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March Media Madness 2014: The Sports Talk Bracket

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March Madness is nearly upon us. The unwritten rules of Internet mandate we must do some form of zany bracket competition. Since we aren’t ones to get jazzed up over rock albums or condiments, we decided to focus our 64-team bracket on internecine media squabbles with “March Media Madness.” We begin with the “Sports Talk” bracket, which contains radio hosts, television people who do a lot of talking and multimedia folks who merge the two disciplines. 

1. Mike Francesa vs. 16. Chris Russo

Lennon and McCartney. Cohle and Hart. Mike and the Mad Dog. We paired these two former partners together to give this bracket some juice! The Pope has been notable of late: providing an “objective” forum for A-Rod, embroiling himself in New York media catfights, pointing out the obvious and napping. A quick google search confirmed that Chris Russo is still working in sports radio.

2. Keith Olbermann vs. 15. “Bonecrusher” Dan Sileo

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Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN. It didn’t take him long to begin firing shots at sports media members. We thought it fitting to pair him with a relentless candidate for “worst person in the sports world.” Sileo began 2013 with a charming Erin Andrews peephole joke, was fired in March for an anti-semitic remark and was fired from his next job in November for putting a bounty on Florida State players. Referring to black football players as monkeys the year before was also lovely.

3. Mike and Mike vs. 14. Jim Rome

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America’s favorite bookish metrosexual cum man-jock duo receives our No. 3 seed. Greeny taped a podcast with Jason McIntyre. Golic once recycled party-shirts on Letterman. None of us are on the left coast. Jim Rome has not provoked anyone notable of late. Though we are still reasonably confident “the Jungle” remains intact.

4. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon vs. 13. Tony Reali

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They share a city, a studio, executive producer Erik Rydholm and the 5:00 weekday hour on ESPN. It can’t be all good vibes and fresh salads. Tony Kornheiser has towed the line since the Hannah Storm incident. Wilbon left NBA Countdown, committed an egregious jersey faux pas and worked on his golf game. Renaissance Man Tony Reali filled in on drums at an Umphrey’s McGee concert.

5. Paul Finebaum vs. 12. Clay Travis

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The crown princes of SEC media square off. “Pawwwl” joined College GameDay, ate some interesting cereal and will headline the upcoming SEC Network. Clay joined Fox Sports’ GameDay competitor and matched wits with Richard Deitsch on Twitter.

6. Scott Van Pelt vs. 11. Doug Gottlieb

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Van Pelt eschewed interest elsewhere to stay at ESPN. Gottlieb took his “white man’s perspective” to CBS Sports, where he has a late night show with Allie LaForce. Hirsute Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman is not a fan.

7. Skip Bayless/Stephen A. Smith vs. 10. Jemele Hill/Michael Smith

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Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith provide a forum for colorful language and groundbreaking discussions of race on First Take. Jemele Hill and Michael Smith have a television show Numbers Never Lie, a podcast, and are former colleagues of Hugh Douglas. Both shows are battling for producer Jamie Horowitz’ affection.

8. Colin Cowherd vs. 9. Dan Patrick

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These two go head to head over the national airwaves. The past animosity has been palpable. Colin Cowherd was profiled and joined our podcast. There was also that time seven (yes, seven) years ago he shut our site down. Noted interview master Dan Patrick brought out the foul mouth in Peter King and Rick Neuheisel’s inner troubadour.

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