsoever.reaquarterback in his fifteen year, O les take tornal shots before the gameto be able to get through the game...

...because he knows, if he doesn't play,doesn't make money, Gbacktothe, Ame Hngda to me through and it you know that, ifyou're not out there on Sunday, sometimes your contract says well. Ifyou don't make these certain stats, you're not getting paid you're, notgetting next to all those types of things. So we do. We have to do to beout there, because that is our living, and that was my, as I tell people alltimes, that was my phd was playing, football was understand the game and ifI'm not on field, I'm not making money right. I think the athletes Jus makethe rules. I mean they know better than any of us. I mean some some Wonki, youknow want to be guy who thinks Oh, I could have been A. I could have been anathlete if I just hadn't blown. My knee in high school is sitting around makingall these judgmental rules about, what's natural, what's unnatural,what's acceptable! What's unacceptable athletes are the ones who know theirbodies, they know the best training methods, they know by trial an exampleand they know what is or what should be an impermissible, harmful substance versus something thatis legitimately helping them do their job Saly. One of your most famousinterviews was that with Jo Iturno shortly before it is passing, I'm tellsabout that the whole scenario- you know the Paterno team legal teamreached out to me, because I had written a couple things in columns forthe Washington Post, that they thought weere a little morenuanced than some of the other stuff about Jerry, Sandevsky and the wholeten state child molewstation scandal, and they I think they wanted Paturno to sitdown with someone in the media, and so you know theypicked me for whatever reason it was a terribly awkward situation. He wasdying of cancer. He in fact died. I think about forty eighthours after I interviewed him. He you know he was Ritden with cancer.He was wearing a wig because he'd lost all of his hair. He was very, veryfrail. He was not entirely lucid at times and he wassurrounded by lawyers publicist and his family, hishis sons. So there were a lot of people in the room which also made it kind ofweird and difficult, very, very strange experience. That said, he was perfectly clear in denying that he had had anyknowledge that there might be an issue with Sandeski and that proved to be alie. It was simply not true when you, when you lookback at the the email trail and you look at thefree report and you look at the emails in the free report, the email exchangesbetween Penn state officials. You know it unfortunately becomes very clear that Paturno Paterno did have an inkling that there was a bad problemwith Jerry, Sandusky and kids nofgoacktoi thinklikin it to watlanrmsro right. So He's a lot of people relying on I hes. This feeling of. Ican't tell everybody what I know, because it's going to hurt so manypeople- and I feel like Joe Paturna fot the same thing and should have saidbasically come out when he knew that it happened. You know, maybe he wasn't telling thetruth to himself entirely. You know. Maybe he had convinsed himself that hereally mean he was a pretty good, compart mentalizer. You know he feltlike he had passed the buck upstairs and washed his hand to the whole offair. It really really wasn't on him. You know he'd passed it along to other peopleand he felt like that was the end of his responsibility. You know it seem like their attitude. A lot waslike that's Jerry, being jury, you know yeah I mean he was. I mean I think everybody nowsays in retrospect he was a strange guy...

