Yesterday, on ESPN.com, Rick Reilly wrote a hit piece degrading everything about Bob Huggins. It lacked facts and any sense of fairness. Am I going to correct the facts he got wrong and write an educated article? Hell, no, I'm going to be immature and basically repeat everything he said but relate it back to him.
I don't like Rick Reilly. Don't like the terrible timing of his stories. Don't like his hatred of hard work. Don't like the terrible shirt/tie combination he wears on SportsCenter. The artless, sledgehammer style of his articles that sucks all the air out of ESPN.com. Not to mention the joy. Still, Reilly is brutally effective, kind of like a Russian gulag, only with slightly less charm. If he wins a Pulitzer, I'd hate to be a real journalist. There may not be any respect left for the profession.
Don't get him. Don't admire him. Don't understand his nickname -- Mr. Buzzkill. Oh wait, I totally understand that nickname. The man is about as funny as a clown with an axe through his head. It's like calling Dick Cheney "Smiley."There's no point in going over all the reasons Reilly is bad for basketball. That's just kicking a man when he's down. And boy, is Reilly down. Just a few years after leaving Sports Illustrated Rick Reilly is an irrelevant writer for ESPN. His readership has decreased and has become an old grump that is out of touch with the reality of sports.
"The first time I heard he was coming," remembers ESPN's best writer, Bill Simmons, "I was like, 'I'm getting ready to go to back to writing my own blog.' But I'm glad I didn't leave. It's been great, Reilly sucks and I'm getting more readers than ever."
Instead, Simmons has known the joy of writing for a website where Reilly's sense of entitlement leaves the other writers "bleeding [with] swollen, and black eyes," says ESPN writer Matthew Berry. And that doesn't even count their ears. Says Simmons, "He yells at us so much about our great writting that he doesn't give us enough time and energy to not get along with each other."
And when they put him in the Hall of Fame, I think I'm going to hurl.