BOSTON (CBS) — The last time Michael Felger and Michael Hurley spoke, things got a little heated. And it didn’t go so well for either party.
So, Felger and Hurley decided it was time to have a more civilized discussion. And what better forum to do so than on a podcast?
Felger joined Hurley on the debut episode of “The Hurley Edition” podcast, and the two still disagreed on the idea of paternity leave.
“I feel like I went too far and I came across poorly,” Felger said, expressing some regret for the fight gaining steam across some national platforms. “I just got angry. I didn’t need to get angry. So I came across poorly.”
However, if you think this is a remorseful interview with Felger, you’d be mistaken.
“Not that I said anything wrong. If I actually read a transcript of my words, I wouldn’t be upset with that. It was just how I lost it,” Felger said.
As for the famous “I work my [behind] off!” reaction to Hurley’s comment about summering in Nantucket?
“I don’t get Nantucket and the nanny from the Nantucket Fairy or the Nanny Fairy. That is from all the work that me and my wife have put in,” he said. “I think this is something that millenials or younger people don’t get. … I do think young people look at the position I would be in or someone like me would be in and expect to get it and expect just to have it handed to you or you just sort of automatically get there, or not sort of understanding all the things to get there.”
The paternity talk leave is extensive, but the conversation eventually gets steered toward Felger, his place in the Boston sports media, the adjustments he’s making to CSN’s new programming, and what the future might hold.
Felger also took a popular question from Twitter users: Is the on-air persona a schtick, is it an acting performance, or is it genuine?
“Definitely not [an act], but that’s not to say that I talk at home at the dinner table like I would on the radio. Who does? I don’t go home and go, ‘Uhh, Wood, how do ya like me now? Bleeehuhhhh! You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about!’ No one does that,” Felger explained. “But because I do that on the radio and I don’t do that at the dinner table, does that make it an act? No. It means when you’re in front of a camera or behind a microphone, you have to project, you’ve got to sell. You’ve got to sell your point of view.”
Does he ever make up an opinion just because he knows it’ll cause a stir?
“I do not, I definitely do not make up takes,” he said. “I try to think differently. But that doesn’t mean you’re making it up. It means, well what’s another way to look at it? And what’s another way to approach it? And you’ll find that, a lot of people say the same thing about a certain topic … well what if you look at it differently and approach it differently? I mean, you are a talk show host.
“You can’t make it up. And if you do make it up, people will see through it. And they’ll know it.”
Now that he gets mercilessly booed by Sports Hub listeners when he shows up to live events, Felger reflected on some of the days when Patriots players used to take issue with him.
“The fan stuff, I think, is fun — even when they’re mother-bleeping you,” he said. “The player stuff was, I hated. I hated walking in there every day and having those guys give me the hairy eyeball. That got to be a real drag. That I found unpleasant.”
A regular critic of the city’s sports beat reporters, Felger admitted that the job is tough — especially if you don’t want to take the stance of defending the team against radio blowhards.
“It’s hard to be at war with the people that you cover … except I couldn’t do it. I’m just too much of a [jerk] and I’m too much of a contrarian and I’m too much of a ‘no that’s not the way that it is.’ That tug is in me. And so when I covered the beat, I couldn’t help myself. And I knew I would write something like, well this is going to blow this up. But I couldn’t not do it, because I couldn’t help myself, and so I would write it, and it would blow it up, and it would degenerate. So I’m in a much better spot behind that microphone.”
It’s an interesting conversation with an interesting person, so give it a listen. The audio is available at the top of this post, and it’s also available for download and subscription on iTunes, Stitcher, and the CBS Boston site.