Bristolmetrics: Herm Edwards Loses His Grip On Reality

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When last we met, Joe Paterno rescued SportsCenter from the wasteland that is July sports, and the ESPYs were surprisingly not hyped to death. What would this week bring?

Total time: 449.25 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 329

MLB: 106.75 minutes (32.5%) (last week: 26.8%)
SportsCenter staples (things like the "Top 10," "Encore," "What 2 Watch 4," etc.): 52 (15.8%) (last week: 18.5%)
NFL: 36.75 (11.2%) (last week: 5.4%)
"My Wish": 35.75 (10.9%) (last week: 0%)
Golf: 35.25 (10.7%) (last week: 3.3%)
NBA: 21.5 (6.5%) (last week: 15.1%)
Olympics: 18.25 (5.5%) (last week: 7.5%)
College football: 10.5 (3.2%) (last week: 6.8%)
NASCAR: 8.5 (2.6%) (last week: 2.4%)
Other sports: 3.75 (1.1%) (last week: 9.8%)
College basketball: 0 (0%) (last week: 1.5%)
NHL: 0 (0%) (last week: 0.4%)



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB): 12.5 (3.8%)
New Orleans Saints (NFL): 11.75 (3.6%)
New York Knicks (NBA): 11.25 (3.4%)
Penn State Nittany Lions (college football): 7 (2.1%)


Rather than break down the amount of time a specific athlete or figure was covered, we counted how frequently names were mentioned in the transcripts from the week. The 15 most-mentioned sports people for July 13-19:

Jeremy Lin: 67
LeBron James: 51
Tiger Woods: 39
Drew Brees: 28
DeSean Jackson: 23
Kyle Busch: 23
Bryce Harper: 23
Mike Trout: 22
Dwight Howard: 19
Rory McIlroy: 19
Matt Kemp: 17
Matt Forte: 16
Phil Mickelson: 13
Joe Paterno: 13
Albert Pujols: 13


Total time: 12,629.25 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 9,495.5

NBA: 2,620.25 minutes (27.6%)
MLB: 1,514.75 (16%)
SportsCenter staples: 1,361.25 (14.3%)
NFL: 1,197.75 (12.6%)
Other: 1098.5 (11.6%)
College basketball: 1040.25 (11%)
NHL: 446.25 (4.7%)
College football: 216.5 (2.3%)



Jeremy Lin mattered because of the Knicks: Even though Lin ended up signing with the Rockets, his new team was mostly an afterthought. The Rockets signing Lin got just 4.75 minutes of coverage, while ESPN spent 11.25 minutes specifically on the Knicks letting him go, along with some remember-the-good-times montages for good measure. Even with the craziness surrounding the Lin saga last week, ESPN coverage still paled in comparison to the height of Lin's success in February. He still holds the SportsCenter one-week record for mentions this year, with 350.


Drew Brees's new contract was good for a network desperate for NFL news: The Saints QB signed a hefty extension last week, which really wasn't all that surprising. Brees is the poster boy of a team in need of good, clean people after Bountygate, and happens to be really freaking good. Despite the deal being a foregone conclusion, SportsCenter spent 8.5 minutes on the new contract, and used it as an in to talk about other players (Ray Rice, Matt Forte) who were franchised this offseason who (at the time) had yet to sign.

"My Wish" debuted: ESPN has been doing this series since 2006, partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to get big-name athletes to fulfill the sports wish of a sick or challenged child. Yes, it's good PR for both ESPN and the involved athletes, but it's often legitimately moving. It's also one of the few times Chris Connelly gets trotted out, and he adds some gravitas to make these segments something more than puff pieces. Sure, they got more than 10 percent of total SportsCenter airtime this week, but outside of baseball, there's little else happening in the sports world.


Herm Edwards is an actor now: Herm Edwards is famous for his "you play to win the game" press conference, back when he was a coach for the New York Jets. Herm's not a coach anymore, he's an analyst, but that's not stopping ESPN from hearkening back to his moment of glory. Perhaps because the NFL is in a dead period, SportsCenter had Herm deliver motivational speeches to the Jets, Saints, and Patriots, as if he were the head coach. Here's where it gets really bizarre: Edwards did these speeches in an empty locker room, meaning he was talking to no one but a bemused cameraman. He even dressed up like the coaches he was impersonating. Here's the wardrobe he had for his Patriots speech:


They spent 6.75 minutes on these three segments, which felt more like fever dreams. They make me imagine a sad and lonely Herm Edwards slowly losing his mind, talking to his imaginary teams, still clinging to the glory days. Stay strong, Herm.