Keith Olbermann Will Appear On MLB Network As Guest Host

‘Tis the season: Keith Olbermann will be doing vacation relief during Thanksgiving week, guest hosting the “Hot Stove” program alongside Brian Kenny on MLB Network.

Back on March 30, the day Keith Olbermann was dismissed from what appeared to be the umpteenth television job in his long and storied career – the Al Gore-backed Current TV network – I argued why it would not only be a good fit for the former ESPN and Fox Sports personality to land at MLB Network – but it’s one of the few places left where he has yet to burn bridges (or in the case of ESPN, “Napalm” them).

And the fact that he already maintains a blog on the Major League Baseball blog network – titled “Baseball Nerd” (which was the source of a juicy Yankees rumor during the past postseason) – it’s basically a match made in, well, baseball nerddom.

On Friday morning, the day after the announcements of the American and National Leagues’ Most Valuable Players, MLB Network announced that Olbermann will be a guest host of their midday “Hot Stove” program on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. He will be joined by another former ESPN alum, Brian Kenny. “Hot Stove” is usually anchored by another ex-ESPN-er, Harold Reynolds, along with Matt Vasgersian, who had previously toiled at Fox Sports as well as NBC.

As many familiar with Olbermann’s career already know, he was relieved of his duties at all three of the aforementioned networks.

Before appearing on “Hot Stove” on Friday morning via telephone, he appeared on in-studio panel discussions as recent as this past Thursday on “Clubhouse Confidential,” hosted by the aforementioned Brian Kenny.

Only time will tell if this guest host stint on Thanksgiving week is a precursor of something bigger down the line.

It’s not necessarily a flat out hire of Keith Olbermann, as I had speculated back when he was fired from his recent television gig at Current TV.

But it’s a start.

Of course, the question is whether or not he’ll stay out of Tony Petitti’s hair.

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Death Wish For Desmond Howard Gets Columbus Radio Host Suspended

Columbus radio host Scott “The Torg” Torgerson (shown here with his co-host, Mike “The Common Man” Ricordati) was suspended by WBNS-FM after openly wishing for ESPN “College GameDay” analyst (and Michigan graduate) Desmond Howard to “get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.”

Have you noticed that Joe Buck calls a lot of New York Giants games? Don’t know if there’s a stipulation in his contract or it just works out that way (a Giants/49ers game originally scheduled to be called by Thom Brenneman ended up being a Buck job since the San Francisco Giants hosted the NLCS opener that night).

Anyway, you can go on every corner of the Internet – and of course, Twitter – and find people that absolutely vilify Buck and his style of calling football and baseball games. If viewers were stuck with Buck, there are alternative audio options out there so you can hear your team’s call of the game, and mute the TV.

But I seriously doubt that anyone in this crowd would hope for Buck to somehow get terminated by Fox, or worse, suddenly perish.

Not so much the case for Scott Torgerson. When last you heard of him, he and his radio partner who make up the afternoon drive sports radio team of “The Common Man And The Torg” on WBNS-FM in Columbus, Ohio, were schmoozing with our commander-in-chief.

This past Saturday morning was like any other for “The Torg” during college football season: get ready for that day’s Buckeyes game, and watch ESPN’s “College GameDay,” a program about NCAA football disguised as a two-hour advertisement for The Home Depot and Cheez-It. (Mind you, I just watch it for the signs.)

Anyway, on this particular Saturday, “College GameDay” analyst Desmond Howard was getting on The Torg’s nerves. So he wrote: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.”

You see, Desmond Howard regularly gets on The Torg’s nerves. In fact, The Torg claims that it’s some sort of running gag on his show: Howard went to the University of Michigan, The Torg does a radio show in Columbus, home of Ohio State University – excuse me, THE Ohio State University.

But could it be more than just a bit for the show? Could The Torg really have a deep-seeded hatred for Michigan alumni? Here’s more of his previous tweets mentioning Desmond Howard:

August 31, the eve of the new college football season: “I love College Football but I cant watch GameDay. Desmond Howard is such a dope he just compared Fitz Toussaint’s DUI to the Tat 5. #DOPE”

September 8, while watching the new Fox college football show hosted by Erin Andrews, Eddie George and Joey Harrington: “Too much hand movement on the Fox pregame show but I like them better than Game Day because no Desmond Howard. #typicalmedia”

Last November 19, the day “GameDay” analyst Lee Corso dropped an F-bomb toward the end of the broadcast: “I hope Corso doesn’t get too much heat. It could mean more Desmond Howard. His stupid little giggle laugh is annoying. I hate him.”

And a random tweet from the middle of last July: “I hate Desmond Howard.”

Now, I’m no psychologist, but this certainly sounds like an Ohio State honk with an utter disdain for “the enemy,” i.e. Michigan, and anyone/anything associated with the university. He probably scoffs at the TV if there’s a movie with James Earl Jones (1955 graduate) being shown, or perhaps he can’t watch reruns of “The Brady Bunch,” particularly scenes featuring Alice the maid, played by Ann B. Davis (1948 graduate). I bet he can’t even watch NFL Network because Rich Eisen (1990 graduate) is on it all the time. And he likely loathes Madonna (1979 graduate).

