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RedsBaron
11-28-2006, 07:08 AM
Given the long running "Kramer" thread, I am somewhat surprised that no one started a thread about former Dallas Cowboy great and current ESPN broadcaster Michael Irvin's recent comments on Dan Patrick's national radio show. What the heck, I'll start one.
Opining on Dallas QB Tony Romo's athleticism, Irvin said: "He doesn't look like he's that type of an athlete, but he is. He is, man. Somewhere, there are some brothers in that line. I don't know who saw what, where. His great, great, great, great grandma ran over in the hood, or something went down."
Patrick interjected: "That's the only way to be a great athlete?"
Irvin repiled: "No, that's not the only way. But it's certainly one way. Great, great, great, great grandma pulled one of them studs up outta the barn. 'Come here for a second.' You know, they go out and work in the yard. You know, back in the day. Something like that."
It should be added that Irvin was laughing through his commentary. He did later issue an apology, stating that it was "clear I was joking around. I need to learn how to better draw the line between bringing people into the locker room and the boundaries I should not go past as a broadcaster."
The ghost of Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder was not available for comment. Almost two decades ago, CBS fired Snyder because of a comment that black athleticism was a byproduct of selective slave breeding.

LoganBuck
11-28-2006, 07:35 AM
I heard his apology yesterday, I think it reaks of double standard. He essentially called Tony Romo's great great great grandma a *****.

RedFanAlways1966
11-28-2006, 07:40 AM
Michael Irvin ONCE AGAIN proves that he and a box of rocks have the same intelligence. But he is a good friend... will hold your crack pipe for you to help you out.

max venable
11-28-2006, 08:24 AM
I've got no problem with what Michael Irvin said. He was joking. And it was pretty funny.

It's too bad we're all so hyper-sensitive to all this stuff.

Kramer, on the other hand, his rant was across the line. I say that mainly because I don't think he was joking. I think he has some real issues. I don't get that same sense from Irvin.

paintmered
11-28-2006, 09:03 AM
I would listen to what Michael Irvin says, but I can't understand a word out of his mouth...

RANDY IN INDY
11-28-2006, 10:03 AM
Michael Irvin does nothing to enhance himself or anyone else when he opens his mouth.

Razor Shines
11-28-2006, 10:48 AM
I really don't care about what he said. It does seem to smack of a double standard, but I don't know why anyone is surprised by it. We know it's there but life goes on. It does seem odd that ESPN keeps putting guys like him on the air, who just aren't very good at thier jobs, but fires Harold Reynolds.

bucksfan
11-28-2006, 11:39 AM
I really don't care about what he said. It does seem to smack of a double standard, but I don't know why anyone is surprised by it. We know it's there but life goes on. It does seem odd that ESPN keeps putting guys like him on the air, who just aren't very good at thier jobs, but fires Harold Reynolds.

I agree. I have little appreciation for anything Irvin has ever "added" to any broadcast I have seen or heard. His thoughts don't surprise me nor do they necessarily offend me. The comparison with Richards' case is slim IMO in that they do both involve an amount prejudice but differed greatly in severity or malicious intent (if you will). I am quite surprised he still has a job with ESPN based on just his general character image and quality of work.

Razor Shines
11-28-2006, 11:51 AM
I agree. I have little appreciation for anything Irvin has ever "added" to any broadcast I have seen or heard. His thoughts don't surprise me nor do they necessarily offend me. The comparison with Richards' case is slim IMO in that they do both involve an amount prejudice but differed greatly in severity or malicious intent (if you will). I am quite surprised he still has a job with ESPN based on just his general character image and quality of work.

I didn't mean in anyway to compare it to Richards' case. I agree that they are very different. I meant to compare Irvin's comments to situations where people said things similar to what he joked about.

