Big Lead Sports Bar



As part of the now-legendary Costas Now program from a few weeks ago, Hines Ward was featured and had some harsh words for ESPN Radio 1250's Mark Madden:
"I try to stay away from all talk-radio shows," Ward said. "For some reason, [Madden] don't like Jerome and I, and that's because he asked us to go on a couple of his talk shows and I just don't want to associate myself with that.''

In the time since that special ran, Bob Smizik did a follow-up piece for the PG and The Big Lead posted shortly thereafter, in a piece entitled, "Radio DoucheBaggery: Pittsburgh’s Mark Madden."
Needless to say, neither was complimentary.
Well, there's two sides to every story, and it's time to hear the other side. Mr. Madden has made his case in a recent article posted on 1250's website: "A Letter to the Post-Gazette."
I'm sure many of you out there are MFers (Madden Followers), whether you admit to it or not. Where do you weigh in on this blossoming controversy?
A Letter to the Post-Gazette [Mark Madden, ESPN Radio 1250]


Robert Ullman said...

I can't argue with the PG on this one...I find Madden pretty much unbearable. I try to listen to the podcast sometimes, but the minute he takes a call, I'm out. He's indefensibly dickish to just about every caller who has the nerve to speak to him. Really, just an absolute effing a-hole. I wonder, how can anyone stand that BS blowhard act?

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh sports talk radio is shit ever since KDKA screwed the pooch by firing Thor Tolo. If anybody even remembers him anymore, that was the end of intelligent discussion on Pittsburgh sports.

TheLiveBlog said...

If you take offense to Madden, you clearly don't get it. What part of entertainment don't you understand. He's essentially a verbal version of all the blogs you read with the same sarcasm and vitriol dripping from every last comment.

BlackAndGold said...

Anybody who doesn't like Madden obviously just goes by what others say. It's easy to criticize him as "the guy who mocks and makes fun of callers". The bottom line is that he knows that kind of stuff keeps people listening, but if you really listen to an hour or so of his show each day, you'll agrre that we are lucky to have him in town. He brings on some of the best guests to talk Pittsburgh sports, and his 5:40 segment with "Dutch" (Jim Colony) is always great. If you want someone who just always tells you what you want to hear, then you might not like his show. But what he brings to the table is the TRUTH, not just rationalizations to make all Pittsburgh sports teams sound like the best there is. Stop taking everything so seriously and enjoy this great show!

DarkHelmet said...

Madden is more entertaining than anyone else on the radio. Yeah he's a dick- so what. I love how sports fans can trash each other anonymously on every blog but then think it's despicable that Madden crushes people that call in or says something people don't like. Love him or hate him, he is one funny bastard.

sshisheng said...

Mark Madden is the gapping hole that receives my morning dump. He just proves the self-loathing typical of Yinzers: "We are uneducated and deserve nothing". We enjoy having this douchebag make fun of us and OUR sports teams. I don't recall too many bloggers on this site or any other blog site spewing bile all over the fans of the same team. If Mark Madden did more of destroying other fans (like he did to that Flyer fan yesterday) then more power too him. But daily he mocks Pittsburgh and it fans for entertainment and yinz just bend over and take it. Oh but he just loves the Penguins... I say out with him and give MondesisHouse a radio show, now that would be a true sports show.

Unknown said...

My issue with Madden isn't who he does and doesn't bash. You take one look at Madden, and the word "overcompensating" comes to mind. MM wants us to believe that he is unafraid of Hines and Harrison, but I don't buy it. First of all, what legitimate reason would he really have to be afraid of them? Are they going to beat him up like he used to get when he worked for WCW? He was a fat worthless slob then, and he is a fat worthless slob now. I have no issues with radio personalities being assholes. I was a huge fan of Alan Cox when he was with the X. The issue with Madden is, his opinions usually stink. I mean this is the guy who suggested the Steelers should sign Pacman Jones. Really? But Hines Ward is a detriment to this team? Wow.

IF Madden wants to use his "popularity" (people love to watch car crashes, but I wouldn't call them popular) the right way, spend more time bashing the Buc's. The Steelers are arguably the most successful franchise in the NFL over the last 30 yeas in the NFL. I know Madden thinks he could do a better job, but the fact of the matter is this, if he had the Rooneys cash, he would have eaten himself into oblivion by now.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I've never been a fan or shock jocks or sports talk radio.

And he's both.

My problem comes from the fact that they're basically just entertainment, but some people actually believe they are credible journalists.

There's my answer.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

And BTW, I liked sshisheng's answer a lot.

Anonymous said...

Ellis Cannon's show is ten times better than Double M's.

domski43 said...

mark madden is simply a voice in pittsburgh radio who dreams of getting a national radio show..keep dreaming d-bag because its not going to happen. no wonder he is bitter, this is the best job he can get.

Unknown said...

