Thursday, November 29, 2007

SMA Notebook: Swin Cash Fouls the Air at ESPN, and Nonsense from the Miami Police in the Sean Taylor Slaying

ESPN is at it again. Hiring unqualified TV personalities.

Tonight’s viewing brought me my first encounter with the inimitable Swin Cash. Who you ask? (Yeah, that’s what I said.) I wandered into ESPN’s “NBA Fastbreak,” a show that plays game highlights while so-called experts—read: ex jocks who have no business being in front of a camera—rattle on inanely.

I had no idea who Swin Cash was. I saw her sitting on the ESPN news dais—next to the Lurch-like Kiki Vandeweghe—and then she opened her mouth. She has an awful voice, somewhere between a witch’s cackle and an indecipherable high-pitched wheeze. She can’t enunciate clearly. She gulps and giggles self-consciously, and the only thing she apparently knows to say are cliches—the most obnoxious, dumbass cliches that ever came out of Crash Davis’ notebook.

If you’re thinking that Cash (pictured, left, out of uniform) comes to ESPN from a Mass Comm program at an esteemed American university, guess again. (And of course that’s the problem.) Cash plays for the Detroit Shock of the WNBA (which explains why I’d never heard of her). She’s a nice-looking young lady, and apparently she’s a very good basketball player. She’s terrible on-air. A joke, really. And unlike the thousands of college grads and local working sports analysts looking for big jobs with ESPN, you can bet that Swin didn’t have to submit a video of her previous work.

No, this is how it goes: Be a jock. Be a black jock. Be a black female jock. Have no broadcasting experience. Be an embarrassment to the profession of sports announcing. Then get offered a chance to launch your eventual post-jock career at the highest level, because, supposedly, since you played the game—and because you fit affirmative action niches, black and/or female—then you must serve some purpose to ESPN’s manipulative hiring needs.

Swin Cash. One more reason for university Mass Comm departments everywhere to shut their doors. What’s the point when you can’t get a job anyway and when all you might be is qualified?

So Swin Cash got a job. Then did someone lose theirs? No, wait. ESPN created a job for her, maybe. Well, for ESPN, Swin Cash, and us, it’s Win/Win/Lose. (She’s really bad. Trust me.)

Random Burglary?

Robert Parker, left, Miami-Dade police director, announced on Wednesday that the investigation into the brutal slaying of the NFL’s Sean Taylor is, for the moment, ruling out the possibility that Taylor knew his attacker. Parker stated that no evidence for now points to that eventuality, and instead the police will focus on the notion of a random burglary.

Now, this is crazy, right? Ex-college teammates of Taylor, such as Antrel Rolle of the Arizona Cardinals, have gone on record as saying that Taylor had enemies. Rolle also was quoted as saying there was no way the incident was a random act.

So, either the Miami PD are announcing this as part of an elaborate ruse to elicit information from potential informants, or they’re inept. Or stupid.

Now, if the MPD actually follow the random burglary scenario, then you can already chalk this one up as “unsolved.” Everyone knows that with every passing second, murder cases become harder to investigate and hence tougher to prosecute.

I’ll lay odds—10 to 1—that Taylor’s assailant will never be apprehended. I wonder what Vegas bookmakers would say.

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