The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying controversy is making everyone in sports go crazy. First it was ESPN compatriots Dan Le Batard and Mike Golic duking it out on ESPN Radio. Now comes what could be the most juicy and entertaining sports media feud of the year – Keith Olbermann vs Mike Francesa and WFAN.
But I am so in for a slobberknocker between Olbermann and WFAN that would be an epic, so get the popcorn ready, let's dive in…
It began yesterday when WFAN morning hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason called out hypocrites in the media railing against Richie Incognito for his bullying behavior. This included ESPN's Keith Olbermann and Chris Berman. Olbermann has a long standing reputation of burning bridges and being terrifying to work with. Berman has his own well publicized episode that we'll get to later.
But in spite of those reports, Olbermann has always been forceful in defending himself against those claims. So, in last night's Worst Persons segment, he put Carton and Esiason and even WFAN co-worker Mike Francesa and the entire station on full blast in quite the throw down the gauntlet…
First of all, Olby went to high school with Chris Berman?!?! I can only imagine what that would have been like!
That was as brutal of a takedown as we've seen from Olbermann since coming back to sports. His shot at Mike Francesa, his calling Boomer Esiason by his given name (yes, it's Norman), and calling the pair "fill-in hosts" even though they've been at WFAN since 2007.
Oh, and about ESPN Radio New York being a better product than WFAN? Well, that may depend upon your allegiances and who signs your paychecks, but The Fan routinely crushes ESPN in the ratings. At last check, WFAN was almost doubling ESPN's ratings in New York radio.
For his part, Carton fired back on Twitter after the Olbermann rant:
love the @KeithOlbermann career arc < than 50k viewers on current tv and now on espn2 not even espn cant wait 4 the move too espn3d soon
— Craig Carton (@cc660) November 6, 2013
Olbermann has kept it going on his Twitter page, too. In fairness, ESPN2 is in 100 million homes just like ESPN is so that's not really a putdown. If anything, Carton could point to the constant schedule shuffling and fill-in hosts that have kept Olbermann the show from really sinking in to the collective consciousness of the sports fan.
But Carton also lobbed another shot across the bow, by placing this video on his Twitter feed. Remember how I said we weren't done with Chris Berman?
In all seriousness, I'm not interested in arguments about who's a bully in sports media and who's being hypocritical in railing against that behavior because it distracts from the topic at hand. And no, I'm not going to call either of these sides "bullies" for engaging in a good old fashioned media feud. Again, it's a false equivalence to the real story happening in Miami.
However, anyone who uses the Chris Berman Crazy Rant video from YouTube as an offensive maneuver in a media fight automatically wins my respect and the round. A feud that involves Chris Berman, Keith Olbermann, Mike Francesa, Craig Carton, and Boomer Esiason could be the media feud of the year if it picks up in intensity over the next few days and weeks ahead. It could even main event Wrestlemania.