‘Twas a brutal Saturday morning on the Worldwide Leader’s radio arm, as co-hosts Dave Shore and Jenn Engel recited a littany of “takes” on the current sporting events of the day that made Russ Salzberg seem like a Rhodes scholar by comparison.
Shore, noting the lower-than-low TV ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals, suggested that Gary Bettman (above), “surround himself with people smarter than himself.” To wit, “the guy that invented the X-Games…the person behind the World Poker Tour….the Spelling Bee.”
“And what do all of the above have in common?” asked co-host Engel. “They’ve all been associated with ESPN. Gary Bettman needs to kiss and make up with ESPN. Admit he was wrong. ESPN would really know how to grow the sport.”
Never mind the logistics of Bettman breaking his league’s contract with Versus ; is there anything lamer than ESPN’s radio mouthpieces acting as blatant shills for the network, particularly when they’re urging rights acquisitions their bosses surely want no part of?
Later in the broadcast, Engel hailed the tough love approach of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, claiming football’s personal conduct policy stood in stark contrast to MLB’s foibles with the Mitchell investigation.
“Roger Goodell is a strong commissioner,” gushed Engel. “Baseball…has this lame, fake commissioner, and that’s the real difference.”
Never mind that baseball’s fake commish has presided over an era of unprecedented commercial prosperity. A radio host with with half a brain might well have added that another difference between the two sports is that baseball players are represented by one of one of the strongest, most successful unions in American labor. Conversely, there’s no shortage of voices around football that would characterize the NFLPA’s Gene Upshaw as lame, fake or worse.