ESPN’s 2010 NBA Free Agency Summit

Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and Dan LeBatard discuss all the free agency news and rumors.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Aaron Rodgers is no fan of Tony Kornheiser

In an interview with ESPN Radio Milwaukee, Aaron Rodgers blasted Tony Kornheiser.

“You know who was better than Tony Kornheiser? Dennis Miller was ten times better. Dennis Miller was a great comedian, but one of the worst Monday Night Football guys ever. And he was ten times better than Tony Kornheiser. His stuff was actually funny. Tony stuff wasn’t funny at all. He did no research. We’d sit in those production meetings and he would add absolutely nothing to the conversation. I’d be like, ‘What are we doing here? This is stupid.’… You get in there with Tony and he’s asking you all these dumb questions that have no application to the game you are playing or anything you are doing. He’s terrible… I don’t think he’s funny. I don’t think he’s insightful. I don’t think knows anything about sports.”

Tell us how you really feel, Aaron.

I’ve made this argument before about Kornheiser: he’s not a diehard sports fan and therefore, I agree that he doesn’t have much detailed insight to any of the leagues. But he’s good on Pardon the Interruption because he can introduce a topic and look at it from a non-diehard point of view. The show has been successful because Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have different styles, but work extremely well together.

That said, Rodgers says what most fans have been thinking for a while: Some of ESPN’s content just isn’t good. Kornheiser isn’t a fit for MNF, just like Miller wasn’t. I appreciate the network’s thought process behind trying to bring entertainment into the booth, but they’re pissing off true NFL fans that could do without Kornheiser’s constant questions and bantering with Jaworski.

“NFL Live” is another show ESPN should take a long, hard look at. Nobody manages to say as much as possible but nothing at all like Mark Schlereth. On the surface, it seems like he’s saying insightful things, but you peel away his comments and you realize they’re as thin as notebook paper. Yet ESPN has him on the show because he’s a former player.

I know it’s tough, but the network would be best served if they can find former athletes that not only know what they’re talking about and can bring something to the table, but who are also comfortable in front of the camera.

Maybe Rodgers can help the network out by finding new analysts. At least he’ll tell it like it is.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Blogging the Bloggers: Tony La Russa vs. Twitter, Danica on cheating & more

SPORTSbyBROOKS fills us in on the story of Tony La Russa suing Twitter. Apparently the Cardinals manager doesn’t appreciate fake Twitter profiles that talk about his past DUI charge.

DEADSPIN breaks down Texas reliever Austin Wood’s recent amazing (or not so amazing?) feat in which he threw 169 pitches in a seven-hour regional game last weekend.

AWFUL ANNOUNCING says that Tony Kornheiser likes to think that people liked him on Monday Night Football.

FANSIDED details the ways of how to be successful as a start-up sports blogger. (Maybe John and I should read it, although I am happy to report that TSR is mentioned in the peace.)

WITH LEATHER shares the news that Danica Patrick would have taken performance-enhancing drugs to win the Indy 500 if she knew she wouldn’t be caught. Apparently to Danica, it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.

Gruden to replace Kornheiser in MNF booth

For Monday Night Football telecasts, it’s out with TV personality Tony Kornheiser and in with former head coach Jon Gruden.

Former Super Bowl-Winning Coach to Team with Tirico and Jaworski in MNF Booth
Gruden replaces Tony Kornheiser, who has decided to step down after three years in the Monday Night Football booth.

Kornheiser added: “I am totally grateful for the MNF opportunity that I truly enjoyed the last three seasons. I feel we got better each year. My fear of planes is legendary and sadly true. When I looked at the upcoming schedule it was the perfect storm that would’ve frequently moved me from the bus to the air. I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself. If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden. He is the two things you most want — smart and funny — and has the two things I don’t — good hair and a tan. I love PTI and am looking forward to continuing to yammer and yodel with Wilbon until the end of time.”

Gruden was an analyst for the NFL Network during the draft and he did a nice job. He didn’t blow me away with his commentary, but he was solid nonetheless.

The brains behind MNF need to get it together. I realize they’re trying to appeal to a broader audience and that’s why they’ve tried comedians and other personalities like Kornheiser and Dennis Miller, but just freaking stick a football guy between Tirico and Jaws and call it a day.

Football fans want to hear the broadcasters discuss the game – not some irrelevant stat or story that is force-fed to Kornheiser by the producers. It seemed that most of Kornheiser’s jokes were written for him and they wound up being a distraction at times. He played his role perfectly (i.e. someone that tried to bring up different topics during the game), but again, I’d rather have a football guy like Gruden in the booth who obviously has knowledge of the game.

The question is, how long before Gruden returns to the sidelines? I’m assuming he’ll only be unemployed for a year and that means MNF will have to find another replacement again.

Tony Kornheiser isn’t racist, he’s just not as funny as he thinks he is

I don’t know how many people caught this in the age of TiVo, but Tony Kornheiser gave a generic apology for something he said earlier during the Eagles/Cowboys Monday night broadcast.

ESPN was celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and Kornheiser, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski were listening to a replay of the ESPN Deportes announcer Alvaro Martin’s description of Felix Jones’s 98-yard kickoff return that put the Cowboys ahead, 13-6.

“I took high school Spanish,” Kornheiser said, “and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning?’ ”

After Kornheiser conferred with the ESPN production team later in the game, he told viewers in the fourth quarter: “I said something before I shouldn’t have said. I apologize for it. Not my first mistake, undoubtedly won’t be my last, but a 100-percent apology.”

You can hear the original comment and the apology in the following video:

SportsByBrooks is confused.

So, is he saying the Latino announcer is picking up dry cleaning? Or doing the dry cleaning? Or is he just insinuating that the guy has dry cleaning that needs to be picked up by someone? But why would it be weird for a guy who speaks Spanish to be asking for that to be done in Spanish? And isn’t dry cleaning more stereotypically associated with a different ethnicity? Is there something wrong about a Latino guy saying this while watching an African-American guy run?

Whatever it was, Kornheiser felt it was necessary (or was told it was necessary) to apologize for it. Maybe he’s just sorry for his dreadful shtick that’s continually weighing down the broadcast.

I have a theory. Kornheiser was obviously trying to make a joke, and I believe it was supposed to be at his own expense (at his inability to speak Spanish). He was saying that he took high school Spanish and then he offered two translations to the Spanish broadcast. His joke probably wouldn’t have fell flat had he said the following:

“I took high school Spanish and that either meant ‘Nobody is going to catch him’ or ‘The bathroom is in the back of the library.’ “

Anyone who actually took high school Spanish (and there are a lot of us) probably would have found that funny since much of first- and second-year Spanish involves conversation about bathrooms (banos) and/or libraries (bibliotecas).

The fact that he threw ‘dry cleaning’ into his spiel turned it into a possible joke on a stereotype, though no stereotype involving Latinos and dry cleaning exists (to my knowledge).

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