Tony Kornheiser, Mike Wilbon rip Dan Le Batard for giving vote to Deadspin

Mike WilbonYou want to hear some grade-A level ESPN-on-ESPN crime? Take a listen to the audio above from Wednesday’s episode of “Pardon the Interruption.”

Hosts Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon ripped colleague Dan Le Batard to shreds for giving his Baseball Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin. They describe the move as ego-driven and ponder if Le Batard is to blame for Craig Biggio not getting in. Kornheiser also calls Le Batard an anarchist for his move.

The whole thing is funny and I believe they make some fair points, but I don’t have a problem with what Le Batard did, for reasons explained here.

I will disagree with them on one major point: by choosing the forum he did, I think Le Batard’s message reached more people than it would have otherwise, regardless of his personal or promotional motivations.

Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon dressed as Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods for Halloween

Tony Kornheiser Mike Wilbon Lindsey Vonn Tiger Woods Halloween costume

The Tiger Woods-Lindsey Vonn Halloween costume has been a popular selection among couples this year, but nobody did it quite as well as PTI hosts Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon, who did their entire Thursday show in costume. The best part about those two charmers has to be Kornheiser in drag. That beard and mustache really puts a nice touch on things, Tony.

And the best part of all? Vonn saw the costumes and approved

Check out many more fun Halloween costumes here.

Photo: Twitter/PTI

Tony Kornheiser and Jim Irsay Engage in War of Words

Those of us who are familiar with Tony Kornheiser are very aware that he has something to say about everything.  Kornheiser’s loud mouth has gotten him into trouble with ESPN and may or may not have resulted in ESPN replacing him with Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football.  We love him on Pardon the Interruption, but most of the time we wish he would just leave it at that.

Not surprisingly, Kornheiser is under the impression that he knows more about the current NFL labor situation than the owners — specifically Jim Irsay.  According to Pro Football Talk, Kornheiser called Irsay out on his radio show Tuesday in response to Irsay saying he and center Jeff Saturday could sit down and hammer out a new CBA by themselves.

“What inflames this is a complete bozo, like Jimmy Irsay,” Kornheiser said. “Jimmy Irsay, who inherited his team. Worked very hard in the American way. He was in what Dan Jenkins used to call ‘The son business.’ He inherits a team, and now he says, ‘Jeff Saturday and I could hang out, we could go clubbing, we could work this out on a napkin at Ralph’s Boathouse.’”

Kornheiser even went on to say that Irsay’s fellow owners don’t respect him and he is nowhere near someone like Robert Kraft on the totem poll.  As you have read, Kraft recently acknowledged that the fans have every right to be annoyed with the lack of progress between the owners and players.

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ESPN Summit: Good Idea, Bad TV

Waiting for the second game of the College World Series to begin, I wound up watching a trial balloon show on ESPN that was sandwiched between the end of the 6pm ET SportsCenter and the 7:30pm ET start time in Omaha. After a few moments I realized this was the same program Dan Le Batard’s referenced in a chat that was picked up by The Big Lead a few weeks ago. I wound up trying to watch the program but had a difficult time enjoying it for several reasons.

Let me start by saying that the ironic nature of ESPN putting together their star players for a free agent summit was funny in itself. Secondly, assembling the hosts of PTI Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, along with two humorous debaters in Dan Le Batard and Bill Simmons would make you think the program had to be good. Unfortunately it wasn’t that good and it turned out to be a visual issue of “not enough basketballs to go around.”

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ESPN Wrong for Tony Kornheiser’s Hannah Storm-Related Suspension

Watching Pardon the Interruption on Monday, I was surprised that Tony Kornheiser was off while Dan LeBatard was in. There were no sports-related activities on Sunday that would have precluded Tony from being on the show so I was could not figure out why he wasn’t on. The reason, as The Big Lead tells us, is pretty weak. According to TBL, Kornheiser was suspended for his comments about Hannah Storm’s outfit last week on SportsCenter. That is wrong on two different levels.

