As we continue our tour of the Commonwealth’s sports reporters, we come to the Courier Journal’s Eric Crawford. Crawford is the designated “columnist” for the Louisville news organization and has transitioned himself from covering a particular beat to writing his opinions for a living. Eric had big shoes to fill at the Courier, as his predecessor not too long ago was Pat Forde, who along with the Herald Leader’s Chuck Culpepper, was the best columnist we have had in the state in my lifetime. But Eric has done admirably. He writes opinions that are critical and entertaining….both traits that are necessary if you are going to sit in that chair. He has shown no real allegiance to any particular school, although he does seem to enjoy tweaking UK fans and Rick Pitino more than most….the latter of which often really make me smile. Eric knows his stuff and has become a solid, if not spectacular, writer. He also is honest, and has come up to me when I have written criticism of his writings, to give his side of the story. I like that and have always respected Crawford since. Here are the pros and cons:
— Willingness to call local sports celebrities out. Because reporters often have to deal with coaches and local sports people, they are very hesitant to do anything but criticize in veiled form. Eric is good at criticizing and making fun of ridiculous comments, aka anything Rick Pitino says.
— Has a strong working knowledge of the area for which he writes….you would be surprised how many dont.
— Still loves sports….you would be surprised how many dont.
— Can be a bit dry and too reliant on the “easy way out.” When you go for comedy, as Eric often does, I think you need to make jokes that arent also made on 50 forwards that I receive each day. We can do without another joke about Billy Clyde recruiting a baby….I get it. But his comedy is, like John Clay’s, above Sinbads. Whether it would make him a finalist on “Last Comic Standing”, depends on whether Carlos Mencia is involved.
— Facial hair….go with the old look.
All in all, I like Eric very much. Towards the end of last season, he moved to the “talks to Matt at games” group, which is always nice. I have seen very little objectionable or biased in the way he writes and he is willing to stick his neck out occasionally, which is always good. He gets a “yes” from me, with the caveat that his jokes have to get better. What say you? Use the comments to give your opinion and the poll to the right to vote
The results for Dick Gabriel are below….
Dick Gabriel Final Results
YES: 57 %