As has become the standard, news leaked on the Twitters yesterday that CNBC sports business reporter and host of Sports Biz: Game On, Darren Rovell, is heading back to the place where the smugness began, ESPN. The rumor made sense – Rovell’s sports celebrity stock is rapidly rising and plenty of people think that he’s a huge dick. Really, it’s a match made in heaven.
Once the rumor spread, Rovell eventually acknowledged on his Twitter account – the only Twitter account that matters, he’d have you believe – that he is indeed going back to the place where it all started for him, in Bristol, CT.
Rovell’s a fun guy to talk about, because a lot of people really like him and a lot of people really, really loathe him. It’s easy to understand why he’s so popular, because he’s great at his job. Seriously, he offers up some really interesting information and statistics about the business side of sports. I can’t name anyone else that does what he does, or at least as well as he does.
That’s why it’s funny to watch his fans get pissy when people rip him – “He’s awesome at his job, he’s a cool guy, I’ve met him, he’s smart… I don’t get why people hate him so much.” It’s also actually quite easy to understand.
It’s because Rovell believes that since he’s so good at his job he has earned this greatness – like a heightened super sense of superiority – and he thinks that people should just take everything he says as fact. And that’s fine, whatever, some people just have to be right all the time. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of others.
For instance, if a newspaper writer like Richard Sandomir prints an exclusive story with legit sources, he doesn’t need Rovell to confirm it on Twitter like he has the final say. Or if Rovell, who has never played professional baseball, thinks that he knows what’s best for MLB players and their sleep schedules, he shouldn’t get into a Twitter pissing contest with an active MLB player, Drew Storen, who probably knows what he’s talking about.
Or if Rovell has this idea for a story that he thinks will really give his readers great insight into the human side of the NBA lockout, and a shady source gives him information via email about an illegal practice that he just runs without verifying, and then he’s publically ripped for it because that source was playing a prank on him, he should just suck it up. He shouldn’t get on a high horse and then actually punish his readers for his own mistakes.
Or if he goes to a Playboy party and gets upset because he’s not treated like a god when the hostess at the door doesn’t know how many Twitter followers he has, he shouldn’t then go on Twitter and complain that the girls at the party are ugly, like he’s humiliating sorority girls by circling their cellulite with a permanent marker, and then defend himself by comparing those girls to products.
And in his defense, we all made fun of Rovell for the awkward way in which he fake proposed to Kate Upton while his wife was in the hospital preparing to give birth to his child, but that actually made me appreciate the guy a little. God knows how I’d react if I actually met Upton in person.
Really, it boils down to the fact that he thinks he’s the supreme ruler of Twitter, and that for all of his knowledge, Rovell shows his ignorance more than he should. Sure, he’s still young, and maybe he’ll learn and grow from the aforementioned mistakes and develop some humility.
But like he said, “Bristol is truly a magical place.” It’s a kingdom unlike any other, where good people go to develop an incredible career in sports journalism, and some people just become even bigger, insufferable pricks. Hopefully, he pursues the former. We’ll wait for him to confirm.