Keith Olbermann was never supposed to be back at ESPN. He’s burned bridge after bridge at every television job he’s ever had…yet he has been rehired again and again by companies that have shoved him out the door.
Why do these large meda corporations always bring back Olbermann? It’s because he’s great at his job and despite the frustrations of employing him, the positive outweigh the negative…until they don’t, then he’s out the door.
ESPN announced mid-July that they would not extend Keith Olbermann’s contract and his show ‘Olbermann’ would end on July 31st.
I would like to share some of the great moments during the show’s 13-month run on ESPN.
Some of the best moments on ‘Olbermann’ was the first six or seven minutes of the program. Olbermann would opine about a subject and back up his opinions with interesting, fact-based information. There was a stretch at the beginning of the NFL season last year that this portion of the program was directed at Ray Rice and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. His hard stance on the NFL commissioner could be seen as a big reason for Olbermann’s exit from ESPN.
He also used this time to talk about banning the use of tobacco in baseball as a tribute to Tony Gwynn (a personal friend of Olbermann). His personal anecdotes from being a hardcore sports fan (most notably baseball) would bring a nice touch to his show.
Olbermann brought his ‘Worst Person’ segment with him from his past MSNBC show, but this time it focused on sports. He would skewer those in sports that were either insensitive or ridiculous. He even nailed a blogger pal of mine during one of his segments.
As a baseball history nerd, I also loved how Olbermann would randomly show off his vast baseball memorabilia collection, like when he showed off the ‘Merkle’s Boner’ ball.
‘Olbermann’ was the smartest show ever to air on ESPN. I looked forward to it everyday. It brought a bit of sanity to the network. It airs nothing but screaming ’embrace debate’ junk up until ‘Olbermann’ came on mid-day.
Wherever Olbermann ends up, my television will follow. It was a good run, Keith…I just wish your stay could have been longer.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.