Of all the ESPN alums who have left Bristol, Connecticut in search of greener pastures, one can reasonably make the case that Charley Steiner has had one of the best careers after leaving the self-proclaimed worldwide leader. Steiner has moved from being a SportsCenter anchor to a baseball play by play man, calling games on the radio for both the Yankees and now the Dodgers. But of course, in spite of calling for two of baseball’s marquis franchises, many still remember him for his ESPN days – specifically for his busting up in laughter on the set and his legendary performances in the This is SportsCenter commercials.
Steiner hasn’t forgotten about his time at ESPN, the years that many consider the glory days of SportsCenter and the network as a whole. And in speaking on his Facebook page about the recent round of hundreds of layoffs in Bristol, Steiner shared what a lot of sports fans (and maybe even people inside ESPN) have thought for a long time:
The “soulless monolith” phrase will get a lot of attention, but that’s a very heartfelt message from Steiner, and it befits what a lot of people see about ESPN as fans. Growing up, ESPN felt more familial as a kid. Now in 2015 as you grow older, you start to discover some of the realities of business and corporate America and some of the idealizing you did when you were younger comes crashing back to reality. ESPN today isn’t the same network as it was 25 years ago. In many ways that’s a great thing as technological advances and the ability to watch more sports than ever before has continued to push the network forward. However, there’s always a certain romantic element to when ESPN was David instead of Goliath that part of us would all like to relive once again.