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Tag: Keith Olbermann (1-3 of 3)

Keith Olbermann plays small ball in first ESPN2 show

He began his new show with a little Jack Paar reference and finished with his Edward R. Murrow sign off, but in between, it was — for better and for worse — the old Keith Olbermann. (And most likely, the Keith Olbermann ESPN intended to hire.) Olbermann wrapped himself in the banner of the Worldwide Leader, reminiscing through archived video clips of his younger days and poking fun of his first go-around at ESPN2 by donning the same infamous jacket he wore back in 1993 and updating his nose-cutting “welcome to the end of my career” remark for embattled Jets coach Rex Ryan.

“As I was saying…” Olbermann began during the opening moments of his eponymous 11 p.m. show, a quick homage to Paar’s return to the Tonight Show in 1960 after his battles with NBC’s brass. In a somewhat odd choice, Olbermann then dug deep into the controversy that is dominating the sports world… Ryan’s decision to play quarterback Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter of an exhibition game, in which he subsequently was injured. No? That’s not the top story by you? It’s actually not the top story here in New York either. But for Olbermann, it was part of a bigger, more important story: the latest sign that journalism is dying, if not already dead. He targeted Daily News reporter Manish Mehta for basically inventing the news — rather than doing any real reporting — that Ryan’s job is now in jeopardy as a result of Sanchez’s injury. It was the perfect opportunity for Olbermann to be the crusader that he loves to be, and to his credit, he also flicked ESPN’s Michael Wilbon (but oddly enough, not tonight’s guest Tony Kornheiser) for parroting the Rex-must-go line on Pardon the Interruption. But when Olbermann finally got around to saying, “Good evening from Times Square. There was a point to all that,” he’d been beating that drum — loudly — for 14 minutes! READ FULL STORY

Keith Olbermann and A-Rod: You can go home again... as long as you're a hit

Alex Rodriguez returns to play in Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time since a disastrous 2012 postseason performance and  — even more ignominiously — since appealing his 211-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Boos have rained down on him since he returned to the field during the Yankees recent road trip, but it will be interesting to see how the home crowd receives him. Rodriguez can take solace in the fact that Keith Olbermann returned to SportsCenter last night, 16 years after napalming his bridges there. Maybe you can go home again after all.

Olbermann’s first tour of duty at ESPN was defined by two things: (1) His star-making SportsCenter partnership with Dan Patrick that helped define the franchise, and (2) his impressive ability to insult and offend just about everyone that had to work with him. When ESPN hired him back last month — to host his own show on ESPN2 — observers couldn’t help but think back to the line in ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, in which Rece Davis told authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales about the producer who said, “If we hire Olbermann back, he first has to stand in the reception area and everybody who wants to, gets to come up and punch him in the stomach.” READ FULL STORY

The prodigal son returns? Could Keith Olbermann and ESPN really bury the hatchet?

“Keith was tough on everybody. There was a rumor a few years ago that maybe he would come back, and one of our coordinating producers said, ‘I think it would be a good idea but with one caveat. If we hire Olbermann back, he first has to stand in the reception area and everybody who wants to, gets to come up and punch him in the stomach.'” — ESPN’s Rece Davis, in ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.

Work on those abs, Olbermann! Get your brass-knuckles ready, Bristol!

According to the New York Times — in a story penned by the plugged-in James Andrew Miller — Olbermann and his representatives have approached higher-ups at ESPN about returning to the sports network where he first became famous 20 years ago. Back then, Olbermann partnered with Dan Patrick for the 11 p.m. SportsCenter, turning the highlight show into the sports equivalent of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, the gold standard that all subsequent sports anchors aspired to emulate. From 1992 to 1997, Olbermann was one of ESPNs biggest and loudest personalities, an unrivaled talent in the field of sports television who didn’t mind reminding you of that fact. “Intellectually, he was a genius and socially he was, well, a special-needs student,” former ESPN anchor Charley Steiner told Miller and Shales for their book. And Steiner was a friend! READ FULL STORY

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