“I felt terrible,” he tells me in his office, his voice cracking. “I remember driving home – I’ll get emotional about this – and thinking about my late dad …”
Cowherd stops himself again and tries to deep breath his way out of an Oprah moment on his own computer chair. Resistance is futile. I had asked Cowherd about his role in an incident five years ago that briefly blew up my fledgling website. Obviously – and surprisingly, given Cowherd’s effortlessly cool persona – the memory aches.
“I can’t talk about this. I’ll get emotional,” he says, tugging at the zipper in the middle of his chest on his midnight-blue Puma tracksuit. His eyes well with tears. “That was awful. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done to another person. It was a horrible thing to do … it ate me up.”
His sparsely decorated office is across the hall from the new studio of his radio show at ESPN headquarters. Cowherd has just finished the broadcast and has a 90-minute breather until a routine meeting to plan for his snarky TV show, SportsNation.