Mike Missanelli had Angelo Cataldi on his podcast for a second time, and they spent the second half of the show dishing on a variety of figures in Philadelphia sports. This part about Howard Eskin, the Burger King, was particularly precise:

Cataldi: “We all have a debt to Howard, because Howard showed how to do Philadelphia sports talk radio the right way. That is, take no prisoners, etc, he did it great and I know he had a major influence on the way I did the job. I guess where we diverted in our paths was that he got to a point where he wouldn’t give you a negative opinion about the Eagles, because he had a tight affiliation with them. The Eagles are the lifeblood of what we did for all those years, and he should have stayed hardcore on everyone and not developed some of the opinions that he did, based on the access he was given, or the way the way the teams treated him. One of the things I did, and he thinks it’s awful I did it, I didn’t affiliate myself in any way with the teams once I was doing radio. I wanted the freedom to say exactly what I said and not worry about what they would try to do to get me back. I didn’t feel that he did that the way he did that, and that’s the one thing I say against him… even to this day he preaches the gospel of the Eagles.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Cataldi pretty much nailed it while giving Eskin props at the same time.

Everybody knows that Howard has been carrying water for the Eagles for years now. It’s one of the most ridiculous things in Philadelphia sports media. If the Eagles told Howard to jump off a bridge, he’d be standing on the Commodore Barry five minutes later. If the Eagles told Howard that they were thinking of building an arena on Market Street between 10th and 11th, he’d tell everyone how great of an idea it is. It’s totally fraudulent. More flimsy than the stop sign Dusty Wathan gave Bryce Harper on Tuesday night.

One other segment from the podcast stood out to me, and that was Cataldi telling Missanelli that he’s handling post-radio life with therapy:

Missanelli: “People always say, is that really you? They always want to find out who the real person is. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and you know what, when I got out of that (radio) booth I was really more introverted and quiet, maybe because I didn’t have words left and I was exhausted, but something about that booth changed me. Can you put your finger on what that is?”

Cataldi: “I’ve been dealing with that since retirement. What I can see now, better than I could in all the years I did it, was somehow, over time in the early years of radio, it was a persona. You created someone who is more interesting than you are. More flamboyant than you are. More humorous than you are. What happened to me, I’m actually seeing a therapist, I’m seeing Dr. Joel Fish now, to work this through. Over time, when you do something as long as we did, the persona you created, and your actual personality, start to blend. They start to come together, and you’re not really sure where one starts and the other ends. It’s very hard to figure out who you really are at that point, but I am totally different than the person I was, now more than ever. I’m not good socially at all, highly inept. And yet, on the air I feel like I created a pretty good bond with callers. How did I do that? It wasn’t in me. If I went to a wedding I would sit in the corner. I wouldn’t dance, I wouldn’t talk, I wouldn’t do anything. And yet on the air, I was very outgoing and that kind of stuff, I guess if you’re really committed to your career, you’re going to create on the air whatever is most interesting, so you get the good ratings that keep you in your job and you get the rewards from it. We were all newspaper guys who came over to WIP. Were any of us (more) exciting personalities (than) the personas we created? I don’t think so.”

Cataldi goes on to say that he “wouldn’t have lasted three weeks” on the radio if he used his own personality.

But this is very fascinating. It happens to everyone who retires. You have teachers who teach for 30 years, then go back and sub because it’s what they know and what they’ve always done. When you’ve done something long enough, you don’t really know anything else.

In sports media, especially for talkers, you have this identity crisis. You aren’t sure who you are or what you’ve become. I see it all the time with the radio and television folks, even early and mid-career. When you remove the cameras or the microphones, they’re completely different people, oftentimes very awkward and difficult to converse with. It’s like the microphone turns off and they don’t know what to do now, because the acting job is over and they have to switch into a completely different mindset and different approach. It’s super-interesting. I wouldn’t mind getting Angelo’s therapist on the show to talk about it. All patient information is confidential, of course.

Good conversation between Cataldi and Missanelli. Full episode here: