The nerve. The absolute nerve.
Those punks* at Awful Announcing had the gall to put universally beloved** White Sox commenter Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson in a "who is more awful?" poll against perpetually putrid Rick Reilly of ESPN.com. The "winner" of the poll -- one of many in a tournament being held by the site -- takes a notorious spot on the site's Mt. Rushmore-styled banner, replacing the soon-to-be-out-of-the-game Joe Morgan.
Awful Announcing's rationale for including Hawk?
Hawk Harrelson was originally on AA's Mount Rushmore before being removed in favor of Pam Ward. As a rare local announcer on the list, Hawk Harrelson deserves to be in this crowd because of his over-the-top, unabashed homerism. Often noted for yelling instructions and encouragements (Get up! Stretch!) during the broadcast, he's more of a cheerleader than an announcer.
Ah, he's just enthusiastic. Reilly, on the other hand?
Reilly isn't primarily a TV guy, but appears enough on the family of networks to make the cut. Whether it's Homecoming, analysis on golf or other sports, or just pointless segments... Rick Reilly usually leads one to reach quickly for their remote. In addition, Reilly has been caught mailing in columns and dismissing bloggers and new media. Does anyone in sports do less for their millions of dollars? Bobby Bonilla not withstanding...
So, to recap: Hawk is on the poll because he's a homer announcer (debatable***). Reilly is on the poll because he's overpaid, clumsy on TV, closed-minded to online folk, and mails in columns. That's even a debate? Puh-leeze.
Before I clicked on the link, I did have some honest fear Hawk might be leading in the votes -- I mean, a lot of people really, really hate him -- but it was my fault for not trusting the good people of the Internet. Because they spoke, and they spoke correctly.
Just about perfect.
Now, Cubs fans, I know you probably loathe Hawk as much as probably any other fan of any other team in any other sport, and I know I've been hypocritically ragging on people like Ron Santo and Harry Caray for years, but here's to hoping you can see through your rage of these poll results to realize Rick Reilly is much, much worse than Hawk. Because if you disagree with me, you are definitely wrong. But, regardless, fear not -- you can make your voice heard on this issue in our own, separate SBN Chicago poll (featured below).
* - That punk? Those? How many people are on staff over there?
** - Cubs fans, can we settle with "polarizing"?
*** - Not debatable.