ESPN put out a press release today announcing the return of Stephen A. Smith to ESPN as a local(Los Angeles and New York) radio host and ESPN.Com columnist. Here's a couple of excerpts from their statement:
Stephen A. Smith is returning to ESPN as a local radio host and ESPN.com columnist. Smith will host a pair of two-hour, weekday local radio shows – one airing on 1050 ESPN (WEPN-AM) in New York from 7-9 p.m. ET and another on 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM) in Los Angeles from 6-8 p.m. PT. Both shows will focus on local sports topics, with a concentration on the NBA on game nights (1050 ESPN is the flagship station for the Knicks and 710 ESPN for the Lakers). Smith will begin to contribute to both stations this week. Smith will also cover NBA All-Star events and The Finals on ESPN Radio. Additionally, Smith will be a featured ESPN.com columnist, writing regularly for ESPNLA.com and ESPNNY.com.
Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08. Smith hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07. Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show. He also regularly appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN2’s First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning.
There is no mention of Smith returning to television for ESPN, but I'd imagine there's a good possibility of that happening again in the future. Smith's recent jobs included hosting a radio show for Fox Sports, and being a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, a position he held from 1994-2010.
QUITE FRANKLY, I AM NOT TOO THRILLED ABOUT THIS NEWS. Smith certainly has his fans, but I've always found him loud(well, everybody's found him loud at least) and obnoxious.
Putting his personality traits aside, I've never been very impressed with his analysis. He's your classic "tells it like it is" guy, but from what I've gathered, can really only do that with the big names in two leagues: the NBA and NFL.
He'll give you the "I AM TELLING YOU, CARMELO ANTHONY WILL BE A NEW YORK KNICK", or "THE GREEN BAY PACKERS HAVE A HOT QUARTERBACK IN AARON RODGERS SO THERE IS NO DOUBT THEY ARE GOING TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL" type of comments, but usually offers little additional insight that you'd like to hear from a sports analyst.
I fully understand why people like him, as he's very straightforward and can be entertaining at times, but I've just never been a fan, and I don't like being SCREAMED at while I'm trying to relax and watch television.
The good news for me, is that he won't be on television for ESPN at the time being, and I can easily avoid the radio and writing contributions he'll be doing for them.
Florio himself is intollerant of any criticism on his PFT site. Any mildly critical comment about PFT or its staff will be deleted shortly after posting. Such censorship is unknown on competing sports websites like FOXsports or ESPN - they only censor foul and obscene personal attacks on other posters. . I am surprised that this site doesn't monitor Florio more closely, and report more frequently - daily - on that PFT yellow journalism rumor mill. A daily PROFOOTBALLSQUAWK.com parody site would probably be immensely popular.
So let me see if I'm understanding Florio correctly: any pro football player has to stop, anytime, anywhere, to sign anything for everyone or he's an ass?!
I agree with most of everything that's already been said, but a Green Bay blogger (with some decent connections, it seems) touched on the fact that Rodgers has met this woman before. I'm not ripping him for not stopping; instead, it shows just how horrible Florio's story was. Did Florio not know this, or worse, did he know and fail to mention it?
Also, I remember seeing Rodgers playing a large role in one of ESPN's Make a Wish featurettes sometime in the last year. Funny how no one brings that up.
Sorry, here's the link to that GB blogger's post: http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/mike-florio-attacks-aaron-rodgers
Couldn't have said it better myself. The utter incompetence of Florio and his cronies at PFT (Pure F*cking Trash) is dumbfounding. I know people who have fought cancer and lived to tell about it; they don't want to be treated any different than a cancer free person. Sure, that's hard to do because you know what that person went through but you try your best. I'm sure the last thing this woman wanted was for Florio to victimize her and bring this story tot he forefront of the sporting world. In a perfect world, we'd be disecting the Packer-Bear NFC Title game; now due to Mike Florio we are disecting the decency of Aaron Rodgers. Florio needs to look in the mirror and stop pimping this woman and her story for his benefit.
As a Packers, fan this is an unbelieveably distrubing piece of reporting from Mr. Florio. Here he shows his lack of intergrity, disregard for professionalism, and utter arrogrance. However, all fans should be disgusted. Dan Rather was practically burned at the stake when he incorrectly questioned the military record of George Bush - here, Florio is doing the same thing.
Aaron Rodgers has done absolutely everything right in Green Bay. Besides leaning his team to the NFC Championship game this weekend (!) he has been a class act. His rise to the starting position was certainly not easy for him; he had to sit on the bench behind Brett Favre, a player who openly stated that he was "not there to train Rodgers, a player who held the entire Packers organization and Aaron Rodgers especially hostage as he constantly wavered about whether or not to retire, and a player who pulled the present day Benedict Arnold and went to the Vikings. But what did A-Rodg do? He stayed completly quiet and just went about his business and now has his team poised for a Super Bowl appearance.
Mike Florio is an embarassment to the world of journalism and should be removed from the NBC sponsored website immediately. This is not his first rendezvous with less than stellar reporting either, as this article points out. It is a shame that A-Rodg and the Packers have to deal with this ridiculous distraction by an immature writer.