I’ve talked about announcing teams at length here at Requiem for a Touchdown and this past week ESPN columnist Bill Simmons decided to do the very same.  It really is a very well written article – the first in awhile for Simmons whom, in my opinion, has been in a bit of a slump recently.

Simmons hits upon many of the same points I made in earlier posts – primarily that ESPN and other networks are aiming more for an entertainment angle instead of just concentrating on describing the action and providing useful analysis.  Definitely a solid read, one of the few on ESPN lately.  Check it out.


In case you forgot, Harold Reynolds was fired from ESPN a few months back for “inappropriate hugging”. Apparently, Harold allegedly decided to go buckwild in either a Boston Market or an Outback Steakhouse(where, ironically it’s supposed to be “No Rules, Just Right”) on a production assistant. That is, he gave her a hug – from behind.

Well, following Harold going down in a rather impressive blaze of glory, he’s apparently back for more, as he’s promptly suing ESPN. Never one to shun the limelight, Harold is apparently worried about his high moral character being injured.

The juice details of the lawsuit? I’m glad you asked:

  • Reynolds was making $1 million a year from the network. Jemele Hill, fire your agent!
  • The letter Reynolds received about his firing gave no reasons for the termination.
  • ESPN has yet to give Reynolds a copy of his personnel file even though Connecticut law requires them to.
  • Reynolds is seeking “at least $5 million.”

Well, then.

Honestly, there are few things more jarring than a good akward silence – but this clip simply seperates the men from the boys.

Well, it seems as if the World Wide Leader, ESPN, wasn’t exactly happy with his comments.  They decided to promptly suspend him for one game.

Another shining example of what not to say during a broadcast.  My favorite part is how he started tailing off at the end of his comment, almost as if he was finally thinking, “Wait, maybe I shouldn’t be saying this…”.


Monday Night Snark

October 17, 2006

Tony Kornheiser.  You might have heard of him – stud sports columnist for The Washington Post, co-star of the hit TV show Pardon the Interruption and, starting this year, a new member of the Monday Night Football broadcasting trio of Joe “I Changed the Pronunciation of my Last Name to” Theismann, Mike Tirico and Kornheiser himself.

Thus far, Kornheiser, ESPN and the broadcasting trio as a whole have come under fire from the sports community for a few football broadcasting cardinal offenses.

ESPN has opted to shift the focus of the broadcast team from the X’s and O’s and providing insightful analysis on the game at hand to a more entertainment centered program.  It’s not just a football game – it’s sports entertainment.  Wait – isn’t this what professional wrestling is?

What’s interesting is that, on the eve of the first Monday of the new football season, ESPN had a Monday Night Doubleheader, as they advertised it – two different games with two different broadcast teams.  The “A Squad” of Kornheiser, Theismann and Tirico covered one game, with the “B Squad” of former NFL coach Dick Vermeil and former NFL Quarterback and ESPN employee Ron Jaworski providing the color commentary with Brad Nessler handling the play by play.

The A Squad focused on the entertainment angle, trying to conjure up a laugh here and there yukking it up about nothing in particular, while the B Squad focused on the X’s and O’s, the crux of the game itself, and told you not only how things appeared to them on the field, but why they happened.

Guess what?  The B Squad was infinitely more enjoyable, interesting and bearable than the recycled garbage we here from Theismann and Co. every week.  Revelation of the week – when you focus on the game itself in a broadcast, good things happen!

Kornheiser, himself, has come under fire from the circle of sports journalists for being tentative and tight-lipped – something he readily admits in the link above.  Something has been lost in the transition to Monday Night – whether it’s because he’s still getting his feet wet or for some other reason, I don’t know, but this broadcasting team, Kornheiser, hype and all, is floundering big time.

Perhaps it’s time ESPN sent Squad A on an all expenses paid vacation to the film room, meanwhile promoting Vermeil and Crew to talk about what really matters – the game.

Sports Bloggers and You!

October 10, 2006

Deadspin is an internet hub buzzing with blogging activity. Deadspin is primarily the Kingpin of all sports blogs – it gets the best stories and has the most exclusives. Hilarious, socially pertinent (at least in the sports world), and, according to Sports Illustrated, “the talk of locker rooms”, Deadspin’s services to the reader doesn’t stop there – they also link to many pertinent individual sports blog links of the day, in effect, seperating the junk from the blogging treasures for the reader’s to then discover.

Another up and coming sports blog site is the newly renovated AOL Sports. In developing their new site, AOL placed an extreme importance upon blogging and thus set out to bring in the absolute cream of the crop – talent wise – to write blogs for the site. Jayson Whitlock, formally of ESPN and a longtime columnist for the Kansas City Star, is an example of the talent being brought in for AOL Sports.

From a design standpoint, these sites have much in common – they’re clean, not overly gaudy, and are easy to read and navigate. This, I believe, is a decidedly proper way to go about developing a sports blog – the information has to be readily available, easy to find and, most importantly, pertinent. After all, there is a lot of competition out there.

I have never before witnessed a man completely lose his mind on the air – well, until today.  This clip, which is about 15 minutes long, is worth listening to, not because you hear a man slowly descend into madness, but because it’s pretty much like a “How Not to” Guide of hosting a show.

Terrible.  This guy really needs a vacation.


“Fair and Balanced”

September 24, 2006

Would you like a perfect example of ‘journalism’ being used to further an agenda?  Of the media being used for purposes other than objectivity and informing the public?


Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Clinton or his Presidency (I also didn’t dislike it, either), but he shows how impressive of a debater and statesman he is here, turning around the bias filled questions Fox News “reporter” Mike Wallace asks him.

No wonder the public distrusts the media.