Monday, January 28, 2008

ESPN Radio...Getting Worse by the Day

Is there anything more insufferable than ESPN Radio during Super Bowl week? Maybe ESPN Radio when there is no football to talk about. Lets break down the top three shows on their network, all of which have gotten progressively worse in the past six months.

Mike and Mike in the Morning - Straight up Cheese-dick radio. Is there anything more tired than the "Greeny is a metrosexual" bit? He is a whiny woman and Golic plays right into it. They do have good chemistry and are like an old married couple, but they spend three and a half out of their four hour show talking about the NFL. When they aren't doing that, they are coming up with lame song parodies or talking Yankees/Red Sox. It is definitely sports talk for non-sports fans and I understand why they get such big numbers, but the ESPN brass has done them no favors by over-saturating us with them. Everywhere you turn, its Mike and Mike. They gave them the Arena Football League announcing gig (a smart ploy to get fans to watch) and gave them an NFL game the first Monday Night of the season, which was a colossal mistake. Greeny doing play by play = Bryant Gumbel. The bottom line, have they ever asked a hard hitting question to any guest? Not that they have anyone on who isn't named Mark Schlereth, Sean Salisbury, or Dick Vitale.

The Herd - In the interest of full disclosure, I used to think this show was smart and different. But the more I listen to "Scrutebag" the more I began to dislike him. If there is a more arrogant man in the sports media (other than Dan Patrick, whom Scrutebag views as a radio mentor), I'd like to meet him. While at least he has interesting guests, talks college football more than anyone else, and doesn't toss softballs during interviews, the arrogance just ruins everything. When he takes calls, the callers always say "He Colin, love your show" and then he proceeds to insult them no matter what comment they make. See, Scrutebag is NEVER wrong. You could tell him the sky is blue when it is, but he'll say "no it isn't its gray, that's why I have a show and you are just a caller."

He literally has become so insufferable to me that I no longer even give his show any sort of listen. Not to mention the biggest deal of them all to me: He claims to never read blogs, says they are stupid, and then proceeds to steal all of their material. When one of the best sports blogs in the business, The Big Lead dared to cross big, bad Scrutebag, he proceeded to tell all of his listeners to go on the site at the same time, and crashed the Big Lead server. This led to disciplinary action by ESPN. If you ever want to know how good Scrutebag is, just ask him, he will gladly tell you. He thinks he's Jim Rome, but he isn't.

The Mike Tirico Show - Ok, for starters, we have to say that having Scott Van Pelt on this show is saving it for the dreaded "unlistenable" list. Because he doesn't have the cache of Tirico, he couldn't get this job, but he should have. SVP is the best guy going on that station by a mile and he plays well of of Tirico. Unfortunately for us, that is only twice a week. Whoever decided that Michelle Tafoya would be a good choice as a sidekick to Tirico should be fired. I flat out won't listen when she is on. It's a bore. Kirk Herbstreit is also excellent, but unless it's discussing football, he isn't relevant. That is the difference between having SVP as the #2 of the others. He knows all sports.

While we admirer Mike Tirico's work a ton and he seems like a genuine good guy, the show lacks the edge it had when Dan Patrick was running it. He is the king of softball lobbing and every interview he gives is a love fest. I miss those days of Dan Patrick going toe to toe with Tommy Morrison about trying to box again with HIV or with Kobe Bryant about his flip-flopping on wanting to leave the Lakers. Tirico is a company man. All he does is pump up ESPN and their programming. There is nothing special about this show and a once must listen to show everyday has turned into "if I hear it, fine. If I don't fine." I miss the days of Patrick with Rob Dibble and Sean Salisbury. While Dibs didn't know anything and was a total meat head, the show was very funny and fresh. You can't say the same thing now, unless you are talking about when SVP cracks Tirico for his love for Springsteen and his lack of knowledge of A Tribe Called Quest.

In Addition: We were always big fans of Eric Kusilias and the Sports Bash. Every time he fills on for either Mike and Mike or Tirico, it's all good. The guy is right in our wheel house. Loves all sports, quotes movies like Stripes, Fletch, and Trading Places, and isn't afraid to voice his opinions. Plus, he is smart and you can tell. He graduated from Michigan law school and practiced law before getting into ESPN. The difference in intelligence level between EK and Scrutebag is like comparing The Patriots to the Raiders. All we can say is thank God for Howard Stern replays on Sirius Channel 100 all day long.

Now talk amongst yourselves....

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