Michelle Beadle, one of the co-hosts of “Get Up,” ESPN’s morning show, had some interesting comments about football on Thursday. On the show, she went in hard on Urban Meyer and his punishment, but also talked about how scandals like that affect her football fandom. Here’s a clip of Beadle talking about Meyer.
“There’s a reason why this will be the second season I don’t watch NFL and I don’t spend my Saturdays watching college football either. I believe that the sport of football has set itself up to be in a position where it shows itself in the bigger picture to not really care about women — they don’t really care about people of color, but we won’t get into that for NFL either — but as a woman I feel like a person who has been marginalized.”
“And every single one of these stories that comes out, every single time, pushes me further and further away. I realize they don’t care, but for me it’s opened up my weekends. I appreciate you for giving that to me. I don’t care anymore. I’ve lost the ability to be surprised.”
Beadle’s certainly not alone in giving up football over incidents like the horrible Urban Meyer/Zach Smith scandal. But her comments are interesting in light of what Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s president, said to the press last week. Via the Washington Post, Pitaro said he very much wants to repair the network’s relationship with the NFL.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with league executives,” Pitaro said Friday. “The relationship is incredibly important to us. That programming cuts across everything we’re doing on the studio side, on the original content side. And we’ve made that very clear to the NFL.”
One of ESPN’s major personalities said on the air that she doesn’t watch the NFL anymore, just as the network’s president is trying to repair their relationship. That’s very bad timing.
There’s more bad timing afoot, though. Just a day before Beadle admitted she’s stopped watching football, ESPN announced that 11 football analysts would join “Get Up” throughout the season.
“Get Up” has been struggling in the ratings, and adding so much football content is an effort to change that and find more viewers. But the show is co-hosted by someone who said on that very show that they don’t watch football. That doesn’t seem like a strategy that will cause viewers to flock to ESPN every morning (or any morning), no matter how many football experts they cram into the show.
ESPN host Michelle Beadle
ESPN host Michelle Beadle
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Michelle Beadle attends Premiere Of Disney Pictures And Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' - Arrivals at The Shrine Auditorium on December 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 05: TV personality Michelle Beadle attends 8th Annual Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament at Microsoft Square on August 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Tracy McGrady, Chris Rock and Michelle Beadle attend basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Michelle Beadle attends the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: ESPN Host Michelle Beadle attends ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Sports reporter Michelle Beadle (L) and professional dancer Kym Johnson onstage at the American Humane Association's 5th Annual Hero Dog Awards 2015 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 19, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for American Humane Association)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 25: Sports reporter Michelle Beadle attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Magic Mike XXL' at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 25, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 29: TV personality Michelle Beadle and honoree Terry Bradshaw attend the Friars Club Roast of Terry Bradshaw during the ESPN Super Bowl Roast at the Arizona Biltmore on January 29, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Friars Club)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02: Michelle Beadle (L) and Steve Kazee attend basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on May 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Michelle Beadle speaks onstage at the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Michelle Beadle attends the 2013 Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on May 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Michelle Beadle appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: TV personality Michelle Beadle attends The 2012 Broadcasting & Cable Hall Of Fame Awards at The Waldorf=Astoria on December 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist and Michelle Beadle appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 12: Michelle Beadle, 2012 Olympics Correspondent, NBC Sports Group & Correspondent, Access Hollywood speaks on stage during The Masters of Sports Talk And Commentary panel at the Variety Sports Entertainment Summit in association with SVG at Loews Hollywood Hotel on July 12, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 11: ESPN sports reporter and host Michelle Beadle co hosts 'SportsNation' in 3D from the ESPN 3D section at The 2012 International CES at Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Sports reporter Michelle Beadle attends the Vivienne Tam Spring 2011 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theater at Lincoln Center on September 11, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG)
ESPN talent Colin Cowheard and Michelle Beadle arrives at the 2010 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. *** Local Caption ***
Michelle Beadle (Photo by Harold Cook/FilmMagic) *** Local Caption ***
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To be fair to Beadle, just because she’s not watching football games anymore doesn’t mean she’s pretending the sport doesn’t exist. Talking about it on “Get Up” is part of her job, and she can read and watch clips to prepare. But she hosts a sports show and loudly proclaimed that she doesn’t watch NFL or college football anymore. That will cause people to question her credibility when talking about football, and as we head into football season, that’s not good news for “Get Up” or for ESPN.