One of the few perks about living in Washington, DC is the surplus of great sports personalities the city has to offer. I'm not talking about the players (although the city is lucky to have both Clinton Portis and Gilbert Arenas). I'm talking about the journalists. Sally Jenkins and Thomas Boswell doth do good work at The Washington Post. Jenkins isn't my favorite and Boswell is a bit too old-fashioned, but, to deny the quality of the work they've done throughout their careers would be unfair. We also have Tony Kornheiser who has been terrible as a Monday Night Football commentator. Don't let that distract you from his years of great work on ESPN, the Post, and on radio.
Michael Wilbon is such a great sports writer that he gets his own paragraph. He's so good that I kind of want to hug him. Once I ran into him at a McDonald's and he ordered a burger with no onions so I know he's my type of guy. He let me cut him in line too! How courteous! In short, I have a massive man-crush on Michael Wilbon.
Of course, the local sports television scene is dominated by one man, and only one man. He has revolutionized the way sports are covered on television. That man is WRC's own George Michael. And he is stepping down from his Sports Machine and his regular weekday sports anchor duties.
Let me be the first to say "good riddance."
George Michael is responsible for the worst kind of sports journalism. The kind where an old dude screams at you and makes snide little remarks about the opposing team. The kind of anchor that wishes he could laugh at his own lame jokes. The kind of journalism where you achieve access to Redskins Park by giving ridiculously softball interviews that make a mockery of the term "sports journalism." The kind of journalism where you show highlights of a dog show and refer to the poodle as an "AU Princess."
Ok, that last one is kind of funny, but you still can't say that.
Michael's on-air personality, that of the pompous jackass, was grating. It was like he was trying to ruin sports for me. Some of the better ESPN anchors are self-deprecating. George Michael was the opposite. Someone whose opinion of himself was more important than whatever the Nationals were doing on a July evening. This quote solidifies my opinion of him:
Michael said he made the decision after NBC, which owns WRC, announced significant layoffs and staff cuts.
"I told them, that if I have to lay anyone off, if I have to get rid of any of my staff, then I'm going to take the first bullet," Michael said.
Yeah, George, you're the man. Fighting for the little guy. I'm sure this decision had nothing to do with your advanced age and the fact that your body was broken a year ago when you fell off your motherfucking horse.
The way the AP is fawning over Michael makes me think that I'm a bit out of the loop. Apparently, George Michael was an incredible trailblazer. I've only been watching him since 2001. Those five years were unbearable. I used to watch the local news just for sports. With Michael it was the exact opposite. As soon as I saw him, the television went dark.