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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sports Guy: Bitter

I don't know if either of our readers have seen this, but the world of Internet Sportswriting has been shaken. The Sports Guy is launching an assault directed toward his employer, ESPN over what appears to be their editing of his articles.

1. A week ago, he emailed this quote in to Deadspin:

"I still love writing my column and only re-signed last year because I really did believe that we had hashed out all the behind the scenes bullshit and come to some sort of agreement on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on ESPN.com. Within a few months, all of those things changed and certain promises were not kept. It's as simple as that."

2. Then, he began posting old columns he had written on his new blog.

3. This weekend, this photo hilariously appeared on his new blog.

4. Now, the following statement is posted on his new blog.

"I thought it would be fun to post some of my old columns from the "Boston Sports Guy" site (where I wrote columns from May '97 to June '01), if only because none of them have a home on the internet right now. This particular one was written right as I was starting to find a groove and my column was starting to resemble what it's like now, only if nobody was killing five of the best jokes or making me re-write them so they weren't as funny."

5. The Worldwide Leader has not commented. In other news, the sky is blue.

This is a really disappointing turn of events but is certainly not surprising given ESPN's noted interest in sterilizing all creativity stemming from any actual talent they employ. The network would seemingly much rather employ an entire roster of Mike and Mike-style blandness than give anything to anyone with anything slightly edgy or off-the-cuff to say. (By the way, Jason Whitlock's quote, "The next time Greenberg or Golic say something insightful or provocative will be the first time," is easily one of my favorite media moments of the last year. The full quote is hilarious, google it.) Kenny Mayne? Give him horses and three minutes on game day. Dan Patrick? Gone. Sports Guy? Ruining his columns. Allegedly. Jalen Rose? Bowtie. (Nevermind, but that is my favorite development of the NBA playoffs by far.) Considering we are dealing with Disney, it's no surprise but its a waste of some of their best employees.

I will give them credit because they have done some really good investigative pieces with E:60 and the O.J. Mayo story recently, but they are making it abundantly clear that when it comes to their stable of talent, only company men will run the races for them.

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Thanks for this info, this issue has been bugging me like crazy for the last couple of days.
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