The Circus is in Town: Lowell and Grant Cohn

I’m an open minded person.

If you throw me in a new situation, I’ll do my best to adapt to that situation for the better.

For example, my college roommate freshman year would go days without showering…literally. As a guy who can’t go more than half a day without showering, suddenly living with a person who showers once every 72 hours (on average) was the worst possible trait my roommate could possibly have. Even though I brought it up multiple times to his face, he wouldn’t budge. “Shit…this is going to be a long year” were the exact words I thought during orientation.

But heck, he was an alright guy; he let me use his XBOX, get songs off his iTunes and let me borrow some hangers. He ended up being one of my best friends I’ve had during my current college experience.  It was still a long year, especially in dorm 312 at San Jose State. Let’s just say my roommate wasn’t helping me with the whole female aspect of college either. If he was in my room, girls probably weren’t. Once again, I adapted and had to kick him to the curb if I needed some time with that special someone…the few there were at least.

Why am I explaining my freshman year struggles?

Well, as an open minded person, I had to adapt. I had to adjust from a potentially horrible year to make it somewhat manageable.

This brings me to Lowell and Grant Cohn. Lowell Cohn and his newfound journalist by default son Grant are the two worst journalists in the Bay Area, and two of the worst I’ve ever read, heard or watched in my entire sports viewing life.

I tried to adapt, I gave them chances, probably more than I should have. But they finally hit a breaking point with me this year. Once I started Fogtown Sports, I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I had to express my thoughts on these clowns that call themselves journalists. Where to begin?

Let’s start with Grant, a high off Purp looking douchebag who looked like he just got done shopping in the ladies department at Macy’s. Wait, probably too classy for him, maybe the women’s department at Target. That’s better. Either way it’s not the person you want representing a respected local newspaper and sports station.

How did he get his job? He probably will tell you he had some writing experience in high school, passed his English classes with flying colors and has been around the business his whole life. The reality? He’s a below average writer whose dad hooked him up with a job once Grant couldn’t get hired at the local Togo’s.  He knows it, his dad knows it, members of the media know it and more importantly, the people reading his crap know it.

Ask any knowledgeable sports fan about his posts and they’ll give you the same answer: terrible writer who clearly got his job because his dad sucked up to his employers for him. Thankfully he hasn’t made his way to the TV side of Comcast; lord knows what circus act two Cohn’s would make on the same camera. Let’s hope Grant never sniffs a camera during his “career” at CSN.

The most troubling thing about Grant’s employment? In a time when jobs are so scarce, especially in the field of journalism, for this guy to have a job and take the spot from an actual journalist is abysmal. With so few jobs out there, for Grant to cheat his way into the position he has is shameful on the part of the Press Democrat and Comcast. They should know better. You have journalists left and right being demoted, transferred or fired from their previous jobs struggling to find their next one. Yet fools like Grant Cohn have jobs? Give me a break.

Now to Bozo the Clown…whoops…I mean Lowell Cohn.

“Lowell Cohn has been covering Bay Area sports for more than 30 years and he’s never run out of things to say.”

You got that right.

That detailed, clear, concise sentence is all that lay in the “About Me” section of Lowell Cohn’s terrible blog called “The Cohn Zohn.” But hey, if my blog consisted of paragraph long posts than I wouldn’t have much in the “About Me” section either.

Seriously though, does “The Cohn Zohn” even count as a blog? I know it’s just an extension of his columns, but still. The whole purpose of a blog, especially one you’re getting paid for, is to extend your thoughts on the internet, giving readers a place to give their thoughts and extend your words to the world. For Lowell Cohn? Well, he extends his thoughts on his flight from Kona, Jennifer Lopez, Sexsmiths, walking his dog and numerous details of his fishing trip. Riveting stuff.

Not a bad gig huh? Write a sports column every other day, comped flights and hotels to sporting events and blog about his vacation and J-Lo. If you want to blog about your vacation, J-Lo or fishing, do it on a personal blog, Tumblr or even Twitter. That’s assuming Lowell knows how to use social media that is. Maybe it’s the Press Democrat’s fault by letting him blog on whatever he wants. But if I was a sports journalist, I don’t think people would give a rat’s ass on how I caught a bass fish, especially knowing I’m getting paid to write about that. I’m insulted he’s earning his paycheck like that.

Lowell responded to these claims in a recent post last month:

“Because this is my blog and, in a way, it’s a personal journal, I sometimes refer to other parts of my life. I can’t help it. I can’t be just one thing even if you feel most comfortable with my being just one thing.”

