And now, some of our staff’s selections…
Jamie Horowitz and Marcia Keegan. While Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith are the faces of First Take, the most ridiculous side of ESPN, Horowitz is largely responsible for creating the #EmbraceDebate culture that allows such lunacy to thrive so prominently. Since his departure from ESPN, Keegan’s been responsible for sustaining and defending that toxic culture, both within and outside of First Take. Both had prominent turkey moments this year: Keegan told Richard Deitsch #EmbraceDebate had only a positive effect on ESPN’s brand, while Horowitz managed to get fired from his new job at NBC’s Today before his official start and was described as a “hand grenade” at Today.
Enabling and encouraging others’ tomfoolery the way they have is perhaps even worse than conducting it personally.
– Andrew Bucholtz, @andrewbucholtz
Stephen A. Smith, because just when you think it can’t get worse with him, it somehow does. His wrists must be sore for as often as ESPN has slapped them. What can he possibly do for an encore in 2015 – simply start going on a profane diatribe towards his bosses and hope he gets fired?
– Joe Lucia, @Joe_TOC
My Turducken of the Year is the ESPN executive who decided to remove Brent Musburger from the top college football team and assign him to SEC Network where he’s called games such as Western Carolina at Alabama, Louisiana Tech at Auburn and Sam Houston State at LSU. Yes, he’ll be back on the Mothership this weekend calling the Iron Bowl, but Brent has deserved better than this. Brent has not said much about his demotion publicly, but you have to think he has to be disappointed with his roster of games this season. It’s definitely been a letdown after the stellar broadcasting career he’s had. The ESPN executive who made this decision is not only a turkey, but this person should also get coal in his or her Christmas stocking.
– Ken Fang, @fangsbites
It’s a tie between Paul Finebaum and Danny Kanell, keeping in mind all the while that they are promoted by ESPN and encouraged by the WWL to say what they say in the way they like to say it. Finebaum and Kanell are not different creatures — they are one and the same, the only difference being that they speak directly against each other… Finebaum extolling the virtues of the SEC at every possible turn, Kanell speaking against SEC bias whenever possible. These two personalities create a Florida State-versus-the-state-of-
– Matt Zemek, @SectionMZ
Skip Bayless, far and away. Once a respected journalist in Texas, Bayless has become the symbol of everything which is wrong in the sports media industry. While blogs and other online sites are often ripped for going after clicks, Bayless does the same except on the television. The shame of it is, Bayless has the intellect to be a teacher of the game for so many young kids trying to learn about sports. Instead, Bayless is part of the disgrace that is First Take, allowing himself to become a living, breathing joke five days per week.
– Matt Verderame, @mattverderame & David Rogers, @frozennotes
Whomever is coming up with the standard of suspensions for ESPN. From Bill Simmons for three weeks to Stephen A. Smith for only a few days to Keith Law for a weekend, there is apparently a strange standard that not only kowtows to people who weren’t athletes before they got to ESPN, but people who toe the company line despite espousing what, in my opinion, are socially abhorrent views.
– Steve Lepore, @stevelepore & Reva Friedel, @revafriedel
It wouldn’t be complete without a vote to decide the biggest turducken of them all. Vote and tell us who should win this prestigious honor!
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