As most of you already know, my set never strays far from the family of ESPN networks, unless of course there’s a sporting event on another channel I should be watching.
Since I tend bar at night, my schedule allows me to watch (or nap through) most of ESPN’s non-prime time programming, so as often as I can, I tune into Mike and Mike, Colin Cowherd, The Scott Van Pelt Show, Outside the Lines, Rome is Burning, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption.
It’s an exciting life I lead.
Recently, ESPN gave us a new show that mixes things up a bit. It’s a talk show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but can when needed. It’s a show between father and son. This program is called Highly Questionable with Dan Le Batard and while it might not be for everyone, it’s certainly for me.
Le Batard is a Miami-based newspaper writer and radio host. He gained national recognition when he regularly sat in for either Michael Wilbon or Tony Kornheiser on PTI. On his early appearances, he was loud and brash, but on HQDL, we find a more subdued and respectful Le Batard, probably because he’s doing the show with his father, Gonzalo, who he lovingly refers to as “Papi.”
The two sit on their set, an old school, art deco, Miami-style kitchen backdrop, as they answer questions either written by their producer or sent in by viewers. The affable, guayabera-clad Papi sits in front of his laptop, reading each question aloud in his thick Latin accent, which Le Batard then answers. He later discusses that topic with his father, asking for his opinion which is generally straight-forward, honest and more often than not, unapologetically biased.
They interview athletes and analysts in candid fashion asking questions a lot of other programs won’t ask. Highly Questionable is uniquely-edited and generally off-the-cuff. The best part about the show is that there’s no boisterous or obnoxious debate, like so many other programs on ESPN these days, where the talking heads do their darnedest to shout over the top of each other to get their opinions across. Are we supposed to find that entertaining?
Highly Questionable is just Dan and his father talking sports. That’s it. The show is brilliant in its simplicity and has quickly become my favorite program out of their entire lineup.
HQDL airs on ESPN2 at 4:00 pm and in my opinion is a must-watch. My only concern is that it may be a bit too ethnic for the likes of some, but as a bilingual sports fan of Latin heritage, I enjoy their antics, whether it’s their dressing in costume, calling Le Batard’s mom for dirt on Papi, playing “Sí o No” about what they should watch that evening or simply talking sports while random jai alai players or refrigerator repairmen loiter on the set behind them.
If you want to tune in to a sincere, entertaining sports program that tackles the serious as well as the mundane, I suggest you give Highly Questionable a chance. And if you get hooked, you can thank me later.