Is ESPN Going “Thelma & Louise”? … & MORE!

ESPN Thelma &
July05/ 2023
BL Rimshots

July 05, 2023


Regardless of where you get your news … you’ve likely heard about last week’s “Bloody Friday” at ESPN. 15-20 well-known “on-air talent” were terminated under whatever semantics one wants to use to describe the process … fired / “contracts not renewed” / “pursuing other career opportunities” / etc.

Of the 15-20 terminated “talent”, three – Jalen Rose, Keyshawn Johnson, LaPhonso Ellis – were “black”. The other terminatees were “white”.  Whether that racial discrepancy is relevant depends upon how one assesses “diversity” in all things in America 2023.

“Race” was certainly not the primary reason that $30,000,000 in “on-air” salaries were reduced.

NOTE:  Two weeks ago ESPN INCREASED it’s annual on-air talent payroll by $20,000,000 by adding Pat McAfee to its line-up.  So the “Bloody Friday” / Pat McAfee combo resulted in a net $10,000,000 payroll savings.

FWIW… Pat McAfee is “a bit much” for my taste; but I am no one’s target market especially ESPN’s.

The “primary reason” that ESPN reduced its “talent costs” by a net $10,000,000 was an edict from its parent company “Disney”.  Disney’s bottom line is “sucking swamp water” … hemorrhaging red ink even faster than Anheuser-Busch and Target.  Franky, I’m pleasantly surprised that is the case.

Sure, Disney is run by a cabal of in-your-face pedophiles who have not disguised their 100% commitment to full-scale woke terrorism.  But I did not give “my fellow Americans” credit for recognizing that fact and saying “NO” to all things Disney … movies, theme parks, merchandise, et al.   

Disney is more entrenched in American culture than any brand of beer or retailer.  But, by golly, “my fellow Americans” ARE saying NO to Disney.  Maybe there IS “Hope” for America yet.

Ergo Disney is cutting 1,000s of theme park employees, administrative staff … and a coupla dozen ESPN “talking heads”.  No word on whether any of the executive-level pedophiles in Disney’s corner offices are “next”.

Don’t be shocked if Disney sells ESPN to one of the sports betting operations within the next 12-18 months.

ESPN has two separate income areas …. (1) Broadcast rights to live college / pro sports events … (2) “studio shows” including Sportscenter and “talking heads” debate / commentaries.

Those well-documented “billion $$$ rights fees” that Power5 conference members salivate over are calculated against what ESPN believes they can generate via in-game advertising.  I’ve never seen what ESPN’s net profits are in that area.

Those weekday “studio shows” are where ESPN is hemorrhaging red ink.

Consider this … BY FAR … ESPN’s most popular / profitable “studio show” is College Football GameDay … which is “a group of likable guys having fun talking about College Football.”

By Contrast:  90% of their weekday “studio shows” are “angry black guys and angry lesbians screaming how much they hate white straight people.” … Huuummmm.

A LOT of “sports fans” really enjoy that first format.   Gee, I wonder why?

A market for the latter one has yet to develop despite 5+ years of forcing it upon their ever-decreasing weekday audience.   The racial diversity (lack of) in last week’s layoffs indicate ESPN will continue a failing formula.

I only watch ESPN for College Football and other live sports such as the recent College World Series in Omaha.  If they continue on their current self-destructive “Thelma & Louise” path, I’m OK with it.

I expect the recently terminated “talent” will quickly find new gigs especially David Pollack and Susie Kolber.


Binging Jack Carr’s “James Reese” series …

Every aspiring “action-adventure” novelist’s hero is “better than Lee Child’s Jack Reacher or Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp” or so their publicist wants you to believe.  There are a bunch of good ones out there.

The late Vince Flynn’s successor might well be former SEAL Jack Carr.  I have read Jack Carr’s “James Reese” adventures from Day One.  There are now six in the series beginning with Terminal List.

Blondie just discovered Carr/Reese several weeks ago and immediately binged all six thru Audible.

The comparisons between Mitch Rapp and James Reese are numerous.  Both are solitary rogue warriors who deplore political bureaucracy and are fully committed to taking out really bad guys wherever they find them … often in impolite fashion.  The global scenarios that Carr puts Reese in are “ripped directly from today’s headlines”.

I put Vince Milam’s “Case Lee” series on par with Jack Carr.   I recommend both 110%.


Speaking of Good Reads …

I recently stumbled upon American Tabloid by James Elroy.   Elroy combines facts with a novelist’s license about the several years lead-up to November 22, 1963.  The book ends with Kennedy’s motorcade moving thru the streets of Dallas … 

Lots of interesting stuff about J.Edgar Hoover … Howard Hughes … RFK’s McClelland’s Committee … “Bad Back Jack’s” insatiable sexual appetite (which did NOT include Marilyn Monroe) … Jimmy Hoffa … “The Mob” … Castro … Bay of Pigs … Jack Ruby … Joe Kennedy’s mob involvement … etc.

I recommend this book to anyone who “remembers where they were on 11/23/63 when they heard …” which is 95% of “you guys”.


NC State loses ANOTHER top baseballer … ?????

I see where Elliot Avent is losing another top freshman baseballer – Cannon Peebles ???  His All ACC freshman catcher is transferring to Tennessee.   One of LSU’s Omaha heroes – “Tommy Tanks” – was “hitting homers” at Doak Field a year ago.   Having zero “insider info” I’m going to assume that Coach Avent is NOT getting the NIL sugar daddy $$$ support he needs to keep these star players.

I was afraid this could become “an issue” for local programs without the Fanatical Fat Cats that SEC programs have in abundance.

The NIL/Transfer Era is proving that “student-athletes”(??) care more about “quick cash” and personal luxuries than they do “more charging stations” and “IPFs w/ smoothies machines”.


Savannah Bananas in Durham ????

Does anyone know if the Savannah Bananas are going to appear in Durham or Zebulon?  They are “The Harlem Globetrotters of Baseball”.   I would pay cash money to see them.

Fishing Update …

At 7:15 AM last Friday morning … all alone on a local 7-acre lake, I caught my 2nd largest bass – a 5.2 pound largemouth.  From the time he hit my “crankbait” until I took a picture and released him was all of a minute in real time … but a memory forever.  Other than the picture I sent to grandson Danny … there was no fan fare … no celebration … just me and a kinda big fish on a pretty lake on a quiet July morning.  That’s what “fishing” is all about to me.

More BobLee’s Rimshot HERE …


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