I know the sports media world is lapping up the Disney/Fox chum but I’m feeling full and there will be plenty of time for that. But I recently saw some data that inspired me to have a thought experiment and write about it. If that’s your thing please check out “Good Luck, Netflix?” There are some Disney/Fox ramifications to the thought experiment. But if you’re here for Teddy Atlas, read on.
Nearly 15 years ago I was on a plane in Seattle bound for Los Angeles. A big hulk of a man was sitting next to me and he had a HUGE ring on one of his fingers.
“No,” the man replied. “World Heavyweight Championship. Have you ever heard of Riddick Bowe?”
That’s how I met Teddy Atlas. It’s the only time I ever met him but I got the whole range from Cus D’mato/Mike Tyson to Riddick Bowe, to ESPN to the foundation he started to honor the memory of his father.
I was entertained as hell for the entire ~2-hour flight.
The experience left a mark on me. I vividly remember thinking “Holy fucking shit, that dude is more passionate about EVERYTHING than I am passionate about ANY thing. I need to get me some passion!”
At the time I didn’t know or give a care about “sports media/TV personality Teddy Atlas” but that didn’t matter. I knew Teddy Atlas was one tremendous, special and unique human being.
I’ll let those who cover the fight space who have much more insight into the on-air issues fully critique how ESPN has handled Teddy Atlas. It looks to me like many of them are on the same page as I am anyway, but they can handle that much better than I can.
But it’s not the recent news about Teddy Atlas losing TV time that bugs the shit out of me, it’s the screaming match they made Teddy have with Stephen A. Smith over the summer that I found so repugnant.
I found it repugnant as-is, and more repugnant still when ESPN celebrated and promoted the hell out of the video clip.
Maybe Teddy Atlas was on board with that and had fun with it, I didn’t reach out to ask him and concede it could’ve happened that way.
But I still can’t reconcile that video clip with the tremendous human being I met on an Alaska Air flight all those years ago.
The Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation is worth a look.