You might have missed the news if you blinked. While both ESPN and Yahoo! reported it around the same time, the articles weren’t featured for long. Because of that, I want to make sure you saw that David Stern must have taken some lesson from The Rock, as he laid the smack down on Jim Rome.
Stern was a guest, as he has been many times before, on Rome’s radio show. He’s never been one to back down or shy from controversial issues, but Rome toed (maybe even crossed) the line yesterday. Rome asked Stern, “I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, was the fix in for the lottery?” Stern immediately shot back by saying, “Uh, you know, I have two answers for that. I’ll give you the easy one — no — and a statement: Shame on you for asking.”
Again, Stern is no stranger to controversy or even Rome-type questioning. However, asking the commissioner of a sport if he is actually involved in rigging the system is a bit much. But, Stern wasn’t the one who came out looking foolish. Read what transpired after Stern explained he meant no disrespect and Rome claimed the question was valid.
Stern: “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
Rome: “I don’t know that that’s fair.”
Fair? Stern was simply giving Rome a taste of his own medicine. How many times has he shot a loaded question at a guest? Stern was just giving a perfect example of what one is like and how ridiculous it sounds.
There was bit more said, mostly about no offense meant, etc. Then this:
Stern (in reference to the question): “I wouldn’t hold it against you. You know, you and I have been into more contentious discussions than that.”
Which then led to the good stuff:
Stern: “Well, you know, it’s good copy, and you do things sometimes for cheap thrills.”
Rome: “I did not do that for a cheap thrill.”
(A bit of back-and-forth about cheap thrills/tricks)
Stern: “Well, no. But listen, you’ve been successful at making a career out of it, and I keep coming on, so…”
Rome (interrupting Stern): “Making a career out of what, though, commissioner? See, I take great offense to that. Making a career of what? Cheap thrills?”
S: “What offense are you taking? You’re taking offense?”
R: “I am. Now I am. If you’re saying I’ve made a career out of cheap thrills…”
S: “…taking on the world, and now Jim Rome is pouting? I love it.”
R: “I’m not pouting; I take offense. There’s a difference between pouting and taking offense…”
S: “What offenses? Do you want to hang up on me?”
R: “No, I can’t hang up on you, because I’m running out of time — I would never hang up on you.”
S: “Okay. Listen, I’ve got to go call somebody important, like Stephen A. Smith, right now. He’s up next.”
R: “All right, you go make that call, and I’ll go talk to somebody else, too, I guess.”
Stern: “All right.”
Rome: “All right, commissioner. Have a nice day. I did not hang up on him — we are officially out of time. We will come back and reset that momentarily. Stay tuned.”
What can be said? Maybe we use the ol’ high school saying… you might want to pick your face up off the ground, Jim. Or how about we just reference his old show? Ooooo, Rome, you just got burned!
Whatever saying you want to use, one thing if for certain, Rome had it handed to him by David Stern. I give Stern credit. He never backs down, he never shies from the controversial situations and now he has proven he can go toe-to-toe with anyone, and beat them down!
If ya smellllllllll what The Stern is cookin’!
In addition to covering the NFL, MLB, NBA, and College Football for RotoExperts, Jake Ciely (a.k.a "All In Kid") is also a poker fiend and a Maharishi in the world of sports wagering. Jake was a finalist for the FSWA's 2010 Newcomer of the Year award. You may email Jake @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JakeAllinCiely