SBD/Issue 22/Sports Media

Boomer Esiason Calls Out Troy Aikman For Bias In Cowboys Game

Esiason (r) Says Aikman (l) Called
Cowboys-Cardinals Game With "Stunning" Bias
CBS' Boomer Esiason appeared on WEEI-AM's "Dennis & Callahan Show" Monday and said Sunday's Cowboys-Cardinals game was the "first time that I heard a legitimate bias from ... Troy Aikman" toward the Cowboys. Aikman played for the team from '89-'00, winning three Super Bowls, and Esiason said, "You would have thought that the Arizona Cardinals weren’t even in the building. I was taken aback by some of the things that Troy was saying." Esiason: "I think he’s a very bright broadcaster, but the bias that was coming from him (Sunday) was actually stunning listening to it, and I’m a guy that doesn’t really have a bias one way or another, I don’t think anyway. I can listen to announcers do their games and not be upset by it. I couldn’t believe some of the things that he was saying” (WEEI-AM, 10/13). Aikman responded in an e-mail, "I'm glad Boomer is watching the NFL on Fox. I take great pride in not showing a bias toward any team that I am broadcasting. ... I never much got into critiquing other quarterbacks when I played and I don't get too wrapped up in critiquing broadcasters now" (DALLASNEWS.com, 10/14).

ARE THE CLAIMS VALID? With the Cowboys down three points in fourth quarter with less than a minute left and with no timeouts, Aikman said, “In my opinion, this is where (Cowboys QB Tony Romo) really excels, and I’m not comfortable one bit if I’m with the Arizona Cardinals. ... More times than not Tony Romo has delivered in these situations and I really think that’s how ultimately you measure a quarterback” (Fox, 10/12). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell wrote, "You rarely [hear] two ex-players from the same position ever call each other out. As if that wasn't enough, it's almost equally as rare that an analyst would even bring ... another analyst's name up. Nevermind the fact that he works for a rival network." Aikman and announcer Joe Buck "have honestly improved as a team, but they seem to regress every time they call a Cowboys' game" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 10/14). NEWSDAY's Neil Best today writes in an online chat, “Troy really, really, really hates this topic and swears it is a fiction. I did not watch the Cowboys-Cardinals game because I was covering the Jets, but people I trust who like Troy agree he was a little too Cowboy-ish on that game. People in Dallas think he's anti-Cowboys, by the way” (NEWSDAY.com, 10/15).

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