Saturday, May 17

A Hole in the Sports-Time Continuum

I am a simple man. I like Sports. I follow Sports. I'm interested in the news of Sports. Unfortunately, ESPN no longer provides quality content that allows a simple man, such as myself, to follow Sports. Over the past year, ESPN in general, and SportsCenter in particular, has devolved into a kitschy, shouting, menstrual-flowing froth of shit. And for that, there is no apology save for ESPN performing seppuku.

This has been a long, painfully slow realization that ESPN has methodically moved from awesome to great to good to dear-God-why?-why?!-why?!? bad. I began to notice the decline a few years back ESPN cut back its Sports programming. Then SportsCenter would have every damn segment sponsored by some company (Miller, Coors, US Marines). The sponsored segments would invariably involve some "expert" talk about who knows what or why. Unlike Peter Gammons commentary, these "experts analyses" were utterly devoid of content. Why should I care what Sean Salisbury thinks? What's even more infuriating is that these segments come at the expense of appropriately detailed highlights of real, honest-to-God games. And ESPN has this penchant for showing the same highlight from 37 different angles. LeBron's dunk ain't so impressive the 15th time seen as the 1st, and I have to sit through 12 more angles.

ESPN has become an extended jibber-jabber talk show with the occasional interruption of an actual, televised "sporting event." It's unfortunate I am unable to adequately write "sporting event" with enough sarcasm and bile. Apparently rodeo, poker and fishing are all worthy of "sporting event." That is sad. I pity the fool!

Even then, though, I would routinely turn on ESPN. I yearned for Baseball Tonight, long a bastion of level-headed analysis a true appreciator of Baseball. Then the amount of highlights decreased, with numb-nuts John Kruk and Steve Phillips "picking up the slack."

Finally, I read in "God Save the Fan" that ESPN gives each of their "analysts" talking points to elicit the appearance of genuine disagreement. ESPN is completely scripting the discussion. I don't need this. I don't need this at all. At Fucking All!

So, good bye ESPN. Three years ago, this break-up would have difficult. Now, I am a liberated man, free to find what I want, where I want, without being beholden to your clownshoes notion of what is worth knowing.

Anyone know where I can find a suitable replacement? Since I'm on the rebound, I'm easy.

1 comments [add yours!]:

spanky said...

Anyone know where I can find a suitable replacement?

Allow me to introduce you to this thing called the Internet...

Seriously though, I can't imagine going back to ESPN either. As far as following pro sports goes, I'm currently in a "wane" cycle, but I'm pretty certain that the possibility of seeing even two seconds of that goddawful PTI rip-off with the four "journalists" and the screaming kid host is enough to keep me from ever alighting on that channel again, no matter what.

Back in the day I used to visit a fair amount, but it jumped the shark when it put Neyer and all its other halfway-decent coverage behind Insider. Gay, gay, gay (and not in the good way). I still check in on Simmons every once in a blue moon, but his niche is being pretty thoroughly filled these days by the high-quality bloggers like With Leather, Deadspin, KSK, etc.