Some commentary on the ongoing ESPN v. Fox Sports personality conflict. Look, I don’t listen to ESPN radio much, maybe on Saturday’s when I am driving to Eugene or home from Eugene in the fall, so I don’t even know who Jon “Stugotz” Weiner of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is; I have never heard him, or if I did, I do not recall having heard him.
That being said, I did see that he took an opportunity to blast a couple of former ESPN personalities who have taken their new platforms to roast their former employer. I have actually never had much of a problem with Jason Whitlock; he is intelligent and usually has good takes.
But the other target of Stugotz’s ire – Colin Cowherd – with him, I have a problem. I know, of course, that the first critique of my dislike will that it is based on some sort of jealousy; that I have some desire to be him. The problem with that is that I would have to sell my soul to be him, something which I am unwilling to do.
You see, even when Cowherd was in Portland, I did not really like him much. He went around on message boards trying to assume aliases and acting pretty much the same way he does now – which is boorish.
The guy is a cartoon character, and a poorly drawn one at that. He is a mix between Howard Stern, Jim Rome and Jerry Springer. There is nothing worse than a copycat using boorish takes to ‘get noticed’ simply to promote his own self. I have never seen him stand on anything substantive. He is a shock jock with seemingly little in terms of values. Be Cowherd? That would require me to divest myself of the principles of ethics on which I attempt to stand in life. No thank you.
The real problem here, though, is not his seeming lack of any sort of moral center, it is that he does not even realize he is being used to propagate a political agenda in much the same way he criticizes ESPN; it’s just the opposite agenda.
Fox Sports is playing with fire as directed from Fox Corporation. Seeing the potential downfall of their prime competitor, the Corporation has taken to using their views to play into the fears of ordinary citizens. Simply put, ESPN’s issues are with falling subscriptions, but not because of their supposed political agenda.
You see, Cowherd is not intelligent enough to understand that the very thing causing ESPN to find itself in financial straits is what will also cause Fox Sports issues; people are cutting the cord from cable. Not enough people stopped subscribing to ESPN because of political views to truly affect their bottom line and lead to hundreds of layoffs, they did so because they are finding their sports elsewhere.
The same will happen to Fox. As long as the network tries to continue spreading the myth that the loss of subscribers is due to some political ideology, they are falling into the same trap; they are trying to ‘win’ the ratings contest without realizing that cord cutting is still cord cutting; and Fox will suffer a similar fate.
When they do, overpaid people like Cowherd and Skip Bayless will be without a job hoping to sell subscriptions to podcasts. Then, all sports fans will win.