Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

BSM Writers

Fired Coach to ESPN Pipeline Flipped On It’s Head By Jeff Saturday

This is only a new branch of an old phenomenon. It is no surprise these fired coaches sound so smart.

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

I accept I may not be the smartest guy in the world and by “may not be” I mean I am 100% certain I am not the smartest guy in the world. I am smart enough that my only adult job has been to talk about sports, smart enough to have married my wife, and smart enough to live in a place where it almost never snows. I have also come to the conclusion that, if you want to seem like the smartest coach ever, go work for ESPN after you get fired.

Nothing makes you sound smarter than when you get to stand in front of the video wall of an ESPN studio and draw up the play that worked or failed. You’ve had plenty of time to look at it, diagnose it and show just enough of your knowledge that almost every listener wonders “How was that guy 4-24 as a coach?” It is the ultimate image rehab location for failed coaches.

Until last week, though, I never thought former players-turned ESPN analysts could also look smart enough to actually become an NFL coach. Then came former Colt great Jeff Saturday. After firing head coach Frank Reich, Colts owner Jim Irsay didn’t look inside the Indianapolis coaching staff for an interim coach, he went all the way to Bristol, Connecticut and hired the former Colts center. To Irsay’s credit, Saturday did often sound very smart on ESPN.

This is only a new branch of an old phenomenon. It is no surprise these fired coaches sound so smart. Instead of having to read and react to 60 plays with no time to think, they get to break down three or four with hours to prepare. There’s no more personnel decisions or clock management issues, just a few plays in front of a video wall. Sure, the money is not the same but there’s no fans calling the hot take sports show guy demanding your firing.

The first coach I remember making this move was Dick Vermeil. I was too young to remember Vermeil as an Eagles coach, to me he was the retired Eagles coach that was a really good game analyst for ABC. Imagine my surprise in 1997 when Vermeil, having been retired 14 years, left TV for the St. Louis Rams. I really didn’t know that was possible but I did think Vermeil sounded smarter than most of the coaches looked.

On the college side, retired Kansas, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh coach Mike Gottfried was always rumored for jobs in the early 1990’s. At the time, Gottfried was paired with Ron Franklin and Adrian Karsten on the ESPN primetime game. Gottfried was 54-44-3 in those three jobs but put him on a primetime college game and he sounded like he was Bear Bryant. Every SEC fan base with a job opening wanted Mike Gottfried considered. I mean, he was always able to tell you what your team was doing wrong.

Mike never got back into coaching but his nephew did. Former NC State coach Mark Gottfried made the ESPN move after leaving Alabama. Gottfried had more than 200 wins as an Alabama coach and took the Crimson Tide to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. But declining results and a .500 conference record caught up with the former Alabama guard and he stepped aside in the middle of the 2009 season. His brief stint at ESPN yielded a job that was historically better than Alabama’s and Gottfried went on to four NCAA Tournament appearances with the Wolfpack.

Easily the most obvious example of this is Jon Gruden. The Super Bowl champion coach had a great start at Tampa but was 45-51 in the six years that followed. After his exit in Tampa, Gruden was exceptional for ESPN in his role as NFL analyst. Though he had spent almost zero time as a college assistant, Gruden’s name was mentioned in connection with literally every major college job that came open. According to message boards, Gruden owned a house near almost any major college football program’s campus. I started to think Gruden owned more land than Walt Disney.

Of course, Gruden did get back into coaching. Turns out, he was pretty much the same coach with the Raiders as he had been in those final years with the Buccaneers. He teamed up with General Manager Mike Mayock (same exact principle but NFL Network instead of ESPN) to lead the Raiders to a below .500 record. Gruden and Mayock were believed to be some of the smarter voices when the red camera light was on but they really weren’t any smarter than most of the NFL when it mattered most.

Jeff Saturday is off to a good start in Indianapolis, he beat the Raiders 25-20 in his first game as interim coach. It remains to be seen if he’ll continue that or be considered for the full time gig. With Jim Irsay, anything is possible. If it doesn’t work out, the good news is plenty of guys are available: Bill Cowher, Rex Ryan, Jimmy Johnson, Jason Garrett, Tony Dungy…

Heck, give Adam Schefter a try, he’ll always know who is headed to free agency.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

Continue Reading

BSM Podcast

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

Published

on

blank

Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

Continue Reading

Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

blank

The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.