Everybody Knew This Kinda Thing Wasn’t Gonna Last, Right?

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.

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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11 Comments

  1. What happened? ESPN and Sportscenter where a go to thing in middle and high school. Everyone tuned in to watch highlights of Jordan, Kobe, and Tiger before school and watched the games after. I feel that losing the talents of Dan Patrick, a pre-political Keith Olberman and Stuart Scott (RIP, still shocking) and replacing them with Stephan A. Smith, Tony Kornheiser and Skip Bayless really sent them back. Though I do enjoy Scott Van Pelt and his midnight show, most of the anchors are nothing but cookie cutter corporate drones.
    I’ll tune in for 30 for 30 and the occastional Outside the Lines reports or a PTI session every now and then, but now most of their programming is blah, blah blah, and ,I believe you put it best on the Bob & Brian Show, I’ll scream my opinion at you.
    I also fimly believe that ESPN, NASCAR and the rest of the leagues during the “Great Expansion of Growth” period sorley miscalculated the impact of the Millennial generation’s viewership and fanbase. While they were reaching out to get into an “unpredictable” marketshare to garner more revenue they started alienating their hardcore marketshare by being more PC, changing rules, running more fluff and feel good everyone gets a trophy pieces. When the “unpredictable” markshare stopped paying attention I think they also found out quickly that the hardcore marketshare, which they could fall back on, turned somewhere else, as well.

    1. That’s exactly what I thought when I watched the draft last night. To be fair, Moss agreed to be paid in marijuana and Pringles…

  2. I rarely watch ESPN unless its an actual sporting event that I am interested in and even then its begrudgingly. So when I read the list of names it was mostly in the Homer Simpson voice saying, “I have no idea who that is.”

  3. Scott and Solly are regulars on the 980 show? I am ashamed to say I did not know that. I hereby announce my regular listenership.

  4. I am happy that Jim Bowden is no longer with them. He used to come up with the same stupid things he did with the Nationals when he was here.

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