Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion
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Well, it's the day after Michael Irvin's endless string of mea culpas following his arrest on Friday, and if Irvin's appearances had anything in common, it was their high proportion of "mea" to "culpa." Let's look back at Irvin's trip through the ESPN empire:

Afternoon: Irvin appears on Dan Patrick's radio show and reiterates his story that the pipe was accidentally left in the car. He adds the wrinkle that his wife was with him. Patrick even pushes him to take a drug test, but Irvin apparently didn't, uh, hear the question. The best part is when Keith Olbermann — still hanging around ESPN offices, tapping Scott Van Pelt on the shoulder and saying things like, "You know I made you, right? Right? Do you? Because I could really use some reassurance right now. I'm an important man. Hi. Do you like this tie? Because I can change it if you want me to." — talked about how Irvin cost a producer a job back at Fox Sports Net, during the end of the Olbermann's time, when the producer cast doubts on Irvin's ability to stay clean. The producer was canned ... then Irvin got busted for possession. Olbermann: "If he's innocent, he should take a drug test now instead of waiting until it's safe to do so."


Early evening: The Smoking Gun reveals that Irvin's "friend" the pipe "belonged" to was his brother. (Or so Irvin tells the police.) Later, The Dallas Morning News will steal this info without crediting TSG, which the Associated Press will then credit the Dallas paper for finding. Print journalists are such dopes sometimes.

Evening: Irvin makes his long-awaited appearance with Stuart Scott on "SportsCenter." Irvin brings up that he found the pipe from his "friend" while "pretending to hug him while actually patting him down." (We imagine this happening a lot around the Irvin household.) Scott puts on his best Barbara Walters face, and Irvin comes across as sympathetic, downtrodden and entirely full of cowpie.

No answer was given to the perfectly legitimate question a reader asked in the comments yesterday: "The incident happened Friday. So, did Irvin neglect to mention it until he had to own up because someone else found out and told ESPN? Did he mention it immediately and ESPN buried it till Sunday afternoon, after NFL Countdown had aired? If he didn't mention it and ESPN found out thru other channels, shouldn't that be deemed fireable in itself? And if he did tell ESPN on Saturday when he arrived in Bristol, aren't they incredibly negligent in allowing him on the air without saying anything?"

Good questions all. Stay tuned.

Michael Irvin s Side Of The Story [The Best Sports Blog]
Michael Irvin Pipes A Quote [The Smoking Gun]
Irvin Addresses Arrest [ESPN]

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