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Thread: Mass layoffs at ESPN

  1. #1
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    Mass layoffs at ESPN

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment...ed-werder.html

    https://www.recode.net/2017/4/26/154...ent-cost-chart
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    No wonder the quality of the broadcasts have gone down!
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    I don't even need to look to know some are still there that should not be.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Sonicblast12 View Post
    I don't even need to look to know some are still there that should not be.
    Jayson Stark was one of those let go. Most of the hockey writers are going.

    Product of ESPN over-paying for rights combined with cable cutting. They rely heavily on subscriber fees - 3-5x higher per month than any other cable network.

    Other than college football and a couple bowl games, I can't recall the last thing I watched on ESPN.
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    And yet Chris Berman is still on the payroll. Egads.
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    Dallas Braden got the boot. At least we won't have to look at that freaking beard any more.

    Running list from Deadspin:

    http://deadspin.com/a-running-list-o...ffs-1794664091
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    They should rehire Jim Bowden and then fire him again tomorrow.
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    Mark Saxon did some nice articles on the Cards.
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    John Clayton gets his walking papers.

    http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2...er_let_go.html
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by CheapSeats View Post
    Jayson Stark was one of those let go. Most of the hockey writers are going.

    Product of ESPN over-paying for rights combined with cable cutting. They rely heavily on subscriber fees - 3-5x higher per month than any other cable network.

    Other than college football and a couple bowl games, I can't recall the last thing I watched on ESPN.
    Product of BSPN assuming eastern liberalism is what sports fans want to hear.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by John D View Post
    Product of BSPN assuming eastern liberalism is what sports fans want to hear.
    No, Cheap is right. People are cutting the cable. It's economics, not politics, despite your wishes to the contrary.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    No, Cheap is right. People are cutting the cable. It's economics, not politics, despite your wishes to the contrary.
    Not only that, MLBN has decimated their baseball coverage. For MLB, they have an inferior product. No question.
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    The NFL lost viewership last year some blame the Kappernick episode as well as other political gaffes by Goodall .
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    Whatever the reason, it takes some real geniuses to take something like an all-sports TV network and make it turn guys like us off. When a good portion of your target audience can't stand you, you may have made some mistakes.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by barnbird View Post
    The NFL lost viewership last year some blame the Kappernick episode as well as other political gaffes by Goodall .
    Yeah, we'll, they're dumbsh!ts, too.

    The fact is, football is no longer special. It's on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sunday afternoon, Sunday nights and Mondays. Who's gonna tune in for Titans-Jaguars Thursday at 8:00pm? They have overexposed their product.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by 85cards View Post
    Whatever the reason, it takes some real geniuses to take something like an all-sports TV network and make it turn guys like us off. When a good portion of your target audience can't stand you, you may have made some mistakes.
    Last night's ESPN broadcast of the Dodgers-Cardinals was downright bizarre. We now know the Jon Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe hate each other's guts, and a thousand other things not remotely related to the game that was on TV (crappy though it was).

    The problem isn't political, it's just doing a lot of bad TV that doesn't focus on the sport people tune in to watch.

    And yes, MLB Network does fine work without the sophomoric garbage.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by JMolina View Post
    John Clayton gets his walking papers.

    http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2...er_let_go.html
    With his face and voice, he was lucky to get on television in the first place.

    I do think ESPN's ratings woes are in part because of its recent leftward tilt and increasingly obnoxious programming. People at ESPN itself believe that too (Linda Cohn, etc.) But their biggest problem is cord cutters, no question.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    No, Cheap is right. People are cutting the cable. It's economics, not politics, despite your wishes to the contrary.
    it might be a tiny bit cord cutting.

    i think it has a *whole* lot more to do with the rise of dedicated regional sports networks. espn recognizes their mistake - that people want to see, hear about, read about, etc, the teams in their home markets. that's why they are proliferating their regional radio presence.

    people turned off espn TV because they were sick of hearing about the same 5 teams in each sport, and they now have a TV alternative - e.g. Fox Sports Midwest carrying 162 regular season games. ESPN is trying to capture regional radio. Obviously, a sad consolation prize.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    No, Cheap is right. People are cutting the cable. It's economics, not politics, despite your wishes to the contrary.
    I think politics plays a role in folks deciding they can live without ESPN and cutting the cord.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Last night's ESPN broadcast of the Dodgers-Cardinals was downright bizarre. We now know the Jon Sciambi and Rick Sutcliffe hate each other's guts, and a thousand other things not remotely related to the game that was on TV (crappy though it was).

