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.


  1. i couldn't agree more...for years i went straight to his back page column prior to reading anything else in SI. I cancelled my subscription once the "switch" occurred...

    maybe SI can pick up you, or better yet, XM Radio, specifically FoxSports or anyone for that matter. the trash on there now is obnoxious.

  2. Not to mention that they tried to position him as a draw opposite/in tandem(?) w/ Simmons on the web and he regularly gets his ass handed to him in readership and now they have to pony up the bucks for Simmons since they blew the market up. I don't get why they didn't just go w/ Simmons as the every man regular guy. They already had him and he would have been cheaper. Oh and he is more popular. Dopes.

  3. I quit listening to Dan Patrick and the rest of Fox when they cancelled Czabe.

  4. Reilly is a fish out of water on TV. Simmons doesn't translate too well to TV or radio either. He has a nasally, effeminate voice. Then there's Screamin A. Smith, who is a disaster on all 3 platforms.

  5. I cancelled my SI subscription after Reilly left, switched my radio preset from FSR to music once Czabe left and haven't been back to either since. It never ceases to amaze me how rampant blatant stupidity is among decision-makers in most corporations; SI and FSR are certainly not any exception. Sad!

  6. Couldn't agree more . . . can't listen to Dick and Dick even if they're "back and better than cricket noise" . . . and Steven A Hole is just so full of himself . . . AAAAARRRGGGHH!

  7. The Reilly/Patrick trade will go down as one of the worst ever, up there with the SAS/Czabe debacle. Not quite as bad as Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi or Amos Otis for Joe Foy (the Mets have always had a crappy front office). Reilly jumped the shark years ago when he wrote a gushing column about Bill Romanowski's "incredible" training and nutritional regimen that had him sending his blood, urine and feces out to be analyzed weekly to a relatively unknown company - at the time - known as BALCO Labs.

  8. Great comments here. I used to listen to Czabe on 570 in LA before the DP Show. Miss him lots. There is so much slop on sports talk radio these days it makes me want to puke. Mike Golic hasn't had a non-ESPN directive thought in 5 years. We need more voices like Steve Czaban in America.