Jeff Pearlman

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Dylan Gwinn

#218
The Yahoo! Sports Radio talk show host and author of "Bias in the Booth: An Insider Exposes How the Sports Media Distort the News" wants you to know God is good, Tebow ain't bad and the liberal press is sorta ruining everything. POSTED August 4, 2015

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Dylan Gwinn isn’t my kind of guy.

The Houston resident and Yahoo! Sports Radio host is not only far right, but sooo far right he recently authored a book—”Bias in the Booth”—that explains why (in his opinion) the liberal sports media repeatedly distorts the news against conservatives.

I find many of Gwinn’s views wrongheaded, dumb, ignorant inane, silly … which makes him the ideal man to slide in as Quaz No. 218. First, because anyone who loves Rick Perry and values Tim Tebow has to be interesting. Second, because Gwinn is an intelligent guy. Third, because he’s not afraid to stand up and scream, “THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE—AND I KNOW MANY OF YOU HATE IT. BUT TOUGH SHIT!”

Anyhow, one can visit Dylan’s website here, order “Bias in the Booth” here and follow him on Twitter here.

Dylan Gwinn, the secret love child of Ted Cruz and Ronald Reagan, welcome to the Quaz …

JEFF PEARLMAN: Dylan, before we get into more broad stuff, I wanted to ask about a specific line from your new book. You write: “We’re fast approaching the point where there’s going to be no real difference between Bob Costas and Rachel Maddow. Except one of them is a man. I think.” And—just being honest—I found this, simply, mean. Not clever, not witty, not important or helpful social commentary. Just a mean-spirited throw-away one-liner at two people who (whether you agree with their political takes or not) have accomplished a fair amount and don’t seem like bad people. I’m presuming you disagree with my assessment. Tell me why I’m wrong

DYLAN GWINN: Meh. They can take it. Costas and Maddow have indeed accomplished a lot. I find the overwhelming majority of their “accomplishments” in the arena of political/social thought to be incredibly dangerous to the future of this country. But they are accomplished people who didn’t get where they are by being thin-skinned. So, no need to be thin-skinned for them.

I strongly disagree that it wasn’t “clever or witty.” I received dozens of Facebook and Twitter likes about that line, and, as we know Jeff, the Internet does not lie. Was it mean-spirted? Yes. But so was Anderson Cooper referring to conservative activists as “teabaggers.” So was Janeane Garofalo calling Tea Partiers “functionally retarded.” So was Al Gore calling Oliver North’s supporters the “extra chromosome right-wing.” And so was an Al Franken book called “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.”

Comments that no doubt earned a chuckle or two from Maddow and Costas when they heard them. Were you equally appalled by that? Is what I said worse than that? Hardly.

J.P.: In your book you don’t seem particularly moved by the sagas of Jason Collins and Michael Sam—the first active openly gay players in two of our biggest team sports. For me, both (but especially Collins signing with the Nets) were huge moments, because they seemed to signify acceptance for people who long went unaccepted, and I dig that. You clearly don’t agree. Why?

D.G.: Because we don’t live in Iran. We don’t live in a country where openly or suspected gay people are made to undergo sex change operations. Or chucked off the top of the nearest mosque. Nor do we live in a country that is unaccepting of gays.

Gay marriage had been legalized in multiple states before anyone knew anything about Jason Collins’ or Michael Sam’s personal life. My city, Houston, Texas had an openly lesbian mayor at the time this went down. Barney Frank had been an openly gay U.S. congressman for decades. Anderson Cooper had come out, Ian McKellen was a known gay actor. Plus, dozens and dozens of others.

In other words, gays and lesbians had been living safely and openly in all walks of life in this country—for years—by the time Sam and Collins came out. So how moved should I have been? Were Collins and Sam the first to do it in sports? Yes. But the notion that the sports world was somehow hostile and unaccepting of gays leading up to their decision to come out is not supported. You mention Jason Collins. Jason Collins was out of the league when he decided to make his personal life known.

