Today it was announced that Mark Schlereth better known as Stink has left ESPN and has joined FS1 or Fox Sports for you folks who haven’t seen any recent Fox Sports programming. I’m not really surprised by any of this since Espn had their giant layoff situation weeks ago. Espn has decided that they weren’t going to pay several of their employees who have been with them for years due to their salaries being way to much than even they can handle. Swings and misses on college football networks and not being able to think but 5 minutes in front of their faces will do that. Espn is still number 1 in sports and really aren’t going anywhere. What you’ve heard and seen recently with shows like The 6 hosted by Michael Smith and Jemele Hill is what I think you’ll continue to see from the world wide leader is content geared towards younger folks that doesn’t exactly have to do with sports but has more to do with spontaneous, off the cuff arguments and stories from the personalities they have left. Guys like Russillo who just talk sports like regular, everyday people without having to yell and be a cartoon character I feel will be the future.
What sparked this revelation I had about FS1 morphing into the NWO is one that I’ve had for a while. Being a fan of wrestling for 25 years makes me look through most life events through Bret Hart pink shades so it was only natural that I find a relation with all of Espn castaways joining FS1. To be honest, any fan of both sports and wrestling could make this connection. Trick comment, wrestling is sports. But, what I thought would be FS1 morphing into WCW has now led me to understand that FS1 is turning into the NWO. Why I made the change is that FS1 acquiring all the older former Espn talent will be the demise of FS1, not that most of you will even notice.
Schlereth joining FS1 isn’t what made me decide to write this blog. It was listening to the Dan LeBatard show today. Dan and the crew found 5 minutes not to talk about how zany and wild Stugotz’s s̶t̶a̶g̶e̶d̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶g̶e̶d̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶e̶d̶ unprofessionalism was and brought up Schlereth joining FS1 and Dan went into how if FS1 wanted to compete with Espn, which they have the resources and platform to do it, should not be signing all these guys Espn let go and instead be trying to be different than Espn. Basically, he said you’re trying to out Espn by trying to be like Espn. It’s like the Cavs trying to out Warrior the Golden State Warriors. You simply will fail. This is a sentiment that I’ve thought for a while(trust me I did. Or don’t trust me, either way.) Offer something different from the other guys. Even if it’s not good, keep working at it until you find something that hits and run with it. The embrace debate culture is so 2008. I know folks will point to the amount of money that this type of programming is making and will say that because of that nothing is really wrong. Well, ask Ed Werder, John Clayton and Danny Kannell why they were released.
Now that that is over we can get to the fun part. And that is me matching each Espn departure with what member of the NWO they are.
Former President of FS1 Programming Jamie Horowitz is Mastermind of NWO Eric Bischoff
Horowitz was just recently fired from FS1 for an alleged sexual harassment, which is very Espn of him. Before this, he was the main guy who brought about the new direction of FS1 with all the debate shows and mirrored Espn like a creep. Fitting. Bischoff was the man who put the wheels in motion and signed Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and was influential in giving the green light to the NWO to exist. He also was the alleged kingpin of the NWO who got them to where they got too.
Colin Cowherd is Hollywood Hogan
The biggest name that FS1 has signed has been Colin Cowherd. Cowherd used to be fantastic on Espn radio years ago but then he got so elite that me and others just couldn’t deal with it. He was eventually let go due to saying a racial slur on the air. Hogan was the icon of wrestling for nearly 2 decades. But eventually he thought he was deserved the world and also got old. He signed with WCW and became the leader of the NWO for just about it’s entirety. Interestingly enough, he also was also released from his contract with WWE for saying several racial slurs.
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe are The Outsiders; Kevin Nash and Scott Hall
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe were big names at Espn and had some success. Well, Skip definitely did. Shannon was on the rise. They were a constant duo on first take who knew how to bring the best out of each other. Then, they left Espn for greener pastures and joined FS1 to have their own debate show and to show just how big of stars thy could be. Together they have a show called Undisputed where they yell at each other like they did at Espn. The Outsiders, Hall and Nash had success at WWF as singles stars but when they were offered contracts they couldn’t refuse, they jumped to WCW and soon were the catalyst for the rise of NWO. Hogan may of been the biggest legend of the NWO but it was Hall and Nash that were the driving force of the group kinda like how Sharpe and Bayless are for FS1. Cowherd is the biggest draw but they do the heavy lifting.
Jason Whitlock is The Disciple
Jason Whitlock was a very accomplished writer from Kansas City but didn’t take off nationally at least for me until I saw him on Espn. Always solid takes and gave good backup to whoevers show he was being a guest on especially Colin Cowherd. He was a frequent guest on The Herd. Most importantly, he was always loyal to Colin. So when Colin jumped ship to FS1 he made sure to bring along his right hand man in Jason Whitlock. The two have a show called Speak For Yourself. The Disciple wasn’t always The Disciple. In WWF he was Brutus the Barber Beefcake and was always Hulk Hogan’s partner. He made sure he always had Hogan’s back. Then as the NWO started to take off, Hogan needed a guy who has always been loyal to him and that man was The Disciple. Like Whitlock adding an edgy hat to his get up, The Disciple added some black glasses and leather pants to complete his transformation.
Cris Carter is Randy Savage
Cris Carter was an outstanding receiver in the NFL. Then he transitioned himself to an analyst for Espn where he was just okay when he wasn’t telling rookies to make sure they have a “fall guy” in their group to take the blame when they break the law. Then he was fired or “moved on” if you ask him and will soon have his own morning show starting in the fall on FS1. Randy Savage was a tremendous performer in the WWF winning the title on 2 occasions but then under somewhat mysterious circumstances that in no way could be related to an alleged encounter with a very young Stephanie McMahon, he was gone from WWF. Then he joined WCW, got beatdown by the NWO on a regular basis, then joined them. Like Carter, it always seemed that Savage never got his due and is often overlooked when it comes to being regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Also, like Carter, each were consistently snubbed for their respected hall of fames. Eventually, Carter was let in to the hall where Savage is still waiting to be inducted.
Chris Broussard is Ted Dibiase
Broussard was the answer man at Espn when it came to knowing anything about the inter workings of the NBA. He was the guy who had the connections and sources and frequently would let the public know about the potential plans of the teams of the NBA. Then he left and joined FS1 and is pretty much in the same role. Ted Dibiase in the WWF was the Million Dollar Man but eventually ran a stable called the Million Dollar Corporation where he bankrolled and managed all their operations. Then he left for the WCW and was recruited to join the NWO and be the one who financed the group. Both of these worked behind the scenes and made things work on the front end.
Mark Schlereth is Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner
Schlereth was a multiple, super bowl winning linemen for the Broncos, in case you never heard. Then after his playing days were over he joined Espn, and went a major body transformation and lost a ton of weight. At Espn, Schlereth was never regarded as the a main event analyst and moved around the company from radio personality, anaylst on NFL Live and guinea pig on Athlete 360. He was at Espn for 16 years and today it was announced that he joining FS1 in an undefined role. Scott Steiner was an all-American wreslter at Michigan before joining the WWF with his brother Rick. Then he bolted for WCW and joined the NWO after a ridiculous and completely natural body transformation where he became the biggest man on the planet. Steiner never had a defined role besides being enormous and looking like a guy who could barely move.
There’s some lower level guys I could of mentioned but I was beginning to make some stretches and I didn’t want this blog to sound stupid. It started to fly off the rails with Schlereth and Steiner comparison. I know it, you know it. It would of been nice to have a member of the NWO found guilty of obstruction of justice and to be thought of as a real murderer like Ray Lewis but life isn’t always fair.