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What do you see as the role of the sports media in the bigger picture?
SHEPARD: Sports are inherently dramatic and exciting, so it would be easy for us to just get out of the way and let the games tell the story, but we know that's not what people want. They watch sports on TV because they like hearing people like us do our catchphrases and name-drop bands that we like.
REISER: Yeah, but we totally respect what you do at Sports Illustrated, using full sentences and stuff. It's hard enough to make Jay Cutler seem interesting using flashy graphics and music. So, you know, kudos.
In this landscape, how does SportsDome stand out from other sports news sources?
REISER: Look, if you just want scores, check the Internet. Or have your interns check it and read it out loud to you; that's what I do. But if you want the nitty-gritty—like how the cost of an ad during the Pro Bowl has reached a record $700, or how NHL commissioner Gary Bettman faked his own kidnapping to draw attention to his strange ice sport—then you've got to come to the Dome.
SHEPARD: We also cover the sports nobody else does, like the National Crystal Meth Hallucination League. If there's a meth head out there fighting an army of invisible snakes or trying to outrun a 20-foot demon with the face of his mother, we will bring you the highlights.
And ESPN? Do you see them as competition?
SHEPARD: I see them less as competition and more like a tribute band. They do a pretty good imitation of the Dome, but they don't nail the deets. For example, the staircase on their set maxes out at 18 steps. Ours has 25. And they only have two miniature fields—football and baseball. We've got 30, not counting the mini velodrome we're building in case indoor cycling makes a comeback.
Alex, you're billed as having recently returned from suspension for unspecified infractions. Care to comment on that?
REISER: I can't talk about it except to say nothing was ever proven in a court of law and that I'm very sorry for what may or may not have happened. I'm not a perfect person and never will be. All I can hope is that I can stop doing the things that make them suspend me, or that they stop suspending me for things I'm going to do anyway.