Craig James' stint at Fox Sports Southwest was one thing that was actually shorter than a Kardashian marriage. After Fox executives caught wind of FS Southwest hiring the disgraced former ESPN analyst and Senate candidate, they pulled rank and pulled the plug on James' television comeback. It's a mystery how anyone working in television who hasn't been in deep space for the last two years could have thought this was a good idea.
But the truth about any business remains – who you know is more important than what you know, how good you are at your job, or what underhanded smear campaigns you may have taken part in.
In what must come as a shock, James did an interview with the Houston Chronicle about his return to television a couple days before it was cancelled. Here's your heavy dose of schadenfreude for the day:
“I’m a huge college football fan,” he said. “I enjoyed every day last season not getting on an airplane (to fly to a game site or to ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.).
“I needed to decompress after the Senate run and the heavy load at ESPN. I had been busy with business activities, and on Aug. 1 I woke up and said ‘I want to get back in (to TV). And this opportunity came about over the last couple of weeks.”
“I want to do what I’ve always done, which is explain why something happened and talk about what will happen next,” he said. “I watched a ton of games last year, which gave me a good perspective. This is a perfect for me right now, and I’m excited about the opportunity. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Yea, about that future…
And for what it's worth, FS Southwest executives were full of praise and excitement for their new big name hire too:
"We’re excited to add Craig to the FOX Sports Southwest team,” said FSSW executive producer Mike Anastassiou.“He’s a talented broadcaster who I’ve admired throughout his career."
Apparently, the top decision makers at Fox Sports failed to share that excitement, and James is back in television limbo. James claims there are still grass-roots political types who want him to run for political office once again, which is laughable unless it was for Springfield sanitation commissioner.
Consider this – Fox, the same company that has hired pretty much every former Republican political candidate as an analyst or contributor in some capacity, vetoed the hiring of former Republican political candidate Craig James from a regional sports network. If you needed any more proof of James' toxicity as a television personality, there you have it.
We live in a world where Keith Olbermann has a nightly show on ESPN2, so anything is possible. However, hopefully this embarrassing saga for Fox Sports Southwest teaches anyone who is even tempted about possibly thinking about considering hiring Craig James as a college football television analyst to think again.