A Conversation With Stuart Scott
This is really inside bloggy baseball, but last year I had a conversation with Stuart Scott at the Spelling Bee, during which he repeated several times that he does not and will not read blogs. Just doesn't have time for them in his life. That was 13 months ago, though, and sports blogs have since become must-reads for a huge portion of the sports media. So when I saw him at the Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am yesterday, I wanted to ask whether anything has changed. Here's our full conversation, minus a lot of "ums" and "likes" from my end.
Yet again, he was perfectly charming, although I completely botched the interview by not having any good questions cooked up. Apologies. Read on at your own risk.
Dan Steinberg: Hey, Stuart, got a second? I talked to you last year at the Spelling Bee....
Stuart Scott: Oh, the blog! My brother actually saw it and he kind of directed me to it.
DS: Did I malign you?
SS: You were honest. It was cool. First and only blog I've ever read.'
DS: I feel like things have changed since then, I feel like they've gone a lot more mainstream since then.
SS: What, blogs? They may have.
DS: I'm just curious if you've changed at all?
SS: [Shakes head]
DS: I guess not.
SS: I mean, your blog was the first and only blog I've ever read, because you told me about it and my brother called and said, 'Hey, some guy wrote a blog and it was about you.' And I was like, 'Oh yeah, I talked to that guy.' [Blogs] might have changed, but my daughters haven't, my life hasn't.
DS: I guess you didn't see this, but the dude left Deadspin last week.
SS: Which one?
DS: The editor of Deadspin left.
SS: Oh he did?
DS: And Scott Van Pelt gave him a little send-off on the site, so it just seemed like maybe there was a little coming together between the two worlds.
SS: Here's the thing, I don't know what Van Pelt did. If he and Van Pelt have a relationship, that's fine. I don't have one with the dude.
DS: Ok, I wanted to ask you about something totally unrelated, Your foursome today, who do you think the most famous guy out there was?
SS: Ty Willingham. Yeah.
DS: Because those guys [Willingham and golfer Hunter Mahan] both said you were.
SS: I don't think so. I think it was Ty. I mean, here's the thing about him: people still associate him with Notre Dame. So he's got his Stanford following, he's got his current Washington following, and he's just associated with Notre Dame. I mean, football is king. I'll tell you what, man, I've played in a lot of pro-ams; this was a good group. This was a GOOD group. Hunter Mahan, he's got the skills to win majors. I mean, we were just sitting behind him, and just 'Whoosh, whoosh.' I mean, he hits the drives straight, he hits his irons straight. He's good.
DS: But, I mean, you signed more autographs than either of those guys probably.
SS: Eh, for who? I mean, I don't think that's....I don't know.
DS: Wilbon the same thing, the kid that Wilbon played with asked him for his autograph after the round.
SS: Did he?
DS: Yeah, Nick Watney, he said Wilbon's absolutely more famous than he is, and Hunter Mahan's obviously more high profile than he is, but....
SS: Does it matter? At the end of the day? You know what I mean?
DS: I don't know what it means. To me, it's just the power of television; these guys aren't on TV as much as you are.
SS: Yeah, but here's the thing....Is it the power of television, yes, but it's also the power of football. I mean, I played the sport; football is like nothing else. The reason why basketball players are more famous than football players or baseball is because you're up closer as a fan, there's nothing, there's no hat, it's the face. Football just has a draw because football's king for sports. For 10 to 18 year olds, maybe [I'm more famous], but you know, I just think it's kind of funny.
DS: A lot of us have been talking about how the field this week, especially without Tiger but even besides that. Like, last year Phil played, he's not here; last year Vijay played and he's not here, so the field here is kind of lacking star power. But when I saw Stuart Scott, Ty Willingham, Michael Wilbon, I was like, 'Those are names.'
SS: The field might be lacking star power, but Trevor Immelman, [Robert] Allenby, Hunter.... Again, I'm not saying this because I'm playing with the guy: Hunter Mahan will win at least one or two majors in his career. He's got those kind of skills, and I think people who know golf, they can look at this field and say it's a strong field. Anthony Kim's here. These are young, young, young guys who haven't been able to burst through. Why? Because of our host. But their talent is self-righteous.
DS: I've still got you Number 1 on today's list. Well, you or Fred Couples. So when you hit a great drive down the middle, do you say anything?
SS: Both times it happened today?
SS: I completely shanked two drives today. Completely. And one of 'em happened to be on No. 1, not just No. 1 with the gallery, but No. 1 just before the [opening] presentation. And then on No. 3, I hit a good one. But I was rushing because [Tiger Woods Foundation Prez] Greg McLaughlin said, 'Hurry up, hurry up, we've got to go.'
DS: So you don't say 'Boo-yah!' after a good drive?
SS: No, man.
Fans: Or 'Can I get an amen from the congregation?'
SS: Here's why: because I'm not working. That's work. I'm grinding, you know? It's hard. And here's what you have to do, you shank a shot and you're like "awww, arghh!" And then they're like, 'Stuart, Stuart!!" And you're like, 'Can I just mope and be depressed for one minute. But it's fun, great day, great course.
[At this point, I told Scott that A.J. Daulerio, his foil from Super Bowls past, had been named Deadspin editor. Scott wasn't immediately familiar with the name. "Whatever," he said, when I explained who he was. "If that's what he wants to do with his life...."]
[His best answer of the day, I should note, came in an interview with Sports Groove's Mark Gray, who asked about the criticism Tiger receives for not being outspoken enough.
"All the people who say Tiger doesn't do enough, stop," Scott said. "Shut up. Shut up....He's got about as much money as Oprah, but it's important for him to do something tangible for kids. Tangible."]
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