A FEW MINUTES WITH ... Greg Gumbel

By TED LEWIS

Advocate sportswriter

caption: Greg Gumbel CBS Sports Photo: CBS ©2001 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved copyright:
caption: Greg Gumbel CBS Sports Photo: CBS ©2001 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved copyright:

CBS Sports’ Greg Gumbel reflects on his favorite broadcast partners, his equally well-known brother and the best shortstop he’s ever seen:

As a native of New Orleans, how would you do as a tour guide for the city this week?

I’d be a really bad one. When my family left the city, I had just finished the first grade at Corpus Christi grammar school. I returned, occasionally, during summertime to visit relatives. Then as I got older, came back for Mardi Gras and, as I got older still, returned whenever I could for Jazz Fest (which I do nowadays). But the short answer is no.

Who is your favorite broadcast partner?

I would never designate one as having been better than any other. The fact is, I have been blessed to have never had a bad one. Consider the list: Ken Stabler, Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf in football. Quinn Buckner, Digger Phelps, Bill Raftery, Clark Kellogg, Greg Anthony, Seth Davis, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Bill Walton and Steve Jones in basketball. Jim Kaat, Joe Morgan, Lou Piniella, Bobby Murcer in baseball.

Is there a sports figure you’d like to interview that you haven’t gotten the chance to?

The sports personalities I have always wanted to interview, I already have. The list includes Muhammad Ali, Martina Navratilova, Peyton Manning, Walter Payton, Henry Aaron, Julius Erving, Joe Namath, Luis Aparicio, Ted Williams, George Halas, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Jim Brown, Arnold Palmer, Dick Butkus, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Dan Marino off the top of my head. If there’s another one out there I’m dying to talk to, I don’t know his or her name.

If you could swap places with any athlete for one day, who would it be?

If there is — or was — one athlete I ever wanted to be, it was Luis Aparicio, one of the best base stealers ever and the best defensive shortstop I’ve ever seen. Mostly, however, I am left wishing I could trade places with select rock and rollers.

Are you still confused with Bryant?

The “fans” don’t really confuse Bryant and me because they know who’s who and who does what. It’s the casual person who thinks they know who you are and don’t know if they remember you from doing a football game on Sundays, or was it he used to host a morning show on TV? Both Bryant and I have been called by the other’s name here and there, but I think that was mostly by Mom.

Ted Lewis