ESPN's Tom Luginbill Made the Ultimate Case that Sideline Reporters Are Worthless While Talking Johnny Football

Tom Luginbill was ESPN’s sideline reporter for the Texas A&M – Rice game. At the start of the second half, Dave Pasch and Brian Griese threw it down to the sideline so Luginbill could give ESPN’s viewers some inside information on Johnny Manziel’s long-awaited and much-anticipated season debut. What Luginbill gave America was the most pointless, cliché-ridden stream of verbal diarrhea you will ever encounter.  Watch the video above. Then read what Luginbill said below. I have transcribed it in all its worthless glory.

Well guys, Johnny Manziel came out here and warmed up and he had a hop in his step and a live arm. He’s throwing 100 miles an hour, a keen eye. He’s ready to go. You can tell he’s been itchin’ and scratchin’. He’s back in his jungle. And you know what? So much of his impulsiveness and those traits that he have that can get him in trouble off the field are so much of what make him great on it. We should see a bulk of that here in the next few quarters.

Did you catch all that? Never has so little been said in so many words.

I count 6 clichés in hist first 4 sentences:

– hop in his step
– live arm
– throwing 100 miles an hour
– keen eye
– ready to go
– itchin’ and scratchin’

After that? A Mad Libs-style word jumble.

“Back in his jungle?” Is that a bastardized Guns ‘n Roses reference? What in the world does that mean? Manziel’s “impulsiveness” and “traits” that get him in trouble? Could you expand? Did he mean Johnny Football’s enjoyment of light beer? Is that a trait or an impulse? Is it the rumors of getting paid for autographs that translate so well to the football field? And did we really see the bulk of those things in the “next few quarters?”

Last week I used the proctor’s response to Billy Madison in response to the Oregon State chainsaw song. What a waste. At least some original thoughts went into Oregon State’s awful song. Luginbill parroted hackneyed ideas that long ago lost any real meaning. This 20-second spot took the art of sideline reporting to a whole new low.

Maybe this, combined with new concussion concerns will make networks reconsider their use of sideline reporters. I guess we will just have to wait and see. After all, the proof is in the pudding and sideline reporters have stood the test of time. The important thing is that they show up on game day and put in the work. They aren’t just out there collecting paychecks.

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