JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Top 10 things I like about ESPN

Am sitting in a NYC coffee shop this morning, and wanna be fair. I wrote for ESPN for more than two years, and enjoyed 99% of the experience. So, despite the inevitable grousing, here are 10 things I dig about ESPN (this will be my final ESPN-related post for a while. Next up—why Oates is better than Hall!):

1. Anchors like Bob Ley, Linda Cohn, Josh Elliott (my former SI co-worker, and a good guy)—folks who seem to believe people tune in for sports, not catch phrases.

2. Jemele Hill: My former Page 2 colleague and a truly excellent writer. I almost always dig Jemele’s take on things. Smart, savvy, great wordsmith.

3. Outside the Lines: Not quite at the level of HBO’s Real Sports, but not all that far away. Excellent stuff.

4. The expiration of Emmitt Smith’s contract: Praise Jesus. (And I’m not just saying this because the man bitch-slapped me on national TV)

5. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I know … I know—not everybody’s taste. But if you were a journalist coming up in the 1990s, these guys were two legit superstars. Maybe the show is flawed, but neither guy has seemed to allow TV to serve as brain rot.

6. Jeremy Schaap: His father has to be proud. As professional as they come.

7. Bill Simmons’ Karate Kid column: As funny as anything I’ve read. People mock Bill, and perhaps sometimes with good reason. But the guy really has revolutionized column writing, and I give him props for that. Also, he’s legitimately talented.

8. Howard Bryant: For my money, Howard and Pat Jordan are America’s two most underrated sports writers. Sort of burried a bit at ESPN.com, but an unparalleled talent. His books are both excellent reads.

9. The Bronx is Burning: I loved it.

10. Skip Bayless: He’s buried on a show I never watch. Therefore, I never have to see/hear him. If a tree falls in the woods …