On Sunday, after Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title, the 28-year-old appeared on SportsCenter for an interview with anchor Kevin Connors. The resulting four minute-plus interview (above) quickly became Internet gold as fans of Keselowski and his “Blue Deuce” raved about their beer-chugging driver and his revealing conversation with Connors.
Front Row asked Connors for his perspective on the live talkback.
What was your initial thought when you saw him with a huge glass of beer?
Where’s mine?! Then I thought, this is about as genuine as it gets. His reaction was so real, that’s why it received the response it did. Here’s a guy who just finished off a dream season, and he’s having a beer to celebrate. A very, very, very large beer.
You (and others) commented after that it was a great interview. What did you like so much about it?
The fact that it was so natural. Athletes love to thank their sponsors, their agents, their apparel company, etc. Brad was just sincere, saying he was buzzed (classic!), then admitting he wasn’t the biggest, strongest guy but that he and his team got there through honest, hard work. When I asked “What did your Dad say to you after you won?” and Brad said “We did it!” and laughed, I thought, that’s what it’s all about.
How was the reaction you received on Twitter and from co-workers, friends, family, etc?
I’ve been at ESPN for four and a half years and I’ve never gotten such a response on Twitter (@kevconnorsespn). People just loved the “real-ness” of that moment. Friends and family blew up my phone with texts and emails too. I guess if I never do anything else, I’ll be the guy who interviewed a buzzed Brad Keselowski after he won the Sprint Cup title!
He’s on campus today, do you plan on seeing him and if so what do you want to tell him?
I hope to see him. If I do, I’ll tell him I want one of those gigantic glasses! I’ll also obviously congratulate him on an incredible accomplishment and maybe ask him if he needs any Advil.
You’ve been covering a lot of the NASCAR on SportsCenter this past year. What has interested you most about the sport?
Without question it’s how accessible the drivers, owners and crew chiefs are. Also how passionate the fans are about the sport. I did not grow up a NASCAR fan, but I’ve become one because of the compelling storylines and personalities. How many days till Daytona?
Keselowski, in addition to being on ESPN’s campus today for a post-title “car wash,” will be a guest with Mike and Mike in the Morning on Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. ET.