To most of you, Homerism probably sounds like an expert in a number of disciplines – adult contemporary music, metallurgy, the Police Academy franchise. I don’t actually claim to be an authority in much, but if there’s one thing I do know, it’s blatant homerism.
So you can imagine my homer senses started tingling when the Austin-American Statesman revealed that the University of Texas will have the ability to give ESPN’s on-air talent (using the term in the loosest sense) the boot from the new Longhorn Network should it raise a “reasonable” objection in light of “inappropriate statements made or actions taken.”
So, not only did everyone expect BevoTV to be a 24-hour infomercial for the Burnt Orange, the ‘Horns managed to get it in writing from the Worldwide Leader. Kim Jong-Il bows in reverence.
It’s fun to imagine Mack Brown having his studio show host replaced at a commercial break with Cleve Bryant. However, our buddy Peter Bean over at Burnt Orange Nation correctly dismisses the idea that UT will be able to get LN employees fired for expressing fair criticisms. Essentially, it sounds like the provision creates a fail-safe switch for UT should ESPN opt to not fire one of its personalities for a particularly egregious offense. (The fact that Colin Cowherd makes a daily appearance on ESPN Radio notwithstanding.)
That the provision even exists does reinforce what a bizarre animal the Longhorn Network is, though. I mean, it is Texas’ TV network, right? As such, shouldn’t the school have the right to toss a network employee as it sees fit?
And from ESPN’s standpoint, how can anyone take its “news” function seriously if the shot-callers will bend over like this?
Somehow, they’ll make it work – to the detriment of sports journalism, assuredly.