Robert Flores joined ESPN in 2005, after a production snafu for CBS affiliate KEYE in Austin, Texas led to his termination in 2004. Now a Sportscenter favorite due to his mixing of wrestling, Flight of the Conchords, old school rap, and Chappelle Show reference into the shows, Flores is entering his eighth year with the network. Robert was gracious enough to take a few minutes to talk wrasslin’, video games and more in this edition of Sloppy’s Interviews.
You’re a huge wrestling fan, and it’s great to see you chatting with Jim Ross every Monday night via Twitter. Who are your top 5 favorite wrestlers of all time?
My all-time favorites would be Ric Flair, Mil Mascaras, HBK, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Sting.
Who do you want to see the Undertaker face at Wrestlemania? And do you think his streak should ever be broken to essentially make somebody else’s career?
I would like to see CM Punk go after The Undertaker’s streak. ‘Taker is at the age of his career where he needs to have a good “dance” partner, and there isn’t anyone better right now than Punk. His skills in the ring are equal to his skills on the mic. I think eventually the streak should be broken, pro wrestling is all about passing the torch. An imaginary one, of course.
You’ve handed me a beatdown on FIFA over XBox Live a time or two in the past. What games are you currently in to?
I’m still playing a lot of Madden 13 and I’m just now getting into NBA2k13. I believe that game is more difficult to play than Madden.
In your opinion, what’s the best video game of all time, for any console in history?
Best video game console? Sega Genesis. I thought the graphics were amazing when it first game out. I spent many a night playing NBA Jam.
Sportscenter, and ESPN in general, receives a fair amount of criticism regarding the overexposure of certain stories and athletes. *Ahem*…Tebow…*cough cough*. How do you handle talking about the same stories day after day? Does it wear on you to a point? Because it seems like you can drop a little sarcasm here and there.
When you’re as big and popular as ESPN, you’re going to have critics. Sometimes, that criticism is fair. But always remember this; there are so many good, hardworking people here that try to create the best possible product. We’re not perfect, but we try to be. I enjoy poking fun at us sometimes, especially when it comes to Tim Tebow. But it’s all in fun, and the decisions are made by people infinitely smarter than me.
That being said, it seems like there are some genuinely nice people that work on the show. Who’s some of the funnier folks around Bristol behind the scenes? Who’s the best athlete there? (Excluding the former pro athletes, of course.)
Some of the funniest people here on the ones behind the scenes. Producers, directors etc. Same goes for best athlete. We have plenty of former college athletes in our studio production side. Those are the ones that usually dominate the rec basketball leagues.
What is there to do in Bristol besides work? People make it out to be in the middle of nowhere, with no civilization in sight. Is that how you get so much video time in?
While ESPN is located in Bristol, many of us live in various communities in and around ESPN. This area is a great place to raise a family. I could live in a tropical paradise and still make time for video games. I’m cultured like that.
You were canned back in 2004 by a Texas CBS affiliate over dropping the dreaded F-Bomb on television due to a production error. Is it safe to say that worked out for the best? And did you wet your pants when you realized what you did?
In my mind I was content with staying in Austin. I’m from Texas, both sides of the family were relatively close, but when I was fired I had to do what was best for my family. I’m grateful that ESPN took a chance on me and thankfully it has turned out for the best. The incident taught me a lot about the business, and people in general.
Your Wikipedia page needs some serious upkeep, it’s pretty boring right now. If one were to update your Wiki page, what facts should be included about your life?
I have a prized Louisville Slugger Ric Flair model bat, autographed by the Nature Boy himself.
Thanks for joining us at Heading for the Exits, RoFlo!