In Pittsburgh, the late Myron Cope was universally beloved as a sports commentator. Over the past several years, Mark Madden has become Cope’s heir from a profile standpoint. The difference, however, is that to the extent Madden was going for a Cosellian love-hate shtick, more people seemed to hate Madden than love him. (If Madden’s goal was to be loved, picking a fight with a beloved local figure like Steelers receiver Hines Ward didn’t help.)
Folks in the ‘Burgh have the opportunity to neither hate nor love Madden, at least for now.
Madden has been permanently removed from his ESPN Radio show in Pittsburgh, due to inflammatory (and unfunny) remarks he made last week about Senator Ted Kennedy. Said Madden: “I’m very disappointed to hear Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor. I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated.”
“We’ve taken Mark off the air pursuant to our contractual rights,” said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz.
Madden most likely will resurface with a lower-profile radio station in Pittsburgh that is angling for ratings points and all the good things that go along with hanging a “for sale by owner” sign on one’s soul.