The Dish: Nothing Korny

When ESPN announced that Tony Kornheiser would be manning the Monday Night Football booth, I smiled.

I used to watch Pardon The Interruption all the time, and while its formula has grown stale and tired (perhaps mainly because the wizards at ESPN Original Entertainment have sucked the life out of it trying to apply it to just about every other show on the network), Kornheiser was and is its undisputed star. Also, Tony the Tone-Deaf had a great radio show on ESPN Radio, where he mostly refused to interview idiot jocks and had, you know, real opinions on things. While Dennis Miller’s experiment didn’t work (I didn’t think it would be a disaster for many others, though), surely the more sports-savvy Kornheiser would bring true silly sports humor to prime time.

Um, not that far.

The debut last Monday, which featured the Oakland Raiders against the Minnesota Vikings, was one of the worst broadcasts I’ve ever seen. Mike Tirico has a pass, because while he’s the best jock sniffer, he’s the play-by-play type and as such has little opportunity to inject his own personality (of which, by the way, there seems to be very little). ). But the combination of Kornheiser and the insufferable jerk Joe Theismann (my favorite Theismann quote: “No one in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is someone like Norman Einstein”) had me reaching for the mute button faster than ever. what you could say “Mike Patrick and Paul Maguire.”

First of all, could someone tell Tony to place the headphones more securely against his head? While Tirico and Theismann sounded like they were, you know, inside the building, Kornheiser seemed to be broadcasting remotely from a Washington DC area fish tank. Next, these were the first two things Tony the flounderer said: “You lose a fumble in a nationally televised game on kickoff and you want to put yourself in a hole!” and “Reggie Bush is the kind of player people would pay money for.” Wow. What a way to take a chance, Tono! Theismann, a broadcaster who never came across a dead horse he couldn’t beat, looks like Norman Einstein by comparison. (By the way, did you know that Theismann played the game? Of course he did, because he reminds you every 30 seconds.)

Kornheiser was to be a breath of fresh air in a profession, color commentary, dominated for too long by the jockeycracy: ex-players who learned the 11 clichés necessary to sound competent to anyone only half listening. (Tune in to a Fox broadcast some day; without fail, and with the possible exception of Troy Aikman, the gorilla in a fishnet jacket will say “he plays rough!” at least ten times.) So far, though, Kornheiser has bought into his personality, and he falls somewhere between being funny and having something relevant to say. If nothing else, Dennis Miller got naked and talked about the Plantagenets.

Any big takeaways we can draw from the first full weekend of preseason soccer? Bookmakers, Let’s start the conclusion with a direct quote from Clinton Portis: “I got hurt in a game I don’t have to play.” You said it, Clinton! The stars are nothing more than sitting ducks in these games. So even though anyone who bet on Philly in the Hall of Fame Game was throwing darts at Andy Reid signs (they even do?), can you blame him for playing their fourth-string QB Timmy Chang? , for much of the second half? ? Preseason football is dangerous. Trainers will be training scared until Week 1.

What the heck is up with the St. Louis Cardinals? Can you see them missing the playoffs? Do they have a chance to go to the World Series?

BDB, The Cardinals definitely still have a shot at the World Series. Yes, they are 4-6 in their last 10, but the Dodgers are 9-1. That’s crazy, as is anyone who doubts at least a wild card spot for the Cards. Just look who’s on the hunt.

Can you give us an idea of ​​who you think will end up being the MVP of the US and National Leagues, and tell us why?

BDB, Close MVP races are usually decided in September, but who doesn’t like Big Papi right now? Ortiz and the legend-building game-changer from him are likely to stick with him, as is Pujols in the National League. If he just hadn’t been injured this year, we might have seen a career in the record books. Still, 35 homers, 95 RBIs and 87 runs isn’t bad at all with a .329 average as of mid-August.

What do you think ahead of the fourth golf major this weekend, the PGA in Medinah? Is it Tiger and everyone else? Are people crazy to bet on guys who aren’t one of the best golfers in the world?

BDB, You’re never crazy about big prizes at a golf tournament, but when it comes to the PGA Championship, the big guys definitely come to play. Tiger, Phil and Vijay have split five of the last eight.