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919191
04-08-2004, 11:46 AM
I just watched the firt part of Sportscenter on ESPN. They led off with the Bonds/Clemens game followed by the Reds /Cubs game. Or was that the Giants/Astros game? They weren't too clear about that. That show is so about hype I can rarely watch it anymore, unless there is a specific highlight I want to see. I just found this. I like it.

THE DOWNFALL OF SPORTSCENTER



Paragraphs and Punctuation
by Kwon
Krimilian Columnist
E-mail Kwon



March 19, 2003



The ESPN network has totally changed the way sports in America are covered (showing slam dunks), highlighted (lots of slam dunks), and even played (the slam dunk). Arguments whether or not this is good or bad can go on without
end – but I think the world is a lot better off with 24 hour a day sports coverage than without it. One major drawback (of the 24 hour a day coverage) is that often times in sports there is nothing to talk about it – and the media must make up meaningless controversy to fill in (see the Daily Krimilian's Four Levels of Sports News) . ESPN is very good at this controversy and has effectively turned their cash cow – the Sportscenter show – into complete and utter trash.

Sportscenter is horrible. I can’t even get through an entire segment nowadays. It is just atrocious. Why you may ask? Here’s ten reasons why Sportscenter sucks my balls.

1. The hour long format. The hour long format pretty much ruined the show and is the basis for the other nine things on this list. This was the beginning of the end – the half-hour show had like 21 minutes of highlights and 2 minutes of analysis. If you wanted to see if your team won last night – you only had to wait through a maximum half-hour to find out. Back then, they couldn’t even cover all the highlights, they always ended up showing like two scores of games with no highlights – which I still find refreshing – it made you appreciate the highlights even more. I don’t’ know about you – But I honestly don’t
need highlights of Aubrey Huff or Chauncey Billups everyday. Plus – who can watch an hour of television in the morning? Cmon! HALF HOUR! Half HOUR! Jerk STORE’s the line! JERK STORE!

2. Taboo? They have so little info to fill up the hour long Sportscenter – that they now play Taboo with athletes. Whats next? – Rich Eisen and Kenny Mayne playing a game of Sorry with Ray Jackson and Jimmy King?
What they hell happened to those guys by the way?

3. The anchors – The Sportscenter anchors think they are WAY too important. I don’t care what kind of salaries they make – these guys take themselves way too serious. Stuart Scott, Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne – they all act like THEY are
more important than the event they cover. Just because you work at Sportscenter – doesn’t mean any one remotely care about you. Craig Kilborn was the greatest Sportscenter anchor ever. He was hilarious without being overblown or annoying (and he did this during half hour shows). Plus, as Sir N William Wright pointed out – he changed the way an entire sports generation speaks…

4. The Highlights – they have less highlights now than they did in the half hour show! Now it is all these in depth news stories on athletes who help the community and experts analyzing offensive lineman… Does anyone care? If I want to watch Dateline, I will watch 60 Minutes err I mean Nightline err I mean Dateline…

5. The catchphrases. Why does every single anchor have to have these stupid quips and catchphrases. I think they are starting to get away from them now – but for awhile you couldn’t even follow the highlights cuz some of the anchors were spouting out lingo so long you don’t know who was pitching or what inning it was. Stop with catch phrases.

6. The show format. They have way too many sets, anchors, stages, and polls. I think it takes like fifteen anchors to put on a show now. Remember when they used to go to commercial and that guy’s voice would go – “Coming up in 43
minutes Sean Salisbury take a dump” That was real annoying. Then, half the time it didn’t even happen at the time they said it would. I swear one time they said coming up next “Golden State Warriors Highlights” and they didn’t come on until 54 minutes past the hour. I need my Run TMC highlights!

7. Sean Salisbury - They guy is one of the dumbest people I have ever heard or seen. Period. And Jay Bilas is getting real annoying too.

8. The Dan Patrick Radio Show – It started last night and now it is on TV – This show is dogcrap. Please end. I once yelled out at the movie “Spy Hard”, “PLEASE END!” It eventually did…

9. All the other shows – Since each sport has their own show now (NBA 2 night, MLS 2 night) – I don’t think Sportscenter tries to cover everything anymore – (Just like how massive expansion is ruining the NHL, the NBA and the MLB)

10. The Did You Know segment. Does anyone ever actually watch the last three minutes of Sportscenter? I sure don’t.

LvJ
04-08-2004, 11:48 AM
Yeah, I agree. I can't, nor do I watch Sportscenter anymore. It's slowly turned to garbage.

westofyou
04-08-2004, 12:06 PM
ESPN News gives you news

Sportscenter is the MTV of sports television, a marketing machine that has lost its way as it tries to be everything to everyone and still sell sports drinks and beer to the masses.

