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Cedric
12-04-2005, 12:47 AM
Awesome blog in my view. http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/?p=1406

While not strictly a college football issue, we all as sports fans consort with the many-armed devil that is Disney/ESPN/ABC in our attempt to digest as much football in the precious time we’re allowed each season. And in doing so–either in watching the games, searching for highlights, or zoning out after downing five beers in front of the television–you will come across much, much, much to dislike. Actually, we thought of fifty-two things we don’t like.

1. Synergy. Promo the games you have the rights to while barely mentioning the big games on in other places, no matter how important they might be. Push your product over THE GAME. Vile corporate entertainment thinking that yields little but viewer disgust.

2. Regional broadcast fiascoes. No **** here–the Tampa Bay area enjoyed the Rutgers/WVU game on the weekend of the Texas/Oklahoma game because…well, because the evil spider god in charge of everything decreed it, we suppose. Here in Atlanta we frequently got the Tar Heels getting knocked around the yard instead of a better matchup across the country.

3. Stuart Scott. His poetry slam two days ago didn’t happen, because if we did admit it, then we’d wake up crying in a ball in the corner struck by the sadness of what has become Sportscenter.

Boo. Yeah, boo.

4. The absence of Keith Olbermann.

5. The continued, painful obsolescence of Keith Jackson. Yeah, that’s more of a complaint with God, but pending a response from the Deity himself, we’ll blame his corporate masters who act as accomplices.

6. Sportstainment! The next few are attached to this umbrella concept of the idea that sports isn’t entertainment all by itself. Consider them pieces of evidence in one long indictment of Disney’s attempt to force ESPN into becoming the story, not the medium.

7. Nick Lachey, interviewer.

8. ESPN Hollywood. Lower ratings than “Christopher Lowell, After Hours.”

9. “The Hot Seat” segment. Nothing more excruciating than watching former partial qualifiers attempting to think against the clock.

10. Dream Job.

11. Stephen A. Smith. Mark Shapiro, the prime mover behind Sportstainment! and former head of ESPN, said he just HAD to hire Smith after every focus group detested his ass. Well, there you go. Would love to kick the ass of the editor of Highlights magazine for bewitching him with those devilish puzzles all these years. Makes a sport we already don’t care about all the more ignoreable–and isn’t that what a great spokesman for the sport is supposed to do?

12. Tom Berenger’s horrible old man prosthetics in The Junction Boys. Bear Bryant as burn victim, evidently.

13. WHOOSH. Fox shares some blame here, but we’ll still fault ESPN for jumping on the bandwagon by putting sound effects to every gesture.

14. Chris Berman’s “WHOOP!” noise. Berman will make several appearances here, since he’s one of the worst things about the network, so we’ll just list the offense and the death strike we think is appropriate. In this case, we think the two hand spiral neck snap, an old Seagal move, would be perfect.

15. TomBob Ley’s banishment. Outside the Lines, one of the best shows on ESPN, is relegated to the status of “Sunday Morning Boring Old Man News Thing.” How Ley stays at the network when he could be at HBO’s Real Sports is a testament to his loyalty–or his laziness, perhaps.

16. Dan Patrick’s hair dye. Has now moved squarely into Wink Martindale territory.

17. I…love…highlights without shtick…songs that don’t suck dick…and twins!!!

18. Speaking of songs that suck…Big and Rich have made their way onto our Orbital Death Ray list, along with Mark Shapiro. For a long time college football existed as a fiefdom apart from the Sportstainmenttastic! world of ESPN–pleasantly stodgy, frills-free coverage of a sport that allowed you to soak in the atmosphere of each game through the screen. Now we have Nick Lachey interviewing people and Big and Rich suggesting that we need more Ying with our Ying Yang. Two old pieces of redneck jerky–including one who one of our readers pointed out, bears a striking resemblance to Phyllis Diller–who were pulled out of a hat at random by marketing schmucks in New York who were like, “Okay, people. Red state sport—we need us some edgy country!” Total, horrid, absolute fecality soiling the last show we watch on the network.

