The Sports Emmys were last night in New York, and for a gathering of media people eager to congratulate themselves, nobody really seemed to care. (Just one person was livetweeting the results, the only realtime coverage of the event.) But one winner filtered out into the general consciousness: Charles Barkley won the award for best studio analyst for his NBA work on TNT. Charles wasn't there; he was working. (If the Sports Emmys would like to be relevant—and once upon a time, they used to be televised—they shouldn't go up against two leagues' playoffs. At least the ESPYs pick a day without any competition.) Ernie Johnson accepted on Barkley's behalf.
It's almost pointless to debate whether a person or show "deserves" these awards, since, what does that even mean? Barkley is universally beloved, and the closest thing sports media has to someone who's bulletproof. But no one could believe he offers better actual game analysis than, say, fellow nominees Kirk Herbstreit or Harold Reynolds or Trent Dilfer. At least Barkley beat out Skip Bayless, who was also nominated.