More than a year before the network acknowledged they were negotiating to hire Jason Whitlock as its latest liberal commentator, ESPN reported that the commentator that has compared the NRA to the KKK lost a debate to keep college football. Ironically, he lost the debate to a duo that included Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights. Apparently the move to the left to counter the launch of Fox Sports 1 on Saturday does not extend to industries that create billions of dollars for ESPN.
“Buzz Bissinger … and Malcolm Gladwell … bested sports columnist Jason Whitlock and author and former NFL/college player Tim Green,” according to this ESPN post by Ted Miller. Apparently Whitlock’s play on words regarding freedom (“You can’t have the free without the dumb.”) was not enough to win the debate.
Bissinger had teamed up with the New Yorker‘s Gladwell at a debate last year urging that college football should be banned, with Gladwell arguing on the basis of injuries. Bissinger took the position that the money spent on football took money away from academic programs – a tough argument to make in light of the profits football realizes.
Ironically, after beating Whitlock in the debate, Bissinger made a surprise endorsement of Mitt Romney after Obama’s humiliating performance in the first debate. He later checked himself into a rehab program because he had a shopping addiction. He reportedly had, “81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of leather pants, 32 pairs of haute couture jeans, 10 evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.”
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