Wednesday, June 2, 2010
ESPN Getting Robbed on Reilly for Patrick Trade
About 2 years ago, sport media giants ESPN and Sports Illustrated essentially swapped stars.
Back page magazine superstar Rick Reilly would go to the World Wide Leader, and great hair SportsCenter franchise anchor Dan Patrick would get a little columnette inside SI around page 10.
While Patrick isn't exactly setting the radio/magazine world on fire, Reilly is undeniably bombing at ESPN.
And lest anyone think I am a Reilly basher, let me say loudly that his column in SI was regularly my favorite 10 minutes of the magazine.
Reilly on TV just doesn't work, on many levels. In print, he's witty. On camera, he's whiney. In print, his angles seem fresh. On camera they seem forced.
For a while, they had a feature called "Life of Reilly." Now it is "Riley Up." They tried Reilly as a Sportscenter anchor.
What a disaster.
He has a face for a magazine, his voice is not just poor, it's annoying, his delivery is unpolished, and his broadcast writing skills are still being developed.
Plus, why try Reilly as an anchor, when you can just pull another guy with good hair and a smooth act from the fish tank known as ESPNNews?
I have seen some of the "Hometown Reunion" series that Reilly has hosted. Not bad. But the concept just doesn't resonate with me.
Now they have Riled Up, which I suppose is an effort to brand him as a wacky, energetic, edgy "outsider". The jerky, Blair Witch Project style webcam shots seem forced. And knowing that he's doing many of these from his house, in t-shirts and a shorts, sort of rubs me the wrong way.
From what I understand, he's making like $2 million a year.
Yeah, I'm jealous. But GOOD GOD, what a waste of money! For that kind of cash, at least put on slacks and a shirt, and leave your driveway!
I suppose when you are both of these guys, at the pinnacle of your profession, having done what you do for many years, you look for a new challenge. Maybe Rick Reilly is enjoying the challenge. It just doesn't seem that way.
I've seen ESPN waste more money on even lesser talent. But I have a hard time believing this is how they envisioned things working out.