Opinion: Navy, CBS Owe Feinstein Nothing

If you want to know who won the 1987 Masters, John Feinstein is your guy. He probably knows off the top of his head who finished in 37th place. However, if you are looking for someone to be the color analyst for the Navy football radio network, you can do much better. Instead of leaving the door open for a possible return, Navy needs to move on and fill his position permanently.

John Feinstein is an ego maniac. Everyone who has ever spoken to him for more than 5 minutes, listened to his Bob Knight built my house story at a gala, tuned into a Navy football game on the radio, listened to him on ESPN 980 and on and on…knows this. But his latest move – resigning from the Navy football broadcast team – should remove any shred of a doubt.

According to his rant here, Feinstein has been pitching the idea of doing a documentary about the Army-Navy football game for a decade to CBS. Each of his overtures, based primarily on his experience writing A Civil War, was rejected for one reason or another. Fortunately for Navy football fans, but unfortunately for Feinstein, CBS decided to take on the initiative this year. According to Feinstein, the two-hour documentary will air on Showtime at some point after the 2011 Army-Navy game.

Upon hearing this news Feinstein rejoiced in the fact that the Army-Navy game will receive the kind of attention that he has rightfully thought it deserves. Oh wait that's what happened in every other house that a Navy football fan calls home. In the Feinstein mansion, he started to pout like an immature four-year-old who was just told she couldn't stay up to watch another episode of Dora the Explorer. Why exactly would Feinstein be upset? After all what role did he exactly envision himself playing in this documentary? Executive producer? Director? Screenwriter? Consultant? Key grip?

In his rant Feinstein said that "Doing this documentary would have been both a labor of love and a passion." What exactly would you have done with this documentary? Were you going to help them figure out whom to interview? Were you going to tell them how to get to the Navy locker room? There are many professionals in Navy's sports information office to take care of those logistics and much more.

Feinstein goes on to say that Army or Navy could have pushed CBS to involve him in the project – to its benefit. Wake up John, both academies and everyone not named John Feinstein knows that this story isn't about you – never has been – and it never will be. You always seem to point out how the Army-Navy game is about so much more than the typical greed of college athletics these days. Well, who is being greedy now? You don't own the Army-Navy game, but yet you want to be paid by CBS as if you did. Get over yourself. Oh wait, you never will. I mean who else could manage to squeeze the word ‘I' in a sentence six times. See his aforementioned rant for the answer.

Right after Feinstein pens in his blog post about resigning that, "There's no sense in going into any more detail," he decided to go against his own advice and offer more ‘insight' into who was behind the scheme against him…it was Pete Radovich at CBS. Of course to 99.9% of Navy football fans, it would take a Google search to figure out that Radovich is the CBS Sports' Creative Director with over a dozen Emmy awards to his name. Radovich is the bad guy because he ignored Army and Navy, who tried to explain to him that this documentary is destined to fail without Feinstein. Whatever. How Radovich could possibly win another Emmy on this project without Feinstein's "anecdotal memory" may be one of the great mysteries of all time.

Near the end of his blog post, Feinstein wrote: "So, to be at the games this fall and see CBS there with their cameras following players around; knowing they're in the locker room with their cameras; encountering people from CBS all the time, is something I simply can't face." According to this, Feinstein should have left years ago since CBS has been in Annapolis telecasting games for the past 5 seasons. The worst part of his entire rant, which brought me out of my writing hibernation, was when Feinstein said the following:

"Chet Gladchuk, the Navy athletic director and Eric Ruden, who runs the radio network, have been both gracious and understanding and have left the door open should I feel differently at some point."

In other words, what Feinstein meant to say was: "Chet Gladchuk and Eric Ruden recognize that I'm right and CBS is wrong. Furthermore, they understand that I am bigger than Navy football. So after I'm done blasting the network the Naval Academy owes a lot more to than me, I can come back and be a part of the Navy family anytime I want."

Sure CBS has nothing to do with the Navy radio network, but I don't think in a CBS-Feinstein battle, Navy is choosing the later. No way…and Navy fans shouldn't either.

In fact I hope Gladchuk takes a cue from his own head football coach, Ken Niumatalolo. I've got a good idea of how he would handle a player with the ego the size of Feinstein's.

Feinstein: Coach, I think I should start over Dobbs.

Niumatalolo: (laughs)

Feinstein: I'm serious.

Niumatalolo: You're a punter Feinstein, not a quarterback.

Feinstein: Then I quit…I mean I resign.

Niumatalolo: Coach Johns, find me a new punter.

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