The Light from the TV Shows: 10 Highlights from ESPN’s ‘Olbermann’ Panel

When it comes to sports, I have a longstanding history of being the least-knowledgeable member of the Bullz-Eye staff by far – I’ve lost track of how many editorial meetings have found me drifting into silence as the topic of conversation shifted into talk of this team’s record or that player’s performance – so I hope you can appreciate just how much of a pop culture figure Keith Olbermann has become if I’m dedicating my TV column to his return to ESPN. By all rights, I really shouldn’t care.

Like, at all.

There’s something about Olbermann, though, that I’ve always found entertaining, no matter what he’s talking about or whether I fundamentally agree with it. As such, when it was announced that he’d be attending the summer TCA tour to hype his return to ESPN, I actually wanted to be there and hear what he had to say. Unsurprisingly, he kept the crowd of TV critics happy by providing quick quips and well-considered answers to their questions, enough that I was able to put together a list of 10 highlights from his panel.

OlbermannTCATour

1. “For all of you who had (August 26) in your pool as to when I would return to do ESPN, congratulations. Any span over, like, 40 years, you could have picked that date. You got it right. So very well done.”

2. ” I’m not intending to talk about politics, certainly not in the partisan sense and not in the sense that I did in the last ten years of work that I’ve done, for the simple reason that it’s a sports show. And there will be occasions in which, as I said in the news conference we had last week, if Barack Obama runs onto the field during the all star game, we will have to talk about the ramifications of that during the game and perhaps for his political future. But it will not be the intent to say, you know, ‘The Chicago White Sox moved to Vancouver, Canada, today; but, first, let’s talk about what Speaker Boehner said.’ I’ve done and enjoy and own the work that I did in politics and news, but that’s not what this is. I wanted to go back into sports, and I wanted to repair some transportation means with my former employer, and I got to do both.”

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