Todd McShay, an ESPN draft expert and analyst who was a kick ass dude and a rising star within the network, was shot and killed today during a commercial break while covering the NFL Draft.
McShay was shot in the side of the head by fellow draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. He was killed instantly.
Authorities claim that Kiper was able to smuggle in a gun into Radio City Music Hall in his trademark big hair. This allowed him to slip passed the metal detectors, um, undetected.
He claimed that his original intention was to shoot McShay right as the program was beginning, live on-air, but according to him, he delayed because "I couldn't remember which part of my hair I stashed it in, so it took me a while to find it."
Once he did find it, he didn't hesitate to pull the trigger.
The commercial break in question came right after the Miami Dolphins selected Jake Long out of the University of Michigan with the first pick. After the gunfire, projected No. 2 draft pick Glenn Dorsey, who was sitting nearby, ran over to try and tackle Kiper to the ground.
Kiper delivered a strong stiff arm, sending Dorsey to the ground and subsequently causing the St. Louis Rams to pass on him with the second pick.
"Thank God that happened,” said Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan. "We were all set to take Dorsey after the commercial break until we saw his poor form on that tackle. I mean, he didn't even wrap up. Kiper screwed us back in '02 when he advised us to take Eric Crouch, so I guess we can call it even now. Like they say, when one door [McShay’s life] closes, another one opens."
Kiper then was cornered by security and decided to surrender without any further violence. After talking it over with ESPN executives, authorities allowed Kiper to finish out the first rounds’ telecast.
After a boring 10 minute delay, the draft resumed, and the Rams selected Chris Long instead of Dorsey, who slipped all the way down to the Philadelphia Eagles at pick 19.
Kiper’s attorney, Donald McCorvey, has already issued a statement defending his client, arguing that it was McShay’s own fault, and that he, "shouldn't have been standing there."
Kevin Jefferson, head of security at Radio City Music Hall, said he was very disappointed in his staff’s mistake in letting Kiper get by.
"The metal detectors did go off as Mr. Kiper walked through, but my staff members pulled him aside and went over him with the hand held device, but never thought to put it over his hair,” he explained. "Mr. Kiper is here year after year and has never previously been a problem."
You might ask why they would need metal detectors for the NFL draft.
"You'd be surprised at how many weapons we confiscate,” continued Jefferson. "Mostly its Detroit Lions’ fans who are attempting to kill Matt Millen. One time, a guy waited outside on the street until Millen came out and shot him five times, but fortunately, it was just a Matt Millen body double. Mr. Millen has about 20 of them that routinely go out in public for safety’s sake."
It's not just fans and crazy analysts though.
"Just a couple of years ago we even had a player, Pacman Jones, get caught with nine guns on him while entering the building. He said it was an honest mistake, and that he thought he was wearing his non-gun jacket. He said he normally carries anywhere from 20-30 guns on him at all times, and he can't always remember which pockets he leaves them in, which led to the misunderstanding. I believed him. He seems like an honest guy. Guns at the draft is unfortunate, but it's inevitable. This is the first time that we know of where a weapon has successfully been snuck in."
Both McShay and Kiper were draft analysts for the worldwide leader in sports, and according to many close to the two, there had been a growing rift between them in the recent past.
Kiper has been ESPN's go to guy for all things NFL draft since 1989, but in 2006, they began to feature McShay more often.
He was a young hot shot who had all the tools to be an all time great analyst and was generally considered pretty awesome.
Over the past year, Kiper has reportedly been growing very jealous and resentful of McShay, who represented a newer, younger era at ESPN and by all accounts was beginning to push the aging Kiper out the door.
When Kiper recently showed up for a taping of NFL Live, he found his usual seat occupied by McShay. There was no more room at the desk, and Kiper wasn't happy.
He was eventually told to find a chair and pull it up to the side of the desk, but there was no extra chair. While McShay snickered, Kiper was forced to stand awkwardly to the side and eventually sat cross-legged on the floor for the entire show.
But on-air exposure wasn't their only differences. It began to spill over into their personal lives as well.
Many staffers at ESPN claim that Kiper would often go around saying that McShay "stole my girl" referring to colleague Linda Cohn, who Kiper had been infatuated with for over 10 years.
Cohn had repeatedly told Kiper that he was "a sweet guy" and "she loved him…as a friend."
Things really boiled after this past Friday’s taping of Sportscenter. The NFL Live guys were coming in to use the same set, and Cohn had left behind her diary.
Kiper took a look inside and discovered Cohn had scribbled, I <3 Todd McShay, and written over and over was "Linda McShay" with little tiny pink hearts all around.
That appeared to be the last straw for Kiper as he stormed off the set and went home to plot the assassination.
McShay will be missed around the Bristol, Connecticut campus.
"Todd was a very intelligent analyst and an all around good guy,” said ESPN President George Bodenheimer. "He was also a really funny guy. I remember this joke he told me about an interrupting cow. It was fantastic. Had me in stitches. Actually, I think Mel once told me the same joke a year before that, but it just didn't hit the same. Maybe it was the delivery. Or maybe it was the faggy way that Mel told it."
"Man, this sucks,” said anchor Stewart Scott, "now who's going to play on the softball team? Todd was the best third baseman since Charlie Steiner. Maybe Dana Jacobsen would want to play. She could pass for a guy."
This tragedy is coming at a terrible time for ESPN, who have had a PR nightmare on their hands fresh off another act of violence between on-air personalities.
Just one week ago NFL reporter John Clayton stabbed analyst Sean Salisbury after Salisbury repeatedly referred to Clayton as "the cryptkeeper.”
Clayton had been fed up with the constant bullying at the hands of Salisbury, who would sometimes shove Clayton into the lockers and wouldn't allow Clayton to sit with him and the other guys at the table in the lunchroom.
Clayton is currently being held in a maximum security prison until the district attorney decides to charge him once he learns the fate of Salisbury.
He'll probably die.