If the NBA were so unaccepting of gays, then why did they snatch him out of retirement and throw a Nets uniform on him? Especially when the Nets could have gotten the very low production they got from Collins from any D-League player?

They did it to make clear to all that they do accept gays. Same thing with the NFL. If the NFL were intolerant of Michael Sam’s lifestyle, then why did they come down like a ton of bricks on Don Jones for merely tweeting “OMG” after Sam mugged down with his boyfriend on national television? They did it to show that they were tolerant of Sam, and intolerant of anyone who wasn’t.

Point being, Jason Collins and Michael Sam are no Vivian Malone and James Hood. The man standing in the door when Collins and Sam showed up wasn’t standing there to keep them out. He was standing there to roll out the red carpet to welcome them in. And when the league decided Sam wasn’t good enough, the man in the door picked up the phone and made sure someone found him a place to stay.

If that’s “unaccepting,” you and I have radically different definitions of the word.

Society had already changed the sports world by that point. Not the other way around. The sports world was more than ready for gay players. Collins and Sam just happened to be the first two who showed up.

J.P.: You took me to task in an interview on Breitbart Sports, RE: Sam and Tebow. I’m not upset about this at all; it’s certainly your right, and I understand. But, besides a blog post I wrote on Tebow, what makes you think the liberal sports media roots against Christian athletes? I mean, your direct quote on Breitbart was, “The sports media, by and large, see it as a dangerous rival to their statist, liberal orthodoxy. At worst, they think it should be eradicated, and at best it is simple-minded hocus pocus.” I just don’t see any evidence to support this. Hell, you took that one post (which was inspired by the Tebow family’s wackadoo missionary work, not his personal beliefs), but didn’t mention the, oh, 100 … 150 profiles I’ve written through the years on pro and college athletes of deep faith. Top of my head: J.D. Drew, Colt and Jet McCoy, Sheri Sam, Gary Sheffield (at the time he was marrying a gospel singer and devoting himself to Christ), Pierre Desir, Dylan Favre, Corey Valentine. On my Quaz Q&A series I’ve hosted myriad Christian religious figures. I can’t speak for others, but I’ve never backed away from profiling religious individuals or seen it as a reason to shun/ignore an athlete. And I can’t think of peers who actually behave differently …

D.G.: You’re drawing a distinction without a difference. All those quotes from the Tebow’s website that you use in that piece to prove that their missionary work is “wackadoo” are biblically rooted. They give chapter and verse reference for every claim made, and Christians believe that book is the basis for their religion. So, to say that your criticism of the Tebow’s missionary work—which is rooted in Christian biblical teaching—is somehow different than criticizing them for their “personal beliefs” is not in any way a meaningful distinction.

They are the same thing.

Example: At the end of your piece you say, “I don’t care how nice Tim Tebow is. If he’s in an ad for Focus on the Family; if he believes homosexuality is sinful and women are here to serve their men and Jews and Muslims and agnostics and the rest of us are sinful, well, to hell with him.”

What does any of that have to do with their missionary work? You’re not attacking their soup kitchen in Manila there. You’re attacking what they believe. Nor are the Tebow’s views on homosexuality and abortion their “personal beliefs.” In the sense that they somehow came up with it on their own. They’re beliefs rooted in biblical scripture.

You also list the Tebow’s Super Bowl ad (abortion), and “knowledge of his way of life” (inspired by faith) as reasons to be alarmed by Tebow. Not simply his father’s website and missionary work.

So that blog post—though perhaps intended to only be a criticism of their missionary work—was nothing short of a broadside at what Christians believe, not merely their preaching of what they believe to the “savages.” And your desire for him to “fail” was clearly rooted in what you perceived to be the danger of him spreading what he believes. Not just the danger of the Tebows spreading ham sandwiches and Oregon CFP Championship T-shirts throughout the Pacific Rim.

