ESPN layoffs are about one thing and one thing only: Traina Thoughts
The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina
1. If I wanted to, I could lead this column every single day ranting about the stupid things I see on Twitter. I don't always want to take the low-hanging fruit, but I can't help it today. With ESPN going through extensive layoffs today, I just need to vent about something. There are idiots on Twitter who are 1) taking glee in people losing their jobs and 2) blaming politics for ESPN's talent cuts. Now, as someone who was laid off from a media gig, I can tell you it's extremely surreal when it all takes place publicly, even though that comes with the territory when you're in this business. However, when you have a family to provide for, bills to pay and a career to sustain, seeing people on social media say that layoffs are karma makes you think the world is more messed up than you already imagined.
As for the other part of this situation, many believe that ESPN has become too liberal (whatever the hell that means), so people are tuning out. Wrong. Wrong. And wrong. ESPN is having issues with ratings and finances for two reasons. One, young people are cord cutting and dumping cable. Two, the network is paying an obscene amount of money to air games. Take a look:
NFL: $1.9 billion per year for 10 years. (Total: $15.2 billion)
NBA: $1.4 billion per year for nine years. (Total: $12.6 billion)
MLB: $700 million per year for eight years. (Total $5.6 billion)
College football: $470 million for 12 years: (Total $5.64 billion)
Folks, this has nothing to do with someone on an afternoon debate show saying "Donald Trump is a dope" or whatever the "ESPN is too liberal" crowd is worked up about. It has to do with simple math. When you pay that much money in this day and age of new media for just four leagues (ESPN also airs college basketball, tennis, golf, etc), it's not going to be easy to make the profits Disney wants you to make. As the Bill O'Reilly case recently showed us, it's not so much about ratings as it is about advertisers. Advertisers have not pulled ads from ESPN because of "politics." If you're one of the people who likes to plug this narrative on Twitter, stop embarrassing yourself. And even if you don't believe me, try to be a human being and not publicly gloat that an individual is now unemployed.
2. Now for something much more lighthearted, Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy and his wife, Amanda, the proud parents of a baby girl, provided us with some of their classic banter on Twitter last night.
she's happy and healthy is what I keep telling myself— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) April 26, 2017
3. The New York Daily News gives us a taste of what potential Marlins owner Derek Jeter would look like if he decides to channel his inner George Steinbrenner.
Also, this won't happen on Jeter's watch.
The Marlins, who were in Seattle and San Diego before here, have to stay in Wilmington, Del., because the NFL booked all rooms in Philly.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 25, 2017
4. Tuesday was quite a day for great quotes in the sports world. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant dropped a bomb about bat flips. Brewers slugger Eric Thames had a message for those who want him tested for PEDs. And Rockets guard Patrick Beverly went all in against Russell Westbrook.
5. If you're a wrestling fan, you'll want to check out our big feature on the 50 Greatest Wrestling Catchphases of All Time. We also got WWE superstar, Dolph Ziggler, to break down his five favorite catchphrases.
6. White Sox pitcher James Shields had a great way to kill time on the bench during last night's game against the Royals.
7. We'd like to make a plea that every team in every sport copy the Sixers social media strategy and provide every GIF posted throughout the season.
8. Happy National Pretzel Day.
9. THE DAILY ROCK: Let's remember the time The Rock put an end to the "Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club."