Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey, Knight, What's Up?

To the list of sports figures who have been less than friendly with TV crew members before becoming their colleagues, add Bobby Knight.

Knight's decision to join ESPN beginning March 12 is actually less surprising than any of those pictured with him above. Paul O'Neill and Kirk Gibson were downright surly toward camera operators, A-2s and stage managers during their playing days. Dave Winfield merely acted as if anyone associated with TV was completely beneath him.

But when their playing days were over and they became what they had once resented, things changed.

Well, Gibson didn't change much actually when he worked on Tigers games for FSN.

But suddenly O'Neill stopped sneering at the cameras and started smiling for them. Who knew he could smile? A YES Network paycheck did the trick.

Winfield changed his tune while stumbling through his taped on-cameras during his stint with FOX on the 1996 World Series. Each night as his takes numbered anywhere from the teens to the thirties, FOX crew members who had experienced his dugout behavior when he played, kidded Winfield that he was no All-Star in this field.

On the night of the thirty takes, the kidding stopped and the crew got downright pissed. Winfield repeatedly apologized, swore this take would be the one, before tripping over his tongue yet again. His career at FOX was short lived.

And what of Reggie? Nobody forgot about Reggie during his time working games for KTLA (Angels) and ESPN.

Nobody ever forgets Reggie. Even if you can't hear him.

The clip has no audio but if you couldn't read his lips, dear Reggie said "Get that camera off me or I'll f**king rip it off..."

Strange comment from somebody who always wanted the camera on him, huh?

Great guy, that Reggie.

And now here's Bobby Knight in a position to work with some of the very people he treated with disrespect over the years. He will encounter far fewer of them than he could have, because he will work from ESPN's Bristol studios rather than at game sites. Chances are though, someone involved with his inexcusable blow up at Jeremy Schaap still roams the ESPN campus and hasn't forgotten.

Need another reminder? How about walking out unprovoked during a taping and leaving the producers with no content:

Thanks to felixnightowl

Welcome to our little world, Bobby.

You'll feel at home soon. Sometimes we're not too nice either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He's insane.