Thursday, March 05, 2009
Today is part two of the Jim Moore exclusive Q&A. Enjoy.
WSU Football Blog: Have you ever received death threats over your open, undisguised hatred towards the Evil Empire on Montlake? What is the craziest/scary response from readers, coaches or even players that you'd be willing to share after ripping the hell out of UW?
"I've never received a death threat, just a lot of vicious emails and voice mails. They seem to be worse than ever these days. I've never had a coach give me a hard time about anything. They probably never read any of my crap. I think Neuheisel did, but he never seemed to mind. The worst thing I ever got was a voice mail, not even sure what the guy was mad about. But he said something along the lines of "Hey Go 2 Guy, I hope your Go 2 Dog gets run over by a Go 2 Fast car." That was pretty bad. Rip me all you want, but leave my damn dog alone!"
WSU Football Blog: You appear on a weekly radio segment on KJR with a couple of admitted UW suck-ups in "Groz", Dave Grosby, and "Gas", Mike Gastineau. While a decent show with solid banter between the two, but when did Groz become such a Husky apologist?
We hung out with him in the fieldhouse before the '94 Apple Cup and he along with Art Thiel openly MOCKED the Huskies and their arrogance. What happened??
"I didn't realize Groz had become a Husky apologist. I think he's still a Coug fan though. He seems more like a Coug than a Dawg to me. Those guys are great to me. They know I don't follow sports like a lot of their other guests, so they always give me a bunch of softball questions, and I appreciate that."
WSU Football Blog: Is Steve Sarkisian Jesus de Perro? Or will the search continue for the second coming of the Dawgfather?
"If I were a Husky fan, I'd be fired up about Sarkisian. But I'm not, so I'm not. If I hear the words "enthusiasm" and "energy" coming out of his mouth or from other mouths about him one more time, I'll scream. OK, i probably won't scream, but you get my point. I'm sick of energy and enthusiasm already at montlake. they can have all of the energy and enthusiasm they want, but how about some substance? haven't seen that as yet. this man has never been a head coach before. and he's only 34 or 33, I'm not sure.
maybe I'm just irritated with him because he's a hell of a lot more successful and a hell of a lot richer than i am, but come on already. And don't get me started on his sidekick, Nick Holt. He's probably a hell of a coach, and probably proved that already at USC, but he was 5-18 or something like that at Idaho. The time I spent with him, I actually liked the guy. But I tend to think he's a piece of work, and his true colors will be out there for all to see at some point."
WSU Football Blog: Since nobody is reading this....can you give your best off-the-record experience you ever had in your years of Seattle reporting? We KNOW you covered the Sonics during the wild 90's, so there has to be a few good ones you can share? Feel free to change names to protect the innocent....if you want to.
NOTE - The following story was given to us from Jim a couple of weeks ago. He has now told this story on his blog and also yesterday, on KJR radio. We did NOT borrow this from anywhere else, but if you are in fact reading this, you have probably heard this story by now....
"Your blog is just like my column if no one's reading it. don't know if i can describe this very well, but here goes. and i might be off with my details. 1996, first round of the NBA playoffs, Sonics vs. Kings. Sonics win the first game but lose the second. Find out that Gary Payton had to go to the hospital after the second game because he was so dehydrated he needed IVs. Thought that was a good story...something along the lines of "Sonics lost, but their leader played so hard that he had to go to the hospital." So I pursued it before game 3 in Sacramento.
Went into the Sonics' locker room at Arco Arena before Game 3. Asked Payton about it. He was tying his shoes and looked up at me and said: "What's that got to do with basketball?" I repeated the story, told him that it just showed a lot about him to play his heart out to the point that he had to go to the hospital, etc. "What's that got to do with basketball?" he repeated. I tried one more time to get him to play along and got one more "What's that got to do with basketball?"
And then after years of growing tired of dealing with him, I got fed up and instead of walking away with my tail between my legs like I'd done so many times before, I said something like: "You know what, Gary? I'm sick of your shit."
And he got up, got right in my face and said: "So what are you gonna do about it?"
Quickly, I thought to myself, Jesus, I don't know, but I can't back down now. I noticed that he had just brushed his teeth and there was a little toothpaste in the corner of his mouth, so I pointed to the corner of his mouth and said: "Hey, Gary, you've got a little toothpaste in the corner of your mouth."
To this day, I have no idea why I said that. I just didn't have an answer to "So what are you gonna do about it?" I knew I couldn't say: "I'm gonna kick your ass" because I was a flabby 39-year-old sportswriter and he was 26 and ripped at the time.
So his response to the toothpaste comment was this: He came at me with an overhand right that was intercepted by either Sam Perkins or David Wingate, thankfully, because it no doubt would have hurt my face. Then again, maybe if he'd connected, I could have sued him and never had to work again and wouldn't have to be looking for work now.
Then George Karl bear hugged me, as if I was going to charge after Payton. Then we just shouted "F you" back and forth to each other before I was escorted out of the locker room.
My punishment: I couldn't talk to Payton for 48 hours, which meant no Payton comments in my stories for two whole days. I didn't mind that at all. And I'm sure he didn't either.
To his credit, from that day forward and through the NBA Finals, we had a decent professional relationship. But I did better with him when other reporters asked questions and I listened in. Five or six years later when I covered the team again for one year, he was great.
Now if I were to see him, I'd hope that it would be a case of no hard feelings. But I do know this: He wasn't my favorite player, and I sure as hell know that I wasn't his favorite reporter either."
WSU Football Blog: Describe your greatest - and worst - moment as a Coug.
