Geoff Calkins is a Harvard-trained lawyer who clerked for a U.S. Court of Appeals judge and worked for a 500-man firm in D.C. He took all that training and became … well … a sports writer. A very good one, in fact, who was an influence on me when I interned at the Memphis Commercial Appeal in the summer of 2000. In our chat, we talk about how tough it is for a sports writer to maintain a daily radio show and the energy time suck that it becomes, why Harvard Law produces U.S. presidents and Memphis sports writers, and why Calkins has stayed as a columnist in mid-sized city despite opportunities to leave.
He also discusses why he’s OK hosting a daily radio show in Memphis while his former colleague John Robert is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Richard Deitsch is one of the preeminent media reporters in the country, and he’s actually one of my most important follows on Twitter. His Monday column for SI.com is a must-read, both for the news he reports and for the standout stories he aggregates from the week before. In our chat, we talk about what it’s like to cover an Olympic Games, how difficult it used to be to get a byline in Sports Illustrated when he was coming up the ranks, and whether he worries about burning bridges as a media reporter/critic.
Plus, we get into the Twitter wars he’s had with such luminaries as ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis, and Jason Whitlock. Basically: other than entertainment — and my god, it is entertaining — what’s the point? Also, Deitsch explains why he hopes never, ever to write a screed.