At ESPN, Ties=Professionalism

Picking on ESPN is so old hat, so tired, so overdone in the blog world. It's really a bit much, right? Acting like they're part of some fossilized, hopelessly unhip unfrozen cable network from 1987, right?
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↵Which they remain, so: more easy pickin's. One universal about the World Wide Leader in purely American Sports is the tie requirement: every single guy reporting for the network must wear a tie on air. (Save for Michael Wilbon, who gets to wear a golf shirt because he's...Michael Wilbon.)
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↵No ties!A tie means they're "professionals" and "experts," like the guys on Squawk Box who talk about stocks, or the conductor on the Disney World Railway. Or the NASA engineers in Apollo 13. The consistency of this policy is, once noticed, hilarious. Watch enough ESPN, and you half-expect them to show up for special events wearing not one, but two well-knotted ties.
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↵(They even knot one around John Kruk's meaty neck, a laughable exercise that leaves Kruk looking like the stressed end of a squeezed bratwurst. Both cruel and unnecessary, gentlemen.)
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↵This leads us to the picture above, showing Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, and Chris Fowler at Gameday wearing what passes for breezy, off-season wear: jackets--gasp!---WITHOUT TIES. And that's what cracks us up. This was a deliberate decision made with the precision and deliberation of sorority girls making sure no one's outfits clashed on mixer night. "Crazy, guys, but listen: WE WON'T WEAR TIES! It' called casual."
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↵Never mind that it was eighty-five degrees on the field and in the offseason;  ESPN is run with the seriousness of bank, and with a dress code to match. Because, you know, sports really is that serious. Now hand me my second tie. I really, really want to impress the boss today.
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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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