Embrace the Hate
Classlessness and ESPN's Disgusting Display
I'd never seen it before. Sure, we've seen dozens of games with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms fawning over one team or another like the other team didn't exist. We've seen countless games where John Madden or any number of others make you think Brett Favre is the only player on the field. But we've never seen this.
Last night, the thin veils were torched during the pregame. An entire broadcast team outwardly and blatantly rooted for one team to lose.
Not only were Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser and Ron Jaworski rooting for New England to lose, they invited in an obviously biased guest when the entire rest of the season they brought in a mindless celebrity with whom to mindlessly banter.
But last night, ESPN brought in former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula specifically to rail against the Patriots, and Shula was all-too-happy to oblige.
They cheered loudly when bad things happened to New England. Shula was pounding Kornheiser on the back. But when the tide started to turn, Shula grumbled and then "had to catch a plane."
The Patriots were 11-0 coming into this game. Other teams have been 11-0 or better in recent years. Were any of them or their fans subjected to such insulting national broadcasts like that?
It was a disgusting display from an organization that clearly no longer pretends to have journalistic integrity of any kind. Otherwise, it would be SJPN. It's all about the E.
For all the talk dating back to the 2006 playoffs about the Patriots and Bill Belichick being "classless," the true definition of classlessness was demonstrated by four buffoons in the ESPN broadcast booth last night.
The frustrating aspect is that honest, hard-working journalists like me can't get media credentials because "we're just bloggers," while impostors inhabit the priceless real estate and embarrass themselves and the great game of football.
As disgusting as it was, what really counts is that the greatest team ever won the game. Let them keep hating as long as your New England Patriots keep winning. Because in 5, 10, 20 years, all anyone will remember about Tony Kornheiser is that he was the worst Monday Night Football experiment ever.
The good news is we're the New England Patriots. We're 12-0, and you're not.