So with “College GameDay” being must-see TV in Columbus, the mere presence of Desmond Howard on the program is a major obstacle for The Torg to withstand. So by expressing his wish for Howard to “get fired or die,” he was showing his true colors. What had been a pleasure on Saturday mornings had become a chore for The Torg, all thanks to that kid who won the Heisman Trophy twenty years ago while representing the University of Michigan, Class of ’92.

A short time after Torgerson’s “death wish” tweet, he posted what appeared to be a “mea culpa” tweet: “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke. I think if you listen to the show you know that. My apologizes to those who took it serious. Total joke.”

I’ll tell you what the joke is here: The Torg’s alleged attempt at an apology. Really, who has heard “I wish so-and-so would die or get fired” and immediately doubled over in gut-busting laughter?

Probably The Torg after he pictured what “Gameday” would be like in the post-Howard era.

As it turns out, guilt was sinking in on The Torg. Big time. So much so that he deleted, no, not the tweet, but his entire Twitter account. (This is why I have used Topsy to link his past tweets in this post.) Yes, Scott Torgerson realized that with a little three-letter word in the middle of that tweet, he could be in big trouble.

Indeed, he was: He did not show up for the Monday edition of “The Common Man And The Torg.” A source has informed the Columbus-based sports blog Awful Announcing that Torgerson was indeed suspended indefinitely.

I’m guessing that he was not hanging around the station that afternoon when Kirk Herbstreit did his weekly one-hour college football radio show.

That’s right: Kirk Herbstreit, who you may have seen on such ESPN shows as “College GameDay,” also hosts a weekly program on the radio station whose afternoon co-host has called for the death or firing of Desmond Howard, who you may have seen on such ESPN shows as “College GameDay.” Which brings this situation a bit closer to home.

As you would expect, Herbie torched The Torg.

“Just sickening,” he said during a three-minute diatribe, referring to Torgerson only as “an individual that works at the radio station.” He explained how he and Howard are good friends off the air, despite the fact that he used to be a Buckeye quarterback and Howard suited up in Ann Arbor. “I know that’s a crazy notion to think about,” he told listeners. “I can look past the fact that he had the audacity to wear a Michigan uniform.” He also expressed his shock that a colleague at the ESPN Radio affiliate has carte blanche “to say such asinine comments… To me, he crossed a line.”

(The full transcript of Herbstreit’s rant is below.)

It will probably be awhile before we hear from Scott Torgerson, or his alter ego, “The Torg,” again. I really do hope he learns a valuable lesson from all this.

I’ve seen radio hosts get suspended for saying, doing or provoking reprehensible things, only to end up being fired.

To borrow a quote that President Obama told Scott Torgerson months ago, if I were “The Torg,” I’d be pretty nervous.

—————————————————————————————————————–

[ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit responds to Scott Torgerson’s tweet about Desmond Howard on his WBNS-FM radio show:]

“I’m gonna just address this publicly, because I think what Desmond Howard had to deal with over the weekend is disgusting, and very sad to think that, because – I don’t know what, I don’t know the reason behind it, but the tweet from an individual that works at the radio station was, was above and beyond, I think, what was acceptable. It is another example of what Twitter, and how things can be said, and things can be, “I was just kidding, I was just laughing”, and meanwhile, you have a guy who’s, you know, not real sure what to think about that in Desmond, and his family’s concerned about him… Just some things that just should not be tolerated, and just, just sickening. And, I – there’s so much more I wish I can say about that, but I’ll choose not to, but believe it or not, people that are, that have a hard time understanding this, this would probably keep you up at night, but former Ohio State players and former Michigan players are actually friends. I know that’s a crazy notion to think about, but Desmond Howard is a very good friend of mine, and I can look past the fact that he had the audacity to wear a Michigan uniform, and he’s a good man, and he’s a great father, and great husband, and does not deserve what he received with that tweet, and what came along with it. And I just apologized to Desmond, and to his family, that he had to endure that, and I’m really embarrassed more than anything to think that somebody who works at an ESPN [Radio] affiliate, who works at our station, has a forum to say such asinine comments, and what the individual lacks in credibility, to me, he makes up for by just throwing arrows and rocks at people, and that’s his thing. And to me, he crossed a line, and that’s something that, again, is completely unacceptable.

“When you know people – I know Desmond as an individual. And I just – we’re talking about college sports on TV and on radio. There are bigger fish to fry in our life than college sports, or sports in general. And to say you wish somebody would die is absolutely mind-boggling. Whether you’re kidding or not, you do not hit ‘send’ on that message, to get out to the masses. Just something that I just have a very hard time with.”

Dan Hicken Destroys Bob Costas: "12 O'Clock Means 12 O'Clock, Not 12:07"

Jacksonville sports anchor/director Dan Hicken laid into Bob Costas for NBC's coverage of the London Olympics running past midnight. But the plot thickens for Mr. Hicken as new developments suggest this was his second on-air outburst in a single day.

Dan Hicken is no chicken.

The sports director at NBC’s Jacksonville affiliate, WTLV, for over two decades, was feeling particularly antsy on Tuesday night as NBC’s coverage of the Olympics from London, albeit with the action shown on tape delay, ran a little long, and Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning on the East Coast.

