Pardon the Interruption Real Sports tribute Photo credit: ESPN

Pardon the Interruption hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have been around sports media long enough to know the footprint that Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO will leave behind when it concludes after this season. They took a moment at the end of their show on Wednesday evening to pay tribute to the long-running long-form sports storytelling program and its host, Bryan Gumbel.

Real Sports has consistently demonstrated some of the best journalism and storytelling not just in sports TV but beyond,” Kornheiser said.

Kornheiser also noted that Real Sports also once highlighted PTI early on in the show’s run on ESPN, connecting the two programs beyond their shared history on the air.

After saluting Gumbel and the show’s work, Wilbon also shared a personal tie to Real Sports. 

“My heroes growing up on the south side of Chicago weren’t just athletes,” Wilbon said. “Bryant and Greg Gumbel were there too. And I had them to look at so there was no ‘I don’t have anybody who looked like me.’ I saw two damn important people who looked like me.”

Gumbel hosted the investigative show for its entire run after high-profile anchor gigs on NBC’s Today and The Early Show on CBS. His brother Greg was a top play-by-play man and studio anchor for NBC and then CBS before also reducing his role there in March.

Deadline broke the news of the end of Real Sports on Wednesday. The report featured a quote from Gumbel saying “Now’s the time to move on.”

[Pardon the Interruption]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.