With Jim Rome on Showtime premiering tonight, uh, on Showtime, we thought it would be a great time to recall Irvine resident and sports “bring it”-er extraordinaire Jim Rome's famous meeting with another Orange County resident.
Not that Romey would like to re-live what he's called the lowest point in his broadcasting career . . .
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First, for those hipsters asking “Who is Jim Rome?” he's the fiery sports talk host with the distinctive voice who rose as a UC Santa Barbara Gaucho and “Mighty 690” of San Diego early afternoon man to successfully leap to television with ESPN2's Talk2, Fox Sports Net's The Last Word and ESPN's Jim Rome is Burning.
Even though Romey would have called me a “myopic Raider fan,” I'd listened to him with delight on the radio for years and believe I have written before how Jay Mohr's Cleveland rant on Rome's show may be the funniest thing I ever heard on the squawk box. I even have a loose personal connection as my in-laws lived next door to the late mother of my former dentist, who sons were among Romey's most dependable callers/faxers (“Doc” Mike and “Lawyer” Jeff DiTolla). OK, that's an admittedly pretty loose connection. By the way, I think I heard Tustin's Doc Mike speaking from the audience of a recent Adam Carolla podcast from the Irvine Improv.
But this Memory Lane tripping is taking us too far away from the TV gold, GOLD! that was Tarzana-born Rome's 1994 interview with Jim Everett, the former Los Angeles Rams of Anaheim quarterback who is now an investment advisor in San Clemente.
Check it out:
The back story: Everett had been a pretty decent NFL quarterback with a cannon for an arm. Unfortunately, his best years were during those of the San Francisco 49ers dynasty and their Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana.
I was actually at the Big A–if the last row of the southern side of the stadium constitutes “at”–watching the Dec. 11, 1989, Rams-Niners Monday Night Football game where LA of A was manhandling the Bay Area visitors until Montana hooked up with John Taylor for a touchdown just before halftime. The Niners went on to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win, 30-27. I believe it still ranks as among the most exciting MNF games.
By the time the Rams and Niners met again in that year's NFC championship game, San Francisco had gotten into Everett's head, something he did not admit then but later did. He started scrambling and hitting the turf even when a heavy rush was not on. The Niners won at Candlestick 30-3 before heading to the Super Bowl.
Everett was trying to resuscitate his career in New Orleans when he went on Rome's fairly new TV show in '94. The peewee-sized host by then had a running joke with his radio audience where he called the towering QB “Chris Everett” or “Chrissie”–like the female tennis player–because of the athlete's happy feet and perceived unwillingness to take a hit. You can see in the video how well saying that to Everett's face went.
The ironic thing is Chris Everett could probably kick Romey's ass, too. Of course, it was all so long ago now. Rome has called it among his worst moments as a host, so bad that he would not allow a burger franchise to use some of the footage for an ad, even through Jim Everett was game.
Rome, who also has a daily
television show on CBS Sports Network and a CBS radio show launching in January, has Newport Coast resident Kobe Bryant lined up as his first Showtime guest. Fortunately, Black Mamba has never, ever, never done anything that might produce snarky mockery.
(Not to Showtime staff: start taking a black Sharpie to “Colorado” on any of the host's cue cards.)