Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sports Guy v. Cowherd: An ESPN Family Feud

The pre-Louie Anderson version of "The Feud".

This could get good folks. We may have a legitimate feud on our hands here from two ESPN personalities who can't help themselves but comment about the other's work. If you read Simmons's blog yesterday, you may have seen the line about ESPN radio's Colin Cowherd about 3/5 the way down. And the beauty of it is that he didn't just kind of politely correct him or point out some flaws in Herd's argument, he pretty much told him to F off. And what's even better than that is that there is NO WAY that Cowherd doesn't respond today. But if you're not following, allow me to set the scene:

After Kobe told the world he wanted to be traded, Simmons posted a list of possible trade partners for the Lakers. He explained that it would be very difficult to make a deal but not impossible. To Simmons credit, no one I read has a better grasp of the inner workings of the NBA's salary cap, how salaries match up and the value of the expiring contract. So while I could give a shit about the NBA, I trust Simmons knows what he's talking about. But in viewing the trades, I was struck that none of them looked all that remarkable. The best one, the Shawn Marion deal, even seemed a little light for arguably the best scorer of his generation. But then again, I don't think Simmons was suggesting that the Lakers should make any of these deals, he was simply pointing out deals that he felt could be made. Well, then came Cowherd...

The Herd is not exactly a fan favorite in the blogosphere to begin with. He's notorious for blatantly ripping off material from blogs without giving them credit and was excoriated by ESPN's ombudsman and forced to apologize on air for telling people to rush to The Big Lead and crash the site (which they successfully did). After the Kobe rant and Simmons's post, Herd spent most of his show telling his listeners that there's no way a Kobe deal was going to happen and that all of the Simmons trade scenarios were absurd. He went through most of them and his argument was that none of the names were big enough to warrant a Kobe deal. He kinda pegged Simmons as a basketball nerd (though I think his intention was to give credit to Simmons's knowledge of the NBA) and his point was that if these are the best deals that ESPN's resident NBA geek can come up with, then there's no chance he is getting traded. I didn't find it to be anti-Simmons and in fact kind of found it to be an extension of what Simmons had written about. Apparently Bill didn't see it that way.

Yesterday, Simmons wrote that Cowherd was lazy and that he didn't read the entire post. He basically called him an idiot for not understanding Simmons main points and then went on to say that Cowherd "embarrassed himself by not understanding basic NBA trading principles". But my favorite was that without a hint of irony, Simmons, a blogger, took a not-so-subtle dig at Cowherd's profession as a radio personality and how because the job is so easy you should never make the mistake of being misinformed, and then was misinformed about Herd's show himself:
Your show's on for three hours a day and you get four giant commercial breaks per hour. That leaves you plenty of time to research your segments so you don't come off as misinformed. No offense.
No offense Bill, but Cowherd's show airs for 4 hours. You would think that during ONE OF YOUR THREE GIANT COMMERCIAL BREAKS during your mid-morning viewing of the previous night's episode of the Inferno on your TiVo you could have researched Cowherd's show and learned how long it is on the air. No offense.

ESPN doesn't really like infighting, but these two "rabble-rousers" are too popular to be tamed and their egos are too big to stand down. So I say, "Colin, your response?"

(UPDATE: Herd responded and said pretty much what I said. He really held back from responding in his usual more combative manner. Pretty weak, though it was enough that Simmons will be forced to offer some sort of surreply that will likely be some kind of smug half-apology. I'm holding out hope that Simmons rips Colin again because there's no way Colin's response to that would be as cordial.)


Mark Daniels said...

You might be interested in this post on Cowherd's comments during his show yesterday: http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2007/06/am-i-being-too-sensitive.html

Mark Daniels

Bernard King said...

way to keep it light, mark.

rstiles said...

Colin Cowturd???

Luol Dang! said...

Wow. Stiles, you may have just earned a permanent ban from commenting.