Financial Media Personalities and Their ESPN Doppelgangers

“BOO-YAH.” – Jim Cramer

“BOO-YAH.” – Stuart Scott

My two favorite topics to follow are sports and the financial markets.  If you pay attention to the financial media for long enough you are bound to run across sport analogies.  It’s so easy to compare sports and finance.

And you can definitely see the similarities between ESPN’s programming and many of the financial television shows. Both are full of constant predictions, there’s a lot of shouting and arguing, most of it you can ignore but there are certain voices to pay attention to in both fields.

I’ve been watching (and reading) ESPN for as long as long as I can remember. There are many ESPN personalities that remind me of certain members of the financial media. So I thought I would have some fun with this and come up with a comparison of some of my favorite ESPN anchors, writers and talking heads with their counterparts in the world of finance.

Jim Cramer (Mad Money) & Dick Vitale (College Basketball Analyst)
Say what you will about these two, but you can tell both guys love their job and they always seem to be on.  They’re full of energy and enthusiasm every time they come on the air.  Also Cramer and Vitale have a penchant for LOUD NOISES!!!!

Joe Weisenthal (Business Insider) & Adam Schefter (NFL Insider)
Each likes to be the first with breaking news on Twitter.  Schefter has all the NFL trade, injury and free agency scoops while Weisenthal lives for getting the first word in on the latest economic data releases.

Paul Krugman (NY Times) & Mitch Albom (The Sports Reporters)
Well-known thinkers with many admirers (and many detractors), but each are probably their own biggest fan.

Howard Lindzon (StockTwits) & Tony Kornheiser (PTI)
These guys are both hilarious, intelligent (even though they don’t play it up) and like to spice things up a bit. Both seem like the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with to hear their stories and jokes.

Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture/Bloomberg) & Michael Wilbon (PTI)
These two develop their opinions using history as their guide and don’t let their emotions interfere with their views.  You get the sense that they’ve seen it all (or at least studied it). Both get their well-reasoned points across without resorting to excessive shouting or fear mongering, but aren’t afraid to argue their position (Also, I’d watch an investing PTI with Lindzon and Ritholtz).

Rick Santelli (CNBC) & Skip Bayless (First Take)
Just watch these two videos:

Josh Brown (The Reformed Broker/CNBC) & Bill Simmons (Grantland)
Simmons never holds back his opinions and comes at sports from a fan’s perspective. Brown is similarly a diehard fan of the markets and investing with his own strongly held views. Other similarities between the two: pop culture references and comedic relief (Josh if you ever decide to start the Grantland of finance I’m in).

Jason Zweig (Wall Street Journal) & Bob Ryan (The Sports Reporters)
The wise veterans who have seen it all and have probably forgotten more about their respective crafts than most of the regulars in their industry.

Kelly Evans (CNBC) & Michelle Beadle (SportsNation)
The upstarts who have both used their smarts and personalities across a wide variety of shows on their respective networks to make a name for themselves.

Carl Quintanilla (CNBC) & Chris Fowler (College Game Day)
The consummate professionals that can seamlessly transition between topics and control the various egos and personalities on their sets. The best hosts are able to appear knowledgeable about their subject matter without making frivolous predictions or showing a rooting interest. These two make it look easy.

Keith McCullough (HedgeEye) & Stephen A. Smith (First Take)
A couple of guys that take self-promotion to another level and don’t seem to mind mixing it up with others (I know McCullough isn’t technically in the media but he’s been on CNBC before so the judges will allow it).

Larry Kudlow (CNBC) & Colin Cowherd (The Herd on ESPN Radio)
Each is able to carry an entire debate by themselves.  They would make perfect salesmen because they are able to create such compelling arguments when they state their case, whether you agree with them or not.

Michael Santoli (Yahoo! Finance) & Zach Lowe (Grantland)
Santoli and Lowe are as good as anyone at articulating the current state of their areas of expertise.  Santoli lays out where we stand in the financial markets while Lowe breaks down all things NBA.  Also, both have the ability to provide useful sources of information — Santoli with his “Mystery Broker” and Lowe with his various GMs, scouts and and front office sources.

Jason Whitlock (ESPN Writer) & Henry Blodget (Business Insider)
Two very opinionated guys that have both taken advantage of their second chances (Whitlock was fired from ESPN for comments about another employee while Blodget was banned from the securities industry for comments about technology stocks).  I don’t always agree with their opinions but it makes sense to listen to contrarian arguments to see both sides of an issue.

Any good ones I missed?

Here’s the best stuff I’ve been reading this week:

  • The only truth in the markets is surprise (Derek Hernquist)
  • Seth Godin: “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Meaningful practice makes perfect, even if you don’t get paid for it.” (Seth’s Blog)
  • Maybe we all have selective memory on how easy the rise in stocks has been (Irrelevant Investor)
  • A dozen lessons from Jeff Bezos (25iq)
  • Remember, everything in the markets is cyclical. Conor Sen on where we are in the cycle right now (csen)
  • Limiting your options is a great way to reduce harmful decisions (Reformed Broker)
  • Predictions are more interesting to debate but a consistent process is the real key to your portfolio’s success (Millennial Invest)
  • “Unlike most value investors, I don’t say three Hail Marys and reach for the smelling salts when I come across an attractive-looking growth stock” (Monevator)
  • Hey Millennials, it’s a good thing that things are bad (Ryan Holiday)
  • The biases of your favorite market pundits (Big Picture)

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  1. JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit commented on May 02

    DIAPER DANDY BAAAAABY! There’s definitely a lot of parallels between sports and finances and it even shows up in the commentators/writers. I’ll have to give those videos a look when I get off my work internet that blocks Youtube. How dare they!

    • Ben commented on May 02

      No YouTube at work?! But how are you supposed to waste time?

      • JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit commented on May 02

        I should probably go to HR about that one. That has to fall under some sort of discrimination.

  2. serial killers commented on Nov 13

    There are a lot of structural explanations ffor the rise of reported serial murders through the 1980s.