Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Link: So...who do we disagree with now?

For those of you who haven't noticed this elsewhere, ESPN commentator Sean Salisbury has parted ways with the Worldwide Leader after twelve years (TWELVE YEARS?!?) as an analyst. Apparently, he felt he'd reached his ceiling, and wanted to find other avenues to use his talents and extend himself beyond what he perceived as limits at ESPN. I'm not sure he realizes that his "ceiling" anywhere outside of Bristol is going to be "Shill for used car dealership." If he's as good at that as he was at his other job he had before broadcasting, he'll probably blow a couple of takes by not getting his lines done in time, do several bad takes, and ultimately wind up pitching the wrong car dealership's name at the end (/strained metaphor).

Personally, I've never felt the ire toward Salisbury's analysis that most people feel. People are entitled to their opinions, and his, though frequently ridiculous, were at least striking enough to merit my attention, unlike SOME people who work for his former employer. Still, I do think he was an example of what's been wrong with football analysis in general: Rather than looking at players and strategies that are atypical as experiments worth considering, he tended to defer to the established players and means of doing things, making his contribution to analysis ultimately pointless. His infamous bickering match with John Clayton, in which he wound up calling Clayton names, is a perfect example of his unwillingness to let intellectual analysis influence his own experience as a former player in the league, and it's what ultimately made him expendable when other, more famous ex-players came calling.

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