Chip R
04-08-2004, 12:14 PM
They had an article on Slate about a week ago that really ripped Sportscenter.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2098071/

This Is SportsCenter?
The decline and fall of ESPN's franchise.
By Matt Feeney
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at 4:13 PM PT

On ESPN's reality show, Dream Job, aspiring sportscasters auditioned for an anchor job on SportsCenter, which is more than the network's flagship news and highlight show. It is the sports show whose late-night edition, between 1992 and 1997, achieved iconic status in the hands of anchors Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. Dream Job was something of an ordeal to watch. The contestants read too fast or too haltingly, exclaimed inappropriately, got snagged on Slavic hockey names, and painfully tested look-at-me catchphrases and snarky tonal flourishes. It's strange that ESPN added Dream Job to its lineup since they already have a show in which aspirants compete, with an irritating surfeit of eagerness and theatrical sarcasm, to capture the singular vibe of Dan and Keith. It's called SportsCenter.

You can't criticize today's SportsCenter anchors for not living up to the legend of Dan and Keith. Indeed, these days neither Dan nor Keith is quite living up to the legend of Dan and Keith. Dan Patrick does a solid job as the solo anchor of the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, and Keith Olbermann has his own current events talk show on basic cable's perennially unwatched news network, MSNBC. The chemistry the two had together is a rare, elusive thing, which why it is such a debacle that ESPN allows its current first-string SportsCenter cast—mostly Steve Berthiaume, Linda Cohn, John Anderson, and Scott Van Pelt—to strive, night after night, to recapture that chemistry through brute force.

A good place to start in understanding the deft teamwork of Dan and Keith is the 1997 book they wrote together, The Big Show: A Tribute to ESPN's SportsCenter. The Big Show is not only a big, sloppy story of a certain 20-year chunk of American sports journalism, it is a faithful and funny document of the authors' on-air approach. Dan and Keith were simultaneously reverent and ironic toward the sports world and its history. They loved the old athletes and the old sportscasters, but instead of citing them in studious on-air footnotes, they used them in an increasingly fragmentary and hysterical game of tag-team free association. As The Big Show reminds us, Olbermann would tweak the clichés of sports injury lists by wise-cracking, "He's 'day to day'—we're all day to day." If a highlight video showed "players or fans who do not seem as happy as they should be" after a big play, he might reach beyond sports and offer a deadpan Monty Python reference—"And there was much rejoicing"—to punctuate the visual irony.

In contrast to this daring arbitrariness, the current anchors fall back on straight-up impersonation and on catchphrases that are stale the moment they're first uttered. SportsCenter veteran Linda Cohn, for example, peppers basketball highlights with an array of catchphrases that reflects an apparent front-office directive that she must, at all costs, have catchphrases. And so, when a player makes a steal, she says, "He's a thief," and when somebody gets open and hits a three-point field goal, she says he's "responding to a good visual." It's important to remind yourself that she has prepared these catchphrases ahead of time.

Often paired with Cohn is Steve Berthiaume, a fit-looking fellow with enviable composure and a classic nasal delivery. Berthiaume's specialty is an impersonation of Marv Albert, which is sports broadcasting's single deadest cliché. There are SportsCenters where nearly every time Berthiaume has the opportunity to call a three-pointer, he does it in his version of Albert's three-point call, a playboy's whispering of "F'r thray." But Berthiaume's most irritating bid for Dan-and-Keith immortality is his impersonation, during a dunk or a home run or a crushing tackle, of Al Pacino's Tony Montana from Scarface: "Say hello to my li'l friend!" John Buccigross, who mercifully doesn't do SportsCenter very often, is somewhat more incomprehensible: "John LeClair is clutch, and clutch is everything in life." Huh?

