Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Dec 2005

ESPN Suspends Irvin One Week

If you're a Nielsen household, please, I beg you: Watch NFL Countdown on Sunday. Maybe if the ratings go up without him, the ESPN brass will get rid of Michael Irvin for good.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 01 Dec 2005

43 comments, Last at 05 Dec 2005, 2:50pm by mactbone


by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:43pm

One week seems about right, although Irvin's quote at the end makes me wonder whether he was suspended for the arrest itself, or for not telling ESPN until a few days later.

by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:44pm

Amen, MDS. Amen.

by Yuri (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:45pm

Imagine you are a rank an file employee (like a financial analyst) for Disney. And then you are involved in a drug bust. The consequence would be immediate termination. The "one week suspension" is worse than MLB's past steroids policies.

Of course an arrest does not mean guilt. We are not sure if Irvin will be convicted. If he will, or if he makes a plea, I am wondering what Disney will do then.

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:58pm

My bet is that they'll terminate him for this eventually. But I think Yuri has the right idea. They might not want to fire him outright until the legal process gets a little further along.

by Duane (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:01pm

MDS and #2. I read the article before I came here, and that was going to be my post. Tune in in droves this weekend, and tune out in droves next weekend.

by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:14pm

So is this weeks MNF party at Irvin's or T.O.'s crib?

by Mike W (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:37pm

I feel bad for Irvin. Why, just last month I had a bunch of hookers in my bed. I have a friend who is a sex addict, and he couldn't stop cheating on his wife. Well, you know, I'm all about family, so I kept the ladies at my house, for his protection. I was going to send them back downtown, but I forgot. Damn.

by dan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:44pm

If I had a nickle for every time that's happened to me...

by tom (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:47pm

I await with eager heart the scenes of Irvin practicing commentary in his garage, giving long interviews about how ESPN would be a better network if it wasn't for those lousy other guys, picking fights with his producers, etc etc...

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:52pm

Yeah I would take anyone over Irvin, Terrel Davis, Robert Smith, Emmit Smith, MDS, Dan Rather.

by kleph (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 8:39pm

robert smith!?!! from The Cure!?!!

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 8:51pm

Robert Smith? Not sure I would pick anyone who got his ass kicked by Barbra Streisand.

by ChicagoScott (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 9:36pm

Michael Irvin got suspended because he still likes to get "JACKED UP"!!!

Robert Smith rules...

by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 9:41pm

Boys.... don't... cry...

by Kevo (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 10:50pm

They could get him to do one of those cheesy specialized Week 13 songs, to the tune of "Sunday I'm in Love"

by Björn (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:34am

I always sleep until midway through the first quarter of the sunday morning games anyways.

And I live in the Mountain zone.

by VinnyMurphSully (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:52am

What I'd like to know is if this will involve MI wearing a floor-length fur coat during a court appearance.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:57am

I think the only question left is whether Irvin calls T.O. as a character witness.

by VarlosZ (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:54am

You all say you want him off the air, but do you actually think his replacement would be better? Before you answer, think about all of ESPN's football analysts. How many are noticably better than Irvin? Chad Mortensen, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, and John Clayton are. Probably Chris Berman, as well as some of the lesser-used folk (Sal Paolantonio, e.g.).

They employ many more analysts who are at least as bad (and IMO worse) as Irvin. Golic, Sealsbury, Wingo, Theismann, Maguire, Patrick, Kolber, Young, and about a dozen others I'm forgetting. Among the class of uninformative ESPN football analysts, I at least find Irvin to be the most entertaining.

by zerlesen (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:01am

When I first heard about the Irvin arrest, I thought it was going to be really salacious. But a pipe and marijuana residue? They might as well fire the guy for the speeding ticket. Truly, I weep for the coke'n'hookers scandals of yesteryear.

by Stiller Fan in Cle (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:57am

I don't really watch pregame shows, but the thought of Salsbury replacing Irvin should make people scared...