    The problem isn't political, it's just doing a lot of bad TV that doesn't focus on the sport people tune in to watch.

    And yes, MLB Network does fine work without the sophomoric garbage.
    For me it was the constant NY/Boston coverage during the early oughts that initially soured me. Then when the Kenny Maynes and Stuart Scotts (RIP) began becoming 'personalities' instead of reporters, I had had it. Berman is a joke. The only one I can still stomach is Rich Eisen.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by two-hole View Post
    and they now have a TV alternative - e.g. Fox Sports Midwest carrying 162 regular season games. ESPN is trying to capture regional radio. Obviously, a sad consolation prize.
    I remember when there was some kind of Cardinals/Reds combo network (someone help me out) and we and able to see maybe 40 games a year on it and the Sunday games were on Ch 5 or 11. I dreamed of the day I could see every game on TV. Now I can. Too bad the team sucks this year.

    Oh, and lest I forget the "Baseball network" where you got to see one or two playoff games per series. Ugh.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by CheapSeats View Post
    I think politics plays a role in folks deciding they can live without ESPN and cutting the cord.
    The mere discussion as to whether or not politics has played a part in ESPN's decline is split along partisan lines.

    Seriously, if politics played no part, don't you think perhaps you wouldn't see such a bright line delineation over who is willing to try to make that claim? It's the guilty conscious thing - when only Democrats are insisting that politics had nothing to do with ESPN's layoffs, it's pretty damn obvious that they did.

    No, they weren't the driving factor, but they absolutely have turned off a number of viewers. What the regional and sports specific networks have done is give people who ARE disenfranchised by ESPN's politics another outlet. Paulie's right in that regard - had things like FSMW and MLB Network not existed, people who are frustrated by ESPN's leanings would still watch ESPN.

    But they don't have to anymore so they leave.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Oz-iz-God View Post
    No, they weren't the driving factor, but they absolutely have turned off a number of viewers.
    Can you give me some examples? I honestly haven't seen anything overtly political on ESPN that I can remember.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Can you give me some examples? I honestly haven't seen anything overtly political on ESPN that I can remember.
    That's because statist ideology is as familiar as your bathwater.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by John D View Post
    That's because statist ideology is as familiar as your bathwater.
    I didn't ask you, asswipe. And you just showed why.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Can you give me some examples? I honestly haven't seen anything overtly political on ESPN that I can remember.
    You mean other than the entire career of Keith Olbermann? And have you ever followed Keith Law on twitter? Yeah. That lasted about four days before I couldn't stand it anymore.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    I didn't ask you, asswipe. And you just showed why.
    You're right. I assumed you actually take baths. My bad.
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    They had an article or two on the website that glorified Castro and his regime around the time of his death. Had a "he loved baseball" tilt, but glorified him none the less.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Can you give me some examples? I honestly haven't seen anything overtly political on ESPN that I can remember.
    I suspect it's because it doesn't irk you. John was as acerbic as ever, but his response is largely accurate.

    You don't recall anything overtly political because it's nothing that grates on you when it's there. Without cognitive dissonance, you don't end up noticing a ton of it.

    They aren't NPR or MSNBC, but the tilt is there, especially when they're looking to fill space on Sportscenter or find a talking head on First Take or the like. And I'm sorry, but Jessica Mendoza is an affirmative action hire - she's completely out of her depth - but they wanted to show how progressive they were. They openly endorsed the women's march after Trump and were trying desperately to find a sports angle to couch it in (couldn't really manage it, so they just sent out some female reporters to try to ask sports questions...it was really bad). It had nothing to do with sports but they found a way to take some shots at Trump anyway.

