John Kruk was on SportsCenter tonight. Why, you ask? Apparently he believes that hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi is faking the arthritis in his jaw that will likely sideline him for this year's July 4th contest at Nathan's.
I don't have the exact transcript handy, but Kruk LOUDLY voiced his opinion that Kobayashi is not really hurt, but is "AFRAID of (rival) Joey Chestnut." This wasn't a Freudian slip or anything; Kruk went on and on about it, making Kobayashi out to be some gutless fraud.
This may be the most insulting thing I've ever seen or heard on ESPN. Kobayashi comes from Japan, where competitors in all sports are honorable and despise "dirty" plays. It's considered unsporting to intentionally walk a batter in an NPB game, but apparently Kruk thinks Kobayashi is willing to fake a serious injury rather than risk losing his hot dog eating title.
Really, why is John Kruk even being consulted on this issue? Does he have inside knowledge of the sport? Of jaw injuries? Of anything at all? No, no, and no. The real reason is illuminated by the man who spoke after Kruk, Dick Vitale. Vitale, like Kruk, is loud and grabs your attention with his voice even though he usually has nothing to add to the conversation, and in fact often subtracts from it. This is especially true when the subject is a competition Vitale, like Kruk, knows nothing about.
Once you boil it down, that's all Kruk really does, talk loudly. With his playing career over, Kruk's skill set boils down to:
- Being loud and obnoxious
- Contracting testicular cancer
Apparently ESPN has decided that testicular cancer doesn't sell ads. That's too bad, because if they taped over every Kruk piece with an informative video about the disease, many lives would be saved. Between those who get diagnosed early and those who choose not to kill themselves from having to hear Kruk talk all the time, you're talking about a great service to all mankind.
Fire this man now. Please.