If you still think Twitter hasn’t changed sports media dramatically, the train has officially left without you. Witness Reggie Bush during the USC-San Jose State telecast yesterday on Fox Sports West TV:
(It’s time to play The Feud, Trojan fans!)
Most of you are probably like Larry Fitzgerald on this, so if you don’t who Papadakis is and/or why Bush would say such an inflammatory thing about a fellow former Trojan, I can help. (I assure you there’s much more to this story than what happened yesterday.)
First, what exactly did Papadakis say during the USC-San Jose State telecast that made Bush upset enough to Tweet his disdain for the former USC football captain to his 230,000 Twitter followers?
Transcript after the jump.
Papadakis on yesterday’s Fox Sports West telecast:
“I am very impressed with the young man, Joe McKnight. When he showed up, there were a lot of comparisons to Reggie Bush. Frankly people just really didn’t see that and right now he is showing an extra dimension that Reggie Bush never really had despite winning the Heisman at USC, which is that physical, inside running part of it.
I have no confirmation from Bush on why he Tweeted what he did about Papadakis yesterday, though I have a sneaky feeling that comment had something to do with it. But was that comment alone enough for Bush to unload on a former USC football captain in such a disrespectful and public way? (See ‘Complete idiot!’, ‘How is this guy on TV!’)
There’s a lot of history between Bush and Papadakis you don’t know about unless you’re an obscure L.A. sports radio aficionado from the past several years. And since I’ve co-hosted USC football shows with Papadakis in the past and worked at the same radio station for a few years, I think I can help y’all out on this one.
When Bush was playing at USC, Papadakis hosted a weekday, L.A. sports radio show on the USC football flagship station: the now-defunct KMPC-AM. The show became an absolute must-listen for L.A. sports media and USC fans because, as I often chronicled here on SbB at the time, Papadakis would often launch into searing, negative diatribes about past and present USC football personnel. Not your typical superficial critiques.
Papadakis, freshly removed from the USC program, would reveal what would normally pass as privileged information about the team and staff. Personal stuff, about players and coaches. And a lot of it very, very negative. Since they were the kind of criticisms only a person who was recently part of the program could make, they packed that much more of a wallop.
One of Papadakis’ favorite targets at KMPC, and later KLAC-AM, was Bush. During the football season, even after Bush had departed for New Orleans, nary a week would go by without Papadakis noting Bush’s inability to run inside the tackles and consistently secure the football. (Fair criticisms if you ask me.)
But it was most likely what Papadakis said about Bush’s off-the-field habits while still at USC that likely stung the Heisman winner the most. Papadakis’ most common refrain about Bush at that time was his unceasing arrogance, be it be directed at former Trojans, fans or media.
In particular, Papadakis told a story where Bush refused an autograph request of former standout USC wide receiver and current local broadcaster John Jackson, who wanted the signature for his son. Jackson, a class act in my book, has since reluctantly affirmed that the story is true.
Back then Papadakis also reported to his audience that while at USC, Bush would have a sentry of bodyguards escort him off the field after practices expressly to avoid autograph seekers, most of whom were young children. (Bush, along with Matt Leinart, did indeed have USC-assigned bodyguards escort them from the practice field during their last season.)
Also, virtually every USC football player would do on-air interviews with Papadakis when he was doing his radio show on the USC flagship - except Bush. (And Leinart, who Papadakis also heavily criticized.)
These stories about Bush were originally broadcast over the USC flagship station and have subsequently been retold by Papadakis at KLAC-AM, which happens to be the UCLA radio broadcast flagship.
To my knowledge, Bush has never publicly lashed out at Papadakis. And if not for the wonderment of Twitter, in concert with Papadakis’ comment during the USC TV broadcast yesterday, he may never have.
Dinosaur media guy, are you listening?