So right after his sports update on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Hicken seized the opportunity to blame Bob Costas, of all people, for the reason NBC’s Olympics coverage went into overtime. He could have pointed a finger at the sponsors having a hand in NBC’s commercial-laden coverage (which really wouldn’t make much sense since that’s business). He also could have tore into Ryan Seacrest just for the hell of it (which also wouldn’t make much sense since he’s not really as much of a nuisance on NBC’s Olympics coverage as one might have suspected). But instead, Hicken crushed Costas, the face of NBC’s Olympics coverage – and it made for some damn good television. His rant was so strong, it drew applause from colleagues off-camera, including what sounds like applause emanating from the anchor desk at the end.

More thoughts following the transcript of the video.

(Watch the high-quality version here.)

Transcript:

DONNA DEEGAN, FEMALE ANCHOR: Been watching the Olympics, Dan?

DAN HICKEN, SPORTS DIRECTOR: He did it to us again! He did it again! He does it every four years. Bob [Costas] doesn’t know that twelve o’clock means twelve o’clock. It doesn’t mean 12:02, it doesn’t mean 12:04, it certainly doesn’t mean 12:07. Bob, when it’s twelve o’clock, you say good night! You don’t care, ’cause you’re sleeping right now! And in the morning, you’ll wake up with your strawberries and cream at your five-star [hotel]! Bob, we’re here on the East Coast working hard for you, our NBC family, Bob!

[Off-camera applause from staffer]

DEEGAN: You tell him, Dan!

HICKEN: 12:07 does not work for us! I’m glad we had the little gymnast girls, I’m excited about it; I’m glad we got to interview Michael Phelps six times. But, Bob! Twelve o’clock – and it’s just starting! It’s just starting. You watch. Mark my words, Jacksonville. Tomorrow, it’ll be 12:09. 12:10, 12:11 – he starts to push it, that Bob does. I’m done.

[Off-camera applause]

HICKEN: I love him, though.

JEFF MARCU, MALE ANCHOR: He’s great.

HICKEN: He’s a great broadcaster.

Lest anyone thought Dan Hicken was really pissed at Bob Costas. In fact, moments before his rant, he had actually given Costas accolades on his Twitter account. “Awesome dude,” Hicken tweeted. “In the late 80’s,” [Costas] sat down with me on a Sunday night and co-hosted my sportscast. Was so good. Really an honor.” This in response to an employee at an Alabama sports website who asked Hicken if, “as an NBC cohort,” he ever met Costas and “if so, did you refer to him as ‘Bobby’?” Indeed, Hicken was in rare form on his Twitter account on Wednesday morning – and we’ve got those tweets for you in a bit.

But first: Interesting that the female anchor of WTLV’s late news, Donna Deegan, was actually Hicken’s wife at one time. Prior to their divorce, Dan and Donna had bore children named Danielle and Drew – kinda like a Roger Clemens thing going on with the first-letter initial theme? And just to put that video in an even more uncomfortable perspective, Donna has since remarried, tying the knot ten years ago with Tim Deegan – who has only been WTLV’s chief meteorologist for about as long as Hicken has been the station’s sports director. Also, for some weird reason, Donna had still been going by the name “Donna Hicken” on the air up until about five years ago. Makes you wonder if Dan Hicken had planned his Costas manifesto with the anchors prior to going on the air, or if his ex-wife decided to set him off just for shits and giggles. Though it does appear the two appear to get along, even off the air.

Also, there’s an interesting comment posted on the original YouTube video, from a WTLV viewer claiming that Hicken’s meltdown on Tuesday night was, more or less, an encore performance. “I don’t think Dan’s rant was [about] the coverage going over time,” writes YouTube user “msinkification”. “If you had seen the news around 5-6, Dan went into a tirade directed toward the staff after it was mentioned that he was “training”… Anyways, his behavior earlier was somewhat worse than this. He got mad and said he didn’t know why the staff was laughing at him. He was very unprofessional and immature.

“I always respected Dan until that segment. Seeing it happen twice in one day? Not acceptable.”

The YouTube commenter also suggested that ever since Hicken’s ex left him for the station’s weather guy, “his behavior has always seemed more intense… It all seemed to be more like a daily soap opera being played out on the air. If the tensions are something personal, which I believe it is, someone needs to take some time off or move on.”

If anyone in the First Coast has any video or additional information on Hicken’s alleged outburst at 5 PM on Tuesday, let us know.

(Perhaps a Twitter beef with a local soccer star earlier that day led to this? Hmmm…)

Anyway, as promised, below are tweets from Dan Hicken’s Twitter account, mostly from Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. You can tell just based on a tweet from late Sunday night/early Monday morning that this thing was brewing. The last set of tweets is one from Wednesday night, addressing what the “over/under” is on Bob Costas’ sign-off that night, followed by a group of tweets from Thursday night. That’s weird, not a peep from his Twitter on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Was he on the air that night? And could a suspension be on the way? We’ll let you know.

What If ESPN Used The Headline "100 Years Of Ass Kicking"?

