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With egg on face, Colin Cowherd explains commentators need to be interesting but not correct

Colin Cowherd called Clemson a fraud. Dabo Swinney obviously didn’t take too kindly to that and addressed the slight in his post game conference. He went as far to call Cowherd a fraud 🔥🔥🔥 !

Swinney calling out Cowherd wasn’t something that could be ignored and hence, Cowherd addressed it on his show.

Here is the transcription of the main part:

“You know people this morning are like, what do you think of that? One of the things I’ve realized you do not punish me if I’m wrong. You punish me as an audience if I choose topics you are not interested in. You have never punished me for being wrong. My Blazing Five is one of the highest rated things I ever do. And I get 57% right. When you punish me, politicians could learn a thing or two. Politicians lose when they talk about topics nobody cares about. Trump talked about the economy. That’s what most of us care about. Not bathroom issues. In the end, you have never punished me for being wrong. You punish me when I am uninteresting and when I choose topics that you don’t give a rip about. So I will continue to have SUPER STRONG opinions on college football, the NBA, the NFL.” 

As much as I’d love to pile on Cowherd for being wrong regarding Clemson, I have to say his answer was refreshing. Cowherd and the rest of the pundits spanning sports, politics, and so on, live and die by this point of view.

At some point, they saw their ticket up the ladder in media was to feign certainty and confidence in whatever they are talking about. Fake conviction. Hide any doubt or ambiguity. Sell whatever way you are leaning as if it’s the most sure thing you know and hope for the best because nobody cares if you’re wrong. The eyeballs will come if you’re any good at making a splash regardless if you’re right or wrong. In the rare instance you take some blowback like in this instance, it’s just more PR for you and the show and even bad PR is good PR.

Cowherd is basically admitting the truth that many of us know which is a hell of a lot better than shitbags within the Embrace Debate eco-system who like to find a new hot take to give them cover for their previous whiffs on a related subject.

And what sucks is that he’s totally right. “I wonder WHAT he’ll say next?” is a viable content strategy because people tune in for that. For some, like Cowherd, it’s not always that outrageous. In other instances, it’s pretty much all outrageous crap.

The idea of substantive and nuanced discussion with subject matter experts certainly exists, but doesn’t work as well as selling certainty and hot takes to a droll mainstream audience clamoring for more buffoonery.

Clemson being a fraud (or any team getting that label) is what the audience wants to hear. People tweet it, post it on message boards, and talk about it in their social circles and on talk radio. It reverberates. Agree or disagree, it’s something to talk about, and regardless if he’s wrong, you’re going to keep coming back if you like this particular flavor of hot take.

The idea of him and others saying something like “Clemson has had an up and down and year and I think they’re going to have problems against Ohio State or Alabama. I don’t know, we’ll see… should be a good game”, does not payoff in the sports media world.

That’s not to say all confident opinions and hot takes are contrived and oversold, but in this day and age, what do you expect when we put personalities on the air for hours at a time covering a wide array of sports and topics? I could maybe give you a hot take a day that could turn some heads, but that would be maybe five minutes a day. To some degree, isn’t that what SVP’s One Big Thing is?

So when people ask “Who watches these shows,” “Why is this guy on TV,” or “Who takes this guy seriously,” Cowherd has truthfully answered those questions. A large amount of people do care about these opinions, but don’t care if they are proven to be wrong. Until people opt to tune out personalities and shows that make noise for the sake of making noise, this is what you get. And hey, at least Cowherd’s honest about it.

Ben Koo

About Ben Koo

Copying and pasting my Twitter bio. I'm also refusing (for now) to write this in the third person. This is me - EIC and CEO at @comeback_sports and @AwfulAnnouncing, world's greatest chinese jew, proud Buckeye, funny dude, and sports and digital media zealot.

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