    John Skipper has mentioned political aspirations in interviews in the past and at times will openly acknowledge that ESPN has taken more political stances without admitting that they're blatantly liberal.

    Unless you're just burying your head in the sand here (and yes, you are), there's really no arguing that ESPN's coverage has taken a hard left tilt. My memory is that it started that direction around 2005ish but others may feel differently there.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Can you give me some examples? I honestly haven't seen anything overtly political on ESPN that I can remember.
    The most prominent example, in my opinion, is ESPN giving Caitlyn Jenner its ESPY Courage Award for becoming a woman, and what seemed like endless coverage of his sex change. Really? Is that courage? Is that worthy of extensive news coverage?

    There was similar coverage lavished on Michael Sam for being a gay NFL draftee. There was much less emphasis placed on the fact that the guy wasn't much of an NFL prospect, as his subsequent short career in the NFL and CFL showed. Really, who gives a damn about whether a player is gay?

    Tony Kornheiser, the guy on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" show, keeps his job when he compares the Tea Party to ISIS -- says the Tea Party wants to establish a caliphate in Congress. Really? WTF does that have to do with sports, anyway? In the meantime, Curt Schilling loses his job for making nasty comments about Muslims and men who want to use whatever bathroom they please.

    The only counter-example I can think of is ESPN's coverage of Tim Tebow, and I don't care for that either. His post-college football career hasn't warranted the attention he has gotten.

    I have quit watching ESPN except for live sports events in which I am interested. I am not a cord cutter, but I am sick of the political noise and the blather of the wannabe entertainer sports news readers. It's less time-consuming to watch sports highlights elsewhere.
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    If you're not a cord cutter, Dale, you're supporting ESPN, even if you never watch it.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by STJOMO View Post
    If you're not a cord cutter, Dale, you're supporting ESPN, even if you never watch it.
    I'm aware of that. I believe I get good value from cable for a number of reasons, but ESPN is not one of them.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Dale E Wetzel View Post
    The most prominent example, in my opinion, is ESPN giving Caitlyn Jenner its ESPY Courage Award for becoming a woman, and what seemed like endless coverage of his sex change. Really? Is that courage? Is that worthy of extensive news coverage?

    There was similar coverage lavished on Michael Sam for being a gay NFL draftee. There was much less emphasis placed on the fact that the guy wasn't much of an NFL prospect, as his subsequent short career in the NFL and CFL showed. Really, who gives a damn about whether a player is gay?

    Tony Kornheiser, the guy on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" show, keeps his job when he compares the Tea Party to ISIS -- says the Tea Party wants to establish a caliphate in Congress. Really? WTF does that have to do with sports, anyway? In the meantime, Curt Schilling loses his job for making nasty comments about Muslims and men who want to use whatever bathroom they please.

    The only counter-example I can think of is ESPN's coverage of Tim Tebow, and I don't care for that either. His post-college football career hasn't warranted the attention he has gotten.

    I have quit watching ESPN except for live sports events in which I am interested. I am not a cord cutter, but I am sick of the political noise and the blather of the wannabe entertainer sports news readers. It's less time-consuming to watch sports highlights elsewhere.
    If I may Dale, great examples.

    My commentary about this being Nutsack's bathwater is due to the fact that NUTSACK WAS ON THIS FORUM CROWING ABOUT THESE SAME THINGS!

    Of course he doesn't recognize it as "biased". For him, and others that share his political religion, BSPN was merely "doing the right thing"
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    I didn't even get to the recent political stuff, ESPN's Tim Teboner obsession turned me off for good. Once MLB tv came out, it was over.