I'd say, in my opinion, Smizik's more on the money, but Madden has some points too. But he can waive off that he's buddy-buddy with the Pens, and that he rips Laraque and Therrien, but not with nearly the venom and hatred he does Ward, Bettis (who missed his show for a legit contractual reason), Leyland and the others. But whatever. This really doesn't matter at all. I mean, braindead people listen to his show and accept his opinions as gospel, where the rest of us tune in because ... well, who else is there?

That's the key behind Madden's dominance, I believe. Yes, his antics bring the meatheads back, but name anyone else who can face him and have a chance of winning? Bendel? Come on now. He seems like a nice guy and all, but way too low key, way too dull. Cannon might take some of his ratings, but he's not really the same slot. On 1250, Ken Laird is a total idiot. I really know in my heart I and probably everyone else on this board could host a show better than he can. He's a nitwit. Chris Mack is even dumber, less funny, and a total waste of a paycheck. Joe Starkey I like a lot, but he has another gig, you know? So who's going to topple him? No one. But it's because there IS no one to challenge him, not because he's as great as he claims (wow, his football knowledge is poor). If he was in NYC or some larger market, he'd be an also-ran.

Dirty Sanchez said...

The only reason Madden is known is because of his stunts and shock jock persona, not because of any particular wisdom or knowledge or wit on his part.

If just being a combative dick with limited sports knowledge is enough to get a radio show, then where's my time slot??

Unknown said...

It's been a while since I've listened to Madden's broadcast, so I can't comment with much intelligence (save the jokes please) about what he's like now.

I'm guessing he's no different than what he was when I left.

So, I suggest people try and filter out the way his message is being presented, and listen to what he's really saying. Despite sounding like a fat, lard-ass, he's a pretty smart guy who's got a genuine point beneath his blather.

The antics are merely for effect and creating the same aura Howard Stern made famous -- love him, hate him, but you wanna find out what he's going to say next.

godohoky said...

You can say what you want about double M as far him being a fat ass, a jerk, or an attention whore. However none of you have talked about the issue that Smizik and him are actually arguing about. Which is, Madden likes to run his mouth about Smizik being a band wagon pens fan, and Smizik constantly whining about Madden being a fat loud mouth that has nothing intelligent to say.

I give Smizik credit for even being half right, the dim-wit. Yes Madden is loud and fat. However the only person in the city of Pittsburgh to listen to about hockey is the "Super Genious" himself.

Madden is 100% corect for any of you that have watched Subway Nightly Sports talk on the CW you can tell Smizik has not seen a Pens game since 1992. If your like me and listen to Madden as well you can tell he has watched every Pens game since the early 80's. If Madden is such a moronic asshole why is does he get interviews with any past and present penguin he asks to come on his show. Smizik's hockey insight consists of "the team isn't skating well enough".

Smizik is just upset because someone called him on his bullshit. Madden is mad because someone is talking a load of nonsense about his favorite team. You don't hear Madden talk about the Pirates, unless a caller asks about them. Why because Madden does not follow the buccos. Smizik should stick to talking about the 20 year rebuilding project that is the Pittsburgh Pirates, because that is the only team he actually follows.

neilisgood said...

Wow, I can't believe there are so many pussies out there. Do the words 'sticks and stones' mean anything to you?
And the fact that you're bitching about how MM talks to callers is not only pathetic, but the exact opposite of how to deal with a bully. If you don't like his show, don't listen to it. It's that simple.
On to the subject of 'why does he do this?' to tell you the truth, I don't know. I do know that lashing out on an opponent or their fans is a sign of weakness. Doing what Mark Madden does indicates that our teams are among the best; in order to stay there, we must improve with each game. How do we know what to work on? Well, what did Madden rip on us about? Let's work on that.
Next time you want to write some whiny bullshit, eat 6 hits of LSD and go for a swim.

Unknown said...

Unfortunatly, there are some flaws to this argument; though I do respect your opinion. First of all, Mr. Madden only tells what HE thinks is the truth, with blatant disregard for what others may think. In fact, god forbid if anyone's opinion differs from his (which most of the time it does), he feels the need to belittle people and to be as condescending as possible to HIS callers. Yes, his callers. :people who take time to call in and voice their opinions. Basically his show is just an opportunity to blast others, probably to make him self feel better, because he is an ugly fat asshole an no one likes him. In fact he encourages people to call in, starting a topic that he finds controversial or worthy, just to get a reaction from people. He tries to be as outrageous and obscene as possible; classic buttwhipe shock-jock. This is not quality radio. That's why ESPN fired him, That's why WCW fired him, and that's why I feel collectively, all Pittsburgh radio listeners should give his fat ass the boot. PS. Yes I have listened to his show enough to realize this. Though, I couldn't do it for an hour a day like you prescribe. Rumor has it that they were using that to torture Taliban POWs at Guantanamo bay last year...