Dear ESPN,

By Jon

Did anyone hear the news? Keyshawn Johnson is retiring.

Three days after Johnson announced his retirement, ESPN is continually shoving this in our face. Coincidence that Key is joining ESPN’s broadcast team? Absolutely not.

This is absolutely driving me insane. There’s no way this is even a story if Keyshawn wasn’t joining ESPN. It would be nothing more than a blurb on the bottom line. Today on ESPNews “Football Friday” program, analysts actually discussed (with a straight face, mind you) whether or not Keyshawn was a hall-of-famer.

In my book, Keyshawn goes down in history as a good possession receiver. Maybe I’m biased based on the fact that his later years are fresher in my memory, but a possession receiver doesn’t deserve this much hoopla. And the thing is, outside of ESPN, there isn’t really much of a buzz. A quick AP blurb in the few papers that I saw, and that’s all his retirement should be.

Quick….. Name one famous play or game that Keyshawn Johnson made an impact in. Super Bowl XXXVII (his lone appearance)? A pedestrian six catches for sixty nine yards in a game that was won by the defense. Possession receiver numbers. Now…. Can you name the title of his book? The point is that Keyshawn is more remembered for Just Give Me the Damn Ball and his personality rather than his play on the field.

Perhaps what makes me the most mad about this false retirement hype is the fact that one of the greatest NHL defensemen to ever play the game (Brian Leetch) retired this past week to barely any press whatsoever. One line on the ticker, much like Johnson should have got.

I plead to the higher-ups at ESPN. The media is supposed to be unbiased and impartial, please stop making a story bigger than it is so you can promote your new analyst.

(Editor’s Note: Click here for an interesting article by the ESPN Ombudsman Lee Ann Schreiber on how ESPN coverage is affected by its programing. Hockey fans will be especially interested…)