Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

What We've Learned From The ESPN Book So Far

Illustration for article titled What Weve 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:

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Illustration for article titled What Weve 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 »

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Illustration for article titled What Weve 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 »

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Illustration for article titled What Weve 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 »

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Illustration for article titled What Weve Learned From The ESPN Book So Far
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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 »

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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

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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 »

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Illustration for article titled What Weve 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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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

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