What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The Sports Sewer: Episode 15 – Dan LeBatard

For a time, I actually bought the idea that ESPN’s new president Jimmy Pitaro was serious when he said the World Wide Bottom Feeder was going to “stick to sports and stay out of politics.” You’ve heard me say more than once that sports is where I go to get away from the tortures of every-day life like politics.  It’s no accident the ESPN’s ratings have nose-dived over the past few years when it became “Woke-Center.”

So when the World Wide Bottom Feeder axed then-president John Skipper for taking the network down that ratings rabbit-hole and replaced him with Pitaro I thought it was the right move.  I was even more confident when Pitaro pronounced there would be no more politics on the network.

Man, was I a sucker…

I should have known better when the butt-holes in Bristol made a big deal out of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and the fact that certain members said if they won the World Cup, they wouldn’t go to the White House. At first, I let that slide figuring that ESPN was simply generating interest for an event it was carrying.  I can’t fault them; let’s be honest…in terms of interest, women’s soccer needs all the help it can get.

But after the World Cup, ESPN let the leader of that team spew a cavalcade of pointed non-sports blather, and did so more than once. Not only did they give this woman a platform for a lot of political content, they did it in a way designed to give her maximum credibility.

Then yesterday, Dan LeBatard shattered the “no politics” illusion with his rant about events at a rally held by President Trump. I’m not getting into the politics because I want to keep this centered around the point that Pitaro is completely full of shit. LeBatard’s rant proves that right or left, up or down, black or white, ESPN is as full of politics as it ever was.

What proves that is that LeBatard still has a job today.  If Pitaro’s was serious about a “no politics” policy, then he really would have no choice but to fire LeBatard.  If Curt Schilling can lose his job over posting something on a Twitter account which had nothing to do with the network, and Jemele Hill can get the gate for calling President Trump a “white supremacist,” there simply can’t be a clearer reason for dismissal than what LeBatard did.

The reason why LeBatard deserved to be fired is also as clear.  The whole point behind the “no politics” policy is that ESPN has been hemorrhaging viewers for quite some time, and it’s no secret that a huge factor in that decline was the World Wide Bottom Feeder’s political slant.  When LeBatard starts painting the patrons at a Trump rally with the broad brush of racism, he’s firing a shot across the bow of a major portion of ESPN’s audience; there’s a ton of sports fans who are also Trump supporters.  One of the unifying factors for Trump supporters is something I’ve been saying for years; they are the socio-economic middle of this country who are tired of being blamed for things that aren’t their fault.  Even if you want to reject that notion, there’s no arguing that Michael Jordan was undeniably right when he was asked years ago about  why he tended to avoid politics.

Because Republicans buy sneakers, too.

Not only do they buy sneakers, they are sports fans…and therefore they watch ESPN.  But the Dan LeBatards of the world will turn ESPN into the NFL…which stands for “Not for Long” if the “no politics” policy proves to be so much bullshit.  There’s no clearer indicator that’s exactly what it is than the fact that LeBatard didn’t get fired yesterday for what couldn’t be a more egregious violation of a so-called “no politics” policy.

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What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

2 comments on “The Sports Sewer: Episode 15 – Dan LeBatard

  1. SportsChump
    July 20, 2019

    Well alright, Dubs, I’ll bite.

    First, something you and I can agree upon. ESPN skewed far away from just “reporting” the news a long time ago. They went from simply reporting scores to using language that dramatized these scores, as if we needed that with our sports.

    It’s no longer “Aaron Judge, 3-4, HR, 3 RBI” that we see on the ticker but rather “Aaron Judge goes 3-4. belts game-winning home run in dramatic fashion” as if a game-winning home run isn’t already dramatic.

    That being said, aside from your website and mine, ESPN is still the only game in town. Sorry, FS1 and CBS Sports.

    Now, in its best efforts to fill 24 hours, ESPN decided to give what are essentially “talk shows” to many of its journalists. Not long ago, they also decided to divide the country into regions for more specific coverage. LeBatard had long been the sole voice of South Florida before being hired on by the network.

    These shows, whosever they are, are not news shows but rather shows that voice opinions on sports. LeBatard is not reporting the news and never has. He’s reporting his view of the news.

    So he expressed what he saw. It’s just that now, on ESPN, he has a far larger voice than he ever did at the Miami Herald.

    I get that ESPN wants to stay out of politics for the same reason I don’t allow my customers to discuss politics, or religion, at my bar. But the four-letter could hardly come down hard on LeBatard in this instance because they’d be seen as pro-Send Her Back when, as you suggest, half the population is against that just as half is for it.

    I was not as offended by DLB’s rant, which I know doesn’t surprise you considering you know what side of the fence I grow my grass. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if, from here on out, they kept him on a short leash.

    On a show that generally airs on the side of silly, I didn’t have a problem hearing someone be so passionate about something he honestly felt was right. That’s because I believe if ESPN told him to stick it for his beliefs, he’d be perfectly okay with it.


    • J-Dub
      July 20, 2019

      “But the four-letter could hardly come down hard on LeBatard in this instance because they’d be seen as pro-Send Her Back when, as you suggest, half the population is against that just as half is for it.”

      Sorry, but I can’t buy that for one simple reason…one you touched on yourself. You aren’t the only person I know who “grows his grass” on a side of the fence different than mine, but we may be the only two people left in America who can have differing opinions without wanting to fire-bomb each other’s houses. That’s why you said you don’t allow political talk at your bar; you know all too well how quickly that can get of hand. Being afraid to enforce a rule because you’re afraid of how you will be seen for doing so is no excuse, because if you don’t enforce the rules, then what good are they?

      Not to mention, I’m not so sure this is a “which side of the fence are you on?” issue. I think we would both agree that ESPN would be better served to avoid ALL things not sports (I’m also done with SportsCenter being a Disney movie commercial). Again, as you said yourself, why not let the three-run homer be dramatic on it’s own?


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This entry was posted on July 20, 2019 by in Sports, Sports Media and tagged , , , , , .

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