Posted by: Jon Pyle | July 3, 2007

A Guide to Recognizing Your Comment Ombudsman: Rob Iracane


While I’m very excited about this interview, it’s unlikely this will become a companion piece to AGtRYB as I’m unaware of any other Comment Ombudsmen out there. In fact, I don’t know of very many ombudsmen in general, except over at ESPN and I don’t see her sitting down with me anytime soon. That fact alone would make our interview subject unique, but he has so much more to offer. You could even say he has ” good things that you don’t know about!” As the crown jewel of Rob Iracane Day, I present my interview with the man himself: Rob Iracane!

We always start out with a few Pyle of List staples. Prepare a customized list that you’d like to share with the world.

I’m taking the easy way out with the last five records I’ve purchased:

Pixies – Surfer Rosa / Come on Pilgrim

Marah – Live at Austin City Limits Music Festival

Various – Endless Highway: The Music of The Band

The Pretenders – Learning to Crawl

Bud Powell – Jazz at Massey Hall Vol. 2

Propose a fight for Fracas Friday.

White Sox GM Ken Williams vs the fine folks at Baseball Prospectus who predicted the Sox to go 72-90

3 best games you’ve ever watched (in person or on TV).

Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS: I was at the game with my brother-in-law, a lifelong Red Sox fan who decided not to wear any Sox gear. After Aaron Boone sent the crowd into a frenzy, he was hugged and high-fived by many delirious Yankee fans like myself who were high-fiving and hugging as if our favorite team had just won the most dramatic game seven in LCS history…oh wait….they did.

2000 NFC Championship game: I had just experienced a solid Giants victory over the rival Eagles, but with the vaunted Culpepper-to-Moss Vikings offense coming to the Meadowlands, I wasn’t feeling too confident. Final score? Giants 41, Vikings doughnut.

Phillies vs Dodgers, August 21, 1990 at Dodger Stadium: On a family vacation to California, my dad and I went to see the Dodgers take an 11-1 lead into the 8th inning, so we played the role of typical Dodger fans and left the stadium. Needless to say, we had to listen on the radio to hear the Phillies score 2 in the eighth and 9 in the ninth to win the game 12-11, quite the historic comeback.

What teams do you follow? Sports?

I was born a Yankees fan and I’ll die a Yankees fan. I also enjoy the New York Football Giants, the New York Basketball Knicks, and Big East college basketball.

Any suggestions for a future interview?

One of my favorite blogs is Philadelphia Will Do ( written by the clever and funny Daniel McQuade. It’s a catch-all blog for all things Philly but Dan is one of the biggest sports fans I’ve met.

What does it feel like to be one of the most powerful men in the realm of blogging?

Ask Mr. Leitch or Mr. Mottram or Mr. Bleszinski what it’s like to be powerful in the realm of blogging. Ask me what it’s like to tell college students they’re funny enough to comment at Deadspin.

I think you’re under-selling your power, but I’ll play along. What is like to tell college student they’re funny enough?

It’s very satisfying to tell them they are funny enough to comment. The hard part is letting them know that they’re not funny at all.

How did you end up working for Deadspin?

Will Leitch works tirelessly every day to write Deadspin and it left him no time to approve new commenters. He put out a call for a commenting intern and, despite being way too old to be called an ‘intern’, I applied and was hired. I write good. (sic)

Walk me through a typical day for Rob Iracane.

Deadspin is not my fulltime job, so my workday is that of a typical nine-to-fiver, with a whole lot of Deadspin reading and e-mail answering and comment approving thrown in, usually in the 8AM, 12PM, and 6PM hours.

How did the Comment Guru series for the site come about?

That’d be the Commenter Ombudsman series, thankyouverymuch. I had been talking with some people who wanted to bring back the Commenter Manifesto and it inspired me to ask Will to write a column about what was good and what was bad about comments. It’s gotten a good response and I’d like to think comments have gotten better since I started.

Have you considered a Deadspin Comment Hall of Fame?

No, I think comments have an expiration date for hilarity. Two weeks later and the joke is (usually) stale. Perhaps we could have a commenter hall of fame, but it would be very crowded. Big Daddy Drew is banned, however. He juices.

Do you have your own blog? If so, what is it? If not, have you considered it?

I’ve had a silly and infrequently-updated blog ( for about seven years but my readers consist only of friends and family. It’s of no interest to anyone else. Actually, it’s of no interest to my friends and family either. Which is why it sits mostly dormant.

Thoughts on the present and the future for the blogosphere. How does it fit with the mainstream media?

Both the future success and the future failure of the sports blogosphere lie in one thing: access. For a professional organization like the New York Islanders to grant ‘press’ passes to bloggers is a huge step forward, but if a blogger is willing to change a controversial story to keep that access, then the blog reader will lose. The blogosphere must stay parallel to the mainstream media without cheapening itself by falling into propaganda or becoming a mouthpiece for a pro team.

Share a humorous Deadspin/Gawker story with us.

This one time, at Deadspin camp…



  1. Rob is the hottest guy I’ve ever met who I think could literally climb me like a tree.

    Good interview, buddy.

  2. […] A Guide to Recognizing Your Comment Ombudsman: Rob Iracane Bud Powell – Jazz at Massey Hall Vol. 2. Propose a fight for Fracas Friday. White Sox GM Ken Williams vs the fine folks at Baseball Prospectus who predicted the Sox to go 72-90. 3 best games you?ve ever watched (in person or on TV). … […]

  3. […] finally, the long-awaited Rob Iracane interview at Pyle of List.  Feel free to go over and comment your ass off – he has no power […]

  4. I’m not even reading the rest of the interview before I make this comment. Your taste in music is outstanding, Rob. Unless this is like when President Bush claims to be reading The Rubaiyat in the original Persian just so he’ll look cool and smart. In which case, shame on you.

  5. *holds my balloon*

    I’m here for the parade.

  6. […] The Deadspin Comment Ombudsman gets interviewed. [Pyle of List] […]

  7. Good interview, even though I still picture him as the intern who worked at “Kramerica”.

  8. Look at that, a likeable Yankee fan.

    Huh. Who knew?

  9. I still don’t know how to feel as a post-college commenter who is admittedly not funny.

  10. Another coup JP… excellent stuff.

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