Norman Chad and Tony Kornheiser, once very close friends and colleagues, have not spoken for about 15 years.
That’s according to Chad, color commentator on the “World Series of Poker,” who traced the end of the friendship to the halting of his appearances as a guest host alongside Kornheiser on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” in an interview with Awful Announcing.
“I was a guest host a couple of dozen times, minimum,” Chad said. “I appeared on it on Five Good Minutes 10 or 20 times. Then I was persona non grata. … It was either (Tony) Kornheiser himself who said, ‘No more Norm,’ or the guy who ran the show (executive producer) Erik Rydholm. It had to be one of the two and it was probably both.”
Rydholm did not respond to a message from The Post seeing if he or Kornheiser wished to respond to Chad.
Chad said he never asked why he stopped getting asked to appear on “PTI.”
“No. I know how Tony operates,” he said. “I was like Tony’s little brother. I loved helping him with his column. I loved being at the (Washington) Post with him. I spent a lot of time with him. I had many dinners at his home.”
Chad has an idea as to why Kornheiser was involved.
“Tony is capable of stabbing someone in the back and having no blood on his hands,” Chad said. “When I saw it happen to other people who I knew well, respected, and were friends with, Tony was operating the same way there so, my goodness, I guess he did the same thing to me.”
Chad and Kornheiser were close colleagues when they were both writers at the Washington Post.
In a series of columns still memorable to sports fans from the DMV region, Kornheiser assumed the role of conductor of the bandwagon for the then-Washington Redskins in the 1991-92 season.
When the team reached the Super Bowl, Kornheiser, Chad and Jeanne McManus, the deputy sports editor of the Washington Post at the time, drove an actual bandwagon — a 33-foot RV — 1,150 miles from Washington DC to Minneapolis, the site of the Big Game.
Despite the memories, the two have not spoken for many years now. From the sounds of it, Chad is ok with that.
“It has been more than 15 years,” he said. “The only time I refer to Tony is when people ask me questions about Tony. I tell them that Tony is dead to me.”