With televised sports being such a crowded marketplace, people have to take on personalities to try to stand out from their peers and be noticed. Skip Bayless gains new life as the biggest, ugliest bridge-dwelling troll in sports. Ron Jaworski and Trent Dilfer talk seriously about the NATIONAL... FOOTBALL.... (dramatic pause)... LEAGUE. Mark May is that guy that hates Ohio State. Merril Hoge is still trying his darndest to make "factor back" into a thing.
Developing a distinguishable personality offers a risk-reward proposition, though. While one might break out from the pack of bland, vanilla, generic television personalities, it sometimes comes with a price. To get noticed, one often takes on controversial viewpoints and becomes a polarizing figure. One risks losing all transparency and becoming a contrived character actor instead of a real person with dynamic thoughts. Furthermore, that person also runs the risk of being cemented into a certain typeset, unable to break free from a given reputation or position and known for the remainder of time as "the ____ guy." No matter what Skip Bayless does for the rest of his life in sports, he'll always be the Tebow guy. It's a choice he made. It brought him fame and derision and mockery and probably a whole lot of money too. But along with that, Bayless will never be able to change that perception, he'll never be able to offer something that's different and legitimate, he'll always be confined to that very small-minded space when it's all said and done.
In the last year, Harold Reynolds has become the "old school guy" on MLB Network in his debates with "new school guy" Brian Kenny. HR is a long way removed from the most infamous hug in the history of sports and is generally regarded as fairly likable. He's always had a gift in front of the camera going back to his earliest days at ESPN.
But as far as being a baseball analyst goes, he's become reviled in many circles as the representation of backwards thought as he clings to this "old school" philosophy. Reynolds has become a personification of trying to drag baseball kicking and screaming back to the stone age. A man who doesn't care about facts, or logic. If this were a different time, Reynolds would be the one still be clinging to the notion that the sun revolved around the earth. So much so that there are scores of individuals wishing to have Tim McCarver back as Reynolds (and Tom Verducci) are reported to be the new lead analysts for MLB on Fox for 2014.no comments