Election Day is finally here! And while Gary Johnson looks to pull off the biggest upset in the history of democratic elections, we're focused on who will don the fourth and final spot on AA's Mount Rushmore. Will Craig James keep his place as the incumbent who won in a landslide vote last summer and etch his place in AA immortality? Or, will another deserving candidate supplant his mug on AA's banner? That decision is up to you.
Below you'll find a profile of each of the four candidates – Chris Berman, Skip Bayless, Matt Millen, and Craig James. At the bottom of the page is the poll for you to vote for the person you think most deserves to be on AA's Mount Rushmore. Happy voting!
Candidate #1 – Chris Berman
From the interwebs: ESPN responds to growing public concern about Chris Berman
"The problem with junk-ball pitchers, in the context of increasingly savvy TV audiences at least, is that nothing gets by us anymore. You can't just fool the audience into thinking he still has the spark when his talent is fading. The competition evolves and gets better, which is part of the reason why Berman has become so polarizing for viewers of ESPN's programming.
Do a simple Twitter search for "Chris Berman" during any live event he works to get a sense of how social media feels about him. It has become a dangerous place, not just for Berman (who certainly isn't reading the public's comments) but also ESPN executives (who have to read everything we say about everyone they employ)."
-Dan Levy, Bleacher Report
From the AA Archives: Prepare yourselves for a few more years of Chris Berman
"Clearly, Chris Berman has his fans to this day, but his performance art has certainly grown old with a sizeable swoth of football fans. That's not to mention fans of the Home Run Derby and golf's US Open where Berman's sizeable persona dominates and distracts from the event itself. Perhaps no assigment in sports has been as heavily critiiczed as Chris Berman's work at the US Open, but never fear, ESPN has ensured that will continue for the next several years. Instead of embracing evolution in presenting sports, ESPN will continue to take us back, back, back, back to 1986 year after year after year. I already tried watching Hot Tub Time Machine once and had to turn it off after 25 minutes."
Campaign Video: "Jesus!"
Endorsement: Ken Fang, Fang's Bites
"Berman's act has not changed over the years. How many times have you heard, "Whoop!" for a fumble? What about "He! Could! Go! All! The! Way!"? And trying to show his knowledge of local landmarks during the Home Run Derby, "That ball almost went to Topeka!" which was gleefully corrected by George Brett this year. By the end, you're reaching for a bottle of Tylenol.
One of the more infamous Berman moments was when he was hosting a rare SportsCenter following a Sunday Night Baseball game. Instead of the top story being Yankees-Red Sox or a NASCAR race, it was Boomer pointing out that the lead story was him hosting SportsCenter with various video clips of HIMSELF! Most likely, it was a producer who put together that open, however, it gave the appearance of Berman saying, "Look at me!""
Candidate #2 – Skip Bayless
From the interwebs: Please stop feeding the Skip Bayless
"There is a temptation to say that Skip Bayless is everything that is wrong with sports journalism except that nothing in sports journalism is nearly as bad as Skip Bayless. "Sports journalism" doesn't belong in the same sentence as "Skip Bayless": frankly, neither "sports" nor "journalism" does. He is the epitome of idiotic daytime television, and pretending that he's in the same business as sportswriters and broadcasters (good ones and bad ones alike) is false equivalence at its worst. You would never say that Wendy Williams and Tom Brokaw are in the same business. You shouldn't pretend Skip Bayless occupies the same plane of existence as Bob Costas either. It's pretty much the same thing."
-Will Leitch, NY Magazine
From the AA archives: First Take Inside the Numbers… Enter if you dare
"But recently, the show has gone from entertainingly awful (like an intentionally wretched scary movie where we're supposed to be in on the joke) to just awful awful (think Ecks vs Sever or Battlefield Earth). Skip Bayless is more empowered and ridiculous than ever (the troubling part is his incredible self-awareness). The interview and news segments are largely gone. Now, the show largely focuses on Skip Bayless: Villain Of The Sporting Universe. First Take has gotten away from the diversity that made it tolerable, to a revolving door of ESPN analysts and columnists to argue with Bayless. If you're thinking this gets old quickly… it does."
