Rick Reilly announced on Wednesday that his tenure as a front-page columnist for ESPN.com would be coming to an end this summer. Instead, Reilly will move to a part-time role exclusively involving television appearances on the network.
Beginning July 1, Reilly will let his weekly column go and concentrate on television duties for ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, presenting his weekly four-minute human interest features as well as other features and essays for SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown.
In all likelihood, “letting his weekly column go” probably means that ESPN finally decided they had enough of Reilly straight up stealing money from the network by mailing in his columns every week. Unforunately for Bristol, he’ll still continue getting away with a lesser form of robbery considering he pretty much sucks on TV as well.
Ever since Reilly left Sports Illustrated for ESPN in 2007 at about a $3 million per year pricetag, he’s been nothing but a colossal disappointment for The Worldwide Leader. I could outline all the reasons he’s sucked a big one, or I could just let Katie Nolan do it for me:
It’s been an unfortunate (yet entertaining) decline to watch over the last handful of years, especially because I was a big fan of Rick’s work years ago when he was dominating the back page of Sports Illustrated.
Truthfully, it’s pretty shocking that he lasted as long as he did on ESPN.com considering how few pieces of content he produced that were noteworthy, at least for positive reasons. And as much as ESPN and Reilly try to front and make it look like this is a voluntary partial “retirement,” it’s absolutely not that.