I applaud you for profiling all those Christian athletes. But that leaves me with a big question: Why?

If what Tim Tebow believes is appalling enough to you that you would want him to fail, then why would you profile, and in a way promote and raise the profile of people who believe the same thing? Tim Tebow’s views on abortion and homosexuality clearly pose a problem for you. How do you know Colt McCoy doesn’t believe the same thing?

I was at the inaugural party for Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who is pro-life and against gay marriage. Colt McCoy was there and gave a great speech about how important the Governor was going to be for Texas. I don’t know for a fact, but I’ll bet Colt’s views on those issues are a lot closer to the governor’s than they are to yours. Is it because Colt McCoy doesn’t have a soup kitchen in Manila, and he’s not converting “savages” with “damaging craziness”? That’s fine. But as we already established, you’re clearly irked by what Christians believe. Every bit as much, if not more than the proselytizing of it.

What gives?

Evidence that the media roots against Christian athletes? How about when Dan Steinberg called Tebow “little more than an affable simpleton” and his followers “lunatic-fringe cultists” and “batspit crazy fanatics.” In Steinberg’s defense, I do believe all of those characterizations do accurately portray nearly all Florida Gator fans. Yet, somehow I don’t think those were the people ol’ Dan was referring to there.

Or, when Craig Carton said Tebow was a “fraud” who “clearly thinks he is Jesus.” Was that a statement of support?

Was Jere Longman supporting Lolo Jones when he trashed her in the Times for being “whatever anyone wants her to be—vixen, virgin, victim” then snidely remarking that she was a “30-year-old virgin and a Christian. And oh, by the way, a big fan of Tim Tebow.”

How about when Mike Florio literally lost his mind on Pro Football Talk by suggesting that a short video put together by some Christian players about how God had positively influenced their lives might have violated state and federal law?

There are more examples. These writers/hosts may not have stated as explicitly as you did that they wanted the person they were talking about to fail. But they left no mistake about their desire to see what those particular players stood for fail. This intense anti-Christian bias from the media is something that has been noticed by others as well, not just by me. Cris Collinsworth and Randy Cross just to name a couple.

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J.P.: So I know you’re from Washington, know you served in the army and the New York Fire Department. But what’s your career path? Womb to now, how did you get into sports radio? And what’s the dream? The goal?

D.G.: Ha! Your brief, but accurate portrayal of where I am, and where I came from leaves me with the feeling that I have no earthly idea what’s going to happen next. My position right now is as improbable as anything, considering where I came from.

What’s the dream? Converting Jeff Pearlman to conservatism. Some other dreams? I would love to continue writing on the liberal bias in the sports media. Maybe do it for some conservative publication? But ultimately I try not to think about the ultimate goal. Because I want to accomplish what God wants me to do. Not what I want to do.

I thought the Army was going to be my career. It wasn’t for me, there was another plan. I thought the FDNY and then maybe the NYPD were going to be my callings. Nope. I was abruptly and rudely snatched out of both. Every time I’ve tried to plan my future and figure it out myself, it has normally never worked out.

Honestly, I try to listen to my wife about what I should do. I think God speaks through her. Most of the time. Lol! She was the one who convinced me to pursue radio. She convinced me to enroll at the University of Houston so that I could get an internship at the NPR affiliate at the school. Yes, I was once at NPR. Pretty sure they started screening prospective interns a lot more closely after that.

And she was the one who took my demos from that internship and sent them to Clear Channel Houston where I eventually got hired as a traffic reporter. Unlike the NYPD, things were happening quickly and easily because it was meant to be.

I originally wanted to get into political talk radio. However, that was really hard. So much syndication and very few local opportunities. But after a few years in traffic I really wanted to get out. So I started focusing on sports. I always loved sports. Never considered myself a sports guy per se. But I always loved it. I would work overnights at traffic listening to hundreds of hours of sports talk over the course of months to prepare myself to give it a go.