"100 Years Of Ass Kicking" is the headline of the New York Post on the day after the Yankees beat the Red Sox on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park's first day of operations. Imagine if ESPN.com had used this headline.

Friday, April 20 marked 100 years to the day that Fenway Park in Boston opened for business. So, naturally, the team that Major League Baseball would schedule to play the Boston Red Sox on this day would be their bitter division rival, the New York Yankees.

The Yankees would go on to defeat the Red Sox in that game, 6-2. But count on the New York Post to hit another “foul” with the latest in a line of headlines in the vicinity of vulgarity.

“100 Years Of Ass Kicking.”

Once again, the Post coming through with a front page headline designed to spike sales – especially on Saturday, which is traditionally the slowest of newspaper circulation days – which, at the same time, is a bit far-fetched.

Even Darren Rovell, NBC Universal’s ace sports business reporter, agrees, telling me it’s “pretty insane… not too accurate, either.” He clarified in a subsequent tweet that “while the NY Post cover is funny, the Yanks have hardly kicked the Red Sox butt over the last century.” Rovell, ever the numbers guy, cites the Yankees have won just 54% of their games against the Red Sox throughout their storied history.

In fact, over the last five years, including Friday’s game, the Red Sox have actually won 47 of 91 games against the Yankees, including a 12-6 record last season. From 2008 through 2010, both teams were deadlocked at 9-9 through their games. Add all these to a record “through 2006” cited by one source, and you have an all-time record of 1120-929 in favor of the Yankees – which is actually closer to 55% – but still, as many people like Rovell would agree, is not necessarily an “ass kicking” by any means.

But this is exactly how the Post gets their jollies: headlines that get folks talking. It’s been about half a year since the Post dubbed the short-lived marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphires a “Big A$$ Sham” on November 1, 2011. The Post has even used such language against one of the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, in February 2009, when amid confessing he used steroids, the tabloid labeled “A-Rod” as “A-Hole” – that is, unless you read the subheadline, which read, “Alex digs himself in deeper as ‘roid crisis rages.” Oh, okay.

The Post is also no stranger to mixing in a little defecation on the front page. Remember back in the summer of 2008 when then-Mets manager Jerry Manuel referred to fans as manure? “$#!t Hits The Fans” read the headline, with the Mets logo attached to it. In fact, it’s one of several times that the rag has “went there” with the front page headline.

You can also depend on the Post for suggestive front pages. Last year, when the Jets eliminated the Patriots from the NFL playoffs, the Post zeroed in defensive end Shaun Ellis (ironically, now with the Patriots) sacking quarterback Tom Brady in a moment that appears to suggest otherwise. Underneath the TSA-tweaking headline “Pat Down” read the subheadline, “Jets slam Brady’s junk.” And who can forget just a couple of months ago, when on the back page, following a Knicks victory led by a clinching shot by Jeremy Lin as time expired, the Post used the headline, “Amasian.”

Ah, yes. Linsanity. The era of Knicks basketball where anybody and everybody was mesmerized, including the sports media. Especially ESPN. Who can forget when up to four uses of the term “chink in the armor” were used among the Worldwide Leader’s various platforms when discussing Jeremy Lin, resulting in the termination of a five-year employee responsible for the use of the phrase as a headline attached to a story about the first Knicks loss following many wins after Lin became a starter.

Compare that to the many Post headlines I’ve brought to your attention, and consider this: Imagine if you went on ESPN.com on Friday and, attached to a story of the Yankees beating the Red Sox on the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park opening its doors, was the exact headline the Post used – “100 Years Of Ass Kicking”? (Obviously, the graphic attached to this item is a composite.) Think about it: the Yankees and the Red Sox are among the sports franchises most often covered by ESPN, leading many to affix an East Coast bias to the Worldwide Leader. Certainly, national sports networks shouldn’t play favorites. Conceivably, such a headline might not be well-received by Red Sox Nation – but at the same time, everyone else, even Yankee fans, who get their sports news from ESPN might think that headline would be a bit too much.

That’s why the New York Post can get away with headlines like “A-Hole” and “$#!t Hits The Fans” and ESPN can’t, nor should they. Such language is not what you should expect from the entity that calls itself “the worldwide leader in sports”. The Post, on the other hand, is doing anything it possibly can to sell papers – especially at a time when newspapers are plotting for survival in a 21st century digital world by erecting “paywalls”, while others such as the Cincinnati Post become extinct. (Though with the New York Post currently looking up at the New York Daily News, the New York Times, and even the Washington Post, they’ve got some work to do.)

Especially in the wake of Federico-gate, it would be hard to fathom such controversial headlines on ESPN’s website (though they’ve certainly come close when Bountygate reared its ugly head). Add in the fact that ESPN is controlled by the family-friendly Walt Disney Company, and you would imagine that there’s a “zero tolerance policy” for vulgarity in effect at the Worldwide Leader.

Also, consider ESPN rival FOX Sports is operated by News Corporation, which owns the New York Post. You rarely hear of any controversial headlines on their website. Columnists, maybe. But never racy headlines attached to sports stories. FOX Sports and ESPN would rather not use profane, or profanity-bordering, headlines like the Post does, and risk losing sponsorships in the lucrative sports business, while in 2012, money in the newspaper industry is hard to come by.

