The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz has had some fun with Will Cain over the years. It has been a recurring bit to riff on the time Cain said he had a monopoly on the truth in a heated debate with Stephen A. Smith on First Take, and in the “looks like” game they recently got Cain to narrate the line that he looks like someone who get his wife a Peloton for Christmas.
Today is Cain’s last day at ESPN, and Le Batard wondered who will fill the void he is leaving:
Le Batard started the segment talking about ESPN PR person Bill Hofheimer’s tribute tweet for Cain’s last day at the company. Then he discussed the evolution of how ESPN was getting “smeared” for their coverage of race and gender stories after they gave Caitlyn Jenner an ESPY award, how that criticism plus data from focus groups pushed ESPN away from it, there was an “organized” movement to stick to sports, and how America and ESPN changed quickly where those topics are now more at the forefront of ESPN than ever. (As you’re probably aware, Clay Travis and Outkick were as loud as anybody in criticizing ESPN’s coverage of race and gender.)
“Within that, Will Cain was absolutely a necessary voice, even though I didn’t agree with much of anything that he said,” Le Batard said. “There aren’t a lot of people at our network — and now I think it’s none — who do specifically what it is that he does, where he argues the other side well. Whether you agree with him or not, he speaks for a great many people.”
Le Batard noted that ESPN discovered years ago, while he was doing weekly SportsCenter commentaries with Mitch Albom and Mike Lupica, that the audience wanted a counterbalance such that all perspectives were covered.
“The consumer did not want to hear one side’s opinion — did not want to hear their side not told,” Le Batard said. “And so were birthed the argument shows where everyone’s voice gets heard somewhere. Who’s going to do what Will Cain does at our network now?”
They then joked about how Stugotz should take that lane, which he did not think was such a great idea.
Here is Hofheimer’s tweet about Cain’s last day:
A salute to @willcain as he hosts his final @WillCainShow on ESPN Radio today -3p ET. Smart. Always prepared. A skilled host, interviewer and debater. Will has done a lot of great work at ESPN. Wishing him continued successes in his new gig. pic.twitter.com/7Biyqs5LwS
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) June 26, 2020
And here is what Cain tweeted:
Personal note: pic.twitter.com/3dAKBbYhky
— Will Cain (@willcain) June 26, 2020