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Series / Jim Rome is Burning

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"But first, here's what I'm burning on!"

Jim Rome Is Burning, originally titled Rome Is Burning, was a sports discussion show hosted by Jim Rome. Debuting in 2003, it ran on ESPN for several years, but in 2011 was moved to ESPN2, and ended on January 27, 2012 due to Rome moving to CBS. The show was basically a condensed version of Rome's radio show, The Jim Rome Show, and as such incorporated many of the same features.

The format of the show is as follows:

  • Rome Is Burning - Rome gave takes on four to five sports topics of the day.
  • Alone with Rome - Rome interviewed an athlete, coach, or other sports figure.
  • The Forum - A one-on-one discussion with another sports show host or columnist about a number of topics. Formerly, two such figures were featured and the segment featured fewer topics; this changed to the one-on-one format in early 2010.
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  • The Correspondent - An athlete, coach, or occasional celebrity gave a "behind-the-scenes" look at their work.
  • The Final Burn - Rome gave one or two final takes before signing off.

The Correspondent usually ran once a week; the rest generally ran in the given order every day, although circumstances could cause changes.

The show was part of ESPN's afternoon block of "journalists yell about sports" shows.


This show provides examples of:

  • Catchphrase: Several, mostly from the radio show. Some that frequently showed up:
    • The show's intro, which is too long to post in its entirety, as well as Rome saying, "I am out" at the show's end.
    • Rome saying something about something an athlete's done (usually something illegal) and then saying, "Allegedly."
    • Rome saying, "Uh-oh!" and immediately being echoed by a clip of Carl Lewis saying "Uh-oh!" during his disastrous singing of the National Anthem.
    • Rome referring to a fanbase for a team as "___ Fan" ("Raider Fan", "Lakers Fan", etc.)
  • Colbert Bump: invoked "JRIB Karma", the same as the "Jungle Karma" on the radio show, which is the tendency for athletes who appear on the show to do better than normal in their next game, or vice versa if they no-show.
  • Flip-Flop of God: invoked Rome went from being very critical and sarcastic toward NASCAR to respecting the sport and the drivers.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: While Rome was interviewing Monta Ellis, then-swingman for the Golden State Warriors, Baron Davis bolted on-camera and gave Ellis a shaving cream pie to the face as a prank. Unfortunately for Ellis, the shaving cream hurt his eyes and the interview was awkwardly cut to a commercial as Ellis left to get medical help. Coming back from break, Davis took Ellis's spot and re-assured everyone that he was OK.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's a sports show, if Jim starts talking about something unrelated to sports (politics for instance), you know it's something serious. And if he begins his show talking about something other than sports, you better believe it's of monumental importance to him.
  • Pun: All of the headlines for the takes in "Rome Is Burning" and "The Final Burn" are puns, usually of titles of works or aphorisms.
  • Self-Applied Nickname: Never "gloss" yourself. One of the sure-fire ways for a caller to get run is to give themselves a nickname that has not already been applied to them by Rome or other callers. This is as true on the TV version begun in 2018 as on his 25-year-old radio show.
  • Soccer-Hating Americans: invoked Rome may well be the Trope Codifier, as he is considered to be soccer's most outspoken hater who tends to be hell-bent on demeaning the sport, its players and its fans whenever a soccer story is mentioned. The only time he averted this was giving props to the women's team at UC Santa Barbara, his alma mater, for winning the NCAA championship.

"I am out!"