ESPN's Jon Ritchie personally knew Jerry Sandusky as a teenager and had a close relationship with the man accused of some of the most heinous crimes ever associated with a sports figure. We make fun of the frivolous nature of First Take quite a bit, but this may be one of the most hard-hitting segments regarding the Sandusky case. Given Ritchie's personal relationship with Sandusky as a teenager and beyond, his shock, grief, and distress over the news is especially profound. There are so many soundbytes worth pulling out of this segment and a few quotes from Ritchie are below. But if you've been following this case, make sure you watch the entire ten minutes for some incredible perspective on this tragic story...
"I loved him. I thought that he was what I wanted to be when I was old enough to be that."
On The Second Mile...
"When I first retired from professional football, my first thought was I should call Jerry and see if he'll let me join the Second Mile."
On rumors circulating as far back as 2009...
"There were rumors circling in 2009 in Pennslyvania... I think the general consensus where I lived was it was probably a disgruntled kid who had something in for Jerry. Now, I think we all know that that is not the case. That this is horrendous, horrifying, and tragic."
On the tragedy...
"These tragedies out now have brought everyone to the darkest place... I can't fathom sports right now. I don't even care about sports right now because this picture of what I thought was good has exploded."
"This is just the beginning of the most horrific story in sports."
"It was impossible for me to conceive that this took place. This has caused me to reevaluate everything I think is real around me. My reality was Jerry Sandusky was Mother Theresa and I know all those kids, all those victims felt the same way because that's what he elicited in you."
MNF is not what it used to be. It's become a Thursday night college game - just an extra primetime game. The Sunday night game on NBC is the marquee game now. Times have changed.
And who made that graphic? Some NFL helmets you cant just mirror flip IE Bears, 49ers...and whats with the Giants?
I just wonder if the NFL doesn't give ESPN the big games, is because there are people that still don't have cable and less people would see it.
@BenKoo As someone said in the earlier comments, the NFL is going to take care of CBS, Fox, and NBC before ESPN. They pay more money and are broadcast networks, not cable networks. The ESPN/NBC package is the same as the ESPN/ABC package was in the last TV deal except the days are flip-flopped. Go look back at the games ESPN would have on Sundays, those are what the games are supposed to be like. Really, ESPN is getting better games now than they used too. MNF is no longer the NFL's premier game, if it were, NBC would've bid on the rights to it
I said this on twitter last night. Can't totally rip because some of it has been bad luck so far. If Miami was even half decent, those two games are better. If Manning was around, that game against TB is instantly better. A lot of it is based off of last year's results and I can't blame them given that they have no flex scheduling, so the easy pick is "Last year's division champ."
It could be that this year is just a bad year compared to the previous couple which were great, and I Now, if they have another bad year, then start ripping.
If you read the ESPN book, you would know that basically, espn played hardball while in negotiations for mnf and lost. They thought they were the only player, or only big time player, involved in talks for the rights to the sunday and monday night games, and lowballed the nfl. The nfl said 'screw you' and offered the sunday night game and 'premier' schedule to nbc. That left espn to overbid for mnf and the now less glamorous schedule that used to go to the sunday night game.
Also, the Indy/T Bay, KC/SD, KC/NE and maybe even the Minn/GBay games looked a helluva lot better on the schedule before the season, so you can't fault them for that. Conversely, only the Pitt/SF game looks better now than before the season.
What's with all these rants now? I like the days when Awful announcing was just a guy posting videos and news stories about the broadcasting world. Ever since it was taken over, it has turned into an opinion section of a newspaper that for the most part, even though this article isn't, is extremely biased against ESPN. Can we go back to what the awfulannouncing used to be?
@AdamSpolane I understand the tier of games they got and read the ESPN book about the negotiations. Regardless, MNF shouldn't get third rate games. Regardless of the relationships with the major networks and their needs, MNF needs to have a baseline of quality for the long term growth of the league.
MNF used to be like a dessert to your weekend buffet of football. Now it's a shot of wheat grass. A fun size Snickers would do.
The bottom line is that the fans want a decent game. By serving up mostly crap, you reduce the relevancy of your product to one day of the week (except for Thursday in the second half). The NFL should strive to have some excitement and hype carry over from the weekend and to Monday regardless of the television relationships.
@The Game II I agree but at the same time why do teams like the Jags, Rams, Dolphins needs to get 2 appearances? Ravens, Green Bay, Falcons, and Pittsburgh all get one.
If you just flip those numbers number of appearances, the slate becomes a lot better and you keep a diverse group of teams.
@unSaintlysaint If you don't like it, then you don't have to read it. We have given ESPN plenty of love. This isn't even a ESPN rant. The title clearly says the NFL needs to give them better games, so technically this is an attempt to help ESPN.
@BenKoo@The Game II Another issue you guys aren't considering is the NFL only allows an NFL team to appear on primetime television 6 times during the season. The Pakcers, Falcons, and Steelers are on NBC SNF at least a couple of times. I think the Steelers and Packers are on Thursday Night football too. That is why these teams aren't on MNF as they are on Sunday nights instead, and the Rams have only 2 primetime games which is MNF.
@BenKoo@The Game II The Eagles are on primetime 5 times. They are on Sunday Night 3 times, one game on MNF, and on Thursday Night Football. The New York Jets are on primetime 5 times. The Steelers are in primetime 5 times. The Cowboys are on primetime 5 times. The Giants and Patriots are on at 4 a piece. So yeah, they are a lot of teams who reached that limit. The only pattern is they are mostly located in the NE corridor, or have the media constantly kissing their butts, aka, the dream team and Tony Romo and the Cowboys.