So unless an ESPN intern exhibits a fit of rage, this is why you won’t find headlines like “100 Years Of Ass Kicking” on ESPN.com, and why such headlines are the status quo for the New York Post.

Well, that, and attaching Yankee tie-ins to murders of dictators.

The Sad Sid Rosenberg Saga Continues

Troubled Miami sports radio host Sid Rosenberg was charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license. According to a police officer, he refused to take a sobriety test because "he knew he would fail." Rosenberg has been battling addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling as early as 11 years old.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the ouster of Scott Kaplan, the San Diego sports radio host who made disparaging comments on the air about Andrea Lloyd Curry, an on-air personality for the regional sports network The MTN (which, incidentally, has announced that they will be signing off next month; hope everybody involved with that operation lands on their feet soon – especially Mrs. Lloyd-Curry). It was in that piece that you learned about, maybe for the first time, Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg, who currently handles afternoon drive on Miami’s 560 WQAM. I wrote that Sid would be “doing his best to stay out of trouble.”

The fact that I’m writing a new post about Sid Rosenberg is a safe bet that he has not. Again.

He spent Wednesday night at an establishment called Tootsie’s. (Possibly Tootsie’s Cabaret, operated by the same folks who run Rick’s Cabaret in New York City.) After some good clean fun, he headed home to Boca Raton.

But it’s quite difficult to get to your desired destination, when your car is idle with the door open and the engine running. Did I mention his car was idle in the middle of a street, blocking traffic?

Surely, Sid would realize this. Unless he was drunk. Or preoccupied.

“I discovered him laying on the ground behind his vehicle in the fetal position with his fingers in his mouth,” recalled Officer Jon Cooke as he arrived on the scene early Thursday morning. “He appeared to be attempting to induce himself to vomit.”

Indeed, Sid had puked on himself, and there was vomit inside his car, as well. But that wouldn’t be the only foul smell.

“I noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath.”

It appeared all of Sid’s senses were impaired. Red face, bloodshot eyes, “extremely slurred” speech, exhibiting “extreme difficulty keeping his balance,” and on top of all of that, “he was crying.”

Crying because he realizes that he had a major relapse. Sid’s life has been riddled with three major addictions – drugs, alcohol and gambling – dating as far back as his pre-teen years. So vast are his personal problems that he wrote a book about his troubled past. At the time of the book’s release, he disclosed that he hasn’t “been drunk” since 2005.

Yeah, looks like that streak’s history.

“He knew he would fail,” said Officer Cooke, recounting Sid’s response to a request to perform sobriety tests that he initially agreed to do. “He then refused to perform them.”

Rosenberg would be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as driving with a suspended license, which was confirmed to have been suspended three times. He spent the majority of Thursday in jail – he missed his afternoon shift on WQAM – and would eventually be released on $500 bond. He returned to the air on Friday and made nary a mention of his wild Wednesday night, at least in the first hour of the show. The Hollywood (Florida) Police Department confirmed that the official police report will be available next week. Additionally, charges will be filed in Broward County Court.

WQAM general manager Joe Bell declined to comment on whether or not the station would suspend Rosenberg, while program director Lee Feldman provided the vague answer, “Not as of right now.” [UPDATE: Rosenberg has been suspended for one week, and is off the air for the week of April 9.]

A suspension probably isn’t the answer. You suspend a radio personality if he/she has hurt other people, especially verbally (as was the case when he dubbed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams “animals” and National Geographic magazine material). But when a radio personality like Sid only hurts himself, that’s a different story. Perhaps what the Gamblers Anonymous veteran needs is a mandatory enrollment to Alcoholics Anonymous. On second thought, with word on the street that he amassed gambling debts totaling nearly $45,000 in a two-week period, maybe they can cut a 2-for-1 deal for him. And yes, he’s been in drug rehab, too.

It’s ironic that, in that erratic scene on a South Florida street early Thursday morning described by the police officer, Rosenberg was “crying” – because when you’re drunk, vomiting and curled up in a fetal position next to your car in the middle of a road, I’m no expert, but that’s usually a cry for help. And at this point, when he’s had so many frantic chapters written in his imperfect life, radio employment should be contingent on receiving the help that he needs.

And since it’s no secret that Rosenberg has a penchant for getting liquored up, it’s horrifying to imagine just how many times a liquored up Rosenberg was on the road, putting other lives in danger! Are his assets that tapped from gambling debts that he can’t fathom a few bucks for a taxi?

Reaction to Rosenberg’s recent DUI is mixed. Fellow radio host Dino Costa called the news “awful” and is “hoping he gets better soon.” While Adam Smoot sums it up best: “Even Sid Rosenberg’s demons have demons.”

While Sid has his share of supporters and critics, there’s been one person who’s been at his side for more than twenty years: his wife, Danielle. She should be praised for being Sid’s rock through all of his rocky times. Like that time in 2004 that he contemplated suicide – but was persuaded to reconsider after looking at a photo of his then-newborn daughter. And I’ll applaud Sid as well, for not letting his drug, alcohol and gambling habits tear apart his marriage to Danielle.

This is obviously not how the Rosenberg family expected to start Passover.

