Scott Van Pelt’s Emotional Tribute To His Laid-Off ESPN Colleagues Is Worth A Watch

As if you need a reminder, ESPN laid off 100 employees on Wednesday as part of a “company-wide restructuring” that really means an antiquated cable-TV-first business model that stubbornly refused to adapt to cord-cutting and technological shifts. The layoffs were almost impossible to predict from the outside–anchors, analysts, reporters, writers, and everyone in between were axed. Big names like Ed Werder and Trent Dilfer were cut, along with many faces you couldn’t even pick out of a lineup.

Scott Van Pelt, quite simply the Michael Jordan of ESPN, was spared, for obvious reasons. He’s one of the few personalities who seems genuinely tuned in to the younger generation and whose commentary doesn’t sound like a dad at a backyard barbecue trying to stay hip. Regardless, SVP lost colleagues and friends to the blood bath, and during his  nightly 1 Big Thing segment on SportsCenter, Van Pelt paid homage to those axed after many years of service to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, if they can still call themselves that. In typical SVP fashion, his sentiments came off thoughtful and genuine.

(Probably a good time for Van Pelt to ask for a raise now that payroll is has been slashed dramatically. Dog eat dog world.)

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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.