All the guy does is spout cliches and pick fights with other analysts, trying to give himself a character...He literally mixes analysis with wrestling melodrama, with the former sorely lacking...

And I think he lives at ESPN studios because he's always on....

Anyway, hope that he doesn't somehow fill Irvin's void...

by Mr. Spock (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 3:01am

Daves not here!

by st pete, FL (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 9:59am

newspaper this morning said it was a crack pipe, not marijuana ...

by zerlesen (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 10:08am


OK, but character questions linger. After all, who gets busted with a crack pipe and marijuana residue? These are core competency issues, people.


Whatever Salisbury's on, I hope they find the pipe soon. I forget: was he the target of the Dan Marino comment about inability to hit the ocean with a pass while standing on the beach? (Come to think, was that even Marino? Do I have any idea what I'm talking about?)

by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:25am

#19 has a very good point, and it does seem that ESPN has an Minimum Obnoxiousness Requirement for each show. I've always though that if they made Jaworski the fourth guy and put together more expert film breakdown during Countdown, I'd be in hog heaven. Fat chance.

I'm not sure, but I'm under the impression that Irvin doesn't have a contract with the network past this year. Does anyone know?

by BG (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:36am

Wow. Someone makes a comment that I feel was factual and ESPN removes him from the program. Now one of their people (I think from) the same program has a drug related incident and they only suspend him for 1 week. When Rush was dropped, the other analysts in the following week all came out and said how wrong Rush was even though I think Rush was making a statement of fact (remember, the Eagles defence was mostly black). Will the pre-game crew come out and make statements about how wrong Irvin was or do they just ignore his absence? I haven't watch ESPN's pre-game in a while, but I might just do so this week.

by Parker (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:34pm

Regarding the 'tune in this week and tune out the next' strategy; don't you need to be a Nielsen home for that to matter at all? Maybe I am a few decades behind. Does the cable company know what channel you are tuned to? I know that TiVo knows what you are doing but are there others?

Someone here must know.

by Parker (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:36pm

Yikes, I just reread the MDS intro and he begins 'If you're a Nielsen household...'.

Someone should take my computer away from me.

by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:57pm

I don't care if Mooch is gone
T.O.'s out and Favre is done
Saturdays I don't care who won
It's Sunday i'm in love

Feely you can fall apart
Last sunday night you broke my heart
Petitgout can you say false start?
It's Sunday I'm in love

I don't care if Brady's sacked
And Martz has another heart attack
As long as we don't get Irvin back:
It's Sunday I'm in love

by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:58pm

"Robert Smith rules..."

oh, and that too.

by Sara (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:41pm

#12 - great South Park reference.

We're so surrounded by mouth-breathing "analysts" and commentators who can't even get the names of players right that it starts to seem normal after awhile. That's why I love "Inside the NFL" on HBO. They're *slightly* more insightful. (Except for Marino. He just looks lost.)

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 2:55pm


Rush was brought to ESPN to stir controversy, but when he makes an obviously racially insensitive comment, he deserved to go. He MADE THE COMMENT.

Irvin is accused of a crime. Now, I understand that you and the rest of your dittohead friends don't believe in civil liberties, but in the America that I know and love, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Limbaugh was guilty of portraying an image that the Disney Corp. did not want to present (this is also why Easterbrook was let go). Irvin was ACCUSED of doing the same. If it turns out that he is innocent, then he deserves to keep his job. However, if he is guily, I'm certain that he will be let go.

Anyway, turn off the talk radio and learn to think for yourself.

by Parker (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:18pm

RE: 29

Simply brilliant.

by Björn (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 5:26pm

RE: #32

I was watching that show with Rush Limbaugh. I don't know about you guys but when Limbaugh made his comment, I didn't say to myself "Is this what the Disney Corporation feels? For shame!" Besides, Disney can look evil enough on its own. They are, after all, responsible for twenty grown men being known as "Mighty Ducks."

by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 5:56pm

Disney is also responsible for TMQ's favorite movie, Kill Bill, Vol. 1. I agree that they are perfectly capable of making themselves look bad -- more so than Rush Limbaugh, TMQ, or Michael Irvin could ever hope to.

