From ESPN.com’s Lee Anne Schrieber.
Shortly after introducing myself to ESPN’s audience in my first column Thursday, I checked the ombudsman’s mailbag. It was jammed with dozens of messages of outraged complaint against ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, who had called on his listeners that afternoon to shut down an Internet site by flooding it with visitors beyond the capacity of its bandwidth.
The “random site” he chose to attack was thebiglead.com, a sports blog that is sometimes unmercifully critical of ESPN. “We shut it down in 90 seconds,” Cowherd boasted on air. “We don’t even know thebiglead.” After a bit more gloating, he said “We apologize — but just don’t screw with us.” Then he asked his listeners to “knock it out again, just for fun.” The attack launched over the airwaves by Cowherd kept thebiglead.com shut down for more than 48 hours.
Some of the politer terms my correspondents used to describe Cowherd’s behavior were immature, irresponsible, arrogant, malicious, destructive and dumb. I agree.
Schrieber goes on to suggest that Cowherd’s bossess consult Roger Goodell to find an appropriate penalty. And while massive humilation might seem like punishment enough, there really oughta be a way for the WWL leader to make greater hay from this — perhaps a “This Is SportsCenter” clip with Cowherd and F-Rod moaning about their web presence as they each try to negotiate the blogger.com template. There is the small matter of the former not being so instantly recognized, but chances are, he’s become awfully well known to a wider audience over the past several days.
Cowherd’s decision to use the resources of a major radio network to essentially censor the views of a detractor (whose site, like it or not, is most probably a labor of love) was beyond cowardly. But what’s up with his drooling listeners, all too willing to run off a cliff at his behest?
Is anyone surprised that despite this incident dominating the sports blogs over the past 4 days, with the exception of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Rand, the mainstream media have looked the other way?
5 thoughts on “ESPN’s Ombudslady Agrees : Cowherd’s A Dummy”
No, I’m not surprised. It’s not really newsworthy. The ‘imbecile does something extremely stupid in a pathetic effort to amuse his audience’ focus is on Don Imus and the Big Lead thing is kinda boring. Bloggers take themselves too seriously and, besides, you don’t want to wind up giving the fucker free publicity (I’m sure Imus’ numbers have been up the past few days).
writing as a blogger who takes himself way too seriously, Rog, I’ll chock it up to Imus being a bigger name and the fact that much of what occurs on ESPN Radio is way under the radar, even for people who cover the sports media scene for a living. In retrospect, the Michael Irvin/Tony Romo blowup was on the blogs for a few days before the newspapers got a hold of it/
I do think some bloggers are way too full of themselves, considering at least 50% of them just curse a lot and post pictures of half naked women. The self-righteous indignation of that segment of bloggers annoys me, because they’re basically glomming onto the great work of sites like TrueHoop, FreeDarko, CSTB, etc. etc.
So, I almost wanted to side with Cowherd… but it’s impossible. There’s no way you can read this story without Cowherd coming across as an insecure moron who should receive some kind of discipline from ESPN (not good PR to make a policy of alienating sports bloggers, who are undoubtedly a large portion of ESPN listeners/viewers).
Just to be clear, Cowherd can’t be defended for what he did, I just don’t think it should bump stuff like Posey being charged with DUI or the Yankees being bitch-slapped by Paul Bako and the Oh’s. I think other bloggers coming to the defense of their peers is fine and appropriate, but Cowherd will only have another reason to masturbate everytime he hears his own name if his listenership goes up because if it gets covered to death on Fox Sports or the New York Post. Bloggers are never happy with mainstream coverage so I’m not sure why they would hold out hope that this story gets covered on the front page and at the top of the hour as they probably think it should.
Agreed on that– it’s an interesting story, but certainly not the sort of thing you lead the news with.