Dan Patrick had Brent Musburger on his radio show Thursday, ostensibly to talk about Musburger’s just-announced retirement from the broadcast booth. Musburger, however, had other ideas about the subject matter of the interview.
Here’s how it went:
Patrick: When did you make this decision, Brent?
Musburger: About 48 hours ago.
Musburger: How are you Mr. Patrick?
Musburger: I may have thought about stepping into a new role about 77 years ago. I can’t put a date on it. The timing seemed right. Listen, who do you like in the Super Bowl, New England or Atlanta?
Patrick: Who are you gonna go with? You’re gonna go with Atlanta and the under?
Musburger: Well, the only action that’s happened off-shore—It’s kind of interesting, there hasn’t been much action. [90-second explanation of the current lack of action, what could cause more action, what action happened last year leading up to the Super Bowl, why someone might bet on the Patriots and why someone might bet on the Falcons and something about Joe Namath]
Now, it’s not surprising that Musburger, who had talked on air about point spreads throughout his career and is now moving to Las Vegas to start a handicapping company, would want to discuss gambling, but he couldn’t even through Patrick a bone on the whole retirement thing?
At that point, Patrick pretty much gave up on getting Musburger to discuss retirement and talked briefly about Olbermann before turning the subject back to gambling.
Maybe the most interesting part of the interview was Musburger saying he hadn’t bet on a game he was calling since the 1970s. This makes sense because betting on a game you’re calling is pretty clearly unethical but also a bit surprising because Musburger seems so deeply invested in the point spread every time we hear his voice.
As for all those references to over-unders and back-door covers, Musburger said he’s just providing information the viewer wants to hear. Here’s what he had to say about point spreads:
“It’s not the most important thing. Anybody listening that thinks it is—to me, not it’s not. But it is a frame of reference, it is something to know and keep in the back of your mind when you go into a game.”
After about 10 minutes, Patrick finally got Musburger to share some reflections on retirement, though none of that was nearly as interesting as Musburger’s theory that gambling will soon be legal under President Trump.
So yeah, it was a fun interview overall.