Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Keith Olbermann Returning to the Line of Fire

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With Vegas oddsmakers focusing their action on what Kate & William will name the royal newborn ("TUOL" scored 20-1 odds on Murray), it's been impossible to lay down bets on how long baseball aficionado and political firebrand Keith Olbermann will survive his return to his ESPN sports commentary roots.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Olbermann inked a two-year deal to helm a late-night show on ESPN2. It's part of his career resurrection that also saw him signed by Turner Sports to co-host an Atlanta-based TBS program with Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley that will cover the MLB post-season, which on TBS includes the National League championships, both Wild Card playoff games and 18 League Division playoff games, Eckersley pitched before both the unforgiving fans of the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, so he should be able to withstand any controversy generated by the volatile Olbermann.

For Olbermann, the ESPN2 gig marks a less-than-triumphant return to where his career took off as co-anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter with Dan Patrick that came to a rancorous end in 1997. From there, Olbermann, a knowledgeable and devoted fan of the National Pastime (think Bob Costas bitten by a rabid animal), aired out his liberal viewpoint on MSNBC's Countdown for eight years, before unamicably parting ways with the cable news network to join Al Gore's Current TV (see "TUOL" post 2/8/11), before an unfriendly parting of the ways...(you get the idea).

Olbermann has been absent from television for more than a year, but has amassed more than 450,000 followers on Twitter.  His return to sports this fall on ESPN2 is occurring as rival Fox Sports 1 cable tv rolls out Crowd Goes Wild on weeknights that lured another television icon, Regis Philbin, back onto the airwaves.

"TUOL" believes Olbermann getting fired by ESPN2 within the year is more of a sure thing than Prince Murray.
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