Rece Davis on The Paul Finebaum Show Credit: ESPN/SEC Network

As we all know, ESPN and all of its on-air talent hate your favorite team. It’s science.

But, and hear us out for a second, what if they don’t?

What if sports fandom just creates a scenario in which logic is often swept aside in the name of cult-like discipleship for one’s favorite players and coaches? And what if that leads many fans to hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see in crafting a “the world is against us” narrative that makes their fandom feel more important than it actually is in order to justify why they’d spend so much time and energy devoted to what are essentially corporations with mascots?

Anyway…the latest round of accusations against ESPN is coming from Michigan Wolverines fans who are convinced that the sports network is in cahoots with the NCAA to drive football coach Jim Harbaugh out of town. The crux of the argument is that they feel as though ESPN’s coverage of the Michigan sign-stealing scandal has been slanted, unfair, and in some cases full of lies.

College GameDay host Rece Davis appeared on The Paul Finebaum Show on Monday and was asked about “some out there” who want to say that ESPN is “carrying out a narrative to get Jim Harbaugh.”

Davis, naturally, thinks that’s “ridiculous.”

“I try to be above the fray with that kind of stuff but when I hear things like that, Paul, I do want to grab a handful of mashed potatoes and sling it in anybody’s direction that’s willing to take it in the face. It’s a ridiculous narrative because the people we have covering this story are seasoned journalists whose credibility matters to them.

“The idea that this is slanted in some way because we’re out to get Jim Harbaugh is ridiculous. I’m really fond of Jim when you get him outside the season. He’s a little more difficult in season if you can get to him. But to have a conversation with him at Big Ten Media Days or any other time, at a basketball game or something, he’s a pleasant fellow to be around. Interesting guy, fascinating guy, I think he’s got a great sense of humor. Nobody’s out to get him.

“He’s responsible for what goes on in his program. It may not be his fault, but it most certainly is his responsibility. That’s just life. It’s always the boss’ fault.”

ESPN is certainly not a saint when it comes to the way that business, entertainment, and journalism have mixed at times. No one would deny that they played an outsized role in conference realignment and the way that’s negatively impacted various schools. And Davis’s own College GameDay can often use its pulpit to send a message to schools and programs.

But there’s a difference between something like that and the notion that ESPN journalists are going out of their way to lie and smear someone when, as Davis notes, their personal reputations are on the line. That’s a different animal.

Often, the people who think this way have good reason to want to discredit the reporters involved.

[The Paul Finebaum Show]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to