The SportsPickle Interview: Michelle Beadle

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beadle310You have seen Michelle Beadle on your TV as the host of ESPN’s SportsNation. Or you have seen her on Animal Planet, NBCSN, Access Hollywood, and any number of other outlets. Now you will see her words on your computer screen or mobile device. It’s The SportsPickle/Interview with Michelle Beadle. (And, yes, this is a real interview.)

DJ Gallo:

The most important question first. You are one of the hosts of “SportsNation” on ESPN. You’ve been a studio host for ESPN’s NBA coverage. You worked for “Access Hollywood,” “The Today Show,” “Entertainment Tonight” and more. You have some 900,000 Twitter followers.

Are you an ELITE sports media personality?

Michelle Beadle:

I wouldn’t consider myself an elite media personality. I mean, based on simple numbers alone, I’m definitely second tier. Maybe even third. In this business, and as a general life rule, you’re worth is based solely on followers. I’m a failure. I can only hope to improve as time goes on, preferably in a contract year.

DJG:

Unlike the vast majority of people in sports media, you don’t seem to take yourself or sports too seriously. Where did you get the idea that sports are fun to play and entertaining to watch?

Michelle Beadle:

I’m offended by this question. Sports should be taken seriously. They are what unify and divide us. They give us reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Without sports, our lives would be meaningless.  As a messenger of said games, I’m to be taken so very seriously. There’s a time and place for laughter and revelry. The arena in which grown, sometimes overpaid, men run around and catch balls is not that place. Sports.

DJG:

“SportsNation” was originally shot in Bristol, Conn. Now it is filmed in Los Angeles. What is the most Bristol, Conn., aspect of LA? And would you consider the beach to be LA’s interpretation of Lake Compounce?

Michelle Beadle:

The most Bristol aspect of LA? That is a question that cannot be taken lightly. I would say our super producer Chris Healey. He’s in LA, but still embraces the warm plaids and flannels of the New England fashion scene. Other than that, the LA studios are just an island gone rogue. We’re like kids without chaperones. Until this is read, and suits move out here. The beaches here, unfortunately, are not as sexy as Lake Compounce. But maybe someday … .

DJG:

It’s the middle of the night. I’m asleep. Suddenly I snap awake in a cold sweat, terrified and screaming, unable to shake the realization that many of the same people who vote in SportsNation polls and deem Joe Flacco ELITE and LeBron James a failure also vote for president, senators and oh, god, we’re doomed. Does this ever happen to you and how often?

Michelle Beadle:

I admire your idealist view that the folks in our demo actually vote for our nation’s leaders. Let’s be serious. I’m just glad we can motivate someone to do anything. In all fairness, the LeBron votes change so frequently. One day he’s America’s Sweetheart. The next, Public Enemy #1. Hell, I’VE even flip flopped on the guy. But again, sports are more important than anything else in the world. The kids voting are simply exhibiting priorities.

DJG:

You are a pro wrestling fan. Yet you also cover the NBA. Do you think it hurts your credibility as a journalist to associate with something as scripted as the NBA?

Michelle Beadle:

As a sometimes conspiracy theorist, I have thought the NBA could maybe be scripted. Then I realized that’s just silly. When the Spurs win, those theories die. After all, how many times do I need to be told that nobody likes a “boring, old, fundamentally sound team made up of many skilled and unselfish parts.” Also … I am not a journalist. Merely a talking head.

BrAvL65CYAAZmQZDJG:

As a dog lover and proud companion of the adorable Leroy, you have said that you can’t root for the Jets because you can’t forgive Michael Vick for his dog-fightin’ ways. Understandable. However – and you may want to sit down for this – are you aware that one of your co-hosts, Max Kellerman, has strong ties to the prominent human-fighting ring known as boxing?

