SBD/Issue 202/Sports Media

Columnist Taken Aback By Armstrong’s Risqué Joke At ESPYs

Armstrong Points Out “Brokeback
Mountain” Actor In ESPY Monologue
In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote he was “stunned” to hear host Lance Armstrong make an anal-sex joke during the ESPY Awards telecast Sunday night. The joke was directed to “Brokeback Mountain” star Jake Gyllenhaal, who was sitting in the front row of the Kodak Theater (ed. note: during his monologue, Armstrong said, “Jake, why are you sitting in the front? I thought you liked it in the rear”). ESPN Exec Editor John Walsh said that the joke “was among the three or four most-discussed items” as the production team looked at what to edit for the broadcast. Walsh added the inclusion of the joke was a “reasonable risk” (N.Y. TIMES, 7/18). Read more of Armstrong’s monologue.

MORE REVIEWS: In Allentown, Keith Groller writes under the header, “ESPYs Lacked Punch, But Got The Awards Right.” Armstrong was “somewhat stiff in delivering his monologue,” and ESPN, as it “does all too often, [aired] too many clips, too many highlights of the nominees, too many reaction shots of LeBron James” (MORNING CALL, 7/18). However,’s Alexa Pozniak wrote, “I dread most award shows. ... [But] I have found the exception: ESPN’s ESPY Awards”
(, 7/16).

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