Last week, while discussing Harold Reynolds' firing from ESPN for sexual harassment, we — in retrospect, somewhat flippantly — pointed out that what Reynolds was accused of paled in comparison to some of the allegations against Mike Tirico in Mike Freeman's 2000 book ESPN: An Uncensored History. We'd read the book, so we assumed the passages about Tirico had entered the general lexicon. We were wrong; you pretty much can't find them anywhere on Google.
So, allow us to change that. The book — which was released in trade paperback by relatively small publishing company Taylor Trade Publishing — is in front of us, and we're summarize some fun passages for you. It's worth noting, by the way, that Tirico, ultimately, comes across positively in the book, as a family man who had a problem and did what he could to help himself get "well." And it still doesn't take down the classic "Gary Miller shaving his ass at a party" story, which is probably unbeatable.
But that doesn't make it any less salacious. After the jump, the book's top Tirico passages.
The first Tirico story involves him hitting on a woman and stalking her after a house party in fall 1992. The woman was a production assistant and "considered an up-and-coming talent," and Tirico went up to her at the party and said "you're the most beautiful woman in here." She walked away, but he kept following her around the party until she finally snapped, "Why don't you fuck off? Get away from me." As she and friends hopped in their car and pulled out of the party, Tirico stepped in front of the car and made the woman stop. "You're the most beautiful person I've ever seen and I think I'm in love with you," Tirico said. She tried to roll up her window and take off, but Tirico stuck his hand in and tried to wedge it between her thighs. She got away, and the next morning, when they saw each other in the ESPN parking lot, he walked up to her, and she expected him to apologize. Instead, he said, "all I did all day was think about you."
In another story, one female producer — who had been to dinner with Tirico and his fiancee — was startled to receive an email from him saying that he wanted to sleep with her. Later, when the staff went to a bar after a late night covering the NCAA tournament, Tirico approached her and said, "I wish I was single. If I were, I'd throw you on the table right here and fuck your brains out." After she tried to excuse him as drunk, he persisted: "I know you want to screw me. So let's leave." Later, he followed her on the highway and tried to get her to pull over, unsuccessfully.
Tirico was ultimately suspended for three months and is interviewed in the book, where he, like Reynolds, calls the incidents "misunderstandings." He is now doing "Monday Night Football" and is still married.