Friday, October 15, 2004
The Great Colin Cowherd Experiment
...is a bust. I've tried and tried to listen to this guy, who took over Tony Kornheiser's old morning slot on ESPN Radio. But it's useless. What is it about this guy? He has some ideas, like lining up a bunch of long-distance phone feeds from a string of beat reporters nationwide. In rapid succession, we get team updates from the best local sources, and all the reporters apparently are content with holding on the line while Cowherd gets to them in turn. Unfortunately, we have to listen to Cowherd ask them the questions.
This guy is earnest, all right. Too much so. He's also kinda insecure, which, in fact, he has good reason to be. For one thing, his vocal style needs a Valium. Also, when he defaults to telling personal stories, it's always lame-o. (Nobody cares, Colin.) In addition, his sports knowledge is of the canned variety, filled with fake enthusiasm and insights that might've come from a press release. Where'd this guy come from, anyway?
I used to bitch that Kornheiser had turned his radio gig into a version of "Sports Entertainment Tonight." And Tony also used to spend too much time telling us about his son going to Penn, or his membership in the exclusive Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., or any number of other arrogant things. The constant plugs for "PTI" were also obnoxious. In fact, there was a lot that was obnoxious about Kornheiser on radio, yet the guy was smart and he conducted interviews well. There was also a joie de vivre on that show that made it listenable even when it was annoying. Tony may have been a legend in his own mind, but it was still fun to tune him in.
I've given Mr. Cowherd (nice name...NOT!) every chance. Sorry, he's wimpy and he sucks. If anyone at ESPN Radio has any sense, they should be plotting his ouster as we speak. What's more curious, though, is how this guy got on the air in the first place. He's not an ex-jock, which is often a good explanation for lame-o on-air sports personalities. So, in fact, someone thought he had talent. Or maybe Cowherd is in possession of some compromising photos of an ESPN exec. Otherwise, logical explanations for his ascent to this choice radio slot remain elusive.
Seeya, Colin. Good luck, wherever you land.