Then, one of our local sports hosts left for a competitor station, and our ops manager did something that no career radio guy would ever do, and he decided to have an audition competition to fill that spot. For over a month, people locally and nationally auditioned for the spot. Then my turn came. The ill-fated Rush Limbaugh attempted purchase of the Rams was the hot topic, and an obvious high-hanging curve of a topic for someone with my skill set.

In short, I crushed it. Phone lines blew up. Callers questioned my ancestry and vowed to never listen to the station again. Ten times the reaction that anyone else got. I won the job.

I don’t know where I’m going from here. However, I’m more than happy to trust that He who created the situation that I described above, something I never in a million years could have done in my own power, will create the next situation that will lead to where I’m supposed to go. After all, He’s been far more successful in planning and advancing my career than I have.

J.P.: I can’t think of a good reason the Washington Redskins should keep the name. You’re a fan, and lord knows I’m sure you disagree. I’m all ears, Dylan. Make your case.

D.G.: Well, I can finally agree with you on something Jeff. I agree that we completely disagree about what the Redskins should do about their name.

I can’t think of a single reason why the Redskins should change their name. And that’s because this is a political issue, not a racial/racist issue. When 90 percent of Indians are not offended by the Redskins. Yet, over 90 percent of white and black sports commentators are. What you have is a political movement, not racism.

The left hates Daniel Snyder because he’s a Republican, donates to Republican causes, and frequently hosts Brit Hume and Chris Wallace in his owner’s box. Meanwhile, Ted Turner, who founded the Clinton News Network and gives billion dollar donations to the UN, while owning the Indian-themed Atlanta Braves, skates by with no charges of racism whatsoever.

Now, some will make the case that the Braves is not an obvious racial slur like Redskin, and that’s why the Braves don’t get the same amount of hate. But this is of course disingenuous. Because, as anyone who’s kept track of the anti-Indian mascot movement knows, the goal is not to get rid of the Redskins and then quit. The goal is to get rid of all Indian-themed mascots.

A cat that’s been let out of the bag by Keith Olbermann who said that the movement will target the Cleveland Indians after the Redskins. And also by the NCAA, which has targeted all Indian-themed mascots, including the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. Even though there is nothing offensive about the Fighting Sioux, and the Sioux population of North Dakota largely supported the name.

So clearly, it’s not just about the Redskins. This is a political movement run by activists who clearly have the goal of manufacturing outrage in the hopes of using it—through their willing accomplices in the media—to exercise control over the property rights of billionaires.

There just happens to be a big liberal/UN donor who runs a network that liberals love who happens to be largely exempt. Go figure.

As far as the Redskins name being an obvious pejorative, or, and this is my favorite, synonymous with the N-word … please. There are literally dozens of school-affiliated and junior league sports teams on Indian reservations across the country that use the name Redskins.

How many school-affiliated and junior league sports teams are there that call themselves the n***ers? According to my research staff (Google) that answer is zero. Why? Because it wouldn’t be allowed. Because the word n***er and the word Redskin are not looked at as being anywhere close to the same thing.

Not to mention the fact that we have historical record of Indians referring to themselves as Redskins in treaty negotiations with the white people. Whom they referred to as “White faces.” So, this is quite frankly a load of BS. It’s a political movement, plain and simple, and the Redskins are right to fight it.

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J.P.: Somewhat recently the Columbia Journalism Review reviewed “Bias in the Booth,” and it was, to be polite, harsh. You’re a new author—how do you take bad reviews? Does it sting? Can you laugh it off? Do you blame a liberal agenda? Because they always sting when I get them …

D.G.: Well, I didn’t get bad reviews from any conservative sites. So it must be a liberal agenda! Lol! In all honesty, it would be more than a little disingenuous for me to write a book about the presence of liberal bias in the media, and then get offended or upset when charter members of the liberal media establishment like the CJR get offended by it. If anything that review just made my point. So no, I expected that bastion of collectivism at the CJR to react that way. And in fact, I was happy when they did.

