Those who bemoan the Disneyfication of ESPN found comfort last week when news broke about Dana Jacobson’s boozy toast at a roast for the network’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg. While onstage, Jacobson chugged vodka straight from the bottle, allegedly said, “Fuck Jesus,” and, perhaps even more upsetting to Bill Donohue and the good folks at the Catholic League, ripped into the floundering Notre Dame football program.
Jacobson issued an apology and was hit with a one-week suspension by the network (yet ESPN has shown no signs of shelving a commercial with Jacobson shilling for ESPN The Weekend alongside Donovan McNabb and Mickey Mouse). It seems like she may have gotten off easy, until you remember that as recently as the early ’90s, the news of a drunk Mike Tirico hopping in his car and chasing down a female PA who rejected his advances was met with little more than shrugs from ESPN suits. As the Jacobson incident proves, anyone who thinks that increased scrutiny and criticism has made the ESPN “talent” any more self-aware is way off-track—if anything, it’s causing them to crack up.