Dale Hansen is an American sportscaster, currently the weeknight sports anchor during the 6 pm and 10 pm newscasts on ABC's Dallas affiliate WFAA. He also hosts Dale Hansen's Sports Special on Sundays at 10:35 pm, consistently one of the highest-rated local programs in Dallas-Fort Worth. His segment each night garners an audience of over 300,000 people. He also serves as the station's Sports Director.
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My unplugged commentary on Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, landed me on the Ellen show and made national headlines. More recently, my commentaries on racism in a local high school and domestic violence in the NFL were shared by USA Today, Huffington Post, etc. My opinions are strong and firm and now people from around the world are filling up my email and voicemail. Now is your chance to AMA.
Here's my proof: http://imgur.com/4Tsc7yn
EDIT: I have to go ... I love the back and forth ... maybe we will do it another time
if you want to email me directly you can ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale why did you walk out on Dan?
he bored me with a stupid argument ... so it was time to go
You're known nationally for your commentaries on Michael Sam and the NFL, but few outside of DFW know you won a Peabody for your reporting on the SMU football scandals/death penalty of the 1980s.
What was it like covering such a significant story in Dallas sports history? Did you receive death threats? What was the audience reaction when you did that reporting?
I did .. but I've never been too concerned about a death threat .. I doubt anyone who wants to kill me would tell me 1st ... I did receive a dead bird in a box with a mangled neck .. stuck to the bird's chest was a note saying .. "Hansen you're next" ... it was a weird time .. and smu fans hated me .. fan of other schools smu was beating back then loved me ... funny how that works
Do you believe in a god, you have always come across to me at the very least agnostic?
I am agnostic ... I love the message of religion ... and used to be a big time church goer .. but I lost that a long time ago
70s and 80s local TV news sounds amazing. TIL Anchorman may actually be a documentary.
it's a great deal closer than it should have been ... but it was an amazing time .. it really was
Your commentary on the Flower Mound controversy was incredible. Did you write that speech beforehand or was it ad lib?
I wish I could ad lib something like that ... but no it was pre written .. and on a tele-prompter
This is so awesome. I'm originally from Dallas and lived there my whole life until I moved to Arkansas for school so seeing you make national headlines is insane. WFAA was always my favorite.
I guess my questions for you would be:
1) What were your first thoughts when your Michael Sam commentary blew up?
2) I watched your unplugged on Greg Hardy, and as a die hard Cowboys fan, I couldn't agree with you more. Did us signing him in addition to all the other stupid things our players have done keep you from being a fan or do you still tune in on Sundays?
3) Would you ever take unplugged requests or do you just do it based off of current events?
Thanks for taking the time to do this!
I didn't know what "going viral" meant ... I couldn't believe the reaction to the sam commentary becuz i really did believe it was just common sense ...
i haven't been a "fan" for a long long time ... but i watch every game ... the cowboys are a great story ... and I love SOME of the players .. my wife is a big enough fan for both of us
and i have had people ask me to do unpluggeds on different topics ... but if it doesn't move me to write I don't do it
Do you think you went too far when saying that an NFL player should never have to call the police for feeling threatened by a woman? It seems like that is exactly what they should do instead of trying to physically impose themselves in the situation.
I don't remember saying that ... but it sounds like something I might ... did I go too far ? no - I have heard the argument that women can be the abuser ... but unless it's Ronda Rousey ... I would think an nfl player could handle himself
hi dale, what can jerry jones do to make it right?
quit and give the keys to stephen
Dale, I'm a huge fan of your work and your persona. That said, I've heard from several folks that you got your big break in Dallas because of something to do wrestling a bear on local TV in the Midwest (Omaha? Iowa?).
I'm foggy on the details, but is this story true? I really want to believe it.
yes it is ... wrestled a bear at an Omaha boat show ... it was the only tape I had since I never thot I'd be leaving Omaha ... sent the tape to the dallas station ... the gm asked me if I'd wrestle a bear in dallas - i said "find me a bear and i will" .. and they did ... I lost both times ...
You said it while "discussing" Greg Hardy on 105.3 or 103.3, can't remember which - they even commented later in the day that you must have just been in the moment since it seems like a pretty brash suggestion. It sure seems like an NFL player "handling himself" is the exact reason players get into trouble
Not only this but it sure seems like an attack on the "manliness" of male domestic violence victims.
probably .. but it was a flippant response apparently to an argument that made no sense ...
Dale, I love your "Thank God for Kids" special every year. It's not Christmas without it! My question to you is, what was your primary motivation for having that special, and was it your initial intention to have it happen every year?
