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Late Thursday afternoon, SPORTSbyBROOKS reported that the worldwide leader in asshattery, douchebaggery and backstabbery had indefinitely suspended the well-respected and highly regarded Bruce Feldman. Feldman wrote extensively for ESPN the Magazine, ESPN.com and used his official Twitter account to provide a fantastic mix of opinion, observation and hard news.
The reason? Feldman has provided key editorial assistance to former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach in the preparation of his new book, Swing your Sword. Leach details his ugly divorce from the Lubbock, Texas Red Raiders in the book, and Leach describes in damning detail how and why things went down the way they did. Leach was accused of mistreating former player Adam James, which happens to be the Daddy’s Little Girl of Craig James, ESPN’s second worst color analyst. Leach comes out swinging against the ‘meddling’ of the elder James, which apparently hurt the feelings of ESPN Vice President Vince Doria, ESPN the Magazine Editor-in-Chief and ESPN Books Editorial Director Gary Hoenig, and ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Pat Stiegman. Brooks reports that in a conference call, the three above swung their swords and axed Feldman.
Despite Feldman having been granted prior approval from ESPN to work with Leach on the book.
This backstabbing is unconscionable. Feldman specifically sought his employers’ clearance before beginning work with Leach and got it, despite the latter knowing full well that Leach was going to be harshly critical of Crybaby Craig and his Daddy’s Little Girl.
Appropriately, the public is swinging its sword and unleashing a swashbuckling dismemberment of the sports media giant. As of 11:00 am CDT, #FreeBruce was one of the Top Three trending topics on Twitter. Thousands of ESPN.com Insider subscribers are calling to cancel their subscriptions. Bloggers, sportswriters and radio talk show hosts are leading a charge to convince users to cancel subscriptions to fantasy leagues.
To do my part, I’m promoting Mike Leach’s book. Readers should take the time to hear Leach’s side of the story, especially the revelations regarding James’ hiring of a PR firm to conduct a smear campaign against him and turn public opinion against him the way a sleazy politician uses push polls and anonymous flyers and mailings. James and ESPN are beneath contempt and no justice would be more poetic than having them watch Leach’s book hit bestseller lists.
So, let’s have some fun and swing our sword. Click the link. Order the book. Any commissions IBCR receives will be donated to Tornado Relief in Alabama.
UPDATE: Was this a false alarm, or did ESPN back down? In a three sentence press release, the network had this in response to the firestorm: “There was never any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action. We took the time to review his upcoming work assignments in light of the book to which he contributed and will manage any conflicts or other issues as needed. Bruce has resumed his assignments."
Resumed? How do you resume something that was never stopped to begin with?