clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Corso: Right, because he's on ESPN

I have stayed away from the Let's Show Corso thing because I largely saw it as an amusing way to kick off a badly needed fund-raising campaign.

But holding back is becoming almost impossible, especially now that Round-and-Round Ron Morris has weighed in with his, ahem,
"perspective."

Unfortunately, USC resorted to its old ways by showing two-year-old comments by Corso, the ESPN analyst who is paid to offer his opinions on college football. ... Corso will tell you that Steve Spurrier is among the best coaches in college football.

True, the comments shown in the video were two years old. But Corso repeated the sentiment that South Carolina can't win the SEC as recently as this August. I know, because I saw it on the College Football Live premiere with my own eyes. So mentioning the comments are two years old is either (a) superfluous or (b) a misleading attempt to make it look like the university is picking on Corso for something he no longer believes.

(Granted, since Morris changes his with alarming frequency while pretending he hasn't, he might think Corso has altered his opinion since August. But if Corso has, he's kept his mouth shut.)

I can't, however, write a post solely blasting Morris when his columns are nonsensical or wrong. I'd be doing nothing else.

What has me more irritated is the blatant arrogance and hypocrisy shown by ESPN. (And I do this hoping it doesn't violate Peter and Orson's rules.)

Fowler expressed concern that USC has started a Web site called letsshowcorso.com, where fans can "throw" footballs at a likeness of Corso. Gamecock fans have been mad at Corso since the former coach declared Spurrier never would win an SEC title at South Carolina, "even if he coaches here 400 years." ...
"I don’t speak for what that would mean for the likelihood of 'GameDay' coming there. But I can tell you it doesn't increase the chances," Fowler said. "If South Carolina continues to win games, it will always be on the radar for game shows. But it would be a consideration, to go somewhere the show has been targeted."
The Web site features video of Corso making his declaration two years ago, during a "Game Day" broadcast in Columbia, that Spurrier would not be able to recruit well enough at South Carolina to beat certain teams. As Corso mentions Tennessee, Florida and Clemson, video is shown of USC beating each team the past two years. ...
"We've already shown Corso we can beat Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas and a lot of other good teams," Spurrier says on the site. "We've already shown Corso we can recruit, No. 4 in the nation by ESPN.com. Now let's show we can build the facilities that are necessary. Let's show my pal Lee Corso we can win the SEC championship."
As for a potential return trip to Columbia, the Nov. 10 game against Florida looms as a possibility.
"We've always had really enjoyable experiences down there," Fowler said. "But we won't knowingly walk into a hate-fest."

Okay, so let's review what Fowler is saying here.

Spurrier won't win an SEC championship "even if he coaches here 400 years"? Fair commentary.

"Let's show my pal Lee Corso we can win the SEC championship"? Part of a "hate-fest."


Others have said worse. This was the only family-friendly one.

Got it?

This points to a larger problem about the incredible arrogance that ESPN in general, and Gameday in particular, exhibit pretty much every day.

Whereas I monitor my own record in picks, and other bloggers do the same for theirs, there is no such accountability for Corso or anyone else on Gameday. He can say whatever the hell he wants to and pick whomever he wants to, for whatever reason he wants to, because no one's going to call him on it later.

But there's a deeper problem here. Corso blasted the program's ability to win the SEC championship -- displaying not just skepticism about the idea, but disdain for it -- on a network watched by millions of people, and that's just fine.

South Carolina responds by simply showing, on a video seen by not quite 400,000 (at the time), where Corso was wrong, and somehow the Gamecocks are the bad guys.

Why?

Because ESPN doesn't like being questioned. It doesn't like it when someone points out that, a lot of times, their predictions and opinions are just flat wrong. That's because it undermines their role as gatekeeper of sports information and crafter of storylines. (To see the full story on this, see Kyle's brilliant analysis.)

The conversation is one-way. ESPN gets to criticize football teams (which are, after all, collections of individuals) as much as they want. But there should be no response.

So don't bring Gameday to Columbia. Sure, the exposure is good, but the program's choice of location long ago lost any shred of legitimacy. (Yet another example: a top-15 matchup between South Carolina and LSU, televised by CBS, is passed over for a game between two lower-ranked teams, televised by ESPN. Coincidence, I'm sure.)

Besides, Lee and Chris might have to face intelligent people who have a different opinion than theirs.

Apparently, that's more than they can handle.