RedsBaron
11-28-2006, 11:52 AM
I should add that I did not intend to compare what Irvin said with the comments that Michael Richards made. Given the long running thread here about Richards, I was surprised no one had mentioned Irvin's comments, but Irvin's comments were apparently made as a joke while Richards's comments seem to have been mean spirited, and caaling someone the "N word" is a lot nastier IMO than anything Irvin said.
I do think a comparsion can be made between what Irvin said and the comment made by Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder which lead to his firing by CBS. I realize that Snyder's firing was decades ago, and he was with a different network, but the comments were similar. I was never a fan of Synder's but I thought his firing by CBS was a bit of an over reaction, and I don't advocate that ESPN fire Irvin over his comments, although there are probably plenty of other reasons to fire him.

RichRed
11-28-2006, 01:46 PM
Irvin is made of Teflon - nothing sticks to the guy, not hookers, not crack residue, not stupid comments. In what other line of work in this country would he be employable?

Matt700wlw
11-28-2006, 03:13 PM
I don't pay attention to Michael Irvin....

He adds no value of any kind every time he opens up his yapper.

RFS62
11-28-2006, 06:09 PM
I don't know about you guys, but I'm always interested in what Michael Irvin has to say about nuclear proliferation and global warming. That is, if I can't find any quotes from Deion Sanders and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Those three guys are the voice of reason in an otherwise troubled world.

RedsBaron
11-28-2006, 06:44 PM
I don't know about you guys, but I'm always interested in what Michael Irvin has to say about nuclear proliferation and global warming. That is, if I can't find any quotes from Deion Sanders and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Those three guys are the voice of reason in an otherwise troubled world.

You know that political discussions are not allowed here, and yet you bring up three noted political pundits.:nono:

Yachtzee
11-28-2006, 06:48 PM
I don't know about you guys, but I'm always interested in what Michael Irvin has to say about nuclear proliferation and global warming. That is, if I can't find any quotes from Deion Sanders and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Those three guys are the voice of reason in an otherwise troubled world.

Isn't that kind of like asking Tarzan, Frankenstein, and Tonto how to solve the Third World debt crisis? "Restructure with moderate loan forgiveness if adopt sound monetary policy good. FIRE BAD!"

Roy Tucker
12-01-2006, 07:52 AM
ESPN's ombudsman George Solomon addressed this in his latest column.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=solomon_george&id=2681869

Updated: Nov. 30, 2006
Irvin's racial remarks about Romo crossed the lineBy George Solomon
ESPN Ombudsman

Michael Irvin's comments about the ancestry of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, made during an interview on Dan Patrick's ESPN radio show Nov. 20, carried the same racial overtones that ended the television career of the late Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder nearly 20 years ago.

In a discussion of Romo's athletic ability, Irvin, a former Cowboys wide receiver and a regular on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, said the quarterback's skills would have had to come from African-American heritage. Romo is white.

Irvin told Michael McCarthy of USA Today he was "joking" when suggesting that Romo's distant grandmother "must have pulled a brother out the barn and got down to business" to produce an athlete of Romo's ability.

Irvin reflecting -- even in jest -- on Romo's family history was reminiscent of Snyder pontificating to a Washington TV news reporter about the inherited physical advantages of African-American professional football players. Minutes after that interview, Snyder was told by colleagues and friends he'd crossed the line.

He was fired by CBS the following day.

I'm not recommending a specific penalty for Irvin. That's not my role. What I would like to see, however, is ESPN take some action publicly as a result of remarks made by one of its most visible commentators. Irvin's apology on the Patrick show Monday, and ESPN's responses, don't seem sufficient.

"Anytime you generalize on racial matters, it can be damaging, dangerous and inappropriate," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for production. "You learn from such mistakes and move on."

Williamson said the network tried to cover the Irvin situation as a news story "as we would with any other public figure."

But the network walks a fine line regarding what it can and can't tell the public regarding internal personnel matters. In this case, however, Irvin, by his own words, has surrendered whatever confidentiality normally accorded his colleagues.

