SI: Did you haveany reservations about this job?
Kornheiser: When[ESPN] offered it to me, I said, "I'm a creature of routine, and I lovewhat I do. Go away." Five minutes later I was struck by that lightningbolt. It doesn't matter that I'm cranky and antisocial. I have to try.
SI: You were upfor this gig in 2000 but lost out to Dennis Miller. The first time hereferenced Emiliano Zapata did you sense you might get a second chance?
Kornheiser: Ithought Dennis Miller was a brilliant choice, but I will say this: Instead oftalking about the House of Plantagenet, I'll reference the House of the RisingSun. I'm not that smart.
SI: Some,including ESPN Radio's Mike Golic, have said you shouldn't have gotten the jobbecause you never played.
Kornheiser: Idon't begrudge a guy who played football in college from having a radio showbecause he wasn't an English major. I've always wondered why [commentating] ispresented as brain surgery. To me it doesn't seem hard to figure out thatsomeone has 21 points and someone has 17.
SI: You've saidthe last time you stayed awake past 9:30 was at your bar mitzvah.
Kornheiser: Ihave to learn to elongate my life. I'll spend May, June and July practicing. Arealistic goal for me now is 10:15.
SI: You're afraidof flying. How will you deal with the traveling?
Kornheiser: Idon't know if the Madden bus stays [at ABC/ESPN] or if it goes to John Madden.If I get the bus, I'll make sure there's an exercise bike on board. I'm afraidthat after five months I'll look like that guy in Supersize Me.
SI: And if theMNF thing doesn't work out?
Kornheiser: Theover-under on me making it is four games, in which case I drag [PTI cohostMichael] Wilbon in there. He likes to go to games more than I do.
• For more fromTony Kornheiser, go to SI.com/scorecard.