Mackey: 10 things I learned from working with Patrick Reusse
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I was made aware of 1500's flip to a sports format sometime in February of 2010. At the time, I was a 24-year-old budding radio guy, writer and entrepreneur looking to take the next step in my career -- and, perhaps just as importantly, looking to earn a paycheck that could actually cover rent.
Sometime in March of 2010, 1500 ESPN general manager Dan Seeman -- looking to add young talent to the stable -- called Pat and I to a coffee shop near the KSTP building. This was our first formal meeting, aside from some press box encounters in which Pat would usually grumble something like, "Hey kid, you're into stats, right?" Dan said, "OK, I'm going to leave for 20 minutes. You guys stay here and decide if you want to do a radio show together."
As Pat wrote earlier this week, we launched the show on March 23, 2010 -- first as "Reusse on Sports" with me as the sidekick, then three weeks later as "Reusse & Mackey." Pat certainly didn't have to give his blessing for management to put my name in the title of the show, but because he did I'm forever indebted. That was a pretty cool move.
Of course, Pat probably wouldn't have been so generous had he known I raced to my computer shortly after our coffee meeting to delete a past tweet that said, "It's old school, idiot blowhards like Patrick Reusse who don't even bother understanding new evaluation methods" after he ripped OPS in a Star Tribune column...
Good thing he didn't see that one...
Much like how Mike Zimmer quietly stored away notes and observations while working with Bill Parcells, I've secretly been taking notes over the nearly four full years I've been able to work alongside Reusse.
Well, actually, I've mostly just been writing down the not-safe-for-work things Reusse says off the air in hopes of publishing a book someday.
But here are 10 things I learned while working with a guy whose columns I've been reading since I was seven years old...
10.) Don't take yourself too seriously. But take your seafood VERY seriously.
9.) A lot of interesting things took place before Full House existed.
8.) If you're feuding with an athlete, coach or executive, don't worry... You'll probably be here longer than them anyways.
7.) Always ask yourself: Why is this person lying to me?
6.) Have five really good, go-to drinking stories.
5.) You're never too old to embrace modern culture. But there does come a point where you're probably too old to tweet things like, "Does she know a woman who might be willing?"
4.) Dry rub wings.
3.) You can break the ice going into an interview by starting off with either A.) An interesting, obscure anecdote from the guest's past, or B.) By just ripping the band-aid off as quickly as possible.
2.) There's no shame in making people wait 14 paragraphs before getting to the point.
1.) The right blend of humor, honesty, intelligence and self-deprecation will take you far.