You’re going to piss someone off in this business no matter what you do. At least you better. Otherwise, you’re probably not saying anything meaningful or worthwhile. The question becomes, are you pissing the right people off? For me, as a conservative writer, the right people to piss off would be the Columbia Journalism Review.

Not that that’s a stated intention of my writing when I begin. But it confirms that I’ve driven home and made my point when people like that recoil in outrage.

As far as whether or not it stings? Talk radio has toughened me up and prepared me well for this moment. And again, when you believe that you’re doing what God wants you to do, you tend to not concern yourself with the ankle biting of dullards.

J.P.: Your take, which I can understand to a degree, is that sports have changed; that they used to be escapism, but now a certain “political correct hysteria” is ruining things. Dylan, from reading your words, I sorta feel like, were we transported back in time to 1947, you’d be strongly against the integration of Major League Baseball. You’d say sports aren’t a place for social experimentation; that we should just focus on the games; that it’s all a big liberal conspiracy. I can’t imagine you agree with me—but I’m pretty sure I’m right. No?

D.G.: No. You are not right. I’m glad this question was brought up though. Because it cannot be stated enough: MY BOOK IS ABOUT THE SPORTS MEDIA.

NOT about Michael Sam and Jason Collins as people. I do have some issue with the way Sam turned from being “just another football player” to suddenly becoming an overt activist. But of course, even the left was souring on him by that point. But I do not have an issue—on general principle—with gay people playing in the NFL. My issue in the book was in the way Michael Sam and Jason Collins were covered by the sports media.

So, to use the Jackie Robinson analogy; had the sports media blown Jackie Robinson up to be a far better player than he actually was, as they did with Michael Sam, and had the media gushed over Robinson the way they did Sam, fresh off of demonizing another player (Tebow) who was a genuinely good kid, then yeah, I would have been upset.

But again, my anger would have been directed at the media, not Robinson. The same way my anger now is directed at the media, not Sam.

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J.P.: I wanna get back to Tebow, because he’s a pretty hot topic in your book. If the media was so hard on Tebow, why was he written about and discussed nonstop? I mean, he was 24/7/365 for a good stretch—and not merely in the “this guy sucks” realm (and, lord knows, he pretty much sucked) and rarely/never in the “Watch out for the fundamentalist.” realm. Mainly, I thought, he was a fascinating figure, and people wanted to hear more and more about him. Just as Michael Sam was fascinating. What am I missing, Dylan?

D.G.: Well wait a minute. Where is it written that just because someone is covered extensively, it means that person is being covered positively? In fact, I would argue there’s almost an inverse relationship between the amount of coverage a person/story gets, and the positive coverage that person gets. What determines who gets covered and what determines how they get covered are two entirely different things.

When LeBron left Cleveland for Miami, he was “written and discussed about nonstop.” Because he was a fascinating story. He was the best player in the world and people couldn’t get enough of it. But, the nonstop coverage he got was overwhelmingly negative, even visceral. Roger Goodell is another clear example of this. There’s no non-athlete, non-coach in the sports world who is covered more than Goodell, and its nearly 100-percent negative.

Just because the media keeps someone’s name in the news doesn’t mean they’re not ripping him. In fact, I would make the case that the people who are discussed and written about most are normally discussed and written about harshly. Or at the very least critically. The media could be keeping his/her name in the news for the sole intent of being hard on him/her. Or, to distract from something else they’d rather you not see.

Which is why George W. Bush gets blamed for ISIS, the fall of Iraq, the economy, and every other malady known to man even six years after he left office.

As far as Tim Tebow sucking. Well, when do we start the timeline? In college? Well, he was arguably the greatest player in the history of college football. In the pro’s? No, he wasn’t Brady or Manning. But, he did take a 1-4 football team to the playoffs, and beat the No. 1 defense in the league while throwing for 310 yards. One can say the defense is what got them there. But, that defense was the same defense that went 1-4. Point being, while not being the “prototypical” quarterback, Tim Tebow played an enormous, maybe the largest role in the complete reversal of a team’s fortune.

