Colin Cowherd

ESPN untucked

Justin Tuck

You can tell ESPN’s new SportsNation talk show, which debuts Monday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2, is going to be irreverent and off-the-cuff. Why? In a promo clip featuring hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle, Cowherd wears a shirt that isn’t tucked in. Nothing says, “I’m going to speak my mind” like an untucked shirt.

The premise of the show is the content will be driven by what fans are talking about on ESPN.com’s SportsNation. “One of the goals of the show is to talk about things [buddies] would talk about,” Jamie Horowitz, the show’s producer. said during a conference call today.

Beadle said: “Your brain is never asleep on this show. … I don’t ever know what’s going to come out of Colin’s mouth, and I don’t think he does either.”

For his part, Cowherd said one of the things that makes Beadle a good partner for him is she “is not easily offended.”

We’ll see whether the audience feels the same.

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My one question during the conference call was about how the show would handle it if the buzz on the Web site was all about a highly specious list of 103 steroid users from baseball six years ago. Horowitz’s answer dealt partly with how the media are more interested in reporting on performance-enhancing drugs than fans are with hearing about the matter. I probably phrased my question poorly, but that wasn’t really the point.

What I wonder is how much the show will follow the dictates of what the “Nation” is showing interest in, regardless of how responsible or tasteful  it might be to pass along. Just because you and your pals want to talk about it while tossing back a few, that doesn’t make anything fair game for broadcast nationwide.

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During today’s College Football Live on ESPN, it was the state of Maryland’s turn in the spotlight. Early on, while giving an overview of the University of Maryland’s program, the network offered that the Terps have “been a model of consistency.”  You could make a better argument for UM having an up-and-down history, certainly when considering the past 20-some years. The Terps have had three losing seasons in their past five and posted two winning records from 1986 through 2000.

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Callin’ Colin

Al Gore Nobel lectureIn July, ESPN will be giving us more Colin Cowherd, setting him up in an hour-long weekday show on ESPN2. The specifics on SportsNation were short, so we can only conclude it will be much like Cowherd’s ESPN Radio show, with the host opining and cracking wise on a variety of topics.

So that got me to thinking about what we regularly hear from Cowherd.

He often has a refreshing take on the issues of the day, but I just as often find myself slightly annoyed when listening to him. Why is that? It’s not his arguments, really. Just like with most sports talk hosts, sometimes you agree, sometimes you don’t.

For example, not long ago, he was talking about the economics of baseball and relating the business of running a ballclub to operating a pizza shop. (Because they’re both rolling in dough. Budda-bing. Thank you, I’m here all week. Try the pepperoni.) His point was a lot of the transactions are in cash, and when a business is getting paid in cash, it isn’t necessarily inclined to report each dollar on the ledger. There’s your explanation for why teams don’t want to open their books to the players union, Cowherd said.

Outrageous? He had just accused the people running clubs of being cheats. But Cowherd made the on-target point that it would have been just as outrageous to claim Enron was cooking the books before we all learned about that corporation’s creative accounting. In such a context, it seems perfectly reasonable to question whether major league clubs have stacks of bills stashed away like Tony Soprano did in his backyard bird-feed storage bin.

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Joe Buck Doesn’t Watch Much Sports

From the “You must be kidding me” department…

Take a listen to this short clip from Fox’ Joe Buck on the Colin Cowherd radio show today on ESPN Radio.

For a guy who makes a living as a sports commentator, shouldn’t one of his tasks be to watch as much sports as possible? It’s his job for crying out loud!

I agree with both men that, for normal people, their lives prevent them from watching much sports during the week. But for you guys watching sports IS part of your job!

Buck is also right about the pace of a baseball game and the time required to watch it. It does take away a little from the enjoyment of the game. You can blame television and some of the prima donna athletes for that.

As much as I like Joe Buck’s on-air work, he should probably take a little more interest in the product on which he describes.

SMJ Sports Radio Madness- Colin Cowherd (8) vs. Arnie Spanier (24)

Moving along in the SMJ Sports Radio Madness tournament we have ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd up against the lowest rated entry in our field, Arnie Spanier of Sporting News Radio

Colin Cowherd- Colin Cowherd joined ESPN Radio March 29, 2004 with the debut of The Herd, which airs 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET weekdays. A West coast-only hour airs 9-10 a.m. ET (6-7 a.m. PT). The Herd features topical commentary on the day’s most important sports news, perspective on the top stories, interviews with the biggest newsmakers, and entertaining daily segments including “Spanning the Globe” and “Rants of the Day.” More about Colin here. And here.

Arnie Spanier- Talk about a career that has gone full circle. Spanier joined Sporting News Radio after beginning his career with the very same company (as the Sports Entertainment Network). After his debut year on SEN in Las Vegas, Arnie ventured south across the desert to Phoenix, honing his skill at the local level. After two years in PM drive, he was lured back to the network side with One-on-One Sports. Here’s more on Arnie.

Voting ends March 19th.

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