Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But it’s not The Ticket's Greg, but rather this one, now appearing on the newly tweaked ESPN Radio. Don’t get me wrong, any move that yanks Stephen A. Smith and his faux “baskit-buuwwwwwwwl” machismo off the air is a good thing. A great thing. But The Ticket is aimlessly treading water while it finds a resolution to The Hammer’s saga, and it’s vulnerable for the first time in a long time -- and this is all ESPN’s got?
The 11 a.m.-2 p.m. slot filled by homogenized national voice Kevin Kiley and Hill, the former Carter High School and Texas A&M running back? And a 2-3 p.m. hour featuring TCU voice Brian Esteridge and former Dallas Morning News'er-turned-ESPN.com blogger Matt Mosley? And, in the morning, the nationally syndicated Colin Cowherd? Really -- that's it?
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Randy Galloway’s show from 3-6 p.m. remains relevant and competitive, but even with The Ticket showing chinks in its armor, I don’t see ESPN’s new lineup doing much more than pitching pebbles at the incumbent champ’s castle walls.
I heard rumors of a deal to put on Michael Irvin or Brad Sham or even bring back Chuck Cooperstein. Irvin was even Kiley’s sidekick a couple weeks ago in what was, I guess, a tryout. Interesting, even intriguing, I thought.
But in the end, ESPN traded Jen Engel and Dan Patrick (now on The Ticket at 9 p.m. weekdays) for Kiley-Hill and Estridge-Mosley. Yawn.
At some point, if it wants to be taken seriously, ESPN must produce a local morning show. For now, the station seems somehow kosher with attacking The Ticket’s dynasty by being the Anti-Ticket – with caller-driven, guest-intensive, one-topic-per-hour content. For now, Cowherd’s one-man band will pontificate about Kansas’ lame schedule, Kiley will call the 12-1 Cowboys “borderline great,” and the other Greg will punctuate his tryout by trotting out his version of back-porch country witticisms. “If Tony Romo doesn’t light your fire,” Hill said this morning, “then your wood’s wet.” Hmm. --Richie Whitt