Well Lowell, because your blog is in the sports section of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s website, because your banner has sports equipment in it, because your tagline is “Lowell Cohn’s pertinent and impertinent take on sports” and because YOU’RE AN EMPLOYED SPORTS JOURNALIST, I’d wonder why readers would question your posts on NON-sports topics. Shocking isn’t it? Readers complaining about non-sports posts on a sports blog. I can get away with it because I’m not getting paid for my words, not yet anyway. You’re getting paid to write sports…WRITE ABOUT SPORTS. Even though you’re a hack, at least have the decency to do what your job description entails. If you want to be more than “one thing” use your Twitter for once or make a personal, non-paid blog for yourself. You can write all you want about fishing, your son’s C average or your last failed dentist appointment, don’t worry, I won’t be reading.

His blog is also a place for his son to receive some free publicity. Every other post consists of links to Grant’s blogs, either on Comcast or the Press Democrat websites. Lowell often gives his .02 cents on Grant’s posts too. Which, if you read between the lines say “Don’t be so hard on my unskilled, lack of talent ridden son. He’s trying his hardest!”

The biggest problem with Lowell Cohn? His brash style. It flows through his writing and is even worse on the TV side. His writing consists of mostly shorter sentences with quick thoughts and jabs. He’ll throw in the occasional longer sentence but the thoughts often seem too brash for his own good. You’re not on ESPN where you get paid more for being harsher (Calling Colin Cowherd or Skip Bayless), no need to act like you’re some big shot. No need to act as if your words are the only words people care about; in fact they’re far from it.

On the TV side Lowell comes off as a grumpy, sullen old man who forgot to take his Vicodin that morning. His shtick gets old fast. He tries so hard to be different, to be more than the prototypical “one thing.” He comes off as a guy who doesn’t want to cover sports, but rather covers them because he has to. I’ve never shared a press box with Lowell Cohn, but I can imagine him now: his glasses on, his 2003 Compaq in front of him, his AOL email open, his cup of black coffee on his side and his ego on his fingertips.

Lowell’s ego has gotten him in trouble in the past. Besides pissing people off on a daily basis through his blog, columns and CSN, two previous instances come to mind where he pissed off the wrong people.

Lowell Cohn’s brash and often abusive style was never more apparent than during a 49ers weekly press conference two years ago. In the heat of the Mike Singletary era, Cohn rips Singletary and questions his coaching style and the respect his players have for him. Not the way to treat a Hall of Fame linebacker. Believe it or not, Singletary is a great football mind. Coaching is another story, but no one can question his knowledge of the game. Singletary gives the biggest middle finger to Lowell without actually giving it. I enjoyed that video, a refreshing rip on someone that deserved one. Even if it is two years old.

Video of Singletary/Cohn rippage can be found here

The second instance of Cohn’s ego getting the best of him was in 2010 when associating steroid users to murderers:

“”It’s not like a defense lawyer walks into court and says, ‘Thousands of murderers get away with their crimes, so you should let my client, who wiped out an entire family, go free in the interest of fair play.’ That would be absurd.”

Nice one Bozo. Associating the murdering of families to millionaire athletes who use steroids. Another terrible argument used in that classic Lowell Cohn style we all know and love. I consider this to be AT LEAST a suspendable offense. Comparing those two things is like getting mad during a baseball game and calling the pitcher an illegal alien (“Can’t tell me no lies and keep your hands to yourself…). I didn’t hear him speak these words, but I don’t need to. I know how it would have looked: foolish.

Lowell and Grant Cohn should not be employed by any respectable news outlet. Grant for being a terrible writer and not properly earning his job. Lowell for being the weird, old married guy in the corner of the strip club doing nothing, just sitting and freaking everyone out. I’ve talked to tons of people who read and watch Bay Area sports. ZERO like anything related to these two fools. Whether it’s Grant’s free job at the Press Democrat and Comcast or his dad’s annoying and obnoxious style, these two shouldn’t be anywhere near a laptop or a camera. With so many great writers in the Bay Area, it’s a shame the Cohn’s share the same title is those real journalists. Lowell and Grant Cohn sharing the same title as a Ray Ratto, Tim Kawakami or Mark Purdy? Are you kidding me?

Hey Lowell, go back to the retirement home where you belong.

Hey Grant, my little brother’s elementary school needs a writer for their weekly newsletter, go where you belong.

No one will miss you.



2 responses

  1. Lowell Cohn

    Dear Jordan,

    Thanks so much for your lengthy post about my son Grant and me. As you know, I don’t need the publicity but Grant is just starting out and can use all the ink (or internet space) he can get. You greatly helped him in his career and all of us in the Cohn Zohn appreciate your efforts.


    Lowell Cohn

    August 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM

  2. Jack

    Lowell Cohn is a totally worthless dbag, and by extension, his son likely is, too.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:49 PM

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