One of the craziest moments in sports television — especially in terms of a studio setting – came on April 6, 1994. That’s when Jim Rome interviewed longtime NFL quarterback Jim Everett on Talk 2, Rome’s TV show in the very early days of ESPN2 (which featured extremely 90s graphics).
Just a few weeks before the interview, Everett was traded by the Los Angeles Rams to the New Orleans Saints after spending eight seasons as the Rams’ quarterback. The Los Angeles-based Rome frequently mocked Everett, particularly with the notion that Everett was afraid to take hits on the field (a “phantom sack” taken by Everett against the San Francisco 49ers in the 1989 NFC Championship Game sparked this). Rome would refer to Everett as “Chris” instead of Jim. That’s a reference to legendary women’s tennis player Chris Evert, suggesting Everett wasn’t being manly (it’s not funny, not okay, and certainly wouldn’t fly these days).
Well, Everett appeared in-studio on Rome’s TV show, and sure enough, Rome referred to the quarterback as Chris several times. While introducing Everett, Rome said, “Jim, good to have you on the show. Check that, Chris Everett, good to have you on the show.”
It continued like that, and about 30 seconds later, Everett warned, “We’re sitting here right now, and if you guys want to take a station break you can, but if you call me Chris Everett to my face one more time, we’d better take a station break.”
After some more jawing back-and-forth, Everett said, “I think that you probably won’t say it again.”
Rome replied, “I bet I do. Chris.”
And Everett finally had enough. The quarterback flipped over the table and went after Rome on live TV. Crew members had to break up the altercation.
April 6, 1994: Jim Everett goes after Jim Rome on ESPN2’s Talk 2 show (which was televised live). pic.twitter.com/DGKDiBgkbR
— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) April 6, 2020
Fast-forward to almost 27 years later. A tweet from Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) read, “Name an athlete with a seriously punchable face…”
Everett quote tweeted in response, with a photo of Rome included: “Wait what… they said athlete? …. oh never mind.”
— ??? ??????? (@Jim_Everett) March 10, 2021
The feud lives on!
Last year (on the 26th anniversary), Everett was asked on Twitter if he’s spoken with Rome since the incident, and replied, “Nope.”
— ??? ??????? (@Jim_Everett) April 6, 2020
It seems unlikely at this point that we’ll get another Rome/Everett interview, but it will be must-see television/must-listen radio if we do.