Unlikely War of Words: The Matt Valdez vs. Ken Pomeroy Saga
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - What happens when just a complete nubb disrupts the sports universe by slamming an elite college basketball statistician in the throes of March Madness?
Everyone reading this can draw the inevitable conclusion.
But let me try to chronicle this saga by simplifying some details to make it more reader-friendly.
Welcome. Enjoy your front row seat to the Big Time Network.
The story begins with Matt Valdez, the type of lowly producer who’s content with excreting gaseous matter into the air, then sharing a laugh with himself as he sits in his own filth.
Then there’s Ken Pomeroy, a fancy stats guru whose work has been embraced by the best of the college ranks: names like Jim Larranaga and Brad Stevens (turn on a television anywhere right now) come to mind.
We’ll set the scene in the Junkies studio.
It’s early in the week; everyone is scrambling to masterwork their brackets in time for the NCAA tournament. March Madness. A gambler’s dream and worst nightmare.
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A simple ‘Did you hear Lavar & Dukes had Ken Pom on as a guest?’ is thrown out.
It’s followed up by a ‘Valdez, why haven’t you booked him?’
This is a mystery that from the surface appears innocent enough, but when you start to dig a little deeper, a tale riddled with corruption and deceit begins to unfold.
Enter plot point 1 as told on the Junkies of 106.7 The Fan:
Valdez: I said ‘well, our listeners aren’t going to want to hear 15 minutes on pace of play.’
EB: Yea, but that’s not what you said yesterday on the show.
Cakes: I think you’re sugarcoating it a little bit.
JP: Let’s get Ken Pom’s take based on what you said, via Lavar and Dukes. We have the audio right?
EB: No no, but you need to preface it for people who are tuning in by what Valdez actually said. He said ‘Trust me, he’s not very good.’
Lurch: No, he said he was Dull.
Valdez: I said he was Dry. I didn’t say DULL, I said DRY.
Cakes: Dry implies kind of dull.
Take it from someone who’s been called dry on countless occasions. It’s a more polite way of saying ‘not entertaining.’
Valdez: Well it’s a very dry subject that he’s an expert on.
Key Ken Pom takeaways:
“Yea you know, Matt Valdez is pretty much dead to me at this point.”
“I’m actually a pretty huge fan of the Junkies. I grew up in the D.C. area and so I listen to them frequently and I know Matt’s a big fan of mine (Big Time). But yesterday he said I was like dry, and a terrible interview or something like that. I think that’s pretty close to the exact quote.”
“I think I’ve said all I need to say. Extremely disappointed to hear what he had to say yesterday.”
“Like I said, I’ve listened to the Junkies from their start in the late 90’s and still listen to them to this day. So you can imagine when you hear your name thrown around negatively by your idols, it’s tough to take.”
Wow. What were the odds Matt Valdez would talk smack on-air and it would actually get back to Ken Pom?!
You see, what Valdez ‘slept on’ was the very same thing that has given him a career: the power of the Junks. He foolishly neglected to take into account that this renowned guru could be a Junkies listener.
Cakes: In a billion years, Valdes never thought that Ken Pomeroy was a Junkies P1 out in Utah, listening to the show forever!
EB: What you need to do Matt, is you need to apologize. You need to apologize to Ken.
Now watch him grovel.
Valdez: I’ll apologize on air. I’m very sorry.
EB: Will you say that you were wrong?
Valdez: I was wrong.
EB: He’s excellent on air in fact.
Valdez: Excellent. Very good. Very talented.
Oh, it’s disgusting.
EB: He’s ten times better than you on the radio!
@kenpomeroy You're my hero. I hype you up all the time. I heard you on a podcast interview like 2 or 3 yrs ago and it was very stat geeky—
Matt Valdez (@matt_valdez) March 20, 2013
The last person who should ever be getting into a war of words is Valdez. It’s no secret, the kid’s no linguist.
But what happened when Ken Pom discovered he’d been chastised publicly by the producer of a show he adores could be described as a rightful tongue-lashing; a pointed counter-attack.
And the shameful apology that followed was just embarrassing. A man boyishly cowering in the corner as he realized he’d been caught railing against his hero.
What Valdez needs to realize is, when it comes to bashing someone you deeply admire, you either go all-in or refrain from doing so altogether. You either honor your appreciation for the person by completely burying them – because you care and want them to be aware of their deficiencies – or you watch yourself become the villain.
There is no in-between.
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The scraps of Valdez’ dignity shall serve as a constant reminder not to bite the hand that feeds.
Oh, did I forget to mention Ken Pomeroy came on the Junkies the next day to confront Matt?
Also visit KenPom.com for all your college basketball statistical needs.
P.S. Hats off to the producers and on-air talent who masterfully made this happen. It really was impressive how it developed into a war stretched across multiple radio shows, strung out for multiple days.