We’re coming…and we’re ****-tayyy!!!

19. Making the story, not reporting it. Two words: Terrell Owens.

20. High school kids committing live on the network. Recruiting’s creepy enough with Tom Lemming involved. Upping the ante to national coverage only adds to the ick factor.

21. Ron Jaworski’s backseat role. His explanation of schemes and coverages is pure, elegant analysis. So he’s forced to do it at 11:30 with a concussed madman and a very cute lesbian. That’s a push, we suppose.

22. Berman’s lack of preparation. He’s ad-libbing half the time and doing so badly, stuttering and stammering while barely concealing his head-tracking reading of the teleprompter. Appropriate death strike: spinning heel kick, Walker, Texas Ranger- style.

23. Desmond Howard. We just hear happy music while he blabs on about whatever he’s talking about. Mostly bossa nova, actually.

24. The Outdoor Games. In a typical move, ESPN takes our insomniac treats–including the World’s Strongest Man competitions–and packages them into Sportstainment!. What they fail to understand is that we liked them because they were on when we got home from the bar drunk enough to find them entertaining.

25. Lee Corso. Not so fast, my friend! His analyses come down to “Ooh! They’re tougher than the other guy!” or “Kirk said this, so I’ll disagree with him and put on this mascot head!” Makes the already superb Herbstreit look like a bona fide savant in comparison, which may be his role.

26. Mike Gottfried. America’s most dyspeptic college football announcer. Frowns at babies and accuses them of lack of discipline for ****ting their diapers. Misses calls frequently. The opposite of fun.

27. Berman’s clip of him throwing a football to catching the ball from Doug Williams. Yes, you were skinny once. Now you’re fat and an easy target. Appropriate death strike: run over with Brinks Truck, chase him down with a lawnmower.

28. The forced animosity between John Clayton and Sean Salisbury. Team Under Armor vs. Goliath has more verisimilitude.

29. Wide angle shots, fades, and pensive shots of young athletes recounting the trauma of growing up poor/fatherless/in Bosnia/stricken with acne/slightly nervous/average/motherless/with rickets/etc in puff pieces. Adversity, dear ESPN, is boring. Show us how long it takes for Matt Leinart to pick up a girl in a bar–now that would be Sportstainmenttastic! Hey-yo!

30. Woody Paige. In our hometown, this guy cleaned your septic tank. On ESPN, he’s an “expert.”

31. The rape of Buster Olney, a fine sportswriter.

32. Fake news conferences.

33. Flavor in our broadcasts. Yes, Dan and Keith did it very well. But show us a goal, td, basket, point, or homer without a “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND” once, and we will send you a shiny dollar in the mail.

34. Mark May. The youngest disciple of the Gottfried school of broadcasting, a nasty, choleric presence on the screen whose vagina-pelt-looking goatee only added to his dislikeable on-air demeanor. Makes pure evil presence of Lou Holtz seem agreeable in comparison. Oh, speaking of…

35. Lou Holtz. You have a speech defect, and should not make a living talking on television. Oh, and you’re a cheater. Would be entertaining only if they made him speak from behind his own salad bar shield; we’re guessing it would look like those shots of cobras striking at people behind plexiglass in zoos, with spit flying in gobs all over the surface.

36. Chris Berman’s nicknames. Appropriate death strike: in honor of their upcoming Big 12 championship game, how about a dim mak Brown shot to the throat?

37. Beano Cook. Beano’s visage just plain scares the hell out of us. Plus, he’s been trying to kill us for years, with the last incident being a failed stabbing on the streets of Singapore in 2003.

38. World Series of Poker. Not bad in an hour’s dose. Unbearable in four hour stretches.

39. 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story. Find us someone who thinks anyone actually calls their father “diddy” in the South NOT named Bowden, and we will show you an actor two