Dan Le Batard is a longtime Miami sports columnist, ESPN radio personality, and TV host. He started as a reporter with the Miami Herald in 1990. A University of Miami graduate, he earned stripes (and criticism) for his early-'90s reporting of the Hurricanes football scandals. Then, as the Herald declined, he started a radio and TV career. In 2004, with Jon "Stugotz" Weiner, The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz debuted in South Florida on 790 the Ticket.
The show regularly moves past sports. It specializes in self-deprecating humor and is the only show in sports-talk history to discuss NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s nice ass. It's now distributed by ESPN Radio to more than 250 stations across the nation. On TV, Le Batard now hosts ESPN's Highly Questionable alongside his father, Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard.
What listeners hear and see on ESPN is funny, sarcastic, and rebellious with an awkward cadence. Its foundation, however, is 20-plus years of newsroom thought and the notion that sports opinions are worthless. Rather than joining the herd of gasbags, they veer. Guests are asked odd questions such as “Are you a member of the mile-high club?” Dan once asked NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders if he’d conquered his sex addiction — Sanders doesn’t have a sex addiction. And during Super Bowl week, when every other radio show in America was talking football X’s and O’s, The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz talked to Kenny G for five days in a row.
His brother David Le Batard, AKA Lebo, is a visual artist. His bright paintings are self-described as “postmodern cartoon expressionism.” His work is seen on large walls around town, on Norwegian cruise ships, in people’s homes, and on hats and shirts. He’s the art director for Highly Questionable, and he outfitted the walls of the ESPN radio studio at the Clevelander Hotel on Ocean Drive. The Le Batard brothers are cut from the same cloth, but their method of expression is different. Dan uses words, and David employs images.
The brothers regularly support each other, but their new series of Le Batard Brothers MAS Miami events is an official family collaboration. This Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. marks their second party. It'll happen at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. There will be food, drinks, art, sports celebrities, and live music from the Magic City Hippies, Jacuzzi Boys, and other bands. Their father, Papi Le Batard, is set to host a domino tournament. “MAS” is an acronym that stands for "Music, Art & Sports." The events are a mix of the brothers' careers. General-admission tickets cost $29, and VIP, which includes the domino tournament, tickets go for $99. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Bullies & Beyond Rescue and the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment.
When you ask Dan about MAS Miami, he mentions David, and vice versa.
New Times: Dan, tell us about your sex addiction.
Dan Le Batard: [Laughs] That’s a good one! My sex addiction is completely out of control. Sex consumes all my thoughts and dominates all my days. [Laughs] That’s good; that's good.
You admit to being socially awkward, and the last thing South Florida needs is another event with small bites, infused cocktails, live painting, and music. So why the hell are you doing MAS Miami events?
[Laughs] Yeah, true, and I am socially awkward, but Miami has done a great deal for us — this is part of the repayment. If we can repay and raise money for various causes and provide a platform for Miami musicians and artists to just create, then it’s a good thing. My parents are Cuban exiles, and that offered us professional freedom. We’re thankful.
What's your motivation for hosting MAS Miami events?
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My brother has always been adamant about Miami, and now that we’ve achieved success, we want to give others a similar opportunity. In particular, for me, I want to support others in visual arts and give them a chance to represent themselves without having to deal with a lot of the things I had to deal with.
And you, Dan?
[David] is always helping others, raising money for things, and going out on animal rescues. I just wanted something simple. This is a
MAS Miami, Hosted by the Le Batard Brothers. 8 p.m. Saturday, August 4, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; revolutionlive.com. Tickets cost $29 to $99 via lebatardbrothers.com.