George Solomon's piece on ESPN.com talks about the shortcomings of the network and how there are some double standards that the sports media giant tends to overlook. The article is not entirely about college football, but there are a few points in there worth noting. The first one was said by one of my favorite ABC Analysts, Craig James.I was scanning through the articles, trying to find something to write about this morning and I stumbled across an opinion piece on ESPN.com. Opinion pieces are great to read and even better to write about because for the most part I tend to disagree with them and I can use the blog to rip it apart. But for once, I found a piece I totally agree with..
College football commentator Craig James' crass comment about Penn State football coach Joe Paterno this month slipped below the standards of the network.During halftime of a game between Penn State and Wisconsin, James referred to Joe Paterno as an old fart. Let's face it, the guy is no spring chicken. Paterno will turn 80 before the Nittany Lions' next game in the Outback Bowl, but for a guy like James to say that is totally unprofessional. He isn't in the situation where he should be able to cut up on people, that is a job for us bloggers and fans. To make it worse that was the game where Paterno broke his leg and tore some ligaments, but yet if you watched the game he still tried to walk and stay on the sidelines. My guess if that happened to Craig James, he would be crying, rolling around on the field in agony. Just to go a little further, the Old Fart Paterno has donated millions of dollars back to the University which went towards a new library. Then we have Craig James, who shared a backfield with Eric Dickerson of SMU and they were the highest paid backfield in College Football before SMU got the death penalty. James did offer an apology, but it was so half hearted that you could tell he did not mean it. ESPN pays James for his college football analysis and if he wants to make comments like the one above he should find another medium to express it on. It is an embarrassment to himself, ABC, and ESPN. But ESPN has been moving towards the "shock jock" type of announcers for years now (See Stuart Scott). The next comment is also something I wrote about on the Blog. First let me start off by saying, I really like Kirk Herbstreit and the job he does on Game Day. He also does a good job color commentating too. But the problem I do have is that he still does a Columbus talk show and is pretty bias towards Ohio State.
Kirk Herbstreit's reputation continues to grow with his smart, insightful analysis of the college football scene. But with increased popularity comes increased scrutiny, such as a number of unhappy listeners who believe Herbstreit puts down Michigan and some Wolverine players on his Columbus radio show. Also, considering the former Ohio State quarterback's role with ESPN, perhaps Herbstreit should consider abstaining from voting in the Associated Press college football poll. He did not return a phone call for comment.If he wants to be fully respected as a Voter and an analyst he should give up on the talk show in Columbus. In this day of Internet, you tube, and blogs he bias on the radio show is going to show up everyone. I posted earlier in the year about how Michigan had no chance against the Buckeyes. We all know that he played at Ohio State, and Desmond Howard played at Michigan but please, try not to show it. If that were me I would go above and beyond to show that I would not favor my favorite team. It doesn't do Kirk any favors and it tarnishes the image of ESPN by allowing him to still sport his Buckeye colors. ESPN/ABC is becoming less of a place for news and more of a place for commentators to show boat on. They want to say the next great phrase instead of just relaying facts and thoughtful opinion. If ESPN wants their image to be upheld, they should sit these guys down and stop this stuff right now.