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"Stink" might be the new Salisbury (but not in that way)

One of the biggest problems we had with former ESPN NFL analyst Sean Salisbury is that he always spoke in absolutes. 

For Sean, there were no maybes or possiblys or likelys.  It was always black and white, with no middle ground.

Case in point:  Prior to Super Bowl XLI, Salisbury said that if Devin Hester of the Bears returns a kick for a touchdown, Chicago will beat Indianapolis.

So Hester did, and the Bears didn’t.

His goal, presumably, is to project confidence.  But as a certain American telemarketing philosopher of the early 21st Century has explained it, confidence is the food of the wise man and the liquor of the fool.

Until this morning, we never realized that current ESPN analyst Mark “Stink” Schlereth has a similar habit of staking out with certainty his predictions regarding a sport in which the only uncertainty is that we really don’t know how 22 moving parts on the field of play will interact over a 60-minute period.

So here are a couple of “write ‘em down and lets see if he’s wrong” assertions from Schlereth, via the current SportsCenter loop.

1.  “New England does not lose back-to-back games.”

2.  “The Jets are not gonna beat the Tennessee Titans.”

In fairness to Schlereth, he’s not as over-the-top as Salisbury was.  (Yet.)  But in that quest to create an aura of supreme confidence, Schlereth is exposing himself (but not in that way) to criticism after the fact.

Of course, as long as no one in the audience is inclined to remember what Schlereth said before the games were played, he’s in the clear.  But maybe folks should pay more attention to the stream of space-filling commentary and predictions that the 22 former NFL players who are paid by Bristol to analyze NFL action have to offer.  Indeed, there’s a decent chance that a lot of them don’t know much more than any of the rest of us.

But at least they’re confident.

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23 Responses to “"Stink" might be the new Salisbury (but not in that way)”
  1. Run1out says: Sep 25, 2009 7:19 AM

    “Stink” is an asshole

  2. jsavage58 says: Sep 25, 2009 7:28 AM

    Stink Sucks.. thinks he is some holy’er than though football god. Tell him to come out and tell everything he knew about steroids, and what he took while he was playing, or get off the dam soapbox.
    hypocritical x-juice bag

  3. bag230 says: Sep 25, 2009 7:40 AM

    Yeah, he’s just as bad as Salisbury was. Remember how certain he was that the Patriots were using the Spygate tapes at halftime, even though they had clearly been heavily edited after the games?

  4. Route36West says: Sep 25, 2009 8:00 AM

    Ya your right I was just thinking the same thing. Not the connection to Salisbury but Stink talking like theres no doubt that the jets will lose and the patriots will win this week.
    I was thinking I hope the Pats lose just so this guy has to eat his words. I think theres a good chance he will too. After watching both Pats games this year Im not sure if there even a playoff caliber team. And if they arent going to make the playoffs then they can certainly lose 2 games in a row.

  5. TimTheEnchanter says: Sep 25, 2009 8:16 AM

    I would just assume that this is the show’s producers giving people their “roles” to make the show go they way they want. Especially with ESPN, I don’t believe you’re getting what these so-called analysts actually think most of the time. You’re getting what they’re told to say.
    It was always so convenient that Salisbury and the Great Gazoo were *always* on the opposite side of every argument. Right.
    With the Cell Phone Bandit gone, they need someone else to start filling the blowhard-asshole role and since he’s getting several years removed from his playing days and tends to have a little bluster anyway, Schlereth was probably the easy choice: “Ok Mark, Sean’s gone so we need you to be more of a dick. Just don’t put yours on your cell phone, please.”

  6. shaunypoo says: Sep 25, 2009 8:23 AM

    I like him, but he is going to get it handed to him if he keeps talking that way. Does he do any games? I would like to see that.

  7. SlipperyPete says: Sep 25, 2009 8:28 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Florio, but weren’t upset when a certain Page 2 ESPN.com columnist made fun of your predicting abilities (after the fact) a year or two ago? And now you’re pulling the same “write ‘em down and lets see if he’s wrong” stunt on Mark Schlreth. I guess the difference is your predictions usually come with a disclaimer of how you might be wrong. Which means that can’t be scrutinized?
    At the end of the day, predicting games is entertainment for fans. It gives people more things to talk about leading up to a game. Jimmy the Greek, Mike Florio, Mark Schlreth–who cares whether or not they project confidence when they say it? And really, who cares whether or not they’re good at it? It’s all a guess and all entertainment.

  8. xgbx says: Sep 25, 2009 8:38 AM

    florio you suck stop hatin. ur gonna see the truth soon wait till my agent and lawyer get done im gonna own pft. dont forget to mention my book on ur site.
    p.s. did u get that pic of my baby i sent?
    -sent from Stink’s iPhone
    /salisbury’d

  9. LoveHateJets says: Sep 25, 2009 8:41 AM

    In an age when the analysis of sports on television is so mediocre and stretched-out to fill the 24-hour-a-day thirst for this mediocre analysis, I find it refreshing that someone is going to go out there and say something other than “The Pats are going to have to bring their ‘A’ game if they’re going to win on Sunday.” There is so little analysis in television analysis these days that it’s really difficult to listen to.
    That being said, I hate Mark Schlereth (as a television personality).

