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Sorting out the ESPN Firings from a Boston Perspective

ESPN firings

Yesterday’s ESPN Firings

Much has been made about yesterday’s ESPN firings. As a Fanbase, Patriots Nation will never have all that much sympathy for ESPN as an organization. But was this latest wave of layoffs good for Patriots fans as a whole? Is this really the pound of flesh that we should be looking for?

It’s great to watch this dishonest organization hemorrhaging subscribers (great story here about why) – but are the people being let go ones who deserve our scorn?

A Good Guy Are Out

Trent Dilfer: Probably most memorable to Patriots fans for saying in 2014 that the Patriots, “Aren’t Good Anymore”

But what most people don’t do is what the Dilfer did. He admitted his mistake. As shown above, the same cannot be said for many at the network (thank you Mr. 11 of 12). And then Dilfer apologized again. And again.


I’m seeing a theme here. Lots of people make mistakes. It takes real character to admit yours. That’s why I won’t be celebrating Trent Dilfer’s dismissal. He’ll land on his feet, and Patriots fans should pay attention when he does.

And two who really got what they deserved…

Danny Kannel. Remember when he said the Broncos should hit Tom Brady after the whistle. We do.

Johnette Howard wrote that the Patriots run of dominance in the AFC East was over… in 2010. Great analysis. Really had your finger on the pulse. Since she wrote that piece, the Patriots have won seven additional division titles. Then, she wrote the quintessential it’s all about New York and the fake scandal that was Deflategate before Super Bowl XLIX. Of course, watching someone repeat false information in a story in which they question someone else’s ethics is beautiful. That’s not a piece a real journalist writes. Don’t let the door hit you Johnette.

The Type of People Being Let Go

Here’s a running list of the people who have been let go. Jayson Stark has been nothing but a really good baseball reporter at ESPN for years. The same is true for Ed Werder. They’re both out. So is Jim Bowden. Doug Glanville. NESN Alum Jade McCarthy is out.

Notice, that it’s the reporters that are on the receiving end of these ESPN firings, and the obnoxious bloviators who they’re holding on to.

The Bad Guys Are Still There

I’m going to guess that you’ll be shocked that they held onto the biggest Patriots and Boston attackers at the Network.

Dan LeBetard, who thinks the Patriots are racist because they have Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola playing wide receiver is still gainfully employed at the station. This overrated troll never met a false allegation he didn’t like.

““It’s a fairly amazing thing. I’m guessing that I’m guessing they don’t think that they’ve cheated. They think they’re persecuted at every turn.”

Danny boy, do you mean the false allegations that your network repeated about the filming of walkthroughs, or the completely debunked “Deflategate?” Yeah, they didn’t cheat, and yes, they’ve been persecuted. That much has been pretty thoroughly proven by now.

Bomani Jones, who thinks Boston is racist because they clapped for Gordon Heyward. He suggested that, ““I think all of us can say: DeMarcus Cousins in Boston probably wouldn’t have been the best idea.” Jones said. “For a number of reasons, it probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. Right?”

Israel Gutierrez also thinks Boston is racist because they cheered for Heyward.

“It’s Boston. They’re famous for having Larry Bird on their team. Gordon Hayward looks more like Larry Bird than other players in the league. So maybe there’s that Boston connection there.”

… and then he said nothing of this when Paul Pierce returned to an infinitely louder ovation just a few weeks later.

Yet these are the guys ESPN is holding on to.

Max Kellerman is Everything That’s Wrong With ESPN

For crying out loud, the always wrong Max “Cliff” Kellerman is still employed. Kellerman isn’t about thoughtful, informed, reasoned sports reporting. He’s there to be loud and controversial. I’m sorry, but that’s really, really easy. It’s what happens when you’re dedicated to telling people what they want to hear, and not the truth. People who were paying attention could tell you that Brady – who has always relied more on his mind than his arm, was in the possibly the best shape of his career.

When the Patriots fell behind in the Super Bowl, Kellerman was quick to claim victory. He tweeted this at halftime.



And did Kellerman admit his error after Brady’s amazing performance in the Super Bowl?

No, he went on ESPN the next day, and doubled down. Like the Millerites in the 19th century, he just pushed his prediction forward. (They claimed the world would end on April 28th, 1843. When it didn’t happen, they just kept pushing the date back.)


It Starts at the Top

But what else would you expect from a network that has this guy as its “Public Editor.” Obviously, he was safe from the ESPN firings.


It’s not about reporting the facts anymore – it’s about “hot takes”. It’s not been about truth at ESPN for a long, long time. The selections of who to lay off, and who to keep makes that vividly clear. It’s about appealing to the lowest common denominator – and journalistic integrity is a thing of the past in Bristol.

Photo by {algo+rhythm} | Labs

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Mike Cooney
Mike is a lifelong Boston sports fan. He's got a degree in journalism from Northeastern University, and has been writing about sports in various methods since the mid-1990's. He's gotten to meet Bobby Orr, Luis Tiant, Rich Gedman, Nomar Garciaparra, and once shut out Carlos Pena's two twin brothers in a game of foosball at McCoy Stadium.