ESPN is still mainly a deadly force out there. From Mike Greenberg and his noxious "Get Up" program to the now stale Golic ( and his ever present son) and Wingo Show, mornings are a tough caste laden sled. Big mouth Stephen Smith has made several egregious errors in recent months like saying Dwayne Haskins is a running QB. You begin to realize outside of the NBA and boxing Smith isn't really paying attention. Loquacious or not, his talents are better suited as a sideline NBA and boxing analyst. Not as a multi million dollar ESPN mouthpiece. And there are plenty of other sore spots. But there are also at least from my perspective some bright spots. For now I am putting MNF Booger M on ice. At first I couldn't stand him. He got a little bit better and less caste as the season wore on but the jury is still out on him. We don't know who will be doing the MNF games this year but I suspect Booger and Joe T will stay. Will they add a third wheel? My guess is they won't. But there are two rising stars. Maria Taylor is a tall ex Georgia basketball player that is settling in as a studio host type who should be doing the stuff Chris Berman used to do. Mainly known as a sideline reporter I have been impressed with her ease at the table. Like Berman she doesn't need to know a lot but just enough. The key is to keep things breezy and she did just that during the women's basketball coverage. But by far the best on air talent at ESPN is Marty Smith. A true southerner Smith is supremely intelligent and incisive. He cuts to the bone faster than anyone in TV sports. He started off doing their Nascar and they have been slowly branching him out to cover college football and now for instance he is covering the Masters. He is a throw back to the day when hyper intelligent people used to cover sports. I don't know where to place him on the caste meter only to say he doesn't seem entrenched like say Greenberg or Golic. On Saturday mornings he has a loose "southern" style ESPN radio show called Marty and McGee which shows off his funny side. But make no mistake. ESPN needs to move him front and center and fast. His style doesn't fit into studio bound stuff but they need to place him at the scene of every big event. He is everything you want from a sports reporter/analyst. His running commentary is head and shoulders above the crowd. Like the best sports writers of yesteryear, Marty captures the essence of the events and the athletes better than anyone I can think of right now. His brief description of day one Masters this morning was terrific. Well that is the way I see it for what that is worth.