So ESPN has had a major “bloodletting” of on-air, or “front-facing” talent. Some 100 people or so have been let go, or bought out of their remaining contracts. It sucks. We’ve all been there.
That said, I was a bit underwhelmed by the list of names. Just because you “know” some of them, didn’t make them cherished and indispensable TV treasures. Nobody is going to miss Jay Crawford. But lucky for him, he remains impossibly TV-handsome. He’ll be okay.
People have been asking for my thoughts on this today, and instead of blurping out a few 140 character nuggets that get totally misunderstood and taken out of context, I figured I would just post what I do best: talk.
Here’s the audio from my afternoon show on ESPN980 in Washington D.C. (We are an ESPN radio “affiliate” but not in any way owned, or controlled by ESPN itself).
To me the biggest mistakes are Dilfer, Kannell and Werder. And I guess Jayson Stark. Jaimee Sire and Jade McCarthy were also among my favorites.
Everyone else…. meh. The ones who are good, will land somewhere else. And the ones who had been there for almost 20 years or more… hey, it’s not a tenured position. Sorry.
Of course all of this, will do nothing to save ESPN. It’s stripping off your clothes and throwing them overboard on a hot-air balloon that’s rapidly losing air. You’re just going to die naked. But hey… you did… uh… something.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to fortifying the wall around my own castle. I guarantee many of these folks are gonna be begging for a radio show, and there will surely be some program directors dumb enough to say yes.