Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On worthlessESPN

It's no secret that I loathe worthlessESPN (tm). 15-20 years ago, it was a good network that did substantive reporting and journalism. It did so while it remained irreverent and able to poke fun at itself.

Now, it's lost the sense of humor that keep SPORTS in the right perspective. It's almost completely devoid of substance. It's emulated cable 'news' channels by wasting air time with yap show hosts who feel that sound and fury pass for sporting analysis. And most egregiously, it's descended into a PR machine which makes sport almost completely incidental.

Pretty much any sport they touch, they ruin with an avalanche, flood and hurricane of hype. Every week brings a new 'game of the year'!! Every tempest in a teapot is treated like Watergate squared!!

Oops, sorry. I forgot a few exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On those rare occassions when they do cover soccer, they tend to destroy it with hype just like everything else (except for the Champions League ironically enough). Contrary to what the geniuses at worthlessESPN might think, no one cares what brand toilet paper David Beckham prefers. Though we wouldn't mind seeing him play soccer for 90 minutes in a competitive match one of these years. Playing soccer, as one might recall, is perhaps the least important reason he came to Major League SOCCER but it's certainly part of the equation.

worthlessESPN is such garbage that I rarely watch it anymore unless soccer's on, especially since it stopped covering the NHL.

I have no desire to watch televised poker. I have no desire to watch one of their 'general sports' shows spend 15 out of 22 non-commercial minutes talking about then NFL when it precedes a two-hour NFL pregame show. I have no desire watching 10 minutes of yammering on spring football workouts for the State U's backup punt coverage team.

worthlessESPN is a godsend if you like football, especially the NFL... which I like less and less primarily because of this overhype. worthlessESPN isn't bad if you like baseball... but only in the spring and early summer, before pointy ball sucks all the oxygen out of the room. It's good if you like the Non-Basketball Association. But if you like any other sport, you probably already know not to waste your time with with them.

It doesn't bother me that the folks at worthlessESPN don't care about soccer. It no longer bothers me that many there have an active contempt for soccer. When you're a soccer fan in this country, you're used to the fact that some ninnies are so insecure about the future of the sports they like that they have to take infantile and wholly unoriginal cheap shots at sports that are becoming more popular. They view sporting interest as some kind of zero sum game. The sports media establishment is notoriously small-minded. It's just the way things are.

But what I've come to hate about worthlessESPN is how much coverage they give to non-sporting events... or should I say, sporting non-events.

I was at a place last night where the TV was tuned to worthlessESPN's flagship news program FootballCenter. An erroneous graphic referred to it as SportsCenter; you know it was erroneous because it listed 'sports' in the plural. This brief experience reminded me of why I stopped watching worthlessESPN in the first place.

The first segment was one about the Atlanta Falcons' owner. They were making a mountain out a molehill, which is pretty much par for the course for them. But whatever.

The second segment was about fantasy football. Not real football, mind you. But worthlessESPN's own little fantasy league. I have to say that I'm not particularly concerned about how the injury to the Colts' 4th string long snapper will affect the fantasy league tables. But maybe I'm in the minority.

This was immediately followed by a segment where they simulated a fake college football tournament, since the NCAA doesn't hold a real one (at least not for Division I, or the bowl suburban development or whatever it's called now).

At this point, I found the remote and changed the channel.

No one complained.

So worthlessESPN went from a segment on semi-real pro football to fake pro football to a segment on fake college football.

Appropriate, I suppose, for a fake network.


Anonymous said...

Amen, they have destroyed Monday Night football, please Tony Konheiser can't suck enuff.

A Social Skidmark said...

I haven't seen but a few games on espn this year. I don't watch any of the sports news, talk shows, or game shows. FOX Soccer Channel is the best. And for "American sports" I get it off the internet. I can't handle the nonstop crap that is on espn.