Friday, March 31, 2006

An Evening With Stephen A. Smith...

Last October, Deadspin, who chose us numero uno super debonaire & incredible Houston sports blog in February (that's our interpretation), took a field trip to a taping of Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith and wrote some funny stuff on it. I don't know if Duke read that entry, but he and Train pulled me out of my cave to attend this past Wednesday's taping of Stephen A. for my birthday. I wasn't sure why. Stephen A. doesn't inspire particularly strong feelings either way for me as he does for most. So it heckle him. Then there was the guest: Jerry Rice, my favorite football player of all time... when I was 12 years old. But Duke didn't know that so it was just a coincidence. One thing's for sure... Stephen A.'s still standing. The questions are how and why.

The highlight of the night was Whopper Jr.'s, free sodas and cotton candy... and us getting the crowd to chant Jerry!Jerry!Jerry! like Springer. Then a weasely PA or "associate producer" named "Brian" had us change it to a paced, more traditional Jer-ry, Jer-ry, Jer-ry cadence. So, to spite his attempts to "warm up" the crowd, we tried the collective blank stare during applause... there's at least one guy every studio audience who just couldn't give a shit about being there. Take a look. We tried to get our whole row. I don't know if we got on tape.

Later we got to ask Stephen A. questions and hear his highly-biased and unsupported responses. I got Duke to ask him if he thought Yao Ming "had arrived." I figured the cheese factor of the Asian guy asking it would blow a fuse somewhere. Stephen A.'s answer was no, "not yet, but he's getting there." He said he's not a "dog" yet, but he's "learning to be a dog."

He said, "like it or not, champions are dogs." I said we eat dogs... but I don't think he heard me.

Then there was the interview... it was... boring. Jerry pretty much just talked about Dancing With the Stars and how much it had changed his life. But something interesting happened during a commercial break. Earlier, while the PAs were seating us before the show, I saw someone wearing Terrell Owens' 49ers jersey. I noted it to Duke and Train. I promised them that Jerry would notice it. Sure enough, during the first commercial break, Jerry shouts rather abruptly, "I see T.O's in the house!" and really, pretty awkwardly. The wearer of the jersey just pointed at the 81 and laughed. Jerry tried to let it pass... but then he brought T.O. up again, tried to joke about it... and then again. He even tried to praise him, but his face was strained, betraying his distress. T.O. was still on his mind... he couldn't let it go. It was a little sad. Again, that's our interpretation.

Duke, regale us with the story of how Jerry tried to teach Stephen A. the jive. Hilarious. So, after our two-hour experience in the land of ESPN2-land or 2nd Floor of the Pennsylvania Hotel, we know a few things for certain... most NBA players don't eat dogs and Jerry Rice is sensitive.

Oh, and Robert Wuhl was there. He likes baseball.

Hey Deadspin... how do we do screencaps?

1 comment:

coach said...

stephen a. smith was reffered to in toronto media as 'the most hated man ' in the media . i agree.