Darren Rovell Wonderlic

By the standards he so highly endorses, Darren Rovell is worse than average at his job. Rovell took fire last week for sharing prospects’ low Wonderlic scores, along with a graphic of the averages by profession, and then decided to take Wonderlic up on an offer to fly him in and have him take the test. Rovell finished with a 26, which by the handy graphic he shared last week, is below the average of 28 for a reporter.

Rovell Periscoped the whole process of him taking the test, and it had some great highlights, including him complaining about kids outside, him being trolled by commenters, and him putting his Emmy (yes, he won one in 2008 for contributions to NBC’s election coverage) on the desk. So you don’t have to suffer through the whole broadcast the way our Liam McGuire did, here’s a condensed version:

So, by those results, Rovell did worse than your average reporter, but marginally better than your average salesman. Hmm. Of course, it would be ludicrous to suggest that reporting proficiency can be determined by a baseline test like this, much of which doesn’t involve anything to do with reporting. Almost as ludicrous as suggesting that the ability to do mental math and other skills the Wonderlic checks has an impact on your ability to play professional football. But it must, because the big businesses of the NFL use it, and big businesses never make mistakes in Rovell’s world.

We have to wonder what value there was for Rovell and ESPN in doing this. Twitter engagement for Rovell, perhaps? And an excuse for him and other ESPN commentators to keep citing the Wonderlic? But it doesn’t necessarily make him look good, especially given his not-great score, and the whole thing felt more like an ad for Wonderlic than any useful journalism. And we still have no answer to if Rovell would actually report “purple monkey dishwasher” if an NFL team told him that. That might be a better test of reporting ability than the Wonderlic.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.