What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

A copy of Those Guys Have all the Fun has landed on our desk. We're still picking through it, but here's what we've learned about our colleagues at ESPN:

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

No one is having any of the fun — not ESPN, not the book's publisher, and not post-lobotomy Mike Tirico | The network is convening emergency meetings, and the book's publisher, Little, Brown, is sending out cease-and-desists. And here's what Mike Tirico says about all that unpleasantness: "Most of the people over time who have worked with me have enjoyed working with me. I hope they have. At least they said they have, and I hope they always will." READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

The decision about LeBron James's Decision was an orgy of self-interest, with Jim Gray on top | "I worked for this. I created this. I came up with the concept. Maverick Carter and Ari Emanuel are two of the most stand-up, honorable, loyal people I've been engaged with in television, in all my thirty-five years. When ESPN wanted to replace me and throw me under the bus, they stood firm and said, 'No, Jim Gray is with us.'" READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Dick Ebersol was pretty perceptive this one time | "ESPN basically has to have one of their talent talk about Hitler or put a picture of their dick on a phone — which is what that Salisbury guy did — before they'll do anything about any of these various crazies, because they don't have to. Nobody can touch them." READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Michelle Beadle watched the Erin Andrews peephole video | "I felt bad for her. She looked fabulous but it was such a violation. ... I think things might have been handled differently, but she seems to be moving on. Sometimes these things turn out better for people." READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Chris Berman blames Tony Kornheiser for "You're with me, Leather" | "In the mid-nineties, somebody said I was in a bar and used a pickup line on a woman wearing leather and she left with me. I really didn't know what they were talking about. But a colleague of mine, Mr. Kornheiser, chose to run with it, and the Internet chose to run with it for years. I don't even know what 'it' is, but it's a very dangerous thing, especially when a colleague piles on and gives credence to it." READ »
Also: Rick Chandler's "You're with me, leather" source resurfaces, swears it's all true

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Bill Simmons is not "intimidatable" | "And I'm just sitting there with a big smile on my face, like, Oh, it's great that we finally met, and within five minutes I disarmed him, but [ESPN executive Norby Williamson] still had to go into the whole 'People here don't think you're a team player, you think the rules don't apply to you.' And I said, 'I'm actually kind of feeling like maybe they shouldn't to some degree.'" READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Keith Olbermann once calculated that he deserved an 887 percent raise | "Based on the reported profits of the Today show and the salaries of its key figures, a fair ratio was to pay your talent a total figure of about 10 percent of their show's profits. Working off numbers I had gotten from a sales guy in the N.Y.C. office, I calculated that the correct salaries for Dan and me were about $2,750,000 a year. And a year and a half later, Fox offered me a contract for something like $2,813,000 a year. The top salary paid to anybody doing SportsCenter had been whatever I was getting, which I think topped out around $310,000 a year." READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

ESPN was basically Studio 54, give or take some disco music | "There was screwing in the hallways. Okay, maybe not in the hallways, but there were a couple of stairwell stories…. There were drugs in the building, that I knew." READ »

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Those guys have all the fur | "You hear about the 'Rug Races?' Well, [redacted] had this place near [redacted] and we used to go out there for meetings a couple times a year. There was a lot of drinking that went on there, a ton of drinking. [Redacted] and his buddies apparently called these hookers and in front of [redacted], he got them to lie naked on the floor on their backs with their legs spread ..." READ »

Elsewhere: Jimmy Traina/Richard Deitsch's podcast interview with author Jim Miller | Slate's Hang Up and Listen interview with Miller