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Keith Olbermann tells Doug Kotar’s story


Last night, Keith Olbermann opened his new ESPN2 show with an essay about Doug Kotar, a former Kentucky running back who played for the New York Giants from 1974-1981. Kotar rushed for 3,380 yards and is ninth in rushing in New York Giants history, and as BTI shared with us yesterday, he’s rushed for more yards in the NFL than any former Cat.

Kotar died of an inoperable brain tumor in 1983 at age 32, which many have blamed on the injuries and concussions he suffered on the field during his career. At the time, Kotar was unable to access his medical records due to league rules, one of the issues being protested by players during the 1982 NFL Players Union Strike. With all of the controversy surrounding concussions in football, Kotar’s story is particularly relevant, and moved Olbermann close to tears during his commentary.

We’re still waiting on video to be posted, but for now, listen to Olbermann’s essay via podcast at the link below:


UPDATE: Now, with video!

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

37 Comments for Keith Olbermann tells Doug Kotar’s story

  1. Blue Jesus
    12:26 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not sure how I feel about Olbermann in general, but I’m glad he’s back in the sports market. The days of Sportscenter with Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann were excellent. I think this new show has some real promise.

  2. UK56Always
    12:34 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I wouldn’t P*ss on Keith Olberman if he was on fire. The guy is very far left

  3. Mark Liptak
    12:37 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Leaving aside politics, speaking purely from a broadcasters standpoint, Keith may be the finest writer and anchor on TV today.

    He has the same kind of ‘heft’ that Cronkite did.

    Was a freshman at UK, Doug’s senior season. R.I.P.

  4. JAY
    12:43 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    F**K oberman

  5. Give me a racoon, please.
    12:57 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    O/U on Olberman’s stay with ESPN is set at 10.5 months and I’m hammering the under. Guy is just the definition of a jerk whether you agree with his politics or not. Ask those lefties at MSNBC whether they think he’s a good guy – Olberman left there with zero friends just like everywhere he has been.

  6. Heisenberg
    12:57 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    What is the over/under for when Olberman will get fired again for saying something stupid on air?

  7. BigBlueSexMachine
    1:05 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Not being a jerk at all but these guys know the risk when they sign up. Protection has come a long way but you’ll never be able to play risk free football

  8. byefelicia
    1:12 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Olbermann’s new show on ESPN2 has been quality television from the outset. Take the above essay, just for an example: who else was telling Doug Kotar’s story, let alone telling it as compellingly as did Olbermann last night? It would be nice if people could stick to the topic & confine their petty “over/unders” to Twitter.

  9. Chuck
    1:20 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Kotar may have been fifth at one time but he’s now the ninth leading rusher for the Giants.

  10. BravoBigBlue
    1:27 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Olbermann is an ass-wipe through-and-through. As far as being talented, really? Compared to what, a trained monkey? He is his biggest fan. Reminds me some other(s).

  11. JandPsDad
    1:34 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I am generally not a fan of Mr. Olbermann, but that story was as poignant as any I’ve heard recently. Before I go and talk about how sissified football has become, I think I’ll remember Doug Kotar and shut up (like some of the idiots on this page need to do).
    People we may be opposed to for many reasons may just be telling us the truth and may be saying something substantial. It pays to listen before sounding ignorant and supplying others outside of KY with more reason to think we nothing more than a bunch of mindless hicks.
    Thanks Mrs. T for the story.

  12. Steve Fitts
    1:39 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I remember Doug Kotar! He was the Cats’ star running back back when CWS first opened and I was an undergrad student at UK. He and QB Mike Fanuzzi led a strong, rushing-oriented offense. Kotar had blazing speed and an amazing ability to accelerate. He was not a big kid, but he could sure fly! This brought back a lot of memories for me!

  13. rick
    1:44 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    For Matt Jones: On your radio show you stated you had never heard of Kotar..

    A little inside football for you: My uncle played safety for UGA back then and went against Kotar and Sonny Collins……He told me that Kotar, in his opinion, was a MUCH better back and that he was impossible to bring down

  14. atlantacat
    1:48 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I have great compassion for Kotar and his family for what they went thru. A tragic death way too early in life. As for Olberman “choking” up, you can bet it was an act. He has no connection to this story and in 1983, he was 24 years old. I doubt UK football was on his mind at that time of his life.

    I will agree, although as a person I could care less for him, he is a good broadcaster and is excellent in presenting his stories. But anyone that’s an MSNBC reject is not high on the likability scale and definitely at the bottom of my list.

  15. MustangCat
    1:53 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Hey, i guess if lying, cheating, stealing, general all around sleaziness, and having no moral or ethical convictions at all doesn’t bother you, then KO is your guy. Never liked him from day one! Don’t know what anyone sees about him they could call “good”??? I wouldn’t, and i’m disappointed KSR does anything to further his career in any way. Bad call guys. Kotar’s story does need to be told, and the NFL needs their feet held to the fire on the medical stuff. If they don’t want any accountability, responsibility, and liability? That’s nice. The players don’t have that luxury, do they?