Michelle Beadle:

Well, I will say  that your attempt at making a Vick comparison has been more creative than most thrown my way. And I have heard Kellerman mention this “boxing” you speak of once or twice. The simple answer is this: While I do believe dogs talk. I’ve had some pretty profound talks with Leroy Jenkins. To the normal human, they are just beautiful, loving creatures some of us get to share our lives with. And as such, have no way of letting the humans know they’re not interested in fighting their buddies to the death for our enjoyment. On the other hand, unless the Coliseum rules have reentered society, both sides in a boxing match are there voluntarily. And for the most part, highly compensated.

DJG:

If I may be so bold, you are a woman. A woman who works in sports. As such, you have discovered that many male sports fans have incredible game with the ladies. For example, you recently tweeted a picture of yourself behind the Heat bench at Game 5. In response to that, this Don Juan, Jr. wrote: “Nice bobos btw.”

And here you tweeted that it was a beautiful Saturday. So this Casanova 2.0 responded: “you looked hot yesterday beads.”  

Be honest: Is the reason you don’t have a significant other due to the fact that it’s simply impossible to choose just one amazing catch from the thousands of near-perfect suitors armed with lines like “nice bobos”? How do you not run away and elope 10 times a day?

Michelle Beadle:

Ahhhhh … the twitter Romeos. They are a smooth bunch. I sometimes pour myself a nice Cab and a bubble bath, and peruse the many boob comments. On a low self-esteem day, it can really lift a girl’s spirits. As I venture into a new relationship, I like to really hold the young man’s feet to the flames of romance. Can he hang with the long distance Lotharios that frequent my timeline? Twitter is the last bastion of American courtship. #bewbs

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DJG:

You have San Antonio roots and, as we have all learned from Charles Barkley, this means you are morbidly obese. Has it been difficult to make it in the TV business as a plus-size person?

Michelle Beadle:

Oh, Charlie B … he’s the best. He played that card last year, as well. And you know why? Because the Spurs are constantly badass. Boom! But as chubster in this business, I am aware of the scrutiny. I finally figured out why the physical berating is geared only toward females … the men can’t handle this warzone!! Suck this in. Cover that pimple. Poof up your hair. Oh … and try to actually say something that sounds coherent and semi-intelligent. Good luck, boys.

DJG:

Kind of a random question, but would you ever call a huddle to talk probiotics? Or do you consider digestive health to be more of a locker room topic?

Michelle Beadle:

As I like to remind everyone … we all poop. I choose to carry on my digestive discussions with my brother. Every morning. With pictures.

DJG:

You were born in Italy and raised in Texas. How is it that you got into sports media instead of becoming a rifle-toting assassin for the mafia?

Michelle Beadle:

I’m insulted by the insinuation that one must choose between  the two. I try and close every show with a “from my cold, dead hands.” Then I laugh by myself as people stare.

DJG:

Finally, you have worked red carpets for entertainment shows. Imagine this: You are on the red carpet, microphone in hand. You look up and the lovely Michelle Beadle, ESPN host extraordinaire, is walking towards you in an evening gown. What do you ask her (other than the obvious: “Wait. Why am I seeing myself? Oh, god, is this an out-of-body experience? Am I dead?”)?

Michelle Beadle:

I would need a desert journey to really get into this idea of self-exploration from afar. But I’m stuck at work, so here goes. If I was walking toward myself, in a gown, I would feel most uncomfortable. The self-hating portion of my brain would proceed to destroy every fashion decision made, questioning why I’m even on this red carpet. I mean, I loathe red carpets as a general rule. Have I sold out? Did I become an actress? Am I married to Mel Gibson? How awkward for everyone. Then I would try and make myself cry. Old school, Roy Firestone-style. I would be curious what kissing me would be like. Maybe try a sweet move. The sky is the limit, really.

*** Watch Michelle Beadle daily on “SportsNation” on ESPN/ESPN2 ***

*** Follow her on Twitter at @MichelleDBeadle ***

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Also see … 

The SportsPickle/Interview: Tony Reali

SP’s Sports Media page

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