Earlier today, our dear friend Jeff Legwold tweeted that he’s leaving the Denver Post to join ESPN, where he’ll presumably be the Broncos beat writer for the Worldwide Leader. As they say, nothing exceeds like excess, and ESPN has decided that it isn’t enough to have a Bill Williamson covering the entire AFC West, and that they need a beat (wo)man in every NFL facility daily.
Legwold does just fine if he sticks to reporting, and he’s definitely a big step up from Bill Will on that front. His problem comes in when he decides to start doing analysis because he lacks any real football knowledge with which to conduct sound analysis.
For example, Jeff is the guy who (quite absurdly) thought that Norv Turner should be Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator. I’m the guy who thought otherwise. So like Omar and the boy Mike-Mike, I shot Jeff in his hind parts, that all. I fixed it so he couldn’t sit right.
In all seriousness, I guess we should take it as a good thing that a reasonably competent reporter is going to be representing ESPN at Dove Valley every day. Maybe between Jeff’s local work, and ESPN’s upstream analytical resources, Jeff will stay in his reporting lane, and some better Broncos-focused content will start coming out of Bristol. Let’s hope for the best, and realize that even as much as we make fun of Jeff, we all do recognize that he’s quite a step up from Bill Will, who I suspect may be brain-damaged, in all sincerity.
As the guys at Awful Announcing noted, there’s a larger implication here. These beat writer jobs are expected to pay around $80,000 per year, which make them choice jobs for sports reporters who didn’t strike it super-lucky and go national. (If you ever wondered why writing about football isn’t a full-time pursuit for us, there you have it; if $80K is the pinnacle, you might be climbing the wrong mountain.) ESPN appears to be trying to scoop up the best local talent, such as it is, and that will likely deal another blow to the struggling newspapers.
I mean, what are people going to do? Log on to denverpost.com to read football analysis from Mike Klis? As Clay Davis would say, sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. He's still busy trying to sell his Tebow book, isn't he? I think the DP's football section is screwed.*
*If the leadership team at the Post were smart, they'd try to get Andrew Mason to take Legwold's job. They'd find us at IAOFM to be much less likely to beat on them if they did. None of them strike me as being very smart, though.