Knight games

ESPN went over the top covering Texas Tech coach Bob Knight's tweaking the chin of 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Michael Prince, Nov. 13, in Lubbock, Texas. Given Knight's history, the incident -- in which Knight's hand abruptly lifted the player's chin during a timeout in the coach's effort to gain Prince's attention -- deserved coverage, but not the volume and play of the incident shown by ESPN on its many shows.

It was, in my view, not worthy of the lead on SportsCenter, or deserving of the barrage of follow-up stories, commentary and panels over the ensuing days.

"I don't believe it was overplayed," said Vince Doria, ESPN's senior vice president for news. "Because of the number of shows we have, and the frequency that viewers tune in and tune out of these shows, we have to report the story and show the tape repeatedly to best inform those audiences. A guy with a track record such as Knight, striking a kid in the face is a big story."

Prince, meanwhile, told The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the exchange with Knight was "nothing," adding, "he was trying to teach me and I had my head down, so he raised my chin up." Nor did Prince's mother or Tech's athletic director, Gerald Myers, have a problem with how Knight dealt with Prince.

Pro-Knight and anti-Knight forces (former coaches, players and sportswriters) were quickly assembled by ESPN to provide additional coverage and balance to the story over the next several days.

"In retrospect, the focus on the debate should have been made clearer by us," Doria added. "The question should have centered on whether or not Knight should issue an apology and be reprimanded."

The contention by some viewers that ESPN overplayed and over-covered the story has merit. But in this world of instant news, the idea of playing down such a story until more reporting could be completed rarely carries the day. At least ESPN.com reported Knight's explanation on Tuesday: "I was trying to help a kid, and I think I did."

This is one story that ESPN's news executives must continue to discuss and ask themselves, "How well did we serve our viewers?"

Surfing

College football commentator Craig James' crass comment about Penn State football coach Joe Paterno this month slipped below the standards of the network.

Treating Nike's "Four LeBron James" advertising campaign as a feature on SportsCenter was a mistake. It's an advertisement, not a story.

Kirk Herbstreit's reputation continues to grow with his smart, insightful analysis of the college football scene. But with increased popularity comes increased scrutiny, such as a number of unhappy listeners who believe Herbstreit puts down Michigan and some Wolverine players on his Columbus radio show. Also, considering the former Ohio State quarterback's role with ESPN, perhaps Herbstreit should consider abstaining from voting in the Associated Press college football poll. He did not return a phone call for comment.

Should ESPN have done more coverage and reporting on the four-game suspension of San Diego Chargers star linebacker Shawne Merriman for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy? I think so.

In last month's column, I should have been more exact in pointing out Newsday reported in October that George Steinbrenner "wanted" to fire (not "expected" to fire, as I previously wrote) Joe Torre after the New York Yankees were eliminated in the American League playoffs by the Detroit Tigers.

GAC
12-01-2006, 08:39 AM
It's all about the intent behind the words IMO.

Anger was behind Richards.

Stupidity behind Irvin's.

Chip R
12-01-2006, 09:05 AM
Yeah, I think it's nice ESPN has an ombudsman but it's not like they are going to listen to him anytime soon.

Yachtzee
12-01-2006, 09:56 AM
Yeah, I think it's nice ESPN has an ombudsman but it's not like they are going to listen to him anytime soon.

I was just thinking the same thing. What good is having the guy if you aren't going to change?

Chip R
12-01-2006, 10:27 AM
I was just thinking the same thing. What good is having the guy if you aren't going to change?


He's just there for show. He's their "consience". It's no different than a Republican administration having a Democratic speechwriter or cabinet official, or vice versa, working for them. They are called the "house liberal" or "house conservative". It shows the world that they listen to the other side when, in reality, they don't. People like us complain about ESPN all the time. Solomon is there to give us his ear, so to speak. He listens to our complaints and gives his opinion and may very well take it to the powers that be at ESPN and they do whatever they bloody well please.