And in his first tweet since the hysterics, Sid wrote to his followers, “Thank you all for your love and support. Happy Passover and Happy Easter to everyone.”

Get well, Sid.

Could Free Agent Keith Olbermann Step Up To The Plate And Join MLB Network?

With the news that former ESPN, NBC and FOX Sports personality Keith Olbermann has parted ways with Current TV, there may be a chance that, after concentrating on political news content for the greater part of the last nine years, he may go back to his sports broadcasting roots and resurface on MLB Network or CBS Sports Network.

Former sports broadcaster Keith Olbermann is once again out of a non-sports broadcasting television job.

His political news program “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” which he had hosted for nearly eight years at MSNBC, has been canceled by Current TV after just nine months, and fifteen months after Olbermann joined the network. According to The New York Times’ Brian Stelter, who broke the story, Current severed ties with Olbermann after citing that he has violated the channel’s “values” as “an authentic progressive outlet.” Olbermann’s program content on “Countdown’ reflected his Democratic political leaning, which conformed with the demographic of Current, and MSNBC before it. (Both networks’ programming is mostly of a progressive political persuasion.)

There is a saying: When one door closes, another one opens. Perhaps there’s a chance that Keith Olbermann could return to sports broadcasting – provided there are any takers.

Such a move would bring Olbermann’s career full circle. In the late 1970’s, while he was concentrating on academics at Hackley School and Cornell University, he had dabbled in those schools’ radio stations. He would get his first round of face time when he joined the upstart CNN in 1981, where he would anchor sports updates. For the remainder of the 1980’s, Olbermann would hold sports anchor jobs in radio and television, in top markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

It was at ESPN where his star flourished in the mid-1990’s. His pairing with Dan Patrick was said to be the most popular “SportsCenter” anchor era of all time. That would come to an abrupt end in 1997, when former colleague Craig Kilborn, invited Olbermann to appear on his new Comedy Central program, “The Daily Show.” At the end of the segment, Kilborn did a “Five Questions” bit with Olbermann. One of the questions was: “What is the most God forsaken place on the East Coast?” Olbermann’s answer: “Bristol, Connecticut.” That counted as a correct answer, at least on the show. But not in the Worldwide Leader’s eyes. And it didn’t help that Olbermann’s appearance on “The Daily Show” was not authorized by ESPN. Olbermann would eventually leave ESPN later that year. (Kilborn would voluntarily leave “The Daily Show” in 1999; the show has since been hosted by Jon Stewart.)

In the dozen years that followed, Olbermann would work odd sports jobs at other outlets: his three-year relationship with FOX included a weekly program on FOX Sports Net. His tenure would come to an end in 2001 when he reported on FOX about rumors that the Dodgers were being sold by owner Rupert Murdoch, which also owns News Corporation, which owns FOX. (Murdoch would sell the team to Frank McCourt, who sold it to a group including Magic Johnson just this week.) He provided daily sports commentary segments for ABC Radio. And he spent three years as a co-host of NBC’s “Football Night In America” from 2007 to 2010.

As Olbermann donned his sports broadcasting hat, he would also work, at times simultaneously, in news journalism. When he left ESPN in 1997, he started a nightly program on MSNBC that was originally titled, “The Big Show with Keith Olbermann.” The next year, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal involving former President Bill Clinton, his program has focused on “Intern-Gate”, much to his chagrin. It was at that point that he left MSNBC for FOX.

Olbermann would return to MSNBC in 2003 to host “Countdown.” As he verbally sparred with FOX News Channel host Bill O’Reilly – whose “O’Reilly Factor” aired opposite “Countdown” – and President George W. Bush, during and after his second term, he would become one of cable news’ most polarizing personalities. Despite that, NBC signed him as a co-host for their “Sunday Night Football” extended pregame show, which recapped the NFL games played earlier that day. When NBC brought his old pal Dan Patrick on board, it was just like old times, if only for once a week: The duo would spark “SportsCenter” nostalgia in the hopes that it would help the ratings of “Football Night,” which were never stellar, especially when airing opposite late games that went into overtime, or, simply, prime time. (You will recall “Football Night” also hired one Tiki Barber.) Olbermann would be removed from the program in 2010, at the behest of his bosses at MSNBC, over concerns that the extracurricular NBC program was a distraction; clearly, “Countdown” had been Olbermann’s bread and butter.

Later that fall, it would be revealed that Olbermann had sent $2,400 in campaign contributions to three Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2010 elections, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who, unfortunately, resigned her seat over a year after she was tragically shot in the head. When MSNBC learned of this, they had suspended Olbermann indefinitely. Like his appearance on Comedy Central years ago, his political contributions were not authorized by management of the network signing his checks. Olbermann and MSNBC would part ways in January of 2011.

Olbermann was hired by Current TV in February 2011 with the title of “chief news officer”. The channel, co-owned by Al Gore, who served as Vice President under Clinton in the 1990’s, would relaunch “Countdown” in June 2011. Despite a “rocky relationship” with network brass, the former veep would give Olbermann a vote of confidence. (Sports fans: You already know how valuable votes of confidence are in sports.) Apparently, the situation between the anchor and the network came to a head, as Current abruptly severed ties with Olbermann this afternoon.

