As I am sure you have heard ESPN President John Skipper has stepped down due to
all his male employees being perverts, declining ratings a substance addiction he wants to address. To that end, best of luck to him. Dougie is going to dive into the details of exactly what down at some point (it could be before or after this is posted, I don’t know, that’s our je ne sais quoi) but until then I figured I would take on the intriguing task of surmising who will be appointed to the helm of the Worldwide Leader In Sports. There is an endless list of viable candidates out there from the pedigree-perfect to the outside-the-box darkhorse types, so let’s check out a few of both, in no particular order.
1.) Drew Bledsoe
Wow, out of the gate a name no one expected. I know right now you think I’m pandering to the New England audience, those who giggle with nostalgia when they hear the name of the beloved 90’s Patriots QB1, but just stay with me here for a second. The fact of the matter is that both times Bledsoe was playing in a stable situation and got hurt and replaced, that back up became a star – in one case a franchise QB and in the other the GOAT. So the play here is to put Bledsoe in the driver’s seat but to promote, probably internally, a young gun into an EVP role so that when #11 becomes embroiled in scandal or has a lung collapse while he is walking from his office door to his desk chair, they’ll be ready to go and primed to become the greatest sports media exec of all time. Or Tony Romo
ESPN has been absolutely demonized lately as one of the worst places on earth for women to work. Just a horrifically misogynistic, sexist place. What better way to start rehabbing that image then to hire a female boss, and a well-known one at that. Now I know what you’re thinking, “But Joey B, Marissa Mayer drove Yahoo into the ground.” True, true she did, yes. But maybe if you surround her with a solid team of top flight subordinates to do things like “budgets” and “business strategy” the Engineer and Product Manager in Mayer could possibly create ESPN a future. Or maybe she’ll just tell everyone they can’t work from home anymore. Idk.
3.) Dana White
One of ESPN’s issues in terms of their declining ratings is that they are just completely out of touch with the newer generations. You know, my generation and the ones just younger than us. We mostly fall into two categories: those enraged with the student-loan soaked world our forefathers have left us with or those so fucking timid they need legit separate rooms at their college to hide in when they feel upset. Well, Dana White would solve the ESPN problem for the former. Instead of well thought out PR announcements and Capital-J Journalism strategies to address large and sometimes sensitive stories, DW would just yell, swear, and belittle Bristol back into the force of nature it once was.
4.) David Benioff and DB Weiss
Thissssss ones a stretch. These guys obviously have no executive experience. They actually don’t have any business experience as far I know. I mean if we’re going into “as far as I know” land they may not have any business acumen. These are the kind of naiveties we end up with when HBO gives two relative unknowns $50,000,000 and says “be cool if we got that back.” However we do know they have one thing: vision. They can depict battles. They can give us twists and turns. They can make incest seem romantic. Not only could they possibly give ESPN some future direction, but I’ve now talked myself into them being able to spin zone themselves out of any kind of quagmire they will undoubtedly be faced with. They might move a little slow though.
5.) The Mooch
This might seem to be low-hanging fruit but that just goes to show you how some bad press and a few satirical portrayals can cloud the other half of the story. Anthony Scaramucci has a BA from Tufts and his JD from Harvard (a lot of high-level folks in business get their JD, it’s just a good degree to have if you’re going to be on the exec level). He had a very successful career in investment banking and therefore is worth a fuck ton. He also is from the Met-NY/Tri-state area so would mesh well with the culture in Connecticut. There has been enough scandal in the Mooch’s life lately that he’d probably at least try to
not do so much blow lie low. There’s also sports fandom in his background, as he bought the jersey Piazza was wearing when he hit that national post-9/11 dinger and had it displayed in a couple of different spots including the Hall of Fame.
So there it is. A few candidates for the top job at ESPN which will inevitably go to someone from inside Disney. If that indeed becomes the case I vote for the guy who wrote and sang “You Got A Friend In Me” and all those other songs. At least shit will be happier over there.