Calling out Darren Rovell

Calling out Darren Rovell

Most of you are probably at least somewhat familiar with Darren Rovell, ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent for ABC News. He's got nearly 500,000 Twitter followers and has sent out nearly 69,000 tweets. So, like, he's kind of a big deal, especially in his own mind.

Yes, the Northwestern-educated Rovell has become very popular and he frequently reports on athlete's contracts, endorsements, and various other topics related to the business of sports. He is proof that fat birds do indeed fly. But that doesn't mean he's above mixing it up with the peons of the world.

When one of his followers made a joke at his expense, Rovell didn't just call the guy out on Twitter; he actually went so far as to report the tweet to the guy's school:

Deadspin's got all the details on the actual emails that Rovell sent, so I'll not dive into them here, though being familiar with them will provide you with a better frame of reference for what follows. These reports had given me that not-so-fresh feeling, the discomfort of which was still lingering the other day when I saw this:

There are some times when you just have no choice but to fight Summer's Eve with Massengill, so I, being a bit of a smartass, thought it'd be funny to turn the tables on Rovell. Since he actually sits on an advisory board for grad programs in sports administration at Northwestern, I fired off the following email to Morton Schapiro, NU's president:

Mr. Schapiro,

I just wanted to point out to you that one of your former students and member of an advisory board for graduate programs in sports administration made an egregious error in a comment about Air Jordan shoes on his Twitter feed. I found his use of an apostrophe to show plurality to be reprehensible and certainly not indicative of the high academic standards NU has come to represent. Just in case I'm not being clear here, this is concerning Darren Rovell, who I don't believe has pulled down his erroneous tweet.

(Rovell's tweet)

Let me know if you'd like to know more, as I'll happily search his timeline for further misplaced punctuation.

Evan Altman

I then followed up my Rovellian tattle with this tweet:

I realized only too late that my auto-correct had capitalized the "I" and "M," thus detracting a bit from the verisimilitude of my tweet (since Rovell apparently fancies himself as some sort of modern-day e e cummings), but then I thought it would be a bit too pedantic to delete and re-reply. It still really irks me, but c'est la vie, I guess.

So is there really any point to all this? Was it a juvenile prank that's at best a small act of defiance and at worst a shameless attempt to gain some sort of bastardized infamy? Probably not and yes. In the end, it was fun and made me laugh; judging from some of the responses I got, it made some other folks laugh too. And if something I do brings a smile to someone's face and adds even just a small bit of joy to the world, I've done my job.

Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman

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Filed under: Pop Culture


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  • I find Darren Rovell insufferable. But for you to take a shot at him for reporting some j-off making comparison to Hitler and then compare that to your asinine analogy of a harmless shoe tweet is equally ridiculous. Also, Rovell is probably the most loathed tweeter in sports, he gets nasty comments all the time that he ignores or occasionally engages. You want to take shots, fine, but really? that comparison is embarrassing. I cannot give this blog any credibility or integrity.

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    In reply to Josh Sims:

    Gee, Josh, I'm sorry that this didn't strike you as humorous. I did consult a few respected sources prior to even sending tweet and email and then writing this post and they thought it was hilarious. You see, I can't always trust my own sense of humor, so I like to use third-party litmus tests whenever possible.

    The tweet that referenced Hitler was poking fun at Rovell's propensity for talking branding by saying that he could even make the use of a now-loathed symbol seem like a good ploy. While it may have been ill-conceived, it was far from abhorrent, and it certainly didn't require Rovell to run off and tattle to the nearest person of authority he could find who was also presumably tied to the tweeter.

    And while my tweet, email, and post may well be asinine, I did not make an analogy. Rovell made a tweet that contained what I consider to be an egregious grammatical error and I took advantage of that to have a little fun at his expense.

    I felt that I did a pretty good job of making my intent very clear throughout this entire piece, but I can understand that it may not have been your cup of tea. However, I'm a little concerned that you are claiming to be so myopic as to condemn this entire blog on the basis of a single post that I feel you may have either misunderstood or taken too seriously.

    I appreciate the fact that you read at least part of this post, though I assume from your final verdict that you won't be back to read this post or any of the other fine work my fellow CI staffers have produced.

    PS--I'm sorry to hear about your funny bone; I hope it heals quickly.

  • In reply to Evan Altman:

    No Evan, Im a Cubs sucker, so ill be back every day, lol. However, I will add that I strongly disagree with you when you say it is not abhorrent. It is not abhorrent and offensive to poke fun at an insufferable egomaniac, however to go where he went to take a shot was unacceptable and abhorrent to me. So when you then take a shot at DR for reacting like that, it rubs me the wrong way. I take shots at people I dislike all the time. I however, would not bring in a character who killed 20 million people, I will not use racist comments, I would not use something that would offend a third party, period, 'funny' or making my point is irrelevant, it is a disgusting comment to me.
    And hustlelikereed, you clearly missed every point of my post. I dont have a problem with any styles or blog personality. And ok, Ill get a 'large helping of get a life' good one there.

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    In reply to Josh Sims:

    Josh, I appreciate the fact that do and have come back, but in light of that I would like to see about altering the final line of your initial comment. I can understand that you might find my writing or sense of humor to be in poor taste and you would not be alone in that opinion. So you can believe my post lacks integrity and credibility (I strongly disagree on both counts, but that's what makes the world go 'round) but I'm offended on behalf of my fellow CI staffers and contributors that you would extend said beliefs to them.

    Humor is relative, but I believe it can be found in even the most barren landscapes, like the first shoots of growth following a forest fire. And while not everyone is going to find certain off-color humor to be in good taste, I also don't feel it's in good taste to report someone to their (possible) school or employer for making a joke that you don't agree with.

    If I'm being honest, which I usually am to a degree that gets me in trouble, I had no problem with the tweet that mentioned Hitler. The person was referencing someone who had co-opted his own personal symbol; he was not glorifying or promoting Hitler or his heinous actions, but rather pointing out that not all personal promotion and branding is good (since Rovell promotes branding ad nauseam).

    So I totally understand where you're coming from in terms of referencing a terrible person who did terrible things, but I think you and I are coming at said reference from two completely different vantage points. Agree to disagree and whatnot then.

    But again, I appreciate your continued readership and the fact that you brought a measured response to my snarky one.

  • In reply to Josh Sims:

    Josh - how about taking a large helping of "get a life"...?

    I'm the last person to defend Evan as I do find some of his postings a little overly wordy, but each blogger / correspondent has their own style and we are if our own free will to read or otherwise.

    Regardless of presentation style, I find the articles interesting and articulate.

    In this case given the childishness of Rovell in reporting the tweeter it was a fair and humorous response.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Want to thank all of you for reading and debating here. I especially appreciate the fact you guys recognize the diversity and variety we are putting out. I do not like to scrutinize everything written and I encourage everyone to do their thing.

    If anyone didn't like this post, cool. However, it was obviously all about making fun of a dick head.

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