July 16, 2003

NFL RUSH-ING LEADER: Political commentator

NFL RUSH-ING LEADER: Political commentator Rush Limbaugh and sports announcer Dennis Miller appear to have traded places, with Miller moving from Monday Night Football to a recurring Fox News Channel gig, while Limbaugh, it was announced this week, will be joining ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" football pregame show.
I've never cared much for Limbaugh, partially because of his far-right politics but mostly because of the lack of civility he has brought to public discourse over the years- Rush, after all, is the one who made it acceptable to not only out-argue but dehumanize one's political opponents. And it's that mean-spiritedness is the biggest reason why I'm not happy he's joining "Countdown."
For the last few years ESPN has had the most watchable NFL pregame show on the air, far outclassing competitors CBS and Fox, and that's mostly been due to its likable on-air crew. Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortenson, Steve Young, and even Sterling Sharpe are some of the most appealing personalities on the network; the network even advertised the show last year as "a little football among friends."
Unfortunately, with this year's new hires, "NFL Countdown" seems to be moving towards the wretched "attitude" model that's already infected so much of ESPN's programming. First the network brought in ex-Dallas Cowboy and career criminal Michael Irvin, plucking him from the cast of Fox Sports Net's wretched "Best Damn Sports Show, Period." Now it's Limbaugh, who will likely help to turn the show's collegial atmosphere into just another "Around the Horn"-style insult contest.
I guess come football season I'll just have to start watching "Meet the Press" instead. That, or just sleep later.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 16, 2003 03:23 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?