01.23.10

Salisbury’s Sophmoric Mistake

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Sports TV at 3:11 pm by

The following is probably an old story for most of you, but between the Haiti telethon, Kobe’s return to MSG and Conan O’Brien’s farewell (can’t Billy Gibbons find a better band to play with?), I have to admit I missed out on what might be the most important story of our times.

It was a little more than 3 years ago that a blind item — not from a sports blog, but rather, CBS Sports.com — led to widespread speculation ESPN had suspended football analyst Sean Salisbury for sending phone-cam pics of his penis to female co-workers.  There’s been no shortage of embarrassing incidents involving Salisbury since, and with the bullying blowhard’s career in a free-fall, he recently filed a civil defamation lawsuit against Deadspin’s parent company, Gawker Media. Salisbury’s prospects for winning said case and/or settling out of court with Gawker took no small hit yesterday with the following revelations, as reported by USA Today’s Michael Heistand :

Salisbury, 46, is admitting what’s already an urban legend on the Internet: that he took cellphone photos of his private parts and showed them.

Yuck. Salisbury says it only happened once ” “a sophomoric mistake” in a Connecticut bar in 2006 ” for which ESPN suspended him for a week for then-unspecified reasons.

“I was ashamed, and I didn’t want to say anything,” says Salisbury, who was an NFL quarterback for eight years and an ESPN NFL analyst for 12. “I thought it would go away and let my ego get in the way. Since then, I’ve beat myself up about it more than 10 baseball bats could. A stupid mistake can cost you, and this has really cost me. I should have been having this conversation a long time ago.”

Salisbury feels better from having had anger-management therapy ” “I needed help. I had a lot of inner anger for years.” He says he’s trying to champion the cause of accuracy in online reporting in a lawsuit against Deadspin that he insists is anything but frivolous.

And the book he said he’d write about ESPN in an erratic e-mail exchange with Deadspin in September ” saying “some major reputations” would be ruined ” is now off.

“I’m not a tell-all guy and regret saying that,” he says.

Only the hardhearted wouldn’t see a chance for his redemption.

So true. Who amongst us wouldn’t give a second chance to a braying egomanic who insists sending unsolicted snapshots of his schlong to female colleagues is “not malicious”? Full credit to Salisbury, who somehow managed to top both Mark McGwire and John Edwards in the Unsurprising Public Confession Sweepstakes of Early 2010.

One Response to “Salisbury’s Sophmoric Mistake”

  1. David Roth says:

    Well, if he feels bad about it, it’s hard not to feel for him. It in this sentence being basically the entire last decade of his life or so. Also, it’s actually fairly easy not to feel for him. Despite all this, though, I kind of still think he’ll serve at least one term in Congress someday.

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