During their playing careers, both men had formal arrangements to appear on local sports-radio networks. Both could — at least in theory — continue to appear in headlines by joining the media. And while Cooley is still pursuing playing opportunities, Portis is officially a media free agent.
So when he appeared on BT Sports Radio Network on the EYES Radio this week, he was asked if he has yet been contacted about any radio or television openings.
“I haven’t,” Portis said. “ I would love to do that. But for whatever reason, I haven’t. And if it don’t happen, then so be it. I think when something come natural, maybe it’s a gift that you take for granted. Because it comes natural to sit and have a conversation on a game that I love, to be able to tell the truth and to be able to give you inside information that you wouldn’t know. That’s natural to me.
“Like, I love this game,” Portis continued. “I played this game half my life. How do I not know football? That’s the one thing I can talk about. But it’s bigger than football. I love basketball, I go to all the the basketball games. I love college football. I even watch baseball. I can talk about sports, period. And I follow sports because I’m a sports fan.
“So to me, to go and sit on a platform and give people honest opinions about something that I love — which is sports — is so easy to me that it’s hard to pursue, because you would hope that somebody understands or sees your passion or wants you. It’s hard to say I want NFL Network to call, I want SportsCenter to call, I want this. Call me because you feel like I’m perfect for the job. Help me feel as if what I’m giving is wanted in society. So doing radio, or doing TV, it would be great for me, because it’s natural.”
Then one of the hosts asked Portis whether he would top 106.7 The Fan’s LaVar Arrington were the two matched up on the airwaves, head-to-head. Portis, evidently thinking this was a reference to a long-ago perceived feud, went in an interesting direction.
“Man, it’s not a competition between me and LaVar,” he said. “I think LaVar is great at what he do, what he stand for. I think LaVar was great on the field, and life off the field for him is blossoming. It’s not a competition — me and LaVar, me and LaVar. If we have a talk show together, or if I have a talk show with B-Mitch, I’m not opposed to talking with him. That’s life. That’s business.
“You have arguments with people. It’s not life-threatening. I don’t want to go out and chop LaVar’s head off. I listen to LaVar’s show. I don’t hate LaVar Arrington. I enjoy LaVar Arrington.
“It was just a situation that got into the media and exploded. Me and him could have talked, because we both had each others’ numbers in our phones. You know where I live, I know where you live. You know where I hang, I know where you hang. So it was just a situation that exploded. It’s no competition between me and LaVar. I think he’s doing great in the area with his radio and TV. And for myself, if I get an opportunity to do it, then fine.”
And if he does it, you know I’ll transcribe it.