Jan 26, 2011

Report: Why Olbermann may never return to sports broadcasting

If you're a sports fan and hoping Keith Olbermann (pictured) will return to sports broadcasting -- don't hold your breath.

Looks like Olbermann has burned too many bridges behind him. What he hasn't burned employers have.

SportsGrid reported Saturday that it’s unlikely that Olbermann will go back to ESPN and has also exhausted his options with Fox as an employment option, having ended his tenure at Fox Sports Net with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch firing him and calling him “crazy.”

Other examples of the 'minefield' Olbermann left in his wake as he moved from job to job:

Olbermann, who anchored at ESPN from 1992 to 1997 and co-hosted a radio show in 2005, instigated trouble while employed there. In 1997, he was suspended for two weeks after making an unauthorized appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” During the appearance, Olbermann made negative comments about Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN’s headquarters. Olbermann said Bristol was a “godforsaken place.”

While delivering Cornell University’s 1998 commencement address, Olbermann told graduates that his ESPN position gave him “dry heaves” and would “make [him] ashamed, make [him] depressed, make [him] cry.”

After ESPN, Olbermann had a three-year stint with Fox Sports Net, but was fired by Murdoch, who called him crazy.

Olbermann's problems with women are also well known:

In 2002, Olbermann wrote in a Salon.com column that he was shocked and sorry to learn that he’d previously brought fellow anchor Suzy Kolber to tears while at ESPN.

“I now read with horror of my ESPN2 co-host, Ms. Kolber, sequestering herself in the women’s bathroom and weeping over how I treated her,” Olbermann wrote.

During a 2007 appearance on the “Late Show,” host David Letterman asked Olbermann, “What is it about you? You seem to burn bridges wherever you leave.”

Olbermann replied “I don’t burn bridges, I burn rivers. If you burn a bridge, you can possibly build a new bridge, but if there’s no river any more, that’s a lot of trouble. I just try to run the place.”

In that same interview, Olbermann added that he was banned from ESPN’s main campus in Bristol.

It looks like Olbermann is his own worst enemy. Burning rivers indeed.