Colin Cowherd responds to Dabo Swinney calling him a fraud after Clemson won the national championship game.
"One of the things I've realized: You do not punish me if I'm wrong," Cowherd said. "You punish me as an audience if I chose topics you're not interested in. You have never punished me for being wrong."
So to Cowherd, it was fine that he was wrong about Clemson because he was interesting. Being boring would be the death knell for his show.
"My Blazing Five is one of the highest rated things I ever do. And I get 57% right," Cowherd said. "When you punish me, politicians could learn a thing or two. Politicians lose when they talk about topics that nobody cares about. Trump talked about the economy. That’s what most of us care about. Not bathroom issues. In the end, you have never punished me for being wrong. You punish me when I am uninteresting and when I choose topics that you don’t give a rip about. So I will continue to have super strong opinions on college football, the NBA, the NFL. And all I can say to Dabo Swinney: you're a hell of a coach.”
As wrong as Cowherd was about Clemson (he would say he is "overjoyed" that they won), he is right about the state of TV sports punditry. Being interesting and at times "controversial" is what keeps people like Cowherd employed.
As much as people say they dislike hot takes from Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and Cowherd, people watch. And those three being wrong about many topics hasn’t lead to mass audience abandonment.
What does this mean for the future of sports media? It will likely be a place where being wrong is not a deal breaker. The only deal breaker seems to be a tepid take. That is, unless audiences start voting with their remote.