    ESPN does have a place in this world. That place is playing in the background at a sports bar with the sound off.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Dale E Wetzel View Post
    The most prominent example, in my opinion, is ESPN giving Caitlyn Jenner its ESPY Courage Award for becoming a woman, and what seemed like endless coverage of his sex change. Really? Is that courage? Is that worthy of extensive news coverage?

    There was similar coverage lavished on Michael Sam for being a gay NFL draftee. There was much less emphasis placed on the fact that the guy wasn't much of an NFL prospect, as his subsequent short career in the NFL and CFL showed. Really, who gives a damn about whether a player is gay?

    Tony Kornheiser, the guy on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" show, keeps his job when he compares the Tea Party to ISIS -- says the Tea Party wants to establish a caliphate in Congress. Really? WTF does that have to do with sports, anyway? In the meantime, Curt Schilling loses his job for making nasty comments about Muslims and men who want to use whatever bathroom they please.

    The only counter-example I can think of is ESPN's coverage of Tim Tebow, and I don't care for that either. His post-college football career hasn't warranted the attention he has gotten.

    I have quit watching ESPN except for live sports events in which I am interested. I am not a cord cutter, but I am sick of the political noise and the blather of the wannabe entertainer sports news readers. It's less time-consuming to watch sports highlights elsewhere.
    Thank you. I haven't been a heavy ESPN viewer so was not tracking how much time was devoted to these stories.

    But I do see something in common in all of them.

    THEY AREN'T SPORTS.

    They are personality profiles. All of them deserved some coverage, sure, but not the full 'up close and personal' treatment pioneered by ESPN's corporate parent ABC back in Jenner's glory days.
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    Just stopping by to say, as Pedro Cerrano would: "Oh, ju guys!"

    You probably think that a show called "All in the Family," which celebrated a great American and wonderful role model named Archie Bunker was, in reality, a plank in a liberal platform.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    No, Cheap is right. People are cutting the cable. It's economics, not politics, despite your wishes to the contrary.
    Politics was a partial 'response' to their economic woes. It also happened to be what they wanted to do anyway. Bad mistake. D.GOOCH
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Oz-iz-God View Post
    I suspect it's because it doesn't irk you. John was as acerbic as ever, but his response is largely accurate.

    You don't recall anything overtly political because it's nothing that grates on you when it's there. Without cognitive dissonance, you don't end up noticing a ton of it.

    They aren't NPR or MSNBC, but the tilt is there, especially when they're looking to fill space on Sportscenter or find a talking head on First Take or the like. And I'm sorry, but Jessica Mendoza is an affirmative action hire - she's completely out of her depth - but they wanted to show how progressive they were. They openly endorsed the women's march after Trump and were trying desperately to find a sports angle to couch it in (couldn't really manage it, so they just sent out some female reporters to try to ask sports questions...it was really bad). It had nothing to do with sports but they found a way to take some shots at Trump anyway.

    John Skipper has mentioned political aspirations in interviews in the past and at times will openly acknowledge that ESPN has taken more political stances without admitting that they're blatantly liberal.

