A new book with sordid details further exposing ESPN as a shady-ass place is about to be released, and I’ve spent a lot of time as of late reading the various snippets and excerpts on various websites.
I’d highly recommend that both of you do the same.
Anyhow, one particular excerpt pertains to ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Awful Announcing has a more detailed version of what Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch relayed earlier today on Twitter. But here’s the bread and butter:
Says Tony Kornheiser … of Mike Tirico:
“Look, I know that Mike Tirico is smart and funny and as quick if not quicker than I am. I admire and respect him, but it killed me that he had none of that for me.
After many conversations, I came to believe that he had little respect for sportswriters and remembers all the sportswriters who wrote bad shit about him. He loves it when sportswriters get something wrong. And I felt he put me in that group, because I’m part of them.
It wasn’t that I was right and he was wrong. We just couldn’t agree. I had a lot of conversations with [Jay] Rothman and [John] Walsh and some even with Norby [Williamson], and I’ll admit I would get upset. I said, “He’s killing me, and it keeps happening.” They would say, “We’ve talked to him, and it’s going to get better,” but it never did.
He was doing it deliberately; anybody with eyes could see it. He just wouldn’t engage me.”
This surprises me. I don’t recall any friction between Tirico and Kornheiser. I certainly remember Joe Theismann and Ron Jaworski going at it Kornheiser, but never Tirico.
Obviously, Kornheiser was more frustrated by the way in which Tirico apparently didn’t work him into the dialogue, which I can more easily understand. Either way, it’s interesting.
I’m a big Tirico fan, but I often hear negative things about him. And that might actually boost my appreciation for the guy. He — like most of his ESPN cohorts — has had some bad stories hurt his reputation, but the guy is just so professional and knowledgeable while on air.