Since I’m not a regular watcher of ESPN I was quite surprised when sometime last year I saw a video clip of a segment and it featured Dan Orlovsky as a talking head. Not as the guest, but as the employed member of the show. My thought process of seeing him: “wait, Dan Orlovsky? The guy who ran out the back of the endzone?”

Yes! It was him. The guy who ran out the back of the endzone. The Lions backup QB, who in a top 10 moment of dumbassery, just ran out of the back of the endzone trying to roll out of the pocket. He gave the Vikings a safety and the moment has essentially become the defining image of the winless ’08 Lions. It was probably the de-facto “idiot QB” moment in NFL history until Mark Sanchez ran into a butt. I especially love how hard Jared Allen is laughing in the photo. This is the only moment Dan Orlovsky did anything of note in his entire career and if you recognized his name, this is why. I hope he’s made peace with the fact that this is his NFL legacy.

Well apparently somewhere down the line he managed to worm his way into ESPN as an analyst so good for him. Maybe if he’s good enough he can be remembered for something other than one of the dumbest plays in existence. When I found out he was now a thing, I started paying slight attention to the show he was on, and it seems like he’s just another talking head there to spout some takes with spice. Just the latest guy to go “this team sucks!” or “this sucky team is good though!” to get that sweet sweet engagement. Maybe I should pivot to only hot takes, seems lucrative.

His most delightful controversial take of note was calling Damian Lillard a spoiled and entitled brat. If you don’t follow the NBA or know anything about Damian Lillard, he’s arguably the most genuine human being in the entire league who has 100% earned all of his accolades and praise. One of the least entitled and spoiled superstars I’ve ever seen. The whole thing exposed one of two facts: either Dan Orlovsky doesn’t follow the NBA and know Dame’s story so he just made rude assumptions about his character…or he does know Dame is good and woke up that morning choosing violence for the engagement because he knew Dame would respond. Or he did it because ESPN told him to. None of these paint him sympathetically. Dan was rightfully roasted for it and his backpedaling after Dame called him out was fast enough to win the Tour de France.

As a quick side note since I already brought him up, I met Dame in the wild once and he shook my hand. It was on a side street near the Portland waterfront park on the 4th of July blues festival. I said hey when I realized it was him and he shook my hand and said “hey man nice to meet you”. Two minutes later he was up on the festival stage giving a short speech concerning his involvement with the Special Olympics. This is the guy Orlovsky called spoiled and entitled because he wanted to rest his body for some games.

NFL fans might remember Dan’s second-biggest hit when he questioned Justin Field’s work ethic before the draft. Cue the racial discussion firestorm because Justin Fields is black, black QBs always get those kinds of critiques thrown at them, meanwhile, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones were flying up draft boards. In Dan’s defense, he claims he was just repeating what sources had told him, which might be true and the NFL is certainly full of racist old dipshits who would think that sorta stuff about Fields. It might have also come from residual effects of Ohio State’s most recent QB bust, Dwayne Haskins, a player who very much lacked work ethic once he reached the league. I’m willing to give Dan the benefit of the doubt on this one for fairness sake (because the alternative is Dan is officially #PROBLEMATIC instead of just dumb) but he deserves plenty of the heat that got thrown his way for how he said it. In both this and the Dame case he at least backpedaled and did a half-apology, which is more than you’d get from most analysts, but it was never a true full apology, so you could say he was playing it safety.

Anyway despite the fact that I just trashed him for several paragraphs highlighting his mistakes, he seems harmless. He does think Carson Wentz is still really good, which is just a shame. Not the hill I would choose to die on but I guess all analysts are required by law to pick one guy to love obsessively and one superstar to hate irrationally.