Saturday, January 2, 2010

Craig James should have been removed from calling the Alamo Bowl

It looks like Craig James is still scheduled as part of the announcing team for the Alamo Bowl. This is despite James' part of the controversy about Mike Leach's handling of his son Adam. If anything he's become as much a part of the story as either Leach or Adam James has.
This should be good enough reason for ESPN to remove Craig James from the announcer's booth. It was probably not a great idea to have him there in the first place as Adam is (still) a Red Raider.
But now the elder James has become such a part of this controversy that he might become a distraction, albeit a profitable one for ESPN.
Which brings up the probable reason ESPN has let it's journalistic integrity (quit snickering) slide in this situation. The Alamo Bowl is a lower-tier game which was bound to get lower-tier ratings (especially considering there's a UFC PPV on tonight starting an hour in to the game). This was going to be a bad enough bowl after the mass suspensions at Michigan State. But with the Leach/Adam James debacle, ratings are bound to get a boost. Craig James in the booth would obviously be a plus in that area, where it might have not been before.
Which is why James should be yanked out of the booth. He is too involved with this story and it might show up in how he calls the game. His involvement is so big enough that the phrase "helicopter dad" has gained more traction in the English language than it did at the start of the week. And it's going to be pretty darn impossible not to acknowledge what went on this week in the first place. If anything, he should be replaced in the booth, and then moved to the halftime show for an interview and comments on what Mike Leach had to say Friday on ESPN.
It seems obvious ESPN is bound to benefit from the controversy. A bowl game that would have gone under the radar if it weren't for the Leach/James family blowup is going to get more notice than it should.

(EDIT: Craig James was removed. Next time I should rely on my usual sources.)

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