Dana Jacobson vs Kelly Tilghman: Who is Worse? Maybe it started with Howard Cosell, or maybe it started with those loony ESPN anchors in the early stages of that revolutionary network, but somewhere along the line, the train leapt of the track, and we started wanting our sportscasters to be less like Jim McKay and more like Chris Rock the entertainer. We started to demand that they be edgy, funny, and if they could help it, good looking to boot. Knowledge of sports became secondary. Let someone else worry about checking the facts and writing the scripts darn it, we want to be entertain.
Well, be careful what you wish for, because edgy and funny can often backfire, leaving us offended and insulted instead of entertained. Take Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel for instance. A few weeks ago the former golfer from Duke University turned sportscaster became the focal point of a maelstrom of controversy, when in the name of “edgy and funny,” she used the term “lynch” in tandem with Tiger Woods. What followed was an outcry from the general masses that made headline news around the country. For her lack of judgment, or lack of humor, depending on how you view the whole affair, Tilghman received a two week suspension from her job. This despite Tiger Woods accepting Tilghman’s public apology, and his agent calling the whole thing “a none issue.”
Then along comes ESPN’s Dana Jacobson this week, hell bent on proving that what Tilghman did in the name of sports entertainment is the rule rather than the exception. It seems that Jacobson, the former ESPN anchor turned co-host of “ESPN’s First Take,” took edgy to the point of stupidity when she got drunk, cussed up a storm, and insulted Notre Dame and Christianity all in an ill advised attempt to roast Mike Golic. The fact that Jacobson was consuming large amounts of alcohol did not help her judgment, nor her humor, which including using the F-word in a reference to Jesus Christ. The public outcry soon followed, and the sportscaster with the potty mouth and a penchant for vodka straight from the bottle ended up with a week suspension from work. Along the way there was the obligatory public apology of course.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not condom what either of these two ladies had to say, but by the same token I would not go and ask that either of them be fired for their lack of judgment or taste. As to who is the worse of the two? Who knows, it depends on what you find offensive I guess. What I do know is that part of the blame for Tilghman’s and Jacobson’s behavior lies with us. That’s right, protest all you want America, but we are part of the problem. Why, because we can’t leave well enough alone. We want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t want to settle for just coverage of sports, we want sports covered in a witty, edgy way, and heaven help those who fall short of the mark and fail to deliver what we asked for. For once they fail, we are more than willing to publicly stone them, like we have Tilghman and Jacobson.
“ESPN Shelves Host for ‘F— Jesus’ Rant,”www.WorldNetDaily.com
“ESPN benches Jacobson,” www.theChicagoTribune.com
“Will Kelly Tilghman Comments on Tiger Woods Cost Her a Career?” www.AssociatedContent.com