I do wonder how ESPN can let Phillips and his crotch back on the air. Then again, if ESPN canned every employee who acted like Phillips, SportsCenter would be hosted by a janitor and Beano Cook.
At least that's the perception after Wednesday's news that Phillips had an affair with a production assistant. The New York Post reported Phillips got a one-week suspension, which makes you wonder what Harold Reynolds did to get fired for his alleged indiscretions three years ago.
Steve Phillips-Brooke Affair | Steve Phillips Stories
The latest ESPN episode of sex, lies and videotape prompts many questions. None of them reflect very well on the World Wide Leader. Though at least we're starting to see why the Navy wanted to hold a Tailhook convention in Bristol, Conn.
Let's start with Phillips and the Fatal Attraction. His jilted lover, Brooke Hundley, dropped by his house. Before she could boil a rabbit, Mrs. Phillips got home.
Hundley freaked out and backed her car into a stone column. She did manage to leave a letter on the door for Marni Phillips. It included the birthmark info, just to prove that Hundley's mistress credentials were legit.
She'd earlier contacted Phillips' 16-year-old son via computer. Hundley pretended to be a classmate, flirted with him and dropped hints that his parents' marriage was dying.
Hell hath no fury like a 22-year-old production assistant scorned.
"I have extreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids and myself," Phillip said in a police statement.
Maybe he should have thought of that before sleeping with a woman 24 years younger than he is.
Isn't this the same Steve Phillips who admitted to affairs when he was the Mets' general manager? That one humiliated his family and got his employer sued for sexual harassment. It wasn't long before Phillips was looking for another line of work.
We don't know if the Hundley Affair will cost Phillips his current job. If not for the New York Post's story, we probably wouldn't have known Phillips was even suspended.
ESPN has a way of ignoring inconvenient news. When it couldn't ignore Wednesday's news, it issued a statement saying Phillips was taking a leave of absence.
That ticked off the sleuths at Deadspin, which is something of a clearinghouse for all seamy ESPN rumors. It was tipped to the Phillips story last month, but ESPN said there was nothing to it.
Hell also hath no fury like a blogger scorned. Deadspin decided to roll out some of the alleged ESPN employee sexcapades it's been holding back.
I don't know how much of the dirt is true, but it's hard to give the boys in Bristol much benefit of the doubt. There was Reynolds, who sued for wrongful termination claiming a hug given to a female co-worker was misinterpreted. There was Sean Salisbury, who allegedly liked to show pictures of his crotch.
There was Mike Tirico, who was suspended in 1992 for improper advances toward female co-workers, according to the book "ESPN: The Uncensored History". Jason Jackson was fired in 2002, reportedly for inappropriate sexual comments. In came Erik Kuselias, whom Deadspin unloaded on Wednesday.
Every big company has office romances. It's ESPN's misfortune that its romantics are also figures of national interest. It's also ESPN's misfortune that somebody apparently put Viagra in the drinking water at World Wide headquarters.
I don't know about you, but from now on, every time I see Phillips I'm going to see a boiling rabbit or a big birthmark. Actually, I'm going to see a scumbag. Pardon me for being so judgmental.
As for ESPN, one thing you're not going to see is Outside the Lines doing an expose on sexual shenanigans/harassment at America's biggest sports network. But wouldn't you love to see Bob Ley interview Phillips and the gang?
He could ask management why Reynolds got fired when there was no smoking gun, and why Phillips got a week when there was a smoking arsenal.
He could ask Phillips if his birthmark really is about 10 times the size of his brain.
Then he could ask rhetorically, how could something like this happen?
The rhetorical answer is that it's ESPN.
How could it not?