Lest anyone think that’s an easy achievement, take note of the fact that in three years since replacing Tebow, Peyton Manning has won exactly one playoff game more than Tebow. Tim Tebow isn’t in the same galaxy as Manning as a quarterback. But, that should put into perspective how big a deal what Tebow did in Denver really was.

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J.P.: Here’s something that confuses me. You wrote about me in your book, but never called. You wrote about Selena Roberts—I’m guessing you never called. John Feinstein—same. Bernie Goldberg—same. I’m not killing you on this, because all authors go about the process differently. But if you’re offering a take on the liberal media, why wouldn’t you interview and try to understand the people you’re portraying?

D.G.: Because I do understand the people I’m portraying. I understand liberals intimately.

A little background here. I’m from Washington, DC. The sole conservative in a politically active liberal family. My father was a lifelong Democrat who worked on Capitol Hill for over 30 years. Chris Dodd spoke at my father’s funeral. John Dingell, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives in U.S. history, and a Democrat, convinced the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to alter their schedule so he could attend my father’s funeral. I met Tip O’Neill when I was 8. I lived in New York City for seven years. Believe me, if there’s one thing in the world that I know, its liberals.

So I would strongly disagree with the notion that I’m not familiar with my subject matter. As far as the people that I cover in the book, my job is even made easier. Because those people are telling me exactly who they are and what they believe in plain English.

Selena Roberts is a perfect example of this. She wrote an article literally riddled with inaccuracies and outrageous accusation, accusing the Duke lacrosse players of not coming forward to reveal eyewitness accounts of what happened that night. Even though, three full days beforehand, the players had announced their cooperation and firmly stated that no rape or sexual assault occurred.

Roberts told The Big Lead that “Basically, I wrote that a crime didn’t have to occur for us to inspect the irrefutable evidence of misogyny and race-baiting that went on that night …”

This is not the language of someone who viewed that story through the lens of an objective reporter. That is the language of someone who had already mentally convicted the Duke players on grounds that were not on trial: their social status, their gender status, what they represented to her based on where they were born, what color they were, and how much money their mommies and daddies had.

And why? Because Selena Roberts believes that the real crime that took place in Durham was the largesse of white privilege flying in the face of the “little people.” In this case represented by two black strippers. Her political/philosophical make-up is that of someone who believes white privilege is responsible for all the ills of the world. You can agree or disagree with that, but it is clearly what she believes. What she said to The Big Lead could not have been uttered by someone who doesn’t believe that. Especially considering that statement, again, was made after we knew that virtually all of her reporting was complete bullshit.

Honest, objective reporters who have not pre-ordained the guilt of the people they’re covering, and are only concerned with truth, write mea culpa stories after screwing up as royally as Roberts did. Normally on their way out the door.

Instead, Roberts launched her own political indictment of the innocent, while being essentially promoted by her liberal superiors. Because she wrote what they all believe, and they believe it regardless of the facts. That’s the liberal sports media at work.

John Feinstein actually called for the revoking of all 47 scholarships on the lacrosse team. With no evidence of guilt whatsoever! Even though one of the players was black, and could not have possibly fit the description of the attackers. That is batshit crazy. Batshit calls that batshit crazy.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he then, after he knew for a fact they were innocent, went on a tirade about how no one should “martyr” these kids. That they were the children of privilege, and despite the summer-long public smearing led by ill-informed, ideological hacks like himself, that no one should feel bad for them.

Does that sound like someone who hadn’t already mentally convicted based on his own worldview? No, that’s exactly what it sounds like. Because that’s exactly who he is.

