Cover Your Ears, Sports Fans

Matt Matsumura

Sports commentary may have reached its dark age. In an era when nearly every game of any sport can be watched through satellite television or the Internet, it is a great wonder how the people dedicated to the analysis of sport can be so utterly ignorant. Listed below are the five biggest idiots we are sometimes forced to listen to in order to watch the biggest of games or get the most important news.

1. Joe Buck: The most unbearable sports television personality called not just the World Series, but the Super Bowl as well. It is perhaps one of the greatest travesties in modern sports, just below the sins of steroids, Tim Donaghy and the BCS. Not only did the prodigal son botch the David Tyree Super Bowl call, he once before received just as much or more criticism for his gross overreaction to Randy Moss’ pseudo-moon when Moss played for the Vikings. Buck consistently mentions irrelevant side plots during high-tension at-bats in baseball games and passes moral judgments on players and situations that no one wants to hear. What a disgusting act.

2. Skip Bayless: Thank goodness most people are working when he is on the air. The lead personality of ESPN’s First and 10, Bayless is the epitome of a shock jock. His trademark is not a humorous personality or intimate knowledge of a sport or two, but his insistence on maintaining indefensible opinions. LeBron James, according to Bayless, is not an extraordinary player. Despite James’ seven assists per game and his 48% shooting, James is apparently extremely selfish and his supporting cast prior to the Ben Wallace/Wally Szcerbiak trade was actually a good one. How Bayless can consider Larry Hughes as a good NBA player is utterly inexplicable. Bayless also called the 2005 Little League World Series Champions steroid users on the air, an opinion purely based upon face-value speculation.

3. Michael Wilbon: Pardon the interruption, but Wilbon needs to visit the woods to look for some berries. Wilbon’s classic PTI catch phrase is “push,” which mocks his show’s adversarial format. You shouldn’t be allowed to be the centerpiece of a show if you can’t bring yourself to give a prediction on every game, no matter how gut-wrenchingly difficult it is. While Wilbon doesn’t flip-flop like John Kerry or Mitt Romney, his indecisiveness on matters with a little less on the line than immigration or the War on Terror makes one wonder if some humans are invertebrates. Skip Bayless’ shock may have too much jock, but whatever Wilbon does has a lack of it.

4. Emmitt Smith: I love Emmitt. He ran for my Gators in college and then won three Super Bowls for my Cowboys en route to becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Sadly, like many ex-NFL players, his greatness on the field hasn’t translated into greatness in the booth. The man has a 10% coherent statement percentage. That’s a really bad batting average even if you faced Josh Beckett everyday. It’s only average if you pinch hit only when Jonathon Papelbon is on the mound. Quite frankly, Emmitt Smith’s lack of diction makes luck seem impossible. Paired with the articulate system-quarterback some people know as Steve Young, I cringe every time I watch my team’s old concussed rival literally talk circles around one of my all-time favorite players.

5. Mike and Mike: Where should I start? How about this – they’re incredibly boring. Neither is an expert on anything, they’re never funny and they have the inherent ability to go two full hours without saying anything vaguely compelling. Every morning goes like this: Greeney introduces the segment of the show, Golic ruminates for five minutes out loud, Greeney questions Golic’s ruminations and finally Golic can agree with Greeney on what he is actually trying to say. There’s something to be said about being provocative for the sake of being provocative, but saying nothing provocative at all is a failing also. So if you want 10 extra minutes of sleep in the morning, hit the snooze button and tune in to Mike and Mike.

6. Honorable Mention:

Melissa Cohn: she should work for the YES Network. Tony Kornheiser, Monday Night Football’s poet laureate should learn the game and stop making mountains out of mole hill side plots, a la Joe Buck.

Eric Wynalda: there’s a reason why it’s called the ‘beautiful game,’ my friend. Please don’t get drunk and club me for saying that.

Jim Rome: unreasonable disdain for soccer truly deserves Wynalda’s drunken clubbing, but probably not Wynalda’s other suggestion.

Jack Cafferty: okay, so he’s not principally concerned with athletics. But since he closely follows competition in his work, he ought to be included. People wonder why some conservatives label liberals as smug malcontents. Look no further than Mr. Cafferty and his condescending ‘file’ to find the root of that stereotype.

Sean Hannity: please attempt to read 10 pages of his book Deliver Us from Evil. Then try to do your sister’s second grade homework. Don’t be surprised if you can’t.