    Unless you're just burying your head in the sand here (and yes, you are), there's really no arguing that ESPN's coverage has taken a hard left tilt. My memory is that it started that direction around 2005ish but others may feel differently there.
    It all started to go down hill when ABC took over. They quickly began shifting the ESPN product towards the lifestyle, soft stories. Between trying to monetize every 'hot take' with commercial products and destroying SportsCenter by loading it down with a) sugar-dripping personal stories or b) coverage of x sports scandal - they quit covering sports. And then about 5 or 6 years back came the overt politics. I was done with ESPN after the Michael Sam NFL Draft. As a Mizzou alum, I was rooting for Sam to catch on with a team, but I did not want to watch an entire Draft show about him, let alone be inundated with a message that Sam getting drafted was somehow equivalent to, and the greatest thing since, Jackie Robinson. And then it was followed by all the 'hot takes' on how he fell in the draft because teams were homophobic - despite the fact he had a clear 7th round grade by any and every scouting expert in the game. Juxtaposed with how they treated Tim Tebow, that was it for me. It took longer to happen to ESPN Radio - I'd say the final straw for me was a couple of years ago when I was listening to two female talking heads on a Saturday spend 20 minutes talking about how terrible it was that people think the Duke rape scandal might have been more than just the one-off exception in sexual assault claims in college..instead of, ya know, all the sports that was going on. Before that, I literally was an ESPN radio junkie. And I used to have SportsCenter on in the morning all the time. Watched alot of the talking head shows, too. Now, the only time I'm on ESPN is for an actual game. And I listen to NFL Netowrk on XM or MadDog Sports, which still covers, ya know, sports. D.GOOCH
    Last edited by GOOCH; 06-02-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Dale E Wetzel View Post
    The only counter-example I can think of is ESPN's coverage of Tim Tebow, and I don't care for that either. His post-college football career hasn't warranted the attention he has gotten.
    Dale, that's not a counter-example. It's more of a contrapositive. They gave Tebow all of that attention because he was 'out and proud' with his Christian faith, and the conservative views that accompanied it - which was only news worthy to East Coast, secular liberals who indulged a Jane Goodall-like fascination with him. So while I agree that the attention was out-sized for both Sam and Tebow, the underlying political motivation was the same in both - because the coverage of Tebow was relentlessly negative. ESPN and ESPN Radio's coverage of Tebow was all about how he couldn't make it in the NFL. But the fact of the matter is, Tebow was fairly successful, in his brief stint: clearly limited in what he could do, but he had some assets as a managed QB. I thought his athletic talents warranted a switch to half-back or tight end, but the amount of vitriol they directed at him, ostensibly with respect to his QB talent, simply was wholly out of proportion. The political motivation was obvious, and probably cost Tebow an opportunity to continue his NFL career as a backup (who needs all that drama from a backup?) or a conversion to another position. ESPN was clearly rooting for Tebow to fail and fall flat on his face. It was the opposite with Sam. Both times it was liberal bias. D.GOOCH
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by GOOCH View Post
    Dale, that's not a counter-example. It's more of a contrapositive. They gave Tebow all of that attention because he was 'out and proud' with his Christian faith, and the conservative views that accompanied it - which was only news worthy to East Coast, secular liberals who indulged a Jane Goodall-like fascination with him. So while I agree that the attention was out-sized for both Sam and Tebow, the underlying political motivation was the same in both - because the coverage of Tebow was relentlessly negative. ESPN and ESPN Radio's coverage of Tebow was all about how he couldn't make it in the NFL. But the fact of the matter is, Tebow was fairly successful, in his brief stint: clearly limited in what he could do, but he had some assets as a managed QB. I thought his athletic talents warranted a switch to half-back or tight end, but the amount of vitriol they directed at him, ostensibly with respect to his QB talent, simply was wholly out of proportion. The political motivation was obvious, and probably cost Tebow an opportunity to continue his NFL career as a backup (who needs all that drama from a backup?) or a conversion to another position. ESPN was clearly rooting for Tebow to fail and fall flat on his face. It was the opposite with Sam. Both times it was liberal bias. D.GOOCH
    It's in their bathwater.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by GOOCH View Post
    It all started to go down hill when ABC took over. D.GOOCH
    Not really. ABC bought in in 1984.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by GOOCH View Post
    I thought his athletic talents warranted a switch to half-back or tight end, but the amount of vitriol they directed at him, ostensibly with respect to his QB talent, simply was wholly out of proportion. The political motivation was obvious, and probably cost Tebow an opportunity to continue his NFL career as a backup (who needs all that drama from a backup?) or a conversion to another position. ESPN was clearly rooting for Tebow to fail and fall flat on his face. It was the opposite with Sam. Both times it was liberal bias. D.GOOCH
    Ridiculous.

    If Tebow could cut it as an NFL QB he'd have a job.

    The market has spoken. He sucks.
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Ridiculous.

