We had a lot of interesting exchanges in 2009. Some insight was given, some trash was talked and some jokes were cracked. Here are the highlights
DP:Meanest guy you faced?
Ex-Giant Michael Strahan: Erik Williams, Dallas Cowboys. Mean to his mama. Did you ever see Reggie White want to fight anyone—except him? You get a preacher to fight, you know you're mean.
DP:You played basketball against Barack Obama before he took office. Would you treat him differently if you played with him now that he's President?
Former UNC forward Tyler Hansbrough: Yeah, I'd pass him the ball a lot more.
DP:Does your dad hurry to the mailbox to get the SI Swimsuit Issue?
Model Brooklyn Decker: On SI.com they put the pictures up the night before the launch. We don't see any pictures until the issue comes out, so at 12:30 a.m. we all get up and go look for our pictures. And my parents always do that, and then they go to the bookstore to buy the magazine. My dad's always proud, but he never really wants to look.
DP:Your wife went to Florida. Does she still root for the Gators when they're not playing Tennessee?
Vols coach Lane Kiffin: Oh, yes. I've had to deal with that for seven years of marriage.
DP:Does she have a poster of Tim Tebow anywhere in the house?
LK: In her bedroom.
Former Georgetown great Patrick Ewing still crosses paths with onetime Villanova Wildcat Ed Pinckney, and they agree a rematch of their 1985 NCAA title game might be ugly. "Neither team would win," Ewing said. "All of us are out of shape and fat and couldn't get up and down the floor." Pinckney said if they played, "you'd better bring a bunch of defibrillators and ice packs."
Charles Barkley discussed his love-hate relationship with golf: "If I could find the guy who invented that game, I'd beat the hell out of him."
Pete Rose knows what it's like to be shunned by the Hall of Fame, and it's not something he'd wish on anyone: "I'm willing to give a guy a second chance." But Rose isn't willing to hand all PED users a free pass. "If someone was juicing and broke my [hits] record," he said, "I'd be pissed."
Clippers rookie Blake Griffin(below) on whether L.A. is big enough for both him and Kobe Bryant: "I don't know if it's big enough for Kobe himself."
DP:The WNBA started allowing teams to put sponsor logos on their game jerseys. How far away are we from seeing that in the NBA?
Mavs owner Mark Cuban: We already know we're whores, it's just a question of how much. If somebody gave me enough money, I could convince [the league]. But it can't be $100,000. If someone says $5 million for the year, they'd have to look long and hard, and I think I could convince them.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, discussing the possibility of adding a steroid-users wing to the Hall of Fame: "You'd have to have a cocaine wing too, I guess. How about an amphetamine wing?"
Cowboys tackle Marc Colombo(below), who moonlights as the lead singer of the heavy-metal band Free Reign, said he shies away from singing in the team shower. "We keep it to shows and practices," he said. And when I asked which had better groupies, music or football, Colombo didn't hesitate: music. And when he explained why, it was hard to disagree. "Football groupies," he said, "are mostly male."
DP:Is it tough to watch your brother play?
Colts QB Peyton Manning: You certainly get a little emotional. When I get to see [Giants QB] Eli's entire game in the hotel on the road, I've found myself standing on top of the bed yelling at one of his receivers or one of his linemen. And I go, "Peyton, what are you doing? Why are you screaming at the TV? You've got a game in two hours." So I've had to stop watching the games so much. I'll watch a rerun of Stripes and flip back for highlights. It keeps me a lot calmer.
Marv Albert knocked down the rumors that he got into a scuffle with 50 Cent at a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Albert said the story was "made up and embellished," and he joked that things were fine with the rapper: "We're getting together a little later for a brunch."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. T.J. Houshmandzadeh on former teammate Chris Henry.
2. A slimmed-down John Daly discusses Tiger Woods.
THE FINE PRINT: The Lakers have sent 3,200 messages to their followers on Twitter. Half of them are reminding Ron Artest it's last call.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
MARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE (COLOMBO)
BRIAN SPURLOCK/US PRESSWIRE (MANNING)
RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO (DECKER)
GREG NELSON (GRIFFIN)