For the record, Sunday’s edition of “The Sports Reporters” marks the 20th anniversary of the media roundtable show (again, at the stupid West Coast time of 6:30 a.m., ESPN). Host John Saunders (running the thing since late 2001, succeeding the late Dick Schaap) will be joined in the egofest by Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica and Bob Ryan (pictured above, from a 2002 show).
Is the show still relevant?
Is it the “smart” newspaper guy show to watch, versus “Around the Horn” on a daily basis?
Are major newspaper columnist’s opinions still viewer-friendly, or have they exposed themselves to be not as well versed as some who blog or write just for the Internet? Or is it Lupica who really is the pipsqueek that has caused us to just not even TiVo it any longer?
While we gnaw on that, consider that since Oct. 9, 1988, the sports version of “Meet the Press” has had regulars like Bill Conlin, Stan Hochman, John Feinstein,Michael Kay, Tony Kornheiser, Skip Bayless, Michael Wilbon, William C. Rhoden, Selena Roberts, George Vescey and Jackie MacMullan.
For the first show, Gary Thorne hosted it, with MacMullan, Scott Ostler (then of the Los Angeles Times), Lyle Spencer (New York Post) and the late Ralph Wiley (Sports Illustrated).
Guests have included the late Howard Cosell (ABC Sports), the late David Halberstam (author), Leonard Koppett (New York Times) and the late Jim Murray (Los Angeles Times), as well as TV types Bud Collins, Bob Costas, Len Elmore, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan, Jim Nantz and Lesley Visser.
Below, that’s a 1996 show with Conlin, Bayless, Schaap and Lupica: