ESPN, Norby, and Millen on Michigan games

ESPN, Norby, and Millen on Michigan games

Submitted by Yostal on January 17th, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Hat tip to SB Nation Detroit for the original pull

From Richard Deitsch's Media Circus column in SI.com

SI.com: Matt Millen was assigned to the Big Ten this season and did a number of Michigan games. As someone who lived in Ann Arbor in 2009 and has contact with a ton of Michigan alums, there are a huge majority of people in the state who do not like hearing him on those games, rightly or wrongly. Social media backs such sentiment up given Millen is obliterated on Twitter during games he calls. Why would you assign a guy to call games in an area when he is so intensely disliked?

ESPN.com's Norby Williamson: You are making the leap that Michigan fans don't want Matt Millen there and maybe it's not much of a leap. I will tell you that Matt Millen with Kirk Herbstreit and Todd Blackledge, with no disrespect to any of our other college football analysts, they are on our top three teams at the moment. I don't know the breakdown of how many Big Ten games Matt did but he and Sean McDonough work that 3:30 p.m. window on ABC. I'm not sitting here saying "Wow, we have a Michigan game so let's stick it to Michigan fans." That's not what we want to do. We want everyone to enjoy their team and to be passionate about it.

At the same point, we are doing a regional and sometimes national telecast and I have to put the best people on the best games to get the best dissection of analysis and perspective on those games. That's my job. My job is not to aggravate any fan bases. Ultimately, you have to look at the bigger decision. You put the best people in the best opportunity to succeed. I don't really get [the] Michigan football connection with Matt. I get the Lions. But I get that it's clearly an issue among some fans in that area. The extent of the issue is the question.

Right, because there's no possible way that Michigan fans, some of whom live in the state of Michigan, might also have an interest in their local professional football franchise as well.  Right...