Where Cohn and Berthiaume and Buccigross are in charge of new catchphrases, Scott Van Pelt and John Anderson are in charge of the attitude, which in their hands becomes a combination of hip-hop boosterism and sarcasm. Anderson falls into sports broadcasting's modern-day weakness, which is sounding like an insufferable wiseass. Indeed several anchors (Cohn and Berthiaume, as well as underlings like Neil Everett) deliver their lines with a sarcastic undertone permanently threaded into their voices. Anderson shares with Linda Cohn a tendency to add to this wiseass voice a demonic open-mouthed grin, as if they're waiting for the comic spirit of Dan and Keith to breathe the old magic through their lips, which never happens.

Dan and Keith infused SportsCenter with a knowingness (while miraculously avoiding smugness) that turned the show into a kind of meta-history of sports. In the thickly hyped world of sports television, this layer of irony was a valuable thing. In contrast, the current roster of Dan-and-Keith wannabes offers all the critical distance, and all the journalistic detachment, of a Gatorade commercial. Scott Van Pelt, who in many ways is the least obnoxious of the current anchors, most vividly reflects this tendency, especially during basketball season. Van Pelt, though he is a tall blond golf reporter with the kind of tiny fashion eyeglasses you see on people who sell fashion eyeglasses, regularly lapses into "street" slang. He regularly yelps "y'all" and "my man." (As in, "Hey, Otis … !")

Another unjournalistic tic that has crept into the SportsCenter repertoire, and especially Van Pelt's, is calling players by their nicknames. You've forfeited a large amount of your psychological edge as a journalist when your normal way of referring to mega-talented serial reprobate Rasheed Wallace, who was run out of Portland despite being the Trailblazers' best player, is " 'Sheed." (ESPN: The Magazine is written almost entirely in this mode. Every story is told from the standpoint of the players—in overripe hip-hop slang—and the more self-absorbed and destructive the player's behavior, the more viciously his critics are misrepresented.) Maybe it's just that Patrick and Olbermann represented an era in which hipness meant detachment, and today's with-it young anchors represent an era in which hipness means sycophancy.

Pro basketball offers a telling test case in the decline of SportsCenter because it is at once the most heavily hyped and the most decrepit major sport. (Pro hockey, bled dry by overexpansion, is sub-major.) Though commercials for its music and merchandising tie-ins batter the sports-viewing public, the NBA is hemorrhaging fans as scoring collapses. But instead of conveying the reality that the NBA is in trouble, SportsCenter echoes the advertising hype. The nightly Top 10 Plays—which could offer a connoisseur's appreciation of the great improvisational stuff that still happens in pro ball—typically regurgitates the same overdone moves seen in video-game commercials. After 30 years of slam-dunk competitions—and after Michael Jordan killed the contest for all time in 1987 with two unfathomable dunks—elaborate breakaway dunking has all the spontaneity of a waltz. These are the static, overscripted moves that the NBA has doltishly made its selling point, and SportsCenter has slavishly followed its lead. As John Buccigross might say, as Pravda was to the old Soviet Union, SportsCenter is to pro basketball.

Matt Feeney is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

KronoRed
04-08-2004, 12:17 PM
ESPN News gives you news

Yep, I have that on pretty much all day in the backround, it's amazeing to think it and Sportscenter come from the same people.

MWM
04-08-2004, 12:23 PM
Good article from Slate. I rarely missed a Dan & Keith Sportscenter, but I rarely catch any Sportscenter now. I tend to watch ESPNNews instead.

15fan
04-08-2004, 12:31 PM
I honestly can't remember the last time I watched a SportsCenter.

If they'd bag all of the "witty" :rolleyes: analysis, cut back on the "BOOYAH!s", and shoot the person who developed The Budweiser Hot Seat, I might go back.

Until then, it's all "style" with very little substance and even more annoying than watching a game where the refs/umps feel like they need to hog the spotlight.

B
04-08-2004, 12:58 PM
ESPN News is all I watch...and Classic...but I only watch ESPN when a game is on.....

B
04-08-2004, 01:01 PM
Yep, I have that on pretty much all day in the backround, it's amazeing to think it and Sportscenter come from the same people.

Yeah.....this fall when my son was born, I used to get up with him at night and we'd have ESPN on, and I got to thinking...Im sitting here watching this channel from like 11pm - 130 am and haven't seen a damn thing on except garbage, that is when I started just leaving it on ESPNews so when he woke up crying, we'd just roll in there and check out actual highlights, scores and indepth statistics.....great channel.....ESPN sportscenter = horrific show......

Aceking
04-08-2004, 01:03 PM
Jerk STORE’s the line! JERK STORE!