First, ESPN should have addressed the wardrobe of Hannah Storm a long time ago (her pictured outfit is from last year). Short skirts and long boots have no place on TV where a professional appearance is emphasized. All the male anchors wear suits and ties; the females should be similarly dressed (Erin Andrews should take note). Secondly, ESPN is sending the wrong message to its employees by discouraging them from commenting on their coworkers. They’re so large as an entity that they should be challenging each other. While this should be limited to discussing opinions and reports for the most part, I don’t see where Kornheiser was wrong to discuss Storm’s poor choice of dress considering it’s a reflection on his company.

There should have been two outcomes of Kornheiser’s comments and a suspension is not one of them. Tony should have apologized to Hannah for invoking her age (whether Storm is young or old has nothing to do with the inappropriateness of her outfit). Tony has already done that. Next, ESPN should have realized they need to tell Storm to dress more professionally. I just want TK back on PTI!

Kornheiser Out, Gruden in, Thank God

Man, I can’t imagine this having gone any better. I wasn’t at all happy with Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth and now he’s being replaced by Jon Gruden, a guy I like. You know, I never really understood the Kornheiser hiring from the start. The guy is really good and enjoyable with Michael Wilbon on PTI. His delivery is smooth, their banter is pretty well-researched and well-supported, and the overall pace of the show is perfect. But just because he’s good on PTI doesn’t mean he has any place in a football booth. At a time where I’m just trying to watch and enjoy a good game and maybe get a few nuggets of analysis while I’m doing it, I had Kornheiser bringing in the journalism angle. My biggest complaint about him is that he was always trying to use everything to tell a story. Rather than letting us enjoy a game that by virtue of fantasy football, office pools, or spreads, nearly everyone watching already has a vested interest, Kornheiser turned each contest into column on TV. It was like he was trying to manufacture interest for games that were already interesting by themselves. That just didn’t work for me.

Needless to say I’m pretty pleased that Tony will no longer be annoying me on Monday nights. So now we have Chucky stepping into the biggest booth around. As I said during the NFL Draft, I liked hearing his commentary. The guy is concise, gets to the point, and has already said he doesn’t want to step on anyone’s shoes. That’s how I like it — the less is more approach. A couple of really interesting footnotes here. The hiring of Chucky shows us that the jockocracy of sportscasting is still very much alive and well. Secondly, ESPN obviously didn’t care that Gruden has ripped them thoroughly in the past (of course he did — he was protecting his player). Lastly, I have no doubt that Tony’s fear of flying is only a convenient excuse for relinquishing the job — Pro Football Talk points out that it didn’t seem to bother him last year. Hurray for Monday nights in the fall this year!

Kornheiser: NBC and FOX in Bed With the NFL?

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, you would say the guy was just kidding around. The way I see it though, there is some underlying truth to almost all things said, especially jokes made. That’s why I feel Tony Kornheiser was genuinely irked that ESPN has what he feels are inferior games on Monday Night compared to what NBC has tonight, and what FOX has on Sunday afternoon. In the toss up feature of PTI on Wednesday, the question was asked: “Better first week game, Saints/Colts, or Bears/Chargers?” Here was Kornheiser’s response (said with a sarcastic tone):

“Wow, wouldn’t those be great on Monday Night? Who do you have to sleep with to get a game like that on Monday Night?”

After TK and LeBatard broke down the games and analyzed the question, LeBatard shot, “You’d rather see [the Chargers/Bears] on Monday Night Football?” Kornheiser’s response, “I’d like to call it.” Being fair and honest here, Kornheiser’s response had a genuine feel — I literally did a double take when I heard his comments. So is there something to this? NBC clearly has top priority with games, but then is FOX second over ESPN? Why wouldn’t ESPN get prime pickins’ considering they’re on Monday Night Football? Or does it even matter what game is on Monday Night considering it’s the only game in town? It seems like their could be some legitimacy to TK’s gripe.