When Local Media Go National: Bryan Burwell and ESPN’s The Sports Reporters
Bryan Burwell isn’t just a lowly scribe for the local paper, he’s a TV personality. And I’m not talking The Fan Show or some cheap local production, although he’s done his share of those.
He’s a national TV personality. He’s done NBA games for TNT. He’s been on Rome Is Burning. And as many of you know, he’s been a regular guest on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters for many years.
Okay, so maybe you didn’t know that, because you’re not under the age of 60, so you don’t watch The Sports Reporters. Well I do, and what follows are some of the highlights from his latest appearance on the show.
First, a confident, self-assured Burwell announces his presence and throws us for a loop right off the bat.
Who’s “the rest of us” in this case? Are they the 99 people that actually care about women’s college basketball? So enlightened you are, Mr. Burwell, to make this the subject of your opening statement as opposed to say, Jeremy Lin or Tiger Woods or something more happening in sports journalism circles. If you really do watch women’s college basketball (cough), I bet it’s while browsing home decorations on Pinterest. And when the game’s over, it’s time for a long bubble bath, a deep facial cleansing, and some much-deserved “Bryan” time.
In the opening segment, during a discussion of the aforementioned Lin and his incredible rise to super-stardom, Burwell capitalized on the opportunity to bring up his favorite subject: race.
I agree, there are so many directions we can go when talking about Jeremy Lin in the basketball context, making it strange that “in the basketball context” Burwell zeroes right in on race. I don’t know about you, but for me, Burwell’s comments raise many questions. So what are you saying Bryan, exactly? Are you saying that – when it comes to pickup basketball at least – you’re sort of a bigot? Were there a lot of Asians on streets of DC in the 1960’s trying to play basketball when you were growing up? That is, if only you and the other guys on the court would have let them. Did anything even remotely resembling the scenario you described EVER happen to you?
And what’s this stuff about sound? Did “sound” really play a role in your selection process? And how does that work? Is it like, if a guy has a nice, manly singing voice you’re more likely to pick him? So ideally, you’d have Trace Adkins at power forward? Did you ever hold auditions for potential teammates? Do you discriminate against deaf-mutes the way you do against Asians? Were you the Asian-hating Simon Cowell of the DC playground back in the day? Is everything that comes out of your mouth when that little red light comes on just a complete load of crap?
Like I said, many questions.
Later in the show, Burwell talked about his job at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, namely, what it’s like writing columns for one of the premiere newspapers in the country, and the nature of his relationship with his longtime employer after all these years:
The rest of us can certainly agree with that. Keep up the good work representing St. Louis around the country, Mr. Burwell. And if ever you’re feeling down or having one of those days, just remember…