The Florida alum roams the sidelines during ESPN's college football andbasketball coverage.
Dan Patrick: Morehair-care products: you or Kirk Herbstreit?
Erin Andrews:Wow, I would say we're probably equal. Now, Jesse Palmer, you could throw himin there as well.
DP: O.K., betterlooking: You, Herbstreit or Jesse Palmer?
EA: I'll give itto the guys.
DP: The oldFlorida connection doesn't ever leave you, does it?
EA: It does onthe field. Now, I want to turn the tables on you. Did you feel a little bad forthe Ball Coach [Steve Spurrier] at the end [of South Carolina's 56--6 loss toFlorida]?
DP: No, I didn'tfeel bad for him. Do you think he felt any remorse when he was putting up 50 or60 on everybody else?
EA: I know theGator fans were happy that they won, but everybody loves having Spurrier incollege football. I want him to stick around for a while. It's good theater. Ijust don't want him to get frustrated.
DP: When isworking the sidelines a nightmare for you?
EA: Probably fouryears ago, when Joe Paterno outran me.
DP: He's got abad hip, Erin.
EA: This wasbefore the hip, I swear.
DP: Oh, O.K. Sohe's 78 at the time, and doesn't have the bad hip—and he outran you?
EA: It was at theWisconsin game. I really thought they were going to go another way, and when Irealized, Holy cow, JoePa is over there, I just started sprinting. I got to himand grabbed him, and he gave me this full-on, Scott Stevens forearm shiver. Iwas like, "I guess we're not getting anything, Ron. Back to you."
DP: When fansrush on the field after the game, how do you deal with it?
EA: Probably thescariest situation this year was Oregon State's upset of USC. We had threeminutes left, and they were on the field. So I was standing amongst theoffensive line [on the sideline], and then when Mike Riley, the coach, ran outonto the field, I grabbed on to his trooper. That was the scariest situation,because the kids were coming and they were falling down in front of us.
DP: Were you inthe shotgun formation when you were behind the offensive line?
EA: I waswell-protected.
AS HOLIDAYtraditions go, it ranks right up there with receiving a fruitcake from youraunt Marge: the Lions playing on Thanksgiving, which they've been doing since1934. Detroit has lost six of its last seven holiday games, but that won't stopus from watching them play Tennessee, because football is such a part ofThanksgiving—and because we want to see if they'll stay on course to go 0--16.But we're thinking the day's programming could be improved.
• Instead of thepregame coin toss, have the captains pull a wishbone.
• Since JohnMadden won't be at a game, bring in Frank Caliendo. Perhaps he can also do apassable impersonation of a QB for Detroit.
• Instead ofGatorade, winning coach gets doused with gravy.
• Send a largechunk of the proposed $25 billion auto industry bailout to the Lions forpersonnel upgrade.
• Have the Titansplay against real lions.
THE ONE-AND-DONEculture of college basketball means that fascinating stories with staying powerare hard to come by. Oh, sure, every year the Duke--North Carolina game will behuge. But what I really want to see this season has nothing to do with arivalry or a player or even a particular game. Here's the deal: Bob Knight iscalling games for ESPN. A lot of Indiana fans still miss him—especially giventhe soap opera the program has become. If ESPN brought him back to Bloomington,it would be one of the highlights of the season—no matter who the Hoosiersshare the floor with that night.
J.P. HAYES costhimself a spot on the PGA Tour next year by inadvertently using an unapprovedball in qualifying school. He used it on only one hole—and made a bogey. Still,Hayes called the penalty on himself, two days after the fact. "I could havegotten away with it," Hayes told me. "But I'm not a very good liar. Icouldn't have done that." If there's a potential silver lining for Hayes,it's that he's made himself an appealing sponsor exemption. Who wouldn't wantto tout the World's Most Honest Golfer at their tournament?
THE FINE PRINT:More trouble for Mark Cuban. Turns out he made $750,000 betting against himselfon Dancing with the Stars.
Go toDANPATRICK.COM for more from Erin Andrews and other recent interviews, and hearlive audio of Dan's radio show, 9-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER
BRETT DAVIS/US PRESSWIRE (LIONS)
SAM GREENWOOD/GETTY IMAGES (HAYES)
ROB TRINGALI/SPORTSCHROME/GETTY IMAGES (ANDREWS)