I can’t stop watching that video of Rick Reilly demanding that Stuart Scott credit him for a tweet. God, just look at those words: “Rick Reilly demanding that Stuart Scott credit him for a tweet.” I got depressed just typing that. Can you imagine such an indignity five years ago? What in the world happened?
It has been more than five years since ESPN signed Reilly -- considered at the time the most influential, respected sportswriter in the country, at least among dentist’s offices -- to a $17 million contract (“ballplayer money,” Reilly called it) and needless to say, the deal has been a disaster for both sides. Signed during a time when ESPN: The Magazine was trying to steal away Sports Illustrated’s top columnist, and such a designation mattered to anybody on this planet, the deal was almost instantly a relic: Reilly’s ballplayer contract turned into Vernon Wells’ right quick. ESPN simply had nothing for him to do.