I shed a man/dad tear every year when that airs. Thanks for that! I watch WFAA primarily because of you.....and Shelly Slater...
I loved the song ... and like a lot of things I do -- it just seemed like a good idea at the time .. I never planned to do it every year ... but people started asking about it ... and it just kept going ... it's 1 of my favorite segments of any year
Of the four major sports team in DFW which is the closest to winning their respective league title?
cowboys ... and it's beena long time since i could say that unfortunately I don't think the other 3 are even close right now
have you always been interested in civil rights?
since i was 18 ... I haven't done nearly enough but I have quit a job over the issue ... i have worn the arm bands .. attended the rallies ... but I haven't done nearly enough
What's your position on firearm legislation in the US?
oh you're gonna love this ... I don't have a problem with hunters and shooting ranges ... I see no reason for guns to be anyplace else
Nolan or JD?
Globe Life Park or The Ballpark in Arlington?
Did the Angels do us a favor or what?
jd ballpark and yes they did yes they did
I have a friend who tells me because he's white, racist white people feel comfortable sharing their views with him and it makes him uncomfortable. Could you share any stories in that scenario where perhaps other people weren't aware of your views?
it doesn't happen much anymore ... but it used to happen all the time ... and i think your friend is white ... ignorant racist people assume we all are ... a long time ago I used to just sit there and let it go ... now i don't ..
Got a few for ya, long time fan Dale! What's your favorite part of living in Dallas? Can Stars pull it off down 6 pts with 6 to play? Who are your favorite other Dallas sports media personalities (DMN, radio, etc)?
I love everything about it ... the airport .. the golf courses .. the weather I honestly don't know why but I fell in love with this area the day i arrived in the summer of 1980 ... stars can't make it this year ... randy galloway probably my favorite ... I like mike doocy a great deal
What's your biggest concern with modern sports journalism?
that there really isn't much --- too many cheerleaders in sports ... too many wanting to curry favor with the home team etc etc ...
That doesn't make it any less poignant. Approximately how many emails did you end up getting?
I don't remember an exact count .. 250 or so ... nothing compared to the Michael sam commentary ... but what I do find interesting .. I get 3 to 4 every day ... and it's been a month or so ago . ... very positive response .. but even the most hateful racist won't admit it to anymore .. i guess that's a good thing
Favorite alcoholic drink?
What was the blowback on your SMU report? Did SMU alumna threaten you or criticize?
many many times ... just the usual stuff tho no big deal
So would you oppose allowing people to own guns in their own home? Additional restrictions on the types of guns a person can own?
would I ??? yes I would ... but no one is ever going to do that ... lucky for you I'm in sports and not politics .. but then no one would vote for me anyway .. so your guns are safe
Holy shit, this made my day.
Now with that... would you consider a third round? We can put the bear on some heavy tranquilizers or something.
not a chance ... I still have neck problems from the 1st one ... he hit me in the head so hard it snapped my neck ...
How did your unplugged sessions start?
probably when I started doing thank God for kids .. I wrote a little piece at Christmastime ... and it just took off from there
What's your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you've found in the Metroplex?
Louie's .. on Henderson ... I liked it better when louie was alive .. but it's a good place
How much longer can Steve McCauley's back support carrying Delkus?
I do love me some delkus ... and I promise you I will be sharing this with him
TIL...I figured you for a scotch man.
I actually tried every scotch known to man when I was 21 ... wanted to be the guy in the playboy advisor ... be the cool renaissance man .. I hated it .. then I read paul newman said he drinks beer at the brown derby ... and I realized if it's good enough for newman it's good enough for me
I don't like jazz either ... it's why i cancelled my playboy subscription
Why did you decide to do a countdown to Michael Jordan's first game in Dallas and have you ever done that with another athlete?
just a funny gimmick that I thot would work .. and it did .. and no I haven't .. there's only 1 jordan ... now that was a fun time too
Is it still as enjoyable for you now as it was then?
no it's not .. I enjoy it ... I realize how lucky I am but it's not the same ... and I don't think that makes me a lot different than most people ... it's an unfortunate part of life .. we get old .. we get tired ... and then we die
How does a young sports journalist (no experience just potential) gain experience and become valued?
hardest part of the job - finding a job ... start very small and very little pay ... and work incredibly hard ... hard to believe now - but that's what I did ... newton iowa $94 a week .. 6 days a week .. and i worked about a 15 hour day and loved it
Are you very good at poker? Do you take part in tournaments or is it just among friends and such?
