Unreadable, Episode 1: Gregg Doyel

CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel joins me for the first episode of Unreadable, the new podcast dedicated to exploring the hearts and minds of sports journalists. In this conversation, we talk about how being an introvert helped drive him to writing, his aggressive approach to his column, the perils and benefits of ego, the inevitability of creating enemies (hey, Jay Mariotti!) in the business, the aftermath of confronting LeBron James, the necessity of admitting you’re wrong, and what it’s really like to be the occasional target of internet hate. Gregg grew up all over America, was an all-state baseball and soccer player in high school, attended the University of Florida, worked in newspapers for a decade, and has been writing for CBS since 2003.

This is the first episode of Unreadable with Shane Ryan, ME. Most of the time when you hear a journalist speak, he or she is on tv or radio talking about something else. The goal here is to “stand on the shoulders” of (steal from) giants like Marc Maron, and invite sports journalists to have a conversation about themselves- their careers, their ideas, their origins, etc. Hopefully it works. Enjoy.

You can download the mp3 file directly here, and it will be on iTunes in a day or so. Will update with that info when it goes up.


Time Stamps:

0:00 – Introduction, bumbling “Unreadable” mission statement
3:00 – Gregg Doyel thought I was a stalker sherpa on skype
4:00 – Gregg talks about the Nick Saban press conference, and the depressing part of his job/internet hate/the strength involved in admitting you’re wrong/the problem with access control
15:00 – Childhood, growing up all over America, living alone as a high schooler
17:30 – How boxing has helped him feel more comfortable and braver in social settings
19:00 – The effects of being a child of divorce and a natural introvert on a writer
21:00 – The inevitability of becoming a sports writer, childhood origins, love for Norman Mailer and non-sports writing
24:00 – How he’s avoided burning out on writing sports even though he lost interest in watching the games
27:00 – The development from an overconfident, egotistical kid to a more humble writer, and pissing people off along the way
32:00 – How his time at the Miami Herald brought him down to earth
35:40 – The difficulty of offering advice to young writers
38:00 – Moving up the newspaper ladder, from Tampa to Miami to Charlotte to CBS
40:00 – Editors love him, he loves editors, and why Dan LeBatard is responsible
43:00 – Why nobody likes Lupica or Mariotti or Whitlock, and why he hates being compared to them
44:20 – Why he refuses to fake a perspective, and how he avoids it
46:00 – Confronting LeBron James at the 2011 Finals, and the immediate and widespread fallout, and why the reaction form the journalism world was misguided
50:25 – Making enemies with other journalist, confrontation with Jay Mariotti at an NCAA regional
52:45 – How the Jim Rome show introduced him to the good feeling of dressing up
54:00 – How he got into boxing, and how he boxes like he writes, “fearless to the point of going too far”
56:30 – The relationship between the mainstream media and independent bloggers, and his need for financial security
58:00 – The needle in a haystack paradigm of making it in online sports journalism
1:00:00 – How his perception of twitter has changed since dissing it on CNN in 2009
1:02:30 – His favorite writers, his lack of hobbies, and the difficulty relaxing

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3 Responses to Unreadable, Episode 1: Gregg Doyel

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  1. John says:

    Shane, the new podcast looks great and I’m a fan of your writing on Grantland. I was wondering if this was available for download anywhere (iTunes, etc.)? I do most of my podcast listening on my commute through my phone and was wondering if you had a downloadable version of it anywhere. If you don’t, no big deal…just checking.

  2. Shane says:

    John- I just put up a link to direct download the mp3 file. It’s right above the player. It will be on iTunes in a day or so, it takes them a while to approve a new podcast. I’ll update this post with that info at that time. Thanks for listening!

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