Easterbrook returns to ESPN.com
April 25, 2006 10:00 AM   Subscribe

FollowupFilter - After a two year hiatus (read: punishment ban), Gregg Easterbrook (founder of Beliefnet, Brookings scholar, ex of Slate & NFL.com) one of ESPN's most popular football writers returns, with no acknoledgment of where he went or why. Hopefully he'll keep his mouth shut about ABC and/or Disney related projects this time. As a side note, his two seasons worth of back articles are apparently not available, as they were purged (permanently?) when he was fired.
posted by jonson (16 comments total)
Are we really going to talk about this again?

The best thing Easterbrook ever did in TMQ was link to Football Outsiders, which is a far more worthwhile read than his column.
posted by selfnoise at 10:06 AM on April 25, 2006

He wasn't on a hiatus, really - he was continually writing @ (I think) footballguys.com and then NFL.com.
posted by xmutex at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2006

And, oh, so his return's a nice 404 page?
posted by xmutex at 10:08 AM on April 25, 2006

One thing I will say: I'm not sure why he would go from NFL.com, where they regularly advertised his columns, back to ESPN, where they regularly buried his columns to the point where you had to do a Google search every time you wanted to find one.
posted by selfnoise at 10:12 AM on April 25, 2006

When at Slate, he did a terrific takedown of Kiper's wildly inaccurate predictions (referring to this Slate article). That's probably the best entertainment to come out of the NFL draft in the past decade. Too bad they're pals now.

TMQ, 4/17/01: To appreciate Kiper's true nuttiness, bear in mind that he has already published no fewer than five mock drafts, with at least one more expected, and all the mock drafts have different players going to different teams. In his dueling projections, Kiper has Carolina taking Leonard Davis, or Steve Hutchinson, or Michael Bennett, or Dan Morgan, or trading up for LaDainian Tomlinson.... It's a veritable festival of wild guesses! So far, Kiper has offered 155 possible selections for the 31 picks of the first round, and more Kiper guesses are due before the draft. By sheer random chance, one of these many manifold mock drafts will have some correct match between team and player, and Kiper will then claim to have "predicted" what happened.

Also, given that ESPN had just fired Limbaugh when this all went down the first time around, I don't think it's obvious that he was being punished for saying bad about Kill Bill.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2006

I've read his column for a couple years now, but don't think I'm going to start again in the Fall. He uses the same "jokes" over and over, runs the same gags, spouts the same theories, even when they're proven wrong (see his "maroon zone" theory, which he subjected to statistical tests, found nothing, and then went ahead and listed it as a key to success in the next week's column). Once you grock his core beliefs: kick it early, go for it late; don't go for two unless it puts you ahead right now; quarterbacks are hard to scout; massive contracts to marquee players don't make sense - viz. the Patriots and the Steelers; cheerleaders should be nude, then you can pretty much write his "analysis" yourself. And this goes on for 1,500 words.

Really the only thing that's consistently good (or new) in each week's column are his "stats of the week." Those I'll prolly check in on.

I didn't really know he was so devout, though. Puts an odd slant on his insistence that all cheerleaders be as skimpily dressed as possible.
posted by ChasFile at 10:23 AM on April 25, 2006

xmutex - the 404 was only there for a minute, after I posted the link, and the page seems to be back again. Also, "hiatus" was just me being snarky, as ESPN is treating the whole thing with a "look who's back" style approach, conveniently ignoring that they fired him for comments detrimental to their bigger corporate interests, cut off access to his historical archive of writings, deleted any mention of him from their search engine and sent him off into the net wilderness, only to welcome him back with a very warm "yay, Gregg's writing for us again" style.
posted by jonson at 10:24 AM on April 25, 2006

I got a 404 as well, but finally got to it by going to the front page, choosing "Page 2 main page" and then clicking on the banner. Weird.

GE got me back into pro football with his columns; but, yeah, they are a bit repetitive at times.
posted by docgonzo at 10:33 AM on April 25, 2006

What made Easterbrook?
Not his so-called wit or jokes
Hail Reader Haikus
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:41 AM on April 25, 2006

I loved when he referred to his daughter Mara as the "TMQ Official Daughter." I will second that his shtick got a little schtuck. Also, I loved this parody of his style done by various readers at footballoutsiders.com.
posted by dammitjim at 11:05 AM on April 25, 2006

Easterbrook has been writing his Tuesday Morning QB column on NFL.com since at least February 2005, and according to my blog, has been there since early 2004. It is my understanding that he was asked to leave ESPN in 2003 because of his Kill Bill review, in which some of his comments where interrpreted as being anti-semetic.
posted by geeky at 12:00 PM on April 25, 2006

PS. Here is Easterbrook's official apology for the review.
posted by geeky at 12:01 PM on April 25, 2006

doh. just noticed most of that is in the link to the other mefi post. oh well.. perhaps it will benefit other people who don't RFA like me :)
posted by geeky at 12:16 PM on April 25, 2006

Is he the same Gregg Easterbrook who writes about space policy?
posted by A189Nut at 12:49 PM on April 25, 2006

Is he the same Gregg Easterbrook who writes about space policy?

posted by pokermonk at 5:36 PM on April 25, 2006

Man, I forgot that unbelievably antisemitism came at the end of a review bashing Kill Bill. Too bad, because I normally approve of anyone bashing Quentin Tarantino.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2006

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