That made me laugh out loud. Great Seinfeld reference.

Unassisted
04-08-2004, 02:18 PM
The Slate article is excellent. I can't help but feel like the current Sportscenter shows are designed based on meticulous audience research conducted at frat houses. "The test audiences really like the catchphrases, so we must have 2 per highlight!" "The group went wild over that slam dunk, let's try to make sure that each segment has one dunk."

My biggest objection is the random organization of the show now. Used to be, each major sport was covered in its own segment. Now, they'll switch from NBA to MLB to some lame interview to 2 minutes of teases for highlights to come. It pretty much forces you to watch the whole thing, especially since my favorite teams NEVER seem to make the first segment. :p:

smith288
04-08-2004, 02:58 PM
My biggest objection is the random organization of the show now. Used to be, each major sport was covered in its own segment. Now, they'll switch from NBA to MLB to some lame interview to 2 minutes of teases for highlights to come. It pretty much forces you to watch the whole thing, especially since my favorite teams NEVER seem to make the first segment. :p:

Which is why I havent watched ESPN at all especially since they kicked off Limbaugh. Nothing worse than a dude getting canned for commenting on other peoples perceptions of someone.

westofyou
04-08-2004, 03:22 PM
Which is why I havent watched ESPN at all especially since they kicked off Limbaugh. Nothing worse than a dude getting canned for commenting on other peoples perceptions of someone.

Cry me a river for poor Rush....poor misunderstood Rush.

deltachi8
04-08-2004, 04:02 PM
Cry me a river for poor Rush....poor misunderstood Rush.

I think the point had little to do with Limbaugh and much more to do with ESPN.

I posted in a nother thread that I yanked cable form the house last summer and odnt miss it at all - certainly dont miss SportsCenter. I will say that I wish I had ESPN news available without going through 'digital upgrades", etc.

ESPN, the main channel, no longerreports, they promote. They paid wads of dollars for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB rights, and need to promote them to justify ad rates and what they charge the cable companies, who charge us.

As for the NBA, I wouldn't watch it if they had nude cheerleaders...welll, maybee a minute or two then and only then. I can't remember the last NBA game I watched, this after growing up a huge Celtics fan (who is there coach now anyway?)

westofyou
04-08-2004, 04:05 PM
ESPN, the main channel, no longerreports, they promote.

Living in America.........

MWM
04-08-2004, 04:08 PM
Rush wasn't fired from ESPN. He resigned, and willingly from what I understand.

westofyou
04-08-2004, 04:09 PM
Rush wasn't fired from ESPN. He resigned, and willingly from what I understand.

But can we still hate ESPN?

2001MUgrad
04-08-2004, 04:45 PM
Good points. I ocassionally watch sportscenter, but rarely an entire show, just bits and parts of it usually late at night or while I'm getting ready for work in the morning. Anymore though, in the morning I just listen to the Mike and Mike show, its somewhat entertaining. But, I have waited many times for the teasers they do, where they show your favorite team whether it be baseball, football, etc. and keep you waiting, commercial 1, and waiting, commercial 2, and waiting commercial 3, and then its a 15 second story..

Unassisted
04-08-2004, 04:47 PM
But if ESPN didn't promote their big games, some of us might forget to watch the stuff that a large portion of our cable bill goes to help them buy the rights for! :D

no, actually :(

TeamBoone
04-08-2004, 06:43 PM
I know one thing (and this isn't about Sports Center) but I am sick to death already of the Giants games dominating ESPN. They even get the game on Sunday night.

Why can't they just break in with Bonds' at bats? I guess ESPN has become the Giants network.

bucksfan
04-09-2004, 12:44 PM
ESPN has it's place w/me, but granted it's place is narrowing. For me it has started also with the personalities dominating the games and the shticks that everyone has to have. I like personalities to an extent, but when they dominate what they are supposed to eb reporting (or even discussing) then they go way overboard. ESPN is incredibly guilty of this IMO. They assinine airs of Mark May on ESPN GameDay actually made me turn of what was once one of my favorite sports-related shows. Those attitudes just ruin it for me.

The "other shows" that they have aired hold no interest of mine. I'd prefer to know that when I turn on ESPN I am going to get sports news or sports. If they go any farther with the reality show crap, I'l be very disgusted.

And I agree 100% about the Giants, TB.

bucksfan
04-09-2004, 12:46 PM
BTW - I don't get ESPN News yet. Sounds like something I need to look into...