...that they got strange. VIBES LOOK it's!You know, one of the reason. One of the things I wrote, which I think was whythey granted me the interview in the first place was: it is really hard towrap your m mind around that crime. You know, Oh that's Jerry. He wouldnever hurt a child. He loves children. You know it's hard to tell yourselfthat someone you know is capable of that crime. It really is a hard thingto wrap your head around when you, when you were speaking with Joe, was thatwas he back at his house at that point, Wesen. Oh Yeah! Now he was, he was I hewas bedrid. He was basically Bedritden. He was essentially, he was like. I say he was very, veryill. He didn't, I don't think he served. I can't remember the exact time frame,but I want to say he I mean he's. He died. He passed away, probably just acouple days after after I talked to what I ehy uld hisfamily ant to do. Anothe Iwi think he wanted to do it. I think he wanted todo it. I think he had some things he wanted to say. I think he wanted todefend himself. You know, but you know some of what he said wasjust not you know he at one point he said Um, I never. I never heard of youknow like a sex and a MIT. You know like he said I just sexin a man I youknow, which was a completely disingenuous thing to say I mean thisis a man who was fluent in Latin. You know he read, he knew what Sadamy was. He knew whatyou know he was. It was cat he's from theCatholic church the idea that H, he didn't know that he was too naive tosort of understand the sexual implications. Here was one of thethings that he tried to tell me, which was just clearly not feasible. What was what was the climatelike outside his house towards his last days, because I can picture Wen thescan. You know it was very cuot. It was very, very quiet and very respectful.Actually there was there was not a lot of activity outsideof his house. There was, he lived in a pretty conventional homein a pretty conventional neighborhood. It wasn't banana at least that I recallthat I saw it wasn't crazy. So you know just like athletes when wewin championships or we get awards o player the year and those things youyou definitely are very similar in that regards. Youknow: You've been inducted, inothe sports, catter and sports writers, Hallof fame, and you know, you've won AP sports right of the year several times.How does that feel for, for a writer like? Is that O that say, like Hey, I've done my job.People like what I'm writing and an IT gives you a boost. You know you don't get to win much as a sportswriter. You know you write about other people winning things, so it is nice tobe handed some hardware. You know that's a pleasant feeling to be. Oh, Iwant a trophy to, but you know what Guss te here's the thing. I don't thinkit's any different from an athlete, because how many times have you onesong, somthing and people praised you for a performance and you knew itwasn't as good as they think it was, and- and I think that writing is likethat every single day you know always ouown Oscritic gt yeah,I mean so it particularly at a high profile place like the Washington Postanytime. You publish something you're going to get a bunch of emails thateither love you or hate you or love what you wrote or hate what you wroteand you really learn pretty quickly that your own judgment is the one thatmatters the most. You know when you know some of thethings I've been most proud of got the least readership. You know me somethings that I knew were much more complicated and nuanced to write thattook a lot more work and a lot more hard thought. It is very easy, as a columnist towrite a hot take and to kick someone in the Shensverbally.

It's not easy to write something,that's much more thoughtful and nuwanced and balanced, or to take a position that you know isgoing to be wildly unpopular, but you take it anyway, because you think it'sthe right thing to do. You Know Tho, you just try to sort of.I think it's very athletic. In the I mean I just try to imitate the greatathletes, I've watched and respected, and you try not to get your head turned by congratulationsfor things that aren't necessarily your best work and you try to keep your eyeon what really is good work and what should matter and the small handful ofopinions from people who you know are pretty honest with you about. What'sgood and not Ltncyeah, you know you just keepworking at I mean the main thing you do is like you quit worrying about. What'spopular, not popular, you worry about. Did I work hard at this? You know. DidI put the work in Yeah Yeah Ye? So what we do now? This is kind of youknow. We appreciate you being on with us and what we do at the end. Here iswe we go into our two minute drill or no huddle, and we like to fire questionquestions that our guess, Okay Da, usually start off. That sounds like fun,yeah, so go ahead. SLART, the noo! Okay Sally!If you could trade places an one person for a day any time in history who wouldthat be well? Do I get to be them? Like literally, do I get to have their bodyyour them? Yes with them for one day, for one day, I suppose Tom Brady on Super BowlSunday a be a lot of days. That's right! That's cheating, right!Ye sowhat would be your biggest pet peeve, oh gosh, biggest pet peeve. HMM. Let me think that that give me one moresecond, I because I have whone. I just got to make sure I say it right theright way. Okay, you know what my biggest pet peeve is people who makemoney off of athletes without giving back to those athletes properly. Sothat includes the USOC and the NCA men in suits who make you know millions ofdollars off of the sweat of athletes without giving them their proper due Atin. Your opinion is the most overhyped, hang in tigs to ther television, yespn Steven, a Smet overhype just allthose loud mouse on e Espn, all the time screaming at me. Well, I neverunderstood Tota Mith because I'm like he talks about every sport, but I don'teven know what he knows: aboutand he's not the only one I don't mean to singlehim out necessarily he just is probably the loudest of the loud e. what's your favorite sports movie, Oh probably bilt, Durham, because it's so true. So if you had another author that youhad to read or a writer who would ther be Steven, king he's the greatestsuspense writer in history, every sports writer, every aspiring sportswriter should read and Study Stephen King for pace and suspense, because youspend your life as a sportswriter describing things to people that havealready happened where they already kind of know the ending just like aStephen King novel, and yet he figures out how to scare you to death with itanyway. So it's a great thing to read if you're interested in learning how towrite real suspense Tesizea Srip into thelions Wockerom that time I thinkther shining, my second scar, Oh my God, that's yeah, red drum red, Rom,...