Sorry, Feinstein is perhaps the most transparent liberal hack I’ve ever seen. Second only, maybe to Selena Roberts. Nor, did he ever in the whole sordid Duke lacrosse affair ever even approach offering a thought that was worth delving into in the least. To find any kind of deeper meaning. And that’s saying something.

No, their place in a book about the liberal sports media was well-earned.

Did I trash Bernie Goldberg in the book? Don’t recall doing that.

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J.P.: How does one separate himself from the masses on sports radio? With 8,000 stations, 8,000 personalities … is it even possible to make a name for oneself? To have a style that’s genuinely unique and different?

D.G.: Of course it’s possible to be unique and different. And it goes back to something we were all told when we were kids, which is to be yourself. As many radio stations as there are out there, and as many different personalities as there are manning them, I can confidently say there is not another Dylan Gwinn among them.

Same way, out of all the thousands of writers out there, there isn’t another Jeff Pearlman. It sounds hokey and “after-school special-ish” but there’s a reason why clichés become clichés and there’s a reason why hoke becomes hokey, and that’s that there’s a salient truth hidden inside.

And, full-disclosure here, I was once guilty of this. Early on I adopted, not so much the takes of people that I admired in this business, but some of their style. Which is arguably worse than adopting the take. I thought that by emanating the style of successful people that it would somehow lead to my own success. That’s why you have so many people who sound the same in talk radio.

Everyone is so determined to succeed and not get fired that the second someone comes up with a style that works, people copy it. Just like “icing the kicker” and the “wildcat” in the NFL. Talk radio is just as big a copycat league as the NFL.

However, that kind of dishonesty made me completely miserable and I stopped doing it entirely. I couldn’t live with it. Whatever becomes of me, it will be me. I can live with that.

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QUAZ EXPRESS WITH DYLAN GWINN:

Most memorable moment from your career as an EMT for the fire department?: One time we had a call where a guy had been shot diagonally across the head, back to front, execution style. Real messy, blood everywhere. More blood than I thought the human body could even possibly contain. Horror movie stuff. I only found the entrance wound because my finger slid into it as I was feeling around trying to find it.

We got him to Harlem Hospital with a pulse. But figured he was toast.

Three weeks later, while in the ER on another job, one of the cops who was with us the day of the execution came up to me. He was like, “Hey, remember the African (not African-American, he was actually African) dude who got shot in the head while he was on his knees?”

I replied, “Yeah.”

COP: “He’s upstairs answering questions from the detectives. He fucking lived!”

ME: “Dude, that’s not even cool. Why would you joke about something like that?”

COP: “Go see for yourself!”

So he told me where to go, and sure enough, sitting upright in the bed with his hands folded in his lap, was the dude whose sheer volume of blood loss caused me to have to retire a pair of uniform pants and boots.

Had there been an emoji of my face at the time, it would have been spectacular. At some point, he caught me out of the corner of his eye. He looked at me quizzically for a second, probably wondering who this person was, and why his jaw was on the ground?

I just shook my head and walked away. Unbelievable. Unforgettable.

• Rank in order (favorite to least): Rick Perry, Mookie Betts, Steve Winwood, Iman Shumpert, Crystal Gayle, Milwaukee, Keith Urban, Terry Puhl, Omar Moreno, steamed vegetables, scrambled eggs, commas: Rick Perry, scrambled eggs, Rick Perry (yes, he’s good enough to be in here twice), commas, Mookie Betts, steamed vegetables, Terry Puhl, Milwaukee, Steve Winwood, Crystal Gayle, Omar Moreno, Iman Shumpert, Keith Urban.

Five greatest political figures of your lifetime? For the purposes of this question, I’ll define “greatest” as politicians having power, staying power, some degree of likeability/interest, and influence during my life: 1. Ronald Reagan; 2. Bill Clinton; 3. Marion Barry; 4. George W. Bush; 5. Rudolph Giuliani.

Your favorite Democrat: Answer: Ronald Reagan. (Remember, he didn’t leave the party. The party left him).

