I, Max is one of the latest of the personality-driven sports shows, aired five times a week on the Fox Sports Network. Featuring Max Kellerman and two of the regular players on his earlier show, Around the Horn, it is a show similar to Pardon the Interruption and the aforementioned Around the Horn in which Kellerman argues fifteen current sports points versus "The World", represented by cohost Michael Holley, a guest, and the show's viewers. The arguments are judged by Bill Woolf, known on Around the Horn as Disembodied Voice. The show made its debut on May 10, 2004.
The show begins with Max Kellerman arguing with Michael Holley about the day's current sports news. After a few minutes of arguments and wisecracking, Judge Woolf awards one point to the person who argues most persuasively. (It was, at the opening of the show, that the winner would get ten points, the loser nine, but this was changed early on.)
Next comes one of many possible segments, such as Critic's Critic, in which Holley and Kellerman argue for or against quotations from various sportswriters across the states, and I Object!, in which Woolf makes an assertion and Kellerman or Holley must debate its veracity. More arguing follows, judged the same way.
The third segment of the show, except on the rare occasions in which it isn't run, is "Devil's Advocate", in which Kellerman debates a special guest, usually an athlete or a sportswriter. This is also judged, although the guest has yet to lose.
Last comes the Knockout Round, in which Kellerman offers up one or two sentence responses to viewer e-mail. Up to seven of these are shown, presumably depending on time constraints and how far ahead Max or The World is at the time.
If Max wins the show, Woolf reads a piece of his fanmail on the air. Likewise, if the World wins, Woolf reads a piece of hatemail, usually ending with Max's violent death and Michael Holley's ascendancy to host of the show.
Kellerman has long been a polarizing figure, thanks to his nasally voice and wiseguy New Yorker persona, and I, Max is no exception. In fact, all of his trademarks appear to have been ratcheted up. He uses sabermetrics often when discussing baseball, refers to New York teams as "we", and mutes people (with his "Me, VR" technology) with the same frequency he did in Around the Horn. Prior to that he was a boxing analyst for ESPN, after beginning his career as a teenager on a popular New York-area public access show about the sport.
Holley, a former columnist for the Boston Globe and a former panelist for Around the Horn, authored a book titled Patriot Reign, about his hometown football team, due for publication in September, 2004.
Woolf managed several ESPN 2 projects and was the Disembodied Voice and Executive Producer of Around the Horn before moving to Fox Sports Net.