Workin, O playmakes Jackitver that Tyeahaven't seen that Guss. I wel just talking about that before the show I'mnot familiar with that TI CLOWN YEAHI! Never S! Never seeing what oh it! OhYeah, Oh, no, that's terrible! Yeah want to come. Er Yeah, no terrif wantto come out and play eaisally. If you could tell a younger version ofyourself one thing: What would it be if you would go back in time quit smoking earlier quit yeah get off o the sticks, get offTe, get off the cigarettes earlier Wat pin your life. Did you quit? I wasthirty, that's pretty younghough yeah, but it was still ten years to too long.When did you start? Oh my gosh, probably Sixteen Wyou Sawall, your famous yourfavorite people, smoking, everybody LUT yeah. They all smoked exactly smoker.My father was a passionate smoker. He loves smoking. I still love smoking. Ihave an occasional relapse. Righ, the Vollgi on theold state right, that'sexactly right! Yeah Yeah! I learned t e hard way I or for a while,I told mysod. I could go back and smoke occasionally, but it doesn't work thatway. U Within a month, I'm smoking a pack a day. If I just can't do it, it'scellular with me all right, Saly last one: What's the best innovation insport, it's Happenedin Siy the last ten years. You know those those just the quality of instant replay, theyou know. So if you're watching the US Open, you know the Hawkeye Camera, theHawkeye camera that can show you, where the ball lands at the French openerWimblen that Tho those are really those are. I mean theyamaze me that it's magic. I can't figure out how they contract a ball.Moving at that speed, so precisely andinstantly like in gold like theyshow the tractor Rightyeah, it's got a hooker, a Fav or something it's yeah,Ecnoogy Beh, all really yeah yeah, the haey technology. L would be thegreatest innovation. What's your opinion on inserreplay in football andbaseball Iyou know I just the main thing thatthey have to figure out is: If you have it, you should have it onevery play. You know, I don't understand the difference betweenwhat's revewable and what's not revewable? No one knows no one knowsit's. So it's like a this scrambled eggs and I think we need to fry those eggsrather Tis cramble them. I think we need a little more precision like ifsomet. If everything should be revewable, I don't understand why I mean are they? Are they afraid itwould slow? The D the game down is that the idea Kik it luch lower. I mean yeah wellwe appreciate your time and wethank you for coming on. Hopefully, we gave me a little bit of differentinterview, an you normaly. Absolutely it was a lot of fun. You guys yeah. Wereally appreciate, I think, our audience R really gointo get inactof all thetransition you've had in your life made you into who you are today and reallyhelp develop your rigting and your skills that you have iswriter. Well. Iappreciate you having me on you're very kind, and I enjoyed talking with youguys so have me back absolutely: okay, Great Ytati, Hey! We want to thank youfor Joiing US Today on Hutdl up with Guss, where we talked to a wide rangeof guests about how sports shape to life. As always, I'm joined by my greatfriend and Cohouse Dave Hager, and we want you to be able to follow us on allof our social media at Huwdl up with Gus, and we really appreciate you andthank you for your timeinand listening...

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