Chip R
04-09-2004, 12:51 PM
BTW - I don't get ESPN News yet. Sounds like something I need to look into...
I've only seen ESPN News a few times over at my mother's when I'm on vacation. Can't say I'm a big fan. The concept is good but the execution isn't. I'm usually looking for scores on there and it takes 5 minutes to go from one score to another because they are showing what every freaking player in that game did.

Doc. Scott
04-09-2004, 01:01 PM
I posted in a nother thread that I yanked cable form the house last summer and odnt miss it at all - certainly dont miss SportsCenter. I will say that I wish I had ESPN news available without going through 'digital upgrades", etc.

Hey, me too. TV makes you dumber. I'm using MLB.TV for Reds footage (not live, unfortunately), and I don't miss cable TV a bit. Now, of course, I'm a big game geek anyway, and you could argue that time spent watching cable television and time spent playing games is similarly wasted, but I turn my rationalizations into good soundbites.

On a related note... remember when the Reds were on regular ol' TV? Will they have to win the World Series again before that happens? I knew the Fox Sports Ohio contract should be expiring soon...

bucksfan
04-09-2004, 01:17 PM
On a related note... remember when the Reds were on regular ol' TV? Will they have to win the World Series again before that happens? I knew the Fox Sports Ohio contract should be expiring soon...

Yeah, ironic ain't it? When I was growing up on 20 acres outside of an incredily small (300-ish pop.) hick-town (affectionately termed) in NW Ohio, I saw more Reds games on TV (WLIO in Lima) than I have since I moved to the cable age/locale.

RedDragon
04-09-2004, 01:53 PM
ESPN has it's place w/me, but granted it's place is narrowing. For me it has started also with the personalities dominating the games and the shticks that everyone has to have. I like personalities to an extent, but when they dominate what they are supposed to eb reporting (or even discussing) then they go way overboard. ESPN is incredibly guilty of this IMO. They assinine airs of Mark May on ESPN GameDay actually made me turn of what was once one of my favorite sports-related shows. Those attitudes just ruin it for me.

The "other shows" that they have aired hold no interest of mine. I'd prefer to know that when I turn on ESPN I am going to get sports news or sports. If they go any farther with the reality show crap, I'l be very disgusted.

And I agree 100% about the Giants, TB.

Peter "open mouth insert foot" Gammons is the worst of them all.

MuEconRedLeg
04-09-2004, 02:45 PM
speaking of Sportscenter...did anybody play in the Reds/Cubs game last night except Sosa?

Reds1
04-09-2004, 02:50 PM
speaking of Sportscenter...did anybody play in the Reds/Cubs game last night except Sosa?

This is what I was going to say. Seeing the highlights you would have thought the Cubs aka Sosa would have won. The Reds played well and got a great start from a youngster and a nice 3IP from the pen and Casey should be one of the candidates for player of the week right now, but the focus was on the Cubbies. That being said if the Reds did make a run and say were in 1st in a month or two you would see more coverage. ESPN follows the hot players and hot teams because that's what they think the majority want to see. I mean I don't have to watch every Bonds AB live, but isn't tv amazing you can do this now. Pretty cool none the less.

savafan
04-09-2004, 03:02 PM
I haven't watched a Sportscenter since the old Patrick, Olberman, Kilborn, Mayne days. There used to be a time when Stuart Scott was tolerable, but those days are long gone.

I don't get ESPN News, so I don't know what I'm missing there.

Yes, I still remember Johnny Bench and Gordy Coleman on the Reds TV network on CBS. Goodtimes.

kheidg-
04-12-2004, 02:29 PM
Anybody catch the latest Sportscenter piece on the homeless guy that lives on Palmetto Golf Course? They are making a case that he should be able to squat at the golf course. Why is this even a story on ESPN?
I agree - ESPNews is the way to go.

Krusty
04-12-2004, 09:12 PM
Sportscenter......it's all about ratings baby.

Gainesville Red
04-12-2004, 09:35 PM
I like the Dan Patrick show on ESPN radio. Also I almost always watch sportscenter, but that doesn't mean that I like it. They should rename sportscenter the Yankees/Giants/Redsox/Lakers channel. I miss Kenny Mayne. I don't even like Baseball Tonight anymore. It seems like both of the shows lack organization, all of the content is just thrown together.