Already, many are wondering what the next stop for Olbermann will be – if at all.

Based on this recap of his career in news and sports broadcasting, it may give the impression that he’s not a good employee when the cameras are off. Certainly, Olbermann has been notorious for burning bridges with his former employers. So you can already cross a few media entities off the list: ESPN/ABC (where he didn’t just burn bridges, “he napalmed them“); FOX (especially if it’s still under Murdoch’s watch; Murdoch himself was once quoted as calling Olbermann “crazy”); and his most recent cable news employers, Current and MSNBC.

The very post that you’re reading may be a case of deja vu. When Olbermann left MSNBC last year, there were many speculating whether it would be possible for Olbermann to return to sports broadcasting. Of course, back then, there were two fewer cable sports networks at the time. CBS Sports Network launched in April 2011, with NBC Sports Network following on the day after New Year’s Day 2012. And incidentally, word on the street this week is that FOX is planning to launch a new general cable sports network. Obviously, FOX’s new network is not an option, and it isn’t even on the air yet. But it certainly is not out of the question for Olbermann to resurface at CBS Sports Network, or perhaps, even NBC Sports Network: remember that in 2011, Olbermann was discharged by MSNBC, not NBC or NBC Sports; it was MSNBC that ended his association with NBC Sports. And I don’t recall Olbermann trashing NBC in the wake of his departure from MSNBC, so there is a possibility he could appear on NBC Sports Network – but it’s not a lock.

The lock in this instance would be CBS Sports Network. With all of the many stops on Olbermann’s storied resume, his only employment for CBS was at the network’s owned-and-operated Los Angeles station, KCBS, in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Also, he has a good friendship with CBS late night host David Letterman. That in and of itself would be a huge endorsement for Olbermann’s future at CBS, if not CBS Sports Network. CBSSN could benefit from a huge name; they’re already going all in with Jim Rome, the former ESPN program host whose new show on CBSSN launches next week. Olbermann might bring a slightly higher demographic to CBSSN than Rome, but he brings experience and a wealth of knowledge to the table. Olbermann could be best suited for a baseball-themed show. He’s maintained a blog (endorsed by Major League Baseball) going back to the days when he balanced football on NBC and politics on MSNBC. In fact, he just posted a new blog entry previewing the season ahead for the American League East just hours before his departure from Current TV was made public.

Which leads to another possibility of a future television employer, and perhaps a more likely landing spot: the three-year-old MLB Network. They, too, could use Olbermann’s vast knowledge and star power. A nightly highlight show in the vein of “SportsCenter” would be ideal. In case you missed it, the title of his MLB-sanctioned blog is “Baseball Nerd.” He’s even authored baseball-themed stories on “Countdown.” An Olbermann/MLB Network marriage would benefit both sides. And it wouldn’t be Olbermann’s first appearance on MLB Network: He had appeared on the January 12 edition of “Clubhouse Confidential“. And given his political penchant, it didn’t take long before posters on a thread promoting the appearance on MLB Network’s Facebook page started mentioning the likes of Ron Paul and Rush Limbaugh.

Of course, of concern to any future employer, such as CBS or MLB Network, is Olbermann’s history of “burning bridges” and excess baggage, but most importantly, his political patronizing over the last decade. There are thousands of videos on YouTube of Olbermann’s old MSNBC shows, specifically his popular “Special Comment” segments, in which shades of anger are regularly exhibited, that could turn a network off, depending on what clip they were looking at. But it’s not his fault. When he chose to delve into a political news niche, that was a decision that he believed in, and he gained a loyal following from his days at MSNBC. Because Keith Olbermann may be known in recent years as a bridge burner, and an anger spewer on television, it should not ensconce the days of sports broadcasting that put Keith Olbermann on the map.

While mollifying his political pep may be a requirement if hired by a sports outlet, such as CBS Sports Network, it’s possible Keith Olbermann may find it in his heart to do so.

This is obviously contingent on whether or not he wants to return to sports broadcasting in the first place.

But there could be a couple of opportunities knocking in the form of CBS and MLB Network – and I’m sure Keith’s got a few more innings left in him.

UPDATE: Since this blog was first posted, there’s been new developments: As Olbermann vowed to take legal action against Current over breach of contract, Current claims Olbermann himself was in breach of contract by missing “19 out of 41 working days” over the first two months of 2012 alone (did we mention his appearance on MLB Network was in January?); apparently, network management was incensed when Olbermann asked for another vacation day in March and, despite not being an approved vacation day, he took it anyway.

Incidentally, I wonder if Olbermann had asked Current about taking a vacation day for this upcoming Thursday, April 5 – that’s when he will once again be reunited with Dan Patrick for a live seminar at New York’s Paley Center titled “Twentieth Anniversary Of The Big Show: Keith Olbermann And Dan Patrick Together Again.” It will be moderated by Jim Miller, co-author of the book “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World Of ESPN” – and already, his Twitter followers are taking bets on whether or not he’ll show up. Stay tuned.

