November 6th is almost here where AA voters have the enormous task of determining whether or not the incumbent Craig James keeps his place on AA's Mount Rushmore. The poll will be open throughout the day on Tuesday. Already, we've had guest columnists endorse their candidates of choice. To get you caught up on the state of the race, you can read their takes at the links below:
I took a totally scientific, legitimate poll on Twitter yesterday and surprisingly Skip Bayless won over 50% of the vote with Chris Berman a distant second, followed by James then Millen with November 6th rapidly approaching.
Now it's our staff's turn to tell you who they're voting for on AA's Election Day...
Ben Koo: Skip Bayless deserves to have his smug mug on Mount Rushmore (which was my idea .... #humblebrag). Millen and Berman in addition to the likes of Joe Buck and Mark May, certainly have strong cases but it is Bayless with continuous trolling and asinine blabber that has the most detrimental effect to sports fans and the media eco system. His entire shtick is not to say anything constructive or positive but rather find the lowest hanging fruit that is divisive and manufactured hooey that inevitably trickles down and purveys Twitter, blogs, and water cooler conversation. I'd much rather talk about what Bill Snyder has done or the latest 30 for 30, but all too often have to deal with the latest manufactured cat turd "debate" or viewpoint that Bayless is now pimping. In a nutshell, he's basically the Honey Boo Boo of ESPN and deserving of a spot on our site.
Andrew Bucholtz: There's no question that there are a bevy of strong choices for Mount Rushmore this year. Skip Bayless, Matt Millen and Chris Berman all are worthy candidates. However, when you go to the record, it becomes clear that Non-Senator James deserves another term. Bayless superbly trolls viewers, Berman's cliches and puns wear thin faster than optimism about the NHL lockout, and Millen's a terrible analyst turned terrible general manager turned terrible analyst, but none of them have demonstrated the high standards of unethical behaviour that Craig James has. Being a horrible, ear-bleedingly bad TV personality is one thing, but James can hold his own against these contenders there. Where he really stands out from the pack is in how he used his ESPN position to first lobby for playing time for his kid, then manipulate ESPN's coverage of a story about his kid, then get Mike Leach fired for allegedly mistreating his kid. Contenders, you're worthy adversaries, but you're no Craig James. Re-elect Non-Senator James: it's the only proper way to Remember The Five.
Joe Lucia: Look at the candidates in this election. You have three current (and in one case, a long-time) ESPN employees, and one commentator that was so egregiously bad that when he left ESPN to run a disastrous Senate race, the network wanted nothing to do with him after he fell flat on his face. While Matt Millen was completely terrible as a GM, his second run of awfulness as a commentator has been rather brief in comparison to our other nominees. Chris Berman has been a member of the ESPN staff forever, and honestly, you’ll probably get another chance to vote for him in four more years. Berman is past his prime, but keeps holding on for dear life. Is that someone we want to really immortalize? Finally, there’s Skip Bayless, who is just entering his prime. Bayless is an internet troll that has a daily, national TV presence, but when someone deliberately panders to the electorate like he is, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
The only rational thing to do is re-elect Craig James. His antics have gone beyond basic trolling, misinformation, or ignorance, and are in the pantheon of the most bizarre, rage-inducing actions that have happened in ESPN’s history. Besides, after losing one election, James could use our support, and winning this election could lead to more political runs for office.
Brady Green: It was tough, but my vote is for Chris Berman. He's put in over three decades of awfulness as basically the unofficial mascot of the WWL. Berman just always seems to be there to aggravate you during the biggest sporting events of the year. Here's my reasons against the other very formidable candidates:
-I feel like voting for Bayless in some sick way validates that he, like, exists as something that should make us upset. He's an internet troll with a TV show. He "debates" the cream of the crap of the ESPN roster. Please, don't feed the troll.
-I'm a Lions fan so it's impossible to show any objectivity to Matt Millen. Basically, I don't want to see his stupid face at the top of the page because I'd instinctively punch my computer upon loading AwfulAnnouncing.com.
-Last AA election I gave the nod to Joe Buck over Craig James. In retrospect, it was a mistake (and also because this year's MLB Playoffs were a tour de force performance by McCarver).
James is despicable. His plight was well deserved. If he were miraculously still active on some network he'd be a no-brainer to stay on our Mount Rushmore, but, instead he's now a universally agreed upon laughing-stock out of sports completely and that hurts his case in my opinion. Berman narrowly gets my vote over James and he...should...go... all... the...way to Awful Announcing's Mount Rushmore.
Ryan Yoder: Each of the candidates are worthy of making it this far in the election. But in the end, your vote should be cast for Craig James to remain in his lofty perch. For starters, I've never considered it a detriment that James isn't an active announcer. Heck, you can't tell me Tim McCarver has been active, let alone registering a pulse since the '91 World Series. Second, is there any doubt that James will one day use his back-slapping jockocracy to once again flood our airways with his brand of patriotic buffoonery? And even if he doesn't, James would be a constant reminder against the corruption and distrust that can exist even in sports broadcasting. (Still waiting, Poynter....)
As far as the other candidates, Millen's profile has fallen too far to be worthy of such high-profile treatment. Chris Berman is truly terrible, but Jabba the Hut's face should be replacing Dick Vitale (an ESPN personality who has sought to stay current through social media among other activities), not James. Plus since Berman doesn't know what the Internet even is, there'd be no joy in plastering his sweaty brow for all to see. Finally, Skip Bayless is most deserving as the worst personality in the sports media today... which is exactly why his image at the top of AA would be a victory for his particular brand of trolling. Do you really want to give Skippy the satisfaction of such a feather in his cap?
No, of course not! Vote with your heart, America! Keep the mayor of Real Street where he belongs, ever vigilant, at the top of AA's Mount Rushmore!