"I won't be so long-winded with the rest of these. Greatest Coug moment: Tie: 1997 Apple Cup, running onto the field after beating the Huskies at Husky Stadium. Ask and Cougar and we'll tell you, all we ever wanted was to see the Cougars in the Rose Bowl one time in our lifetime. And that day we realized it was going to happen. I say it's a tie because it's tied with seeing the Cougars run out of the tunnel at the Rose Bowl when they played Michigan. I don't care that they lost (might have something to do with the fact that I had money on the Cougs and the points; i think they were getting 7 and lost by 5); it's just the fact that they finally did it, they were there in Pasadena playing in the Rose Bowl."
WSU Football Blog: Sue Bird or Lauren Jackson? Neither? BOTH??
"Jackson. I like the whole tall Aussie thing about her. Bird's cool too. Just doesn't do as much for me as Jackson does.
I have a pretty strong feeling that I don't do a darn thing for either one of them."
WSU Football Blog: Worst moment as a sports reporter. A spat with a player, coach, etc?
"The Payton incident. No. 2: Many worst moments standing on the sidelines watching high school football in Anchorage as a reporter at the Anchorage Daily News. Too much snow and too cold. But the bars were open 'til 5 a.m. in Alaska, not a bad thing for a Coug in his 20s."
WSU Football Blog: Since you are a self-proclaimed "award losing columnist"....which local writer do you want to see become an award winning columnist?
"At the P-I, Greg Johns should win awards if he hasn't already. And Dan Raley. And Gary Washburn. And if I leave anyone out, I'll feel like an idiot, or more of one than I feel like already. But if you want me to spread it around, I like Larry Stone of the Times a lot. i think he does a nice job, and i like him. i also think bob condotta should win something. his husky football blog is unbelievable. he does a great job with that. and the guy's a coug. also enjoy jerry brewer's columns over there. and one more name on the list, it's john mcgrath at the news tribune. solid stuff day in, day out, and he doesn't take himself too seriously."
WSU Football Blog: Any thoughts on the outcome of this years made-up election for Washington State Sportswriter of the Year? Why did we hear next to nothing from your campaign?? (To refresh your memory: http://wsufootball.blogspot.com/2008/10/breaking-news-wsu-football-blog-enters.html)
"my vote goes to bud withers of the times because i didn't mention him in the answer to question No. 8. like condotta, he's another coug who hides his cougness. bud does a nice job covering college football and basketball and he throws a heck of a Christmas party."
WSU Football Blog: Where oh where is the most stunningly beautiful former SeaGal, Amber? Did she go all Hollywood on you and won't return your calls, texts or e-mails?
"Amber's on the price is right as one of drew carey's models. i think she's dating one of the stars of Friday night lights. she was in town modeling the sounders' new uniforms a month or two ago. she's great. love her to death. as beautiful as she is, she's an even cooler person, if that makes sense. i plan to write a column about her before the P-I closes."
WSU Football Blog: Dave "softy" Mahler - could there be any UW honk you would rather punch in the face than this guy? Or are his nonstop UW honking and childish antics actually good to stir up their fanbase, and most of all, provide a villain for WSU nation?
"Believe it or not, out of all of the KJR hosts, I am most entertained by Mahler and think he's a good guy. Sorry, not the answer you were looking for. Whether you like him or not, he is never boring. They all do a good job over there. Naturally I love Furness because he's as crimson as they come."
WSU Football Blog: Art Thiel.....any chance of a hair or saliva sample? The search for Sasquatch continues.....just saying. Any thoughts on Sir Arthur?
"Let me say this about Art: He's the best sports columnist in town and one of the best in the country. I think he's overlooked nationally because of where we are in Seattle. No one turns phrases or has a better grasp of the vocabulary than Art. And he's done it for a long time. Really admire him and Steve Kelley for sustaining their columns for as long as they have. It's not easy to do that.
But I'm pretty sure by the tone of the question that you wanted me to rip Art. I have no problem doing that. The guy's a little too cerebral for me, but then, most people are. Especially Art. Some days his column have 15-syllable words and 18-syllable words. He used one one time that I busted his chops for: legedermain, or some damn thing like that. i still don't know what it means. still don't want to know what it means. but i can tell you this, whatever it means, it was no doubt used in the proper context and was the perfect word to convey whatever the hell he was trying to convey.
One more thing, he's 6-8 and posted up a lot during NBA media 3-on-3 games in the past. In case you're reading, Art, I never threw the ball to you because...
A) They were fronting you.
B) They were double-teaming you.
C) I'm a lot better shot than you are.
That's right, Art, it's C, every day of the week."
WSU Football Blog: Finally, in your humble opinion, greatest WSU QB ever?
"Out of all of the great cougar QBs, i put jason gesser No. 1 for doing the most with less; jack thompson at no. 2 because he's the throwin' samoan, no one has ever or will ever have a better nickname than that."
Thanks for the time Jim! It's greatly appreciated.
Whether or not Jim is out of a job in the next few weeks, I know this - the biggest thing I took from him, not just from this Q&A but from his work over the years, is to never take things too seriously. After all, like he says himself, none of this is brain surgery or rocket science or whatever. Nobody is dying on the table here. It's sports. And while it's entertaining, and a great source of fun and pride for those of us who follow it on a daily basis, it's really not THAT important. At least it shouldn't be.
As to what Jim will do, it's hard to say where he's going to fit in today's ever-changing sports media model. He's an admitted "old man" when it comes to today's media, and either you evolve, or you don't. Here's hoping he lands on his feet and we can continue to read his WSU love/UW disdain, all over again!
ENJOY YOUR THURSDAY, and as always, GO COUGS!