Warren Sapp Isn't Gone From NFL Network – But His Twitter Handle Is

What's wrong with this picture? Eagle-eyed viewers of NFL Network may have noticed that, while Warren Sapp has not been suspended after fingering Jeremy Shockey as the "snitch" of the Saints' Bountygate scandal, his Twitter likeness, @QBKilla, has been missing from his individual NFL Network chyrons since Thursday.

Regular NFL Network viewers this week may have noticed that Warren Sapp – an analyst who is officially an independent contractor with the network – remains on their air in the wake of being given a talking-to by network management after relaying alleged information from a “source” close to the New Orleans Saints bounty sanctions saga that former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey (who spent the previous season with the Panthers and is currently a free agent) was the one who was the “snitch” on the whole thing.

In fact, much to the chagrin of Shockey – and many viewers who have let their feelings be known about the analyst on the network’s Facebook page – Sapp has appeared on NFL Network’s “Total Access” program for three consecutive days following the Twitter incident on Wednesday – including Thursday, the day he was reprimanded by the network for it.

However, you may have noticed there was something a bit different about his appearances on the network since Thursday – particularly in the network’s graphics.

That’s because the Twitter handle of Warren Sapp – @QBKilla – is no longer identified alongside Sapp’s name on NFL Network’s chyrons – while other NFL Network talent continue to have their Twitter identities branded on their individual chryons.

First, here’s a screengrab of Warren Sapp from Wednesday night’s edition of “Total Access” – mind you, hours after Sapp had appeared on the network earleir in the day to break down the “snitch” information he received:

Thursday. One day after Sapp went public with his “source” on Shockey. Not counting situations where he was identified along with other talent on the same shot, there were three different instances where Sapp was identified individually, with his Twitter handle nowhere to be found. We start with his appearance in the A-block, and his participation in a group discussion about whether or not newly acquired quarterback Tim Tebow can “coexist” on the Jets with former first-round draft pick Mark Sanchez. Torry Holt’s chryon included his Twitter handle @BigGame81. Michael Irvin – who has appeared to have taken a Twitter sabbatical for all of 2010 and 2011 – is also identified by his identity on the social networking site, @MichaelIrvin88. As for Warren Sapp’s chyron, the red area where Holt’s and Irvin’s Twitter names were displayed, in lieu of @QBKilla, it just read, “NFL Resume”:

Compare that with this still from an appearance also from Wednesday’s installment of “Total Access”:

At the bottom of the hour, Sapp authored a telestrator piece depicting how the Jets would be using Tebow “in the red zone… all year long.” Once again, his name is not accompanied by his Twitter handle:

And in the penultimate segment of Thursday’s edition of “Total Access,” Sapp was asked by co-host Kara Henderson how the signing of defensive end Mario Williams would impact the Buffalo Bills, in a “State Of The Franchise” segment on the team. Yet again, @QBKilla was nowhere to be found:

Friday. Yet another debate about the Jets’ quarterback situation was featured in the A-block of “Total Access.” This time, the program decided to “go Brady Bunch” (using a term from co-host Andrew Siciliano from the segment) with Sapp, Brian Billick and Jamie Dukes in answering the question, “How should Mark Sanchez… respond” in the wake of Tebow’s addition to the Jets roster. Viewers would see Dukes’ name alongside his Twitter handle @JamieDukes on his individual chyron, and Billick’s chyron branded with his Twitter identity @CoachBillick. But not before Sapp and yet another chyron sans @QBKilla:

And then there’s Saturday. The weekend edition of “Total Access” consists mostly of replays of the top segments from the past week, but usually is led off by a pre-recorded A-block – which Sapp had appeared on. Yet again, the Twitter handle on his chyron was MIA:

No doubt, the removal of Sapp’s Twitter identity from his individual chyrons on NFL Network is related to his being reprimanded by the network for labeling Shockey a “snitch” for Bountygate. But it leaves us with several questions: Whose idea was it to disassociate Sapp’s Twitter handle from how he’s identified on NFL Network’s air? Was it somebody from network management who suggested it? Perhaps it was a request from Shockey himself (though if he had his druthers, he’d rather see him off NFL Network’s air entirely)? Or was the network responding to viewer reaction? Which leads to another question: Is it because Sapp’s Twitter handle is @QBKilla that the network yanked any and all mentions of it from his on-air graphics? Or is it mainly because Sapp’s outing of Shockey as the alleged Bountygate “snitch” initially happened on his Twitter account? (Recall that one of the network’s higher-ups had vehemently distinguished that Sapp used “his personal Twitter account” to relay the “snitch” information, and “not on NFL Network or any platform related to NFL Media.”) And the obvious question: Is NFL Network’s removal of Sapp’s Twitter handle temporary? In other words, will we see the return of @QBKilla mentions on NFL Network’s air once this situation with Shockey dies down?

We attempted to contact NFL Network through NFL.com, but there is not even an option on their website for leaving a comment or a question related to their television programming, though there is an option for inquiries about “radio”.

I’m actually surprised that after three days, I’m the first person to notice this – and it’s concerning to me mostly because it gives the impression that a darn good program like “Total Access” isn’t getting the viewership it deserves – but should.

One thing’s for certain: At least for the time being, NFL Network has an on-air talent other than Tom Waddle without a Twitter handle attached to their chyron!