Phil Mushnick

Phil Mushnick


Lil Wayne entry sends sports TV past point of no return

You don’t think I’m tired of writing this stuff, too? You don’t think I’d prefer to write that we enjoyed a week with TV serving the best interests of sports and sports fans, thus giving viewers relief from being dragged along TV’s endless road to the depths of no-good-reason degradation?

So let’s begin with some reader participation, a short internet journey to the audio and video of a performance of tattoo-faced, rap-sheet rapper of what’s so low, twisted and socially backwards that even Roger Goodell might place him on the B List for the Super Bowl halftime crotch-grab session, Lil Wayne.

I direct you to testimony in a 2012 lawsuit that Lil Wayne lost. He was then ordered to pay Quincy Jones III $2.2 million in damages. That testimony is available all over the internet.

Find it.

Got it? Hit play. I’ll wait here.

So not even in a courtroom could Lil Wayne, who had already served time in Rikers and has been convicted of weapons felonies, demonstrate a flake of respect for anyone or anything except himself.

Now, based on several promos seen on Fox and sports kin FS1, Fox is extremely proud to have Lil Wayne as a regular panelist on Skip Bayless’s weekday FS1 dumpster-grab bag show. Why? Because TV sports and their top executives will not be satisfied until they fully destroy sports or at least remove everything that could best serve tomorrow.

Bayless’s other FS1 regular panelists include previous TV washouts and misanthropes whom decent-minded folks would be disinclined to even consider: Richard Sherman, Keyshawn Johnson and Michael Irvin.

TV’s lousy with those scraped from the bottom, thrown back, then scraped back up to be served again until the shot-callers realize that it’s not working, thus time to procure fresh bottom-dwellers.

OK, you see the pattern. But what’s the point?

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Rapper Lil Wayne — who has gun felonies (plural) on his, ahem, rap sheet — for some reason has been hired by some TV executive to be a panelist on Skip Bayless’ show on FS1, Phil Mushnick writes.

Last weekend’s live sports viewing was familiar: nauseating.

Sunday, Giants receiver Lawrence Cager, midway through the third, caught a short TD pass then started to perform an all-about-me dance until receiver Darius Slayton made it a duet.

Did it matter that the score was now, 28-6, Dallas? Or that the two Giants, about to be members of a 2-8 “team” likely caused all civilized viewers to shake their heads in disgust?

Yet Fox’s duo, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, the latter never lost for words, said nothing about it. They liked what they saw or were illogically frightened to say they didn’t?

Later, Giants DB Darnay Holmes intercepted a pass from backup Cooper Rush then rose to jog, accompanied by teammates, toward the end zone as preface to a group celebration. On the sideline Holmes and teammates smiled and high-fived.

That the score was 42-7, Dallas, didn’t dampen Holmes’ enthusiasm for himself nor cause Burkhardt and Olsen a moment of spoken derision. Again, we were too stupid to know better.

Lil Wayne on FS1’s ‘Undisputed’
Fox Sports
Skip Bayless
Frank Micelotta

It’s sad, too, to listen as Burkhardt — once a young, candid and deserving candidate for national gigs — now weekly gulp the network anti-truth serum.

On CBS, Megan Rapinoe’s greatness remained her consistency. She left the stage the same as she hogged it — with gracelessness, arrogance and vulgarities.

Yet she remains a go-to for TV advertisers deluded into thinking that America loves her, when I’ve yet to meet anyone who can even stand her. That President Biden presented her the highest award a U.S. citizen can receive, only diminished the achievements of previous winners.

Saturday, Fox wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispatch six outdoor studio panelists — where none were needed — to fill space and time prior to Michigan-Penn St.

Moving on, has ESPN ever considered hiring a genuine sports fan to provide content guidance? With football highlight shows given hours to select significant highlights, ABC/ESPN’s on Saturday included a 1-yard TD run from Alabama-Kentucky. They could cull nothing better from a 49-21 game?

Kevin Burkhardt
Getty Images

Then, breaking news:

ESPN’s scroll broke the news that Houston’s 82-50 basketball win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is the “first time Houston started a season with two-straight 30-plus wins since 2016-17 season.” Yep, Houston began with an 84-31 win vs. Louisiana-Monroe. Good grief.

Amazing. What we’d fire for a stunning absence of contextual knowledge, our all-sports premium network keeps throwing at us as wisdom.

Saturday, as was both obvious and annoying, transparent Gus Johnson, during Michigan-Penn St., swapped his vacant hollering for calls that ended not in a vowel, but a growl, as in “he caught it in bounds,” with “bounds” sounding as if the Wolverines were wolves. Grrrr!

But what else is new?: CBS’s Packers-Steelers and Fox’s Niners-Jags, Sunday, made superb TV, but only for those tuned in to watch players celebrate themselves for 4-yard gains in slow-motion replays. The football part was carefully omitted.

NBC’s Noah Eagle, who apparently believes that all plays are “dialed up” and designed “to move the chains,” also may prefer silly to silence. Saturday during Michigan St.-Ohio St., he noted that OSU TE Cade Stover just made “his first catch of the day.”

It came on the third play of the game.

Michigan man puts ‘offensive’ into ‘offensive coordinator’

Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore, subbing for suspended coach Jim Harbaugh, on Saturday sobbed glory-to-God gratitude — God had Michigan laying the points — into a Fox microphone before turning the other cheek to end his live TV sermon with some F-bombs.

Say, does anyone know who won this year’s World Series? I’d ask Rob Manfred but I doubt he’d know.

Reader Kreg Ramone sent a screen grab from Sunday morning’s Colts-Pats on NFLN, showing Indy OL Wesley French, standing beside OL teammate Will Fries, their last names in view on the backs of their jerseys. While the game was played in Germany, French fries, according to culinary historians, were first made in Belgium.

Does it bother any of the 66,000 students currently enrolled in the four Univ. of Colorado schools and the hundreds of thousands who preceded them, that the college’s most renown current employee, Deion Sanders, speaks like an uneducated semi-literate?

Deion Sanders

Fascinating. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash finished third in the AL Manager of the Year vote, while Blake Snell won the NL Cy Young award. It was Cash who illogically — infamously — removed Snell with a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning from Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, which the Dodgers won that night.

Another weekend in which many widely unknown or known-for-failure backup QBs started NFL games due to injuries. And it was only Week 10. More to come this weekend. Yet that thoroughly indulged phony Roger Goodell continues to claim that player safety is of vital importance — while adding a 17th regular-season game.