Kirk Herbstreit Defends “The Photo”


A lot of anti-OSU (and anti-ESPN) folks love to point at the photo above.  If you haven’t seen it prior to today, the foreground is an interception at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl that featured The Ohio State University and the Miami Hurricanes.  The background, however, features ESPN analyst (and former OSU quarterback) Kirk Herbstreit celebrating the huge play on the back of former running back Eddie George. 

While many will use this photo in attempt to show Herbie’s potential bias for the Big Ten or Ohio State in general, a recent interview with The Big Lead counters with the following:

When I’m on the air, I would challenge anybody to watch me when I do a game and try to figure out what school I went to. When I’m off the air … I’m an Ohio State fan. Sorry. I went to school there, I was a captain there, my kids wear their Ohio State jerseys almost everyday. They wake up singing the fight song. We’re an Ohio State family. [About the photo] I wasn’t on the air, I’m going to go crazy. My work speaks for itself.

Said answer is one of five in a short interview that TBL managed to snag while visiting Bristol.  Check out the rest of the interview here. 

As Jerod from MSF points out, judging by the response from Herbstreit, you can tell that he’s had to defend his stance before.  But while I can see how others outside of Ohio would love to say that Herbstreit is biased, there is no denying his on-air analysis is typically critical of Ohio State and the Big Ten in general.  He claims to love the SEC, their style of play, and even touted the region as the best place to catch a college game.

Then again, maybe he has to – otherwise, the rest of the world would just point fingers and yell “HOMER!!!”

With that said… Five days until kickoff…

  • DK

    good for Herbie…hes one of the most level-headed, quality announcers I’ve heard…he doesnt show bias when on the air, and countless times ive seen him say the B10 isnt that great, or that a B10 team will get beat…

    cant wait for the Bucks game!!!

    GO BUCKS!!!

  • ben

    TBL is quite attractive

  • He picked pretty much the entire SEC in his preseason awards. Homer.

  • B-bo

    People who hate on Herbie are doing so solely because of his tOSU roots. And those same people would be hard-pressed to find another tv personality out there in the sports world who is less biased toward their former team–he tells it like it is, and rips the team when it’s warrented, unlike many of his colleagues. Now, Mark May on the other hand….

  • Oppie

    From Dictionary.com

    Homer: see Lou Holtz (cross-reference senile or idiot)

  • Mikey

    in the College Gameday preview he picked Penn State to win the big 10 this year. thats real biased.

  • buu

    yeah i always keep a keen ear when im watching kirk for the slightest hint at homerism (len dawson always picking the chiefs on “inside the NFL”) but nothing. the guy’s a pretty straight shooter, haters be damned.

  • I thought by “the photo” you mean the side of the Gameday bus where he was orange as an Oompa-Loompa.

  • scotty p

    Lou Holtz is living in wonderland. His speech about ND playing for a Nat Title last week was one of the funnier things ive seen in all of ’09.

  • brwnsgrl

    If Herbie was biased – and I don’t think he is at all – how exactly would that make him any different than just about every other analyst out there? All those ex-coaches and ex-players (both pro and collegiate) aren’t biased? Please…

  • Kevin

    Herbie picks against OSU more than he picks the bucks! Just this weekend they asked the 4 guys who wins the Big Ten and Herbie said Penn State when another analyst said Ohio State

  • MrCleaveland

    As previously noted, Trent Dilfer is certainly biased, albeit in the other direction.

    Dilfer ought to get down on his knees every night and thank God for his good fortune. He sucked as a QB and has a Super Bowl ring, and he sucks as an announcer and has a national gig.

  • Oppie

    Completely agree MrCleaveland, it just seems like he has an agenda every time he is on. It may just me, but I just sense resentment towards the Browns everytime he’s on.

  • Cindy

    Yeah–because there is so much media love for the Big Ten in general out there.
    It’s like you’re not allowed to enjoy the Big Ten unless you’re using it as a punch line .Give me a break.
    What about Erin (“Oops I lost my clothes”) Andrews and her Gator bias ? No one cries about that .

  • Bob

    He has to prop up the SEC because the SEC is ESPN’s conference.

  • JK

    I cannot look at that picture without smiling. Hahah. Herbie’s got some ups.

  • D-Train

    it’s people just looking to take a shot at osu. if you didn’t know herbie went and played for ohio state, you wouldn’t know by hearing him talk every saturday morning, or even during an ohio state game if they played on the game of the week saturday night.

    he wasn’t on the air, what’s the big deal? so wait, when this dude is on the can, at home, he’s not allowed to think that it is so awesome that michigan has lost 5 straight times to ohio state? pshhh please.

    i didn’t see the backlash from this picture, but i already know who probably said it. some stupid sec honk with a 5th grade level education.

    go bucks.

  • Josh

    I’ve noticed since the 2004 election the media hopes that anything Ohio fails.

  • jack

    I love Herbie, and it’s funny to see his kids all Buckeyed up whenever gameday is in Columbus, but most times he annoys the hell out of me. I think he tries TOO hard sometimes not to show a bias. If I was just some outsider, I’d think he was actually biased against tOSU

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  • Brandon

    He tries too hard to not be an Ohio State fan on the air.

  • jim Cannell

    Kirk Herbstreit is a fine sportsman and professional sports announcer. ESPN and the rest of us are lucky to have him …..