One question you would ask John Cena were he here right now?: “My wife thinks you’re hot. Think you could dirty yourself up a bit?”

Biggest screw-up in your radio career?: I once went into an elongated and complex introduction of a MLB guest. Where I wrapped it up by throwing a very in-depth and provocative question at him that required great insight. Only problem? He was an NBA guest. Not a baseball guy.

What should I get my daughter for her 12th birthday?: Well, after getting her a signed copy of “Bias in the Booth,” and a bedazzled “Ted Cruz” t-shirt, I would suggest a cell phone with a tamper-proof GPS device. It says, “I respect your freedom. Just remember, you still don’t really have any.”

In exactly 24 words, make the case for or against Bump Wills as a Hall of Famer: Ha! Would not need 24 words to make the case against. So, to paraphrase John Kennedy, the last non-radical Democrat president, I will do the harder thing. Not because it is easy, but indeed because it is hard. “In 1979, Wills had four times as many errors as he had home runs. That’s hard to do. Put Bump Wills in the Hall.”

Do you wanna come to my son’s Bar Mitzvah?: I’ll bring the Shabbat candles!

Three memories from your senior prom.: I went to three different proms with three different girls. Drops mic, walks away.

  • Mookie Betts on Pete Rose

    This guy is what is wrong with so many American Christians. Sold their soul to the political gods

    • trevor Taylor

      WRONG COMMIE!! You and Marxist loons like PearlWOMAN are what’s wrong with the world period MORON!

      • Mookie Betts on Pete Rose

        I’m actually a Christian who is slightly right of the middle. A real Christian doesn’t mock people and resort to gender based insults. Pearlwoman? Are you in middle school?

        • trevor Taylor

          Quit lying COMMIE!!

    • Tehy

      I’m curious as to the meaning of your statement.

  • Gary

    as repellant as his politics are, he’s a MUCH WORSE sports talk host!

    • trevor Taylor

      WRONG COMMIE FAGGOT!

      • Cd1515

        I’d never heard of the guy before this… I agree with some of what he said, disagree with other parts… but overall he comes off here as a colossal douche.

        • trevor Taylor

          So in your fucked up ignorant excuse for an opinion, being smarter than you is being a douche. Thanks for the heads up MORON!

          • Cd1515

            Gwinn must be proud to have such classy supporters.

          • trevor Taylor

            If sucking commie cock and wasting energy being nice to morons is your idea of class, then I am GLAD I’m not classy in your eyes!

  • Maurice Patton

    Nice work. Disappointing that he blows off any criticism as “I wouldn’t expect those people to like me anyway, so no big deal.”

    • trevor Taylor

      So in your fucked up ignorant excuse for an opinion he should care what brain dead subhuman Marxist vermin say?!?!?

      • Maurice Patton

        Keep representing for the conservatives, dude … They gotta be proud of you …

        • trevor Taylor

          Yep. Too bad there’s no reason to ever be proud of any libtard.

    • Tehy

      I mean, some people will always dislike you, no matter what. If you’ve criticized people and you believe your criticism to be accurate, why would you expect those people to like you?

  • James Bailey

    What a hypocrite. Rails against bias in sports reporting, but spends every waking moment spewing his own political beliefs. If Bob Costas were a teabagger this dude would love him and wouldn’t have any problem with his “bias.” It’s okay for him to attack Costas and Rachel Maddow because “they can take it,” but somehow Tim Tebow is off limits.

    • Tehy

      James, there’s a difference between writing a book or answering questions when asked, as opposed to writing articles on sports sites where you hope for someone’s failure because you don’t like them.

      The thing is, he’s insulting his political opponents in a political way, not hoping they fail in unrelated endeavors.

Showtime Book
Love Me, Hate Me Barry Bonds Book
Sweetness Walter Peyton Book
The Bad Guys Won Book
The Rocket that Fell to Earth Book
Boys Will Be Boys Book

Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life