Campaign Video: "What the hell is that?"
Endorsement: Erik Malinowski, Deadspin
"With Bayless, there’s a visceral unctuousness that comes through the TV screen and slaps you across the face, like a nearby garbage dump wafting through your living room window. I could think of no greater detriment to the world of sports media than to have any child or high school student or college intern turn on Skip Bayless in the morning and think to themselves, “I want to be like that one day.” And you rarely, if ever, hear any respected industry people defend Bayless, not in the way that, say, Michelle Beadle speaks admirably on behalf of one Colin Cowherd, as though he’s some sort of harmless, goofy, misunderstood ham."
Candidate #3 – Matt Millen
"What this trotting entails: emotional, ill-informed reactions to a report that he probably hasn’t had time to read (and one he definitely hasn’t had time to comprehend). He doesn’t have all of the information he needs, and even if he did, his judgement would be clouded. Yet, still, there is Millen, Penn State Apologist. It’s a role he’s been cast in both by his producers and by circumstance.
As a result of this casting, Matt Millen said some very dumb shit on TV this morning."
-Dan Fogarty, SportsGrid
From the AA archives: ESPN puts Matt Millen on the air to discuss Freeh Report and everyone loses
"Millen was destroyed with a venom and ferocity rarely seen for an on-air sports analyst. Understandably, emotions were running high with the Freeh Report being released and the full extent of what happened behind the scenes at Penn State unveiled in turning a blind eye to continued child abuse. It was easy to be angry with Matt Millen and use him as a lightning rod for being a symbol of the blindness to justice at Penn State as he tried to deflect blame from Joe Paterno."
Campaign Video: "Apology"
Endorsement: Josh Zerkle, Bleacher Report
"I'm not saying that any capable analyst should be able to run a front office team. That's silly. But isn't the idea that a single act of contrition can wash away a decade of failure… almost vulgar? And is it decent that such a guy could be passed off as an expert in a field where his latest undertaking was, and I'm being polite here, catastrophic?
It's disgusting in some ways. And that disgust should not just emanate from Lions fans, but from any football fan stuck listening to a fraud who made his name synonymous with failure. Matt Millen is no longer credible as an expert on football matters. He spent seven seasons proving that fact.
And don't even get me started on ESPN trotting him out to be an objective voice on the Jerry Sandusky scandal. That was vulgar."
Candidate #4 – Craig James (incumbent)
From the interwebs: College Football TV Roundtable
"That Craig James gets such prominent assignments remains a mystery on the D.B. Cooper scale. He is unpopular by any fan metric you choose, including performance and likeability. The fact that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is suing James merely adds noise here. ESPN management says it values James for his relationships with coaches but what that ultimately leads to for viewers is little more than backslapping commentary. The network deserves to get crushed for keeping him on the air."
-Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated
From the AA Archives: A Tribute to your Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament winner… Craig James
"In a sense, Craig James is symbolic of something bigger than awful announcing. James represents the idea of using power and privilege to corrupt and mislead. Ironically, it stands for the most un-American and un-Texan values one can imagine. I would rather have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver talk about nothing for three hours than be lied to through the media. Give me boring announcers or botch after botch instead of somebody with no credibility. As inflammable as Colin Cowherd can be, at least he truly believes what he spews."
Campaign Video: John Q. Texan
Endorsement: Adam Kramer, Kegs 'n Eggs
"As for the job at ESPN, his magnitude of bad knew no bounds. First, he was absolutely ghastly in the booth. He tortured our ears with midweek monstrosities on ESPN’s Thursday night college football showcase, and our scars still feel fresh. He also hired a PR firm to get Texas Tech coach Mike Leach fired and used his platform at ESPN to accomplish this goal.
And then there are the hookers; those poor, sweet, innocent five ladies of the night that were slayed at James’ behalf according to the Internet, which is never wrong. Only a meme, you say? Just ask those poor females if we should view their deaths as a simple meme."
Winner: Skip Bayless 48.02%
2nd: Chris Berman 29.58%
3rd: Craig James 15.49%
4th: Matt Millen 6.91%
All he does is win…