Whitlock: “Sports media is dying by suicide and ESPN is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. You’re dying, too. ESPN just hasn’t told you yet.”
We were all set to run with a 1-liner on KC Star columnist Jason Whitlock calling Ball State’s Nate Davis the “best pro prospect â€” regardless of position â€” in the college game.” We chuckled for a moment, but let it slide since Whitlock’s a BSU alum and joyous about the school’s undefeated regular season.
And then Whitlock’s Fox Sports column came out on the same topic … except he took the opportunity to pummel ESPN for its shoddy coverage of Ball State and college football in general. It’s epic Whitlock. The best stuff is reserved for saintly Chris Fowler, who really should step up and tell everyone why he dropped BSU out of his Top 25 last week.
Chris Fowler dropped Ball State out of his AP top-25 ballot last week after the Cardinals beat a then-9-2 Central Michigan team on the road … What Fowler has done is ridiculous and reeks of the kind of simple-minded arrogance that permeates ESPN. Fowler has had his ass kissed for too many years. He travels around the country during football season and everywhere he goes, there’s an Army of BCS sports information directors waiting to kiss his ass and tell him how great “GameDay” is.
He has never been a professional journalist a day in his life. He’s a TV personality. He knows what someone else has told him. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I’d suspect he hasn’t worn a jock since junior high school. This is the combination that is killing the sports media. No journalism background, no real athletic experience and no backbone. No clue. Fowler wouldn’t make a competent blogger … Fowler knows little about football and nothing about Ball State. His celebrity status justifies his AP vote.
This has to be, without question, the harshest ESPN rip-job in quite some time. While we’d like to hear why Fowler dropped Ball State, but we could do without the jock strap imagery, and frankly, we’re not sure how much it matters whether or not Fowler played high school or college sports.
Craig Kilborn was an All-State basketball talent and got a scholarship to Montana State. Does that somehow make his vote (if he had one) more or less credible in the Top 25? Sometimes, we feel sports has too many former athletes behind the mic, and often we find many are partial to teams and friends and perhaps not as critical as the need to be. (Jerome Bettis, Dan Marino and Howie Long are too kind; Tiki Barber is not.) For instance, Jay Bilas is terrific on college hoops, and rarely holds back. CBS will miss Billy Packer’s unbiased analysis (though mid-major fans won’t). And other than the Ball State ranking gaffe, we have enjoyed much of Fowler’s commentary on Gameday.
It’s times like these that you just know ESPN corner offices are whispering, “Damn, how do we get this guy on our side?” Here’s more of Whitlock’s browbeating of ESPN:
ESPN is so financially tied to the organizations it covers and so devoid of basic journalistic ethics that it cannot properly analyze the sports world. ESPN just bought the BCS television package. It has a vested interest in promoting all things BCS.
If you’re going to televise multiple Big 12 games in primetime on ABC and ESPN, you have every reason to promote the myth that the majority of Heisman Trophy candidates play in the Big 12.
Hey, that’s something we asked about last week!
The story ESPN doesn’t want you to know (Fox Sports)
* That’s Whitlock on the right with the shades on his head. His buddy, JA Adande, is on the left. Photo taken by a reader in Vegas during a summer league hoops game.
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