  10. jx4cmario1 says: Sep 25, 2009 8:45 AM

    Hey Slippery–it’s Schlereth. Not Schlreth. And he’s a big tool box…I hate how is constantly takes the viewer back to his glory days with a story on how “he and the other 52 guys in that locker room, yada yada yada…” shut up Schlereth, I hate you.

  11. tv says: Sep 25, 2009 9:01 AM

    You could see Stink gaining “confidence” over the past few years. He has now vaulted to the pantheon that many “reporters” occupy – the role of trying to “make” news instead of “reporting” it. Big difference.
    In short, his goal is in trying to create a “stink” and it seems that like SalisburySteak, he is doing that.
    True, he is supposed to be an “analyst” and his “opinion” is what he is expressing.
    But we all know what opinions are like. Don’t we.

  12. ben6969 says: Sep 25, 2009 9:19 AM

    ESPN sucks in every aspect, radio, TV, and web. I’m tired of hearing nothing but how great the Northeast is in every sport, and their so called experts are only half right and can never remember anything correctly. I hate everything about that shitty network…

  13. Wick says: Sep 25, 2009 9:36 AM

    Confident and Competent: harmless
    Conservative and Competent: harmless
    Conservative and Incompetent: harmless
    Confident and Incompetent = the Hindenburg disaster waiting to regularly unfold, with minimal advancement up the learning curve.
    That stated, I dig “Stink.” Unlike Salisbury, he’s more lucid, much more likeable and his takes are far more well-reasoned. Stink is solid – though the point about his approaching absolutes is solid too.
    But back to Salisbury. Unreal.
    I was UTTERLY MIND-BLOWN that Salisbury even got a gig, based on his on-field performance, for those 12 seconds of his NFL career where he actually got some PT.
    Even more FLABBER-GASTING is how long Salisbury lasted based on his on-screen performance. That dude had no clue about anything. He was an ultra-confident clued out buffoon, that was also petty and narcissistic. What the HELL WAS THAT TURD DOING ON OUR AIRWAVES FOR AS LONG AS HE WAS???
    Seriously.

  14. Youngs79 says: Sep 25, 2009 10:03 AM

    Mark Schlereth is an arrogant ass. His “holier than thou” attitude is old. When he is on NFL Live, I turn the channel. He has been bitter since the Vikings signed Favre. It’s like, they didn’t check with him first, so it was a bad decision. He predicted the Vikings won’t make the playoffs. We’ll see. He predicted the Niners will beat the Vikes this weekend. We’ll see. His antics are tired and old. He is one of the main reasons I don’t like ESPN.

  15. Jason Frost says: Sep 25, 2009 10:09 AM

    You’re ridiculous. What do you want them to say? “There’s a chance New England could win, a chance Atlanta could win, and hell, there is a chance they could tie.” Wow, that’s entertaining.
    You said the Redskins would win the super bowl. That’s exposing yourself to criticism before and after the fact.

  16. DaBillsDaaahhhBills says: Sep 25, 2009 10:32 AM

    I’m with you here, Florio.
    Not even so much regarding picking a game’s winner and loser, just the way Salisbury (and now Stink) speak with such certainty that “this guy can’t get it done in this league” or “this coach is in way over his head”.
    Fortunately for these gas-bags, when they prepare for work each week, there is nothing at stake! If they’re right, they pat themselves on the back. If not, no big deal.
    Not the case for the guys who are (still) playing on Sundays, the guys who are held accountable for what they do (or say).

  17. bloodystupidjohnson says: Sep 25, 2009 10:48 AM

    Don’t they pay Stink to present his point of view? In the weird world of Florio, I guess he is the only one to have points of view.

  18. ZombieRevolution says: Sep 25, 2009 11:34 AM

    “Indeed, there’s a decent chance that a lot of them don’t know much more than any of the rest of us.”
    Whether you realize it or not Florio- a great deal of your readership thinks the same thing about you and what PFT produces. It would be great for PFT to get an ex-nfl headcoach or ex-player with a proven track record to contribute some actual knowlegde and experience to this site.
    Maybe Rodney Harrison can help, just don’t trust his twitter…

  19. jbwbubba says: Sep 25, 2009 12:26 PM

    “White courtesy phone, Mr. Pot, Mr. Pot White Courtesy phone, a Mr. Kettle wishes to speak with you”

  20. JSpicoli says: Sep 25, 2009 1:25 PM

    NFL Live is a joke except for Eric Allen.
    They are the biggest box score reading, front running talking heads there are. If you want to hear the obvious prediction with no real analysis done, just tune into Trey Wiiiiiiiiiingo and company!

  21. pfii63 says: Sep 25, 2009 3:38 PM

    Hey Wick,
    Conservative + Incompetent = Harmless?
    Really?
    Were you alive during the administration of George W. Bush?

  22. marcduke says: Sep 25, 2009 4:34 PM

    Without Cut Blocking and John Elway – no one would even know who the hell Schlereth was.

  23. Wick says: Sep 26, 2009 2:10 PM

    pfii63:
    “Conservative” was intended in the concept of one being risk-averse, and not intended to be framed in any political context whatsoever.
    Enjoy the season.

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