May 13, 2009, 10:12 AM EST
I've never been a fan of the talking heads shows on ESPN and ESPN2. Fortunately, I'm at work when they're on, and I don't get home until well after the PTI/Around the Horn nonsense is over. Usually the shows strike me as a bunch of guys I don't know loudly disagreeing about the minor points of a minor story, making the discussion a little more about themselves with each parry.
Usually the combatants are current or former columnists at major papers around the country, so they often know their topics fairly well, but the format just brings out their dumbassedness (in my opinion—obviously somebody likes this stuff or they wouldn't keep rolling it out). The only context in which I know Skip Bayless is this argument-based sports coverage. So, I wasn't surprised to get in the car and hear Mike Missanelli of 950 ESPN radio fired up about something Bayless said yesterday, when in a discussion that had NOTHING to do with Philadelphia fans, teams, or anything at all related to this townl, he described an incidence of poor fan behavior as "Philly-style, rude, crude, dangerous behavior in the stands."
Bayless agreed to call into Missanelli's show yesterday, and it didn't take long to get ugly. Listen to the clip here. More after the jump.
Bayless' first response out of the gate shows he's not ready for what's about to happen ("Isn't that a 'duh'?"), and after he stops saying he's going to hang up because Missanelli insults him, which Bayless says he himself doesn't do, despite the fact that he's on the call because of something insulting he said, Bayless resorts to big-timing the guy whose show he's appearing on. Skip pretends not to know Missanelli's name a minute after being given it before joining the on-air program, and presumably before agreeing to appear. He may in fact not know Mikey Miss, but that has nothing to do with the question he's being asked. Missanelli does his best to dismiss that tactic, saying "just Google me when we're off the phone" (btw, Google "Mike Missanelli." It's fun!).
The interview may be something of an ambush, but it's definitely clear that Bayless is relying on the same old BS stereotypes that Philly fans are the worst in the country, despite the fact that nearly every town has its share of negative stories, and none of Skip's are even remotely recent. I do love the story of how his friend who ran the away-game tours for Cowboys fans had a rule that you couldn't wear Dallas gear during trips to Philly though, and that "Skip" talks about being afraid to go to the Vet.
I've heard Mikey Miss take on some national voices from ESPN before,
beating them up about making weak, general statements about Philly
sports fans—most recently Colin Cowherd, another hack. I don't always agree with his opinions on Philly sports
news or the role of the media (nor do I any other host), but I dig
that he's made the defense of Philly a primary objective despite it
requiring him to slam people who work under the same network banner as he does.
How do you score this one?
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