Dan Le Batard cracks up about Stugotz.

There might be no one in sports media more willing to call out bullshit in sports media, and even within his own company, than ESPN Radio host Dan Le Batard. He has called out ESPN for giving John Calipari a recruiting platform, criticized the network for broadcasting MLB’s trip to Cuba, given away his Baseball Hall of Fame ballot to make a point and blasted his local affiliates for censoring him.

And on Thursday, he and co-host Stugotz poked fun at ESPN for amplifying Stugotz’s not-so-thought-out take on Eli Manning’s benching. After Stugotz called Manning “overrated” on Wednesday in a diatribe that seemed to have everyone on set giggling, ESPN promptly put his rant on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and ESPN.com, then had him appear on “Golic & Wingo” to defend his position. That led Le Batard and Amin Elhassan to tease Stugotz for the attention for about seven minutes straight Thursday.

“He said something about Eli Manning that was the most extreme thing said about Eli Manning, and they just slapped it on every ESPN thing yesterday,” Le Batard said, laughing.

After a debate over whether Stugotz had his metaphorical blowtorch attached to his waist or his back, Stugotz commented that “My whole life I’ve wanted to be taken seriously, and yesterday I was taken seriously and found myself getting upset that people were taking me seriously.” Le Batard, Elhassan and Stugotz then laughed for several minutes about Stugotz’s somewhat incoherent explanation on “Golic & Wingo,” including him repeating his first point as his third point. The whole thing is pretty funny.

Everyone kind of knows that it’s silly for ESPN to turn talking heads’ opinions into big news stories, but nothing drives home that point more than a half-serious Stugotz getting amplified across the network. As Le Batard said, “I understand why people get mad at ESPN for the idea of, we have so many places we have to put content that when Stugotz says, ‘Eli Manning’s overrated!’ they distribute it across all platforms so we can argue about it.”

Here was the rant that started it all so you can decide whether it deserved to be shared across ESPN platforms.

[The Dan Le Batard Show on Twitter]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Except that a lot of people DO overrate Eli. I am a Giants fan and cannot make a coherent argument that he belongs in the Hall of Fame. But so many people talk about his good but not great career like he’s his brother.

  • YouAreWrongAndDumb

    That show used to be so good. Then it went national and it sort of got “self aware” and it turned to shite.

  • Raymond Chuang

    I think what makes the “Dan LeBatard Show” so unusual is that if you think of it as a semi-parody of the average sports talk show, it actually works.

  • OOS

    I’ve never seen a group of adult men try so hard to convince you that they are having a good time.

  • TriCuriousGeorge

    Eli is done. Time for the Giants to move on.

  • Shame Hannity

    My rant is that people (fans, talking heads, coaches, owners, administrators, media, etc.) take sports waay too seriously. It’s just a game……

    • Toad

      Games aren’t really fun if you don’t take them seriously.

      • Shame Hannity

        Don’t get me wrong. I do want my team(s) to win and I get mad when my team loses to a rival. By seriously, I meant stalking, writing or making threatening emails or calls, or getting in fights with other fans. People go overboard too much these days.