Want a really good defense of Kiper? KSK's Drew Magary offers one here (plus a handy rebuttal). What has gone under-reported, however, is that ESPN seems to be shouldering Mel out of the way to make room for Todd "New Kiper" McShay.
McShay is sort of like Kiper 2.0 -- but a Kiper without the vast mythology that makes Mel so much of who he is: The self-assurance, the Bal'mer accent, the wild feud with the Colts, the hair. Most of which was developed well before technological and television ubiquity.