In all likelihood, Irvin is gone, regardless of his guilt or innocence. As someone mentioned, he doesn't have a contract after this season. Should he happen to plead to something in the next few weeks, he'll be fired. Otherwise I'd expect a legal proceding to last beyond the remainder of this season, in which case he simply won't be brought back. It's kind of a shame too, because he'll always be able to say he was fired over a bogus drug charge, rather than poor job performance.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 6:10pm

RE: #12

I'm pretty sure it's the other way around. Robert Smith kicked Barbra Streisand's ass and stopped her from ruling the world. (Also, Disintegration is the best album ever.)

Let's go easy on Michael Irvin, fellas. He's only human. Let he who hasn't used the "the crackpipe isn't mine, it's my friend's" line at least once in his life cast the first stone.

That's what I thought.

by fromanchu (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 7:50pm

question that should have been answered. why was his car searched? i assume it would have come up if it was an illegal search. so what was the reasoning? noone's asked, irving hasn't answered.

by Björn (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:19pm

RE: #37

That question was asked and answered on the previous Irvin thread.

He was arrested because of an outstanding warrant for a speeding ticket or something, and one FO reader pointed out that the cop who was driving the car to impound or wherever probably found it.

by BG (not verified) :: Mon, 12/05/2005 - 12:01pm

The comment that Rush made was to give credit to the Eagles defence rather than McNabb who many in the media want to do well because of his color. Some idiots though Rush was making a derogatory comment about McNabb, but can't seem to realize he was giving credit to their defence, which just happened to be all black. I guess you and your ditto head friends missed that.

Did Rush really deserve to go? Did he get a legitimate hearing by Disney or did they just react to public outcry? "Throughout his (Rush) career, he has been consistent in his criticism of the media's coverage of a myriad of issues." Rush was brought in for no-holds-barred opinion, but when the public didn't like it, they let him go, despite his later comments.

Sure Irvin is accused of a crime. He will be judged in the court of law. However, is having outstanding warrants and/or possessing drug paraphernalia the image that the Disney Corparation wants to portray? What the court of law decides about Irvin should have nothing to do with the image that this is portraying by the Disney Corporation.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 12/05/2005 - 12:32pm

I don't know where people are getting the idea that ESPN fired Limbaugh. It didn't. He resigned. He said he could have stayed on but that the controversy surrounding what he said was making some of the other guys on Countdown uncomfortable and he didn't want them to be dragged into it.

by BG (not verified) :: Mon, 12/05/2005 - 2:19pm

I stand (er, sit) corrected. Although I didn't come out and say that Rush was fired, I believe that his resignation was done so with strong encouragement.

Staying on topic, is Michael Irvin's behavior (outstanding warrants and/or possessing drug paraphernalia) that which the Disney Corporation wishes to portray? Will the people that felt uncomfortable about Rush remaining on the program after his comments feel uncomfortable with Irvin staying on the program? Why?

Personally, I'd feel more uncomfortable around someone who tries to hide (what was it, two days?) his arrest and has outstanding warrants than being around someone who made a comment that many mistook as racist.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 12/05/2005 - 2:39pm

Did anyone catch whether Berman said anything about Irvin on yesterday's show? I didn't hear him say anything, but I didn't watch all of it.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Mon, 12/05/2005 - 2:50pm

At the bginning of the broadcast he introduced the "crew". When he got to Ditka he said (paraphrasing) "Michael Irvin is out for the week but we all look forward to seeing him back next week."

No mention of why he's not there, no talk of suspension, and they zipped right past it and never brought it up again that I saw.