Do you prefer Hold'em, Omaha, or just straight poker??
no I'm not ... but I love all card games ... I am a card junkie .. I can play for hours on end ... I've played in a couple of tournaments and done okay ... actually won a poker tournament on a cruise ship - but here's how my luck runs
2nd place was $1500.00 I won another cruise - i gave it away ... I should have played for 2nd
What will you do when you retire from WFAA? Travel...go back to Iowa...get your own show a la Dr Phil/Ellen?
we will stay in texas ... I doubt i'll travel much .. I really do hate that .. probably play more poker than I should .. and host 986 dinner parties ... I love friends in my backyard
What's your favorite Coach Joe story?
I loved that man ... probably watching him sing in my backyard at my summer party ... he just couldn't sing ... but i loved his enthusiasm ... he was a special - special guy
Can I come to a dinner party?
everybody else has ... you just might someday
What's your favorite sport to watch live in Dallas? Doesn't have to be pro. What ever you think has the best atmosphere.
football at all levels ...
What's the best piece of life advice could you give someone just going into the "real" world?
I live by 2 thots ... I am true to myself ... and the Persian proverb ... i complained because i had no shoes ... then I saw a man who had no feet
How much money do you make?
enough that I shouldn't have to do this ... but I do know this about money ... no matter how much you make .. it is never enough ... never
What would you do if Texas became an independent country? Do you like my name "Arfmeow"?
move to st thomas .. funny name tho ...
Can you give us a run through of all the reasons you are controversial?
What were your commentaries on racism?
here's a link to the commentaries .. i don't know why I am ... seems like common sense to me ... but not everyone shares my point of view -
Do you giggle in bed every night thinking how the best thing that happened to you was getting fired by channel 4 ? Why did they fire you ?
many many times ... a money deal .. they promised me a raise and then wouldn't pay ... so I refused to do the extra shows that they wanted as part of the deal ... I do think it has worked out just fine
Dale, I've met you at the cigar lounge in Victory Park and it was a pleasure. But, I also am a Flower Mound High School graduate. Do you really think that our town is full of racism because of a few bad eggs?
no and I didn't say that ... I said it was only a couple ... but it only takes a couple to create the image .. and I do think the school let it go on much too long
What single person has had the biggest influence on you?
I can't answer that with 1 person ... I really can't ... I had a teacher who motivated me ... a coach who saved me ... and a tv guy who taught me most everything I know ... but since you ask for 1 .. I would say the coach ... he didn't let me play when I failed my classes my sophomore year ... had he not done that ... and taught me many of the lessons I try to live by .. I would have been a bum
What was personally your most favorite story to cover?
smu investigation .. as I've said many many times ... I hated the fact that story was true ... but I loved the fact we were the ones who reported it .. and more importantly .. the way we reported it
I watched the 30 for 30 report on the SMU death penalty awhile back and I don't remember seeing you featured. We're you asked to participate? Why did you decline if you said no?
you didn't see me ?? maybe becuz I looked a little different 25 years ago .. actually a lot different .. I was ... uhhhhhh all over that piece
Do you know what happened to professor Syl Flores at UNT? I heard you speak in one of the classes.
he's working in Indiana ... I still hear from him from time to time
who is/was your favorite person to work with at WFAA?
delkus ... sean Hamilton ... but I like a lot of 'em ... probably a great deal more than they like me
Ever forget to take the hanger out of your jacket?
nope i have enough trouble getting the jacket on without the hangar
You get to go back in time and be a witness to one event - what is it?
What are realistic predictions for the Rangers this year?
Top 3 rounds of the NFL draft - what positions are the Cowboys taking?
now that's good ... wow ... probably something to do with world war II ... I am fascinated by the courage of the people during that time - i don't think i could have done it .. heck i know i couldn't ... but lucky for us they did
500 maybe .. but then i am the guy who picked the cowboys to win 5 last year .. so there is hope
and I don't know ... but i would think a running back has to be in there ... and I would think the other 2 are on defense
Thank you for doing the AMA. I still remember when you made that speech about Michael Sam. When that first showed up on my facebook feed, I thought it was a stupid clickbait article but I'm glad I clicked on the link to the video because it was great to hear you call out the NFL and the hypocrisy.
Do you find that your everyday life has changed after being in the spotlight for all these commentaries regarding racism and homophobia in sports? Did you have friends or family who have changed their relationship with you (for better or worse) based on your comments?
Once again, thank you for standing up and speaking out when you could've been penalized for your stance and opinions.
I think my relationships are better ... I certainly haven't lost any friends ... and gained quite a few ... so it's all good
Why was your boss upset with you for exposing Jackie Sherrill as a racist?
no he was upset I quoted Robert kennedy tho ..
Did you go to high school in Omaha?
no logan iowa ... 59 kids in my senior class