Brendan Haywood Discusses His Sports Talk Show
Brendan Haywood will make his debut as a sports talk radio host Friday night with a three-hour show on 106.7 the Fan. (Sorry, One-oh-six, sevennnnn, The Faannnnnnn!") This news immediately raised several questions in my mind, none larger than this: Will Brendan Haywood immediately realize which side his sports talk radio career bread is buttered on, and devote the entire three hours to the Redskins quarterback situation?
Not exactly. He plans to invite some NBA guests; Darius Songaila has already promised to call in, Sean May might make an appearance, and Haywood is still trying to score an interview with Gilbert Arenas. So now he knows what that feels like. Pretty soon, Haywood will be getting back-to-back texts from Gilbert with contradictory messages on the status of his knee.
(I should note that, for now, this is a one-off appearance. During the season, obviously, a show like this would be impossible.)
Anyhow, Haywood has already worked in several forms of media, serving as a studio analyst for Comcast SportsNet's Wizards coverage, as a color analyst for the Mystics and as a blogger for Yardbarker. His radio show will air from 7-10 Friday evening, and will be co-hosted by former WTTG sports guy Lou Holder; call it "Haywood and Holder" for now. Here are his thoughts on his media adventures, the nature of sports-talk radio and, yeah, the Redskins.
Do you know what you're gonna say?
For the most part. It's sport-talk radio; we're gonna talk about whatever the hottest topics are that day or for the week in sports. We're gonna have fans calling in, talking everything from Redskins to wizards to whatever. Whether it's Plaxico Burress or Eli Manning's new contract, we're tackling everything, no holds barred.
Why are you doing it?
Because I'm interested in media, man, that's something I really want to do when I retire. I have a passion for it, and you don't start planning for your retirement when you retire, you've got to start before that. I want my resume complete; I felt radio was the last part of my resume that need to be completed. Radio's my last step, so I really want to get into that. I just want to have a lot more options, because at some point this ball's gonna stop bouncing, and I still want to work
Will you be nervous?
I don't think I'll be nervous. It'll be a different situation for me, but I embrace challenges. I think this'll be a challenge. And I think I'm gonna have fun with it.
So what's your ideal job when you retire?
Some type of blend of all these things. My ideal job would be to do kind of what Kenny Smith has done with his career, work for a major network, do things on the internet. I know I called in several times to his radio show. I love where Kenny Smith took his career, Kenny Smith and Greg Anthony too, and if I could do that I would love to.
You know that sports talk radio in this town revolves around the Redskins, right?
Ever since I've been in D.C., I know that unless we win a championship, it's always gonna be about the Redskins. And even then, there's gonna be people that support the Redskins more than the Wizards. And they deserve it, because they have a legacy of greatness. Hey, I'm a football buff, I followed the Redskins last year, Roger Mason's a huge Redskins fan and we would go back and forth about the team. I was good friends with Shawn Springs. I know he's gone now, but I follow the Redskins a lot. I know just about everything there is to know about the Redskins from a fan perspective.
With it being August, if you're doing a radio show and you're in D.C., you've got to address to the Redskins. You've got to talk about Jason Campbell and the offseason he went through with the trade talk and this and that, you have to talk about Clinton Portis and how he's gonna rush this year and what a big part of the offense he is, you have to talk about is the defense gonna be that much better with the additions of Albert Haynesworth and Orakpo. You have to know all these things, and I stay on it, I stay current. If you're gonna be in this business you have to know more than just basketball, you have to know more than the world outside your windows.
Do you listen to sports talk radio?
I listen to sports talk during college and pro football seasons, because that doesn't affect me. Not during basketball, because sometimes it can get rough out there. I've had some years, some of the stuff coming out about me and my teammates, I'm like, 'Wow, people can be really rough out there.' I'm like, 'Y'all gambling on games? Did you lose the rent money? What is going on?'
I've heard some comments about myself, Gilbert, Jamison, Antonio Daniels, Andray Blatche. I could actually listen to it this year, because I wasn't playing, but some of the comments are so negative I kind of stay away from sports talk radio during the season.
You've got to get on Twitter, man.
I'm leaving that Twitter alone. I'm wild enough on my blog.
So if you get Gilbert, what are the first three questions you'd ask him?
Number one, the question everybody wants to know: How's the health, how you feeling right now? I want to know that, too; that has a big effect on my season. Second of all, I've got to ask him about the new book, and who signed off to give Gil a book. Last but not least, this would probably be a mistake, I'd ask him to make a prediction where we're gonna finish next year and how he'll do individually. Knowing Gil, that could get wild, when you give Gilbert that type of freedom, but hey, it makes for good entertainment, so why not.
So if you're going to talk Redskins, let me ask about Jason Campbell. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week and he told them that a couple of times during the offseason, he felt like a piece of tissue being flushed down a toilet. That's been the big subject on the radio this week. What do you think?
I feel the same. He feels like he went out there and gave it his all, and not only did he feel disrespected, but he felt that things were happening behind his back. They said we're not looking at any other quarterbacks, and then you hear that they're looking to trade for Jay Cutler, or that they're looking to draft Mark Sanchez. I definitely understand why he feels disrespected. Should he have said it or not? I don't know. But sometimes you get frustrated by certain situations, and things come out. He's a person, he's human, and he's probably very very frustrated by how' he's been treated since he's been in D.C.
Here's another big sports media topic today, ESPN is limiting how its employees can tweet, and a bunch of NFL teams are saying that media members can't tweet anything during practice. What would you say about that?
As far as ESPN, I'm not sure, but as far as NFL teams, if you're sitting in practice and you see a wide receiver take one of the hardest hits you've seen in the last five years, you've gotta get that out there. I just saw Randy Moss get hit harder than anyone I've seen in my life. You've got to get that out there. This is the information age, man; it's 2009, it's not 1989. Things are gonna get out. It's not like if something major happens in practice you would bury the story. When you get out of practice, you're gonna write it. If there was a fight in practice, you're gonna write about the fight when you get to your computer. Who cares if you tweet about it two hours earlier? It doesn't really make sense to me.
Man, three hours is a lot of time to talk, you know?
I know, I was like, 'What about like 7 to 7:30?' I'm gonna have to start swallowing down some Vaseline like Stephon Marbury because my throat might get sore.
And are you going to talk about the Wizards?
Yeah. I'm not gonna talk bad about the Wizards or anything crazy like that, but if someone calls in and says, 'Haywood, I think you suck,' oh well, thanks for calling. I'm not running from anything. That's what makes it exciting. I'm not giving vanilla answers like, 'Both teams played hard,' I'm gonna answer your questions to the best of my ability without disrespecting anybody."
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