"The Sports Reporters" Is Turning 20 This Weekend

Friday, October 03, 2008

I personally never liked the Sports Reporters, and I'd regularly get mad at the TV on Sunday mornings when it came on. It wasn't the format, but I just couldn't stand Mike Lupica. Even at the age of ten I would watch the intro with Dick Schapp and as soon as Lupica spoke, I would change the channel to cartoons or something. Obviously I'm in the minority though because the show's popularity has kept it on the air, as of this Sunday, for twenty years. The show has a litany of popular guests including Howard Cosell, David Halberstam, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Jim Nantz and Lesley Visser, and was really the first Sports panel show of its kind.

Here's a clip of the first show that ESPN released with news of the anniversary, and take notice of a young Gary Thorne (the first host), Jackie MacMullen and Ralph Wiley. It's a little bit choppy but still viewable (it also helps to let it load all the way before first)....

While the show wasn't always my favorite, it certainly has had it's moments. One I remember vividly was the airing following 9/11, which actually turned out to be Dick Schapp's last show. All four panelists (Lupica, Schapp, William C. Rhoden and Bob Ryan) expressed their feelings gracefully, and Schapp's account of his frustration, and the pain of not being able to do anything, still sticks in my mind.

Happy Birthday Sports Reporters.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 10:51 AM


That's Gary Thonre??? Wow! I hardly recognize him. Man, he's aged.

JFein said...
Oct 3, 2008, 11:26:00 AM  

I've always liked the show. I just thought it was a more realistic setting for sports writers than on a show where they're mysteriously scored on their arguments. Seemed a little more real to me.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 11:38:00 AM  

What would the show be like if they followed the format of the former Chicago show "Sportswriters on TV"


Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 11:42:00 AM  

Holy shit really? Wow, I had no idea it has been on that long. I guess I was only two years old when it started so it makes sense that it hasn't felt that long. It used to be great but it has fallen off in this era if the internets.

Ted said...
Oct 3, 2008, 11:59:00 AM  

This shows is an abomination.

I don't want to live in a world in which Leslie Visser is considered a popular guest.

GMoney said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:13:00 PM  

I so prefer Sportswriters on TV to Sports Reporters.

It was longer, the guys seemed to like other, it was low-tech and low-rent (in a good way) and fun.

odessasteps said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:25:00 PM  

The show died when Dick Schaap died. They should've just ended it right then.

Bruce said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:46:00 PM  

spontaneous? not anymore. they have the segments on the big board at the espn zone. can't stand when they have micheal kay on. he's a douche.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 12:47:00 PM  

Jackie Mac looks like Ziggy Stardust in that video.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:06:00 PM  

Loved the Ziggy Stardust comment.

And for the record, Mitch Albom = DOUCHE.

Clayton B. Coyne III said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:13:00 PM  

well if it wasn't this show, there be no 1st and 10, pti, around the horn, etc. Me saying that makes this show irrelevant somewhat to me because of all the other shows

M said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:14:00 PM  

RIP Ralph.

The show wasn't the same after Schapp died and it should have ended then.

Too bad Thorne isn't still the host. I feel like he gets buried on the back bench these days.

Lastly, I also much preferred the Sportswriters show with those old guys and Rick Telander smoking their cigars. Good times.

Bayma said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:18:00 PM  

wow i remember sportswriters on tv on wgn. rip ro ralph wiley for sure. sports reporters is definitely not the same without a dick schaap. or a ralph wiley. or fat ass bill conlin. i cant even watch the show now.

madnice said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:26:00 PM  

There was a show comparable to this on KSL-Channel 5 in Salt Lake City hosted by Craig Bolerjack (who has you know AA, is a prestigious CBS Sports announcer as well) where Boler had numerous sports columnists and drive-time talk show hosts on the show. I always liked Ralph Wiley and I was fresh off my LDS mission to Tucson Ariz. and El Paso, Texas when Wiley died. It was sad to see Rome on JRIB cry and remains the only time I've ever seen Van Smack show such emotion. The Sports Reporters is a good show, but at times, I think John Saunders is too arrogant. Whitlock (although I disagree with him about college football, we despearately need a playoff....) is the best one because of his candor.

Brad James said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:35:00 PM  

Never could stand Lupica either. He always reminded me of the slightly-built boy who stands to the side on the playground and never gets in on the action, instead spending his time finding something to run tell the teacher about. Then he sticks out his tongue at you while you're receiving your punishment, but runs away after school in fear. Yep, that's him.

Anonymous said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:40:00 PM  

Gary Thorne appears to have a New England accent in this clip, I don't hear that in his speech these days. Maybe he worked to rid himself of it.

ESPN made a wise move to get Dick Schaap, he was one of a kind and is still sorely missed.

Jim A. said...
Oct 3, 2008, 1:42:00 PM  

It's a bunch of biased New England liberal know-it-alls. I'll pass. Thanks.

Mal said...
Oct 3, 2008, 11:41:00 PM  

Lupica seems like that guy who always tried out for sports in school, but was just never good enough, so he'd be the team score keeper.

Somebody has to put a clock on him as well. I swear, most shows he's talking 60% of the time and trying to interrupt the other panelist the other 40% of the time.

Kevin said...
Oct 4, 2008, 11:36:00 AM  

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