Shaun King & Co.


While working out at the gym today, I had the misfortune of watching ESPN News. On the screen was Shaun King, the former Tulane/Bucs quarterback, who was breaking down the play of Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. King’s thoughts included:

A. Bradford is great on the run.

B. Bradford finds open receivers.

C. Bradford has a strong arm.

And then—honestly for the first time—it fully hit me: Ex-athletes-turned-commentators are completely useless. I know … I know—no duh. But let’s think about it: Outside of rare exceptions (Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth come to mind), what athlete/TV commentators ever say anything you or I wouldn’t? Like King, I could have told you Bradford can throw on the run, finds open receivers and has a cannon. Hell, who doesn’t know that?

And yet, the networks, especially ESPN, load up on these people in an effort to look authoritative. I can’t stand 20 seconds of Stu Scott or Chris Berman, but there’s nothing Trent Dilfer or Moose Johnston has said that those two guys couldn’t have, either.

In short, oy.

1 thought on “Shaun King & Co.”

  1. Robert in Dallas

    I agree completely. After having been an ESPN addict in the ’80s, I now have no need to watch SportsCenter or any of the shows that supposedly feature keen analysis. And ESPN’s and the big networks’ game coverage, which usually includes some other lame ex-athlete in the booth, is generally unwatchable as well.

    Give me local baseball coverage (thank you, DirecTV), which usually features a real broadcaster and an ex-ballplayer who actually contributes (George Grande and Chris Welsh doing Reds games come to mind).

    There are quite a few less successful former NFL and MLB players who are articulate and made it to the bigs as much due to their hard work and intelligence as their skill. If we have to have ex-athletes doing commentary, use these guys.

    Do ESPN and the others think that fans will clamor to see Mr. Big Name Player (Emmitt Smith comes to mind as the primo example) even though he cannot construct a sentence, much less put together any meaningful insight?

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