The Conscience Of Sports TV, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick on the rise of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith :

As ESPN continues to spread Smith here, there and everywhere, Smith continues to generate more heat but almost no light. And while we understand that ESPN execs are busy turning ESPN into an attitude mill, are they unaware that for every pound of strong, loud, controversial opinions Smith produces, they often don’t contain even an ounce of substance?

Or is that what ESPN likes about him?

Could be. Who knows? Smith, if nothing else, is provocative. He daily provokes head-shaking wonder, as in, what the heck is ESPN thinking about?

Could it be that Smith’s urban street-hip brotha yak ” which he seems able to turn on and off with the drop of a Kangol ” is supposed to appeal/pander to young, urban, street-talkin’ sports fans?

That Stephen A. is very often, Full Of Shit For A Living, is not something I wish to dispute. But the Mushminded One would have you believe that that Smith’s spiel requires a Jive Translator ala “Airplane”. Which isn’t just an exaggeration, it’s a full-fledged slur.

If Smith owns a Kangol, I’ve never seen him wear one on the air. Why couldn’t Phil just make a gratuitious reference to gold chains? There’s a better than 50/50% chance that Max Kellerman has owned a Kangol (or at least visited a store that sold them), but I suppose some forms of urban street hip-brotha yak are more destructive than others.

Smith is meant to appeal to casual sports fans under the age of 100. If Phil doesn’t fall into this demographic, so be it, but Stephen A.’s lack of knowledge and his mannerisms are two entirely different topics. I mean, I could pick on Phil all day long for having bugs in his beard, but that has nothing to do with his inability to do his job. Is Smith any more or less ferociously annoying than Mel Kiper Jr., Ron Jaworski, Rob Dibble, Skip Bayless, John Kruk or Jim Rome? However you answer that question, Smith gets his ass kicked by Mushnick far more often than all of the above combined.