Of all the sportswriters fans love to pick apart, Rick Reilly may inspire the most venom. Much of that has to do with prominence – having the back page at Sports Illustrated for years and then making a lucrative move to ESPN gave Reilly two different, high-profile platforms – the types of platforms necessary to attract the level of scorn Reilly has. Other reasons include this, and this, and this, and this, and this, for starters.
Today, another prominent media personality got in a dig at Reilly – sort of. Dan Patrick (who essentially traded places with Reilly a few years back) talked on his show today about ESPN The Magazine, and was baffled by why it didn’t include ESPN’s “best writers,” including Reilly and Bill Simmons. Of course, we know why Simmons isn’t in the magazine – he doesn’t want to be. Reilly not being in the magazine (though he has written several things we’re pretty sure appeared there) would be harder to figure; of course, Patrick goes a long way toward answering that question himself when he says, “The website’s the most important thing.”
As for the shot, it’s framed more as a backhanded compliment: that he respects Reilly giving TV a shot, but he “found out TV’s a little bit tougher” than he might have thought, and that “what he does well is one column a week in the back of Sports Illustrated.” Honestly, though: look at what we linked above again. Compare that to “TV’s a little bit tougher.” Throw in the fact that Patrick actually called Reilly one of ESPN’s best writers, and we’ll be damned if his dig isn’t one of the nicest things we’ve heard about Reilly in some time. Video of the segment below, via Comcast SportsNet.