    If Tebow could cut it as an NFL QB he'd have a job.

    The market has spoken. He sucks.
    I can't speak to Tebow's talent because frankly I don't know (or care to know) shit about football. That being said, it's entirely possible that a media circus could've impacted some organization's interest in him.

    I use Barry Bonds as a good example. You cannot convince me that Bonds wasn't capable of playing another season in 2008, specifically in a DH role. But teams clearly weren't interested in the media circus (and controversy) that was sure to follow him. Now I'll concede that the media circus wasn't nearly as big with Tebow as it was with Bonds......but you have to consider that Bonds had more upside than Tebow.

    Just because the market spoke, doesn't mean it agree with you.
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    Media Views: NFL ratings dipped, but it's all relative

    http://www.stltoday.com/entertainmen...f279e299b.html
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  45. #45
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    Want to know what's wrong with ESPN? This from the PD.

    "ESPN’s broadcasters will call the ballgame from the right-field stands, weather permitting. Regular Sunday nighters Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Aaron Boone (analysis) are to be joined by former catcher David Ross, who helped the Cubs win the World Series last year and recently was a runner-up on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” program. He fills in for analyst Jessica Mendoza, who is covering Women’s College World Series softball this weekend. Buster Olney will report from the field."

    At least Mendoza will be where she belongs.
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  46. #46
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Ridiculous.

    If Tebow could cut it as an NFL QB he'd have a job.

    The market has spoken. He sucks.
    I think "sucks" might be a bit harsh but it was pretty clear he wasn't going to turn into Aaron Rodgers suddenly. He did win 6 games and a playoff game for the Broncos so he wasn't exactly a fish out of water.

    I thought he was pretty good as a broadcaster on the SEC network but he seemed to not want to stick with it.
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  47. #47
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by Sonicblast12 View Post
    Want to know what's wrong with ESPN? This from the PD.

    "ESPN’s broadcasters will call the ballgame from the right-field stands, weather permitting. Regular Sunday nighters Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Aaron Boone (analysis) are to be joined by former catcher David Ross, who helped the Cubs win the World Series last year and recently was a runner-up on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” program. He fills in for analyst Jessica Mendoza, who is covering Women’s College World Series softball this weekend. Buster Olney will report from the field."

    At least Mendoza will be where she belongs.
    So we can expect a heavily slanted pro-Cub analysis. Lovely.
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  48. #48
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by BatesvilleCard View Post
    So we can expect a heavily slanted pro-Cub analysis. Lovely.
    ......And some serious Joe Maddon man-loving
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  49. #49
    GOOCH's Avatar
    GOOCH is offlineReal OG: "Original Gooch"
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by paulie walnuts View Post
    Ridiculous.

    If Tebow could cut it as an NFL QB he'd have a job.

    The market has spoken. He sucks.
    The above is clearly nonsense. What you're saying is that NFL teams make player decisions exclusively on the basis of talent. Uh, no. Controversy, character, scandal, etc. etc. all play a factor in those decisions. This goes doubly so for a backup or marginal player (the amount of 'bad' or 'controversy' a team is willing to tolerate is proportional to the impact of the player on the field), and double that again for a backup QB on an NFL team. To deny it is simply dumb. D.GOOCH
    Last edited by GOOCH; 06-02-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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  50. #50
    GOOCH's Avatar
    GOOCH is offlineReal OG: "Original Gooch"
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    QuoteOriginally Posted by 85cards View Post
    I think "sucks" might be a bit harsh but it was pretty clear he wasn't going to turn into Aaron Rodgers suddenly. He did win 6 games and a playoff game for the Broncos so he wasn't exactly a fish out of water.
    Exactly. He showed enough talent to be a backup QB and might have even added some 'special package' value given his running ability. Or he could have been a potential starter at another position (perhaps gone the 'Slash' route). But no team is going to sign that and put up with the media frenzy that the East Coast Liberal Sports Media created around everything Tebow. It's amazing he got as many shots as he did. D.GOOCH
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