  16. Really
    2:01 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    #14 Olberman often comes off as snide, and it appears he is a diva. Having said that, why would Olberman choking up have to be an act? In light of the NFL pretty much admitting in its lawsuit settlement that yes, concussion injuries can cause serious health consequences, and maybe even premature death, then the story of a 32 year old former FB player that died from a brain tumor is sad. You don’t have to be a UK fan to feel some compassion for that.
    Olberman is back to reporting on sports. If he has a good story that is well presented, then why can’t some of you judgmental political nuts leave your politics out of it and just enjoy a good story? if either Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity could shut up with the hate and tell the story of an athlete WITHOUT interjecting their politics, then why cant we take it for what it is? Geez get a life.

  17. Teachable Mo'
    2:16 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Love the habit of bringing politics to every facet of life. It’s like intellectual eczema.

  18. roger o.
    2:39 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    My brother was in one of Doug Kotar,s classes at UK. Doug K. was a very good running back. remember listening to Cawood on the radio those years when it was Doug K. and Sonny C. running the pill. Later on saw Doug a few times when he played for NYG and then he got sick.

  19. Syrin
    2:43 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    There is no bigger shite bag in the sports media than Olberman. I wouldn’t watch his show if it gave out the secret to immortality. Plus, he’s a misogynist from hell, potential abuser, and all sorts of other things that literally border on the criminal.


    Lots of bright young good people out there who could take his place, and need an opportunity. We don’t need this scum of the earth profiting from our favorite past times.

  20. Syrin
    2:45 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Read this an then ask yourself why you would support this piece of shite.

  21. Why
    3:00 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Can someone explain to me why the leagues should be responsible for a sport/game that these athletes willingly choose to play and are financially compensated for?

    If I get carpel tunnel syndrome from sitting this boring office for 30 years can I sue as well?

  22. ushouldno
    3:04 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Remember Kotar well, one of the first things was him taking a kickoff all the way back for a TD. That was probably about fall of 71, I was going to lunch and listening to the game on the radio on the by-pass in BG. He was from PA. and got overlooked by the Big10 schools. Was very sad for him to die at such an early age.

  23. Matthew Hunter
    3:11 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Great anecdote from Olbermann. His show has been flawless since it started earlier this week on ESPN. Being a young Kentucky fan, I love hearing stories about former great cats like Kotar.

  24. Kyscubafan
    3:12 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I remember that game. It was against Penn State and he dropped the opening kick off in the end zone, picked it up and ran it back 103 yards.

  25. Scooter
    3:18 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Lol at all the butthurt right-wingers. Can’t leave their bigoted, homophobic politics at the door and accept this as a SPORTS story which has nothing to do with politics.

  26. Section 134
    3:34 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Drop the politics and just listen to the story.

  27. stubbs
    3:42 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    “If I get carpel tunnel syndrome from sitting this boring office for 30 years can I sue as well?”

    If your carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by performing work-related duties, you are entitled to workman’s compensation…just like any work-related injuries. So…yes?

  28. come o.
    4:06 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry Tyler that this story that needed to be told and your head and heart were true enough to post
    it gets defamed due to the the writer is just vile ignorance. I’m sure everyone that knew or was familiar with Doug is heartfully grateful for the story. Don’t kill the message due to the messenger.
    Doug Kotar
    in our thoughts
    in our speach
    in our hearts

  29. ghostofgeorge
    4:23 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Once again Olberman has shown brilliance where the powers be want darkness.

  30. leedee
    4:24 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Great writing and delievery. I remember when Kotar played for the Cats. Thanks Tyler seeing the signifience of posting this. Well done.

  31. Bluemister
    4:49 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Doug Kotar was in the same backfield as UK great Alfred “Sonny” Collins. Man, that was a great 1-2 punch in the backfield. I can still Cawood setting up the play…Collins and Kotar in the backfield…

  32. Megan
    6:22 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I love Olbermann, except when he gets all preachy and goes on a rant. I don’t think I would like him as my father. He seems like an angry man.

    Saw the Kotar piece, and what bothered me most was that Keith assumed – he simply assumed – that Kotar’s brain tumor was caused by playing football. No proof, no evidence, no medical basis. Just a layman’s assumption.

    The syllogism appears to be: 1. Kotar played football. 2. Kotar died of a brain tumor. 3. Football caused Kotar’s brain tumor. The fallacy here is called post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this). It confuses a mere temporal relationship with causal relationship.

    Did football cause Kotar’s tumor? We simply don’t know. Keith substituted reason with emotion. Details of Kotar’s surgery play upon sympathy; they don’t show cause. I know two people with brain tumors, and they never played football. But it’s fashionable now, for people who don’t know a thing about concussions or psychology, to attribute to the game of football almost any malady suffered by former NFL players. It’s not that simple. And I think that’s the main reason for the settlement.

  33. jlm1917
    6:37 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    What does ESPN’s management think that Kreep Olberdouche is actually going to bring viewers to ESPN? HE’S MORE LIKELY DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY LIKE ME

  34. jlm1917
    6:38 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    What does ESPN’s management think that Kreep Olberdouche is actually going to bring viewers to ESPN? HE’S MORE LIKELY DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY LIKE ME!

  35. UK56Always
    7:11 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    #25 take your Uof L troll arse back to that cesspool they call a city and leave your judgemental arse off Big Brothers board…DOUCHE!

  36. Bunny
    8:41 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    Olbermann is an angry, mean spirited, bitterly partisan, far left zealot scumbag who has no credibility on anything. I’ve seen more class in a roach!

  37. sprtphan
    10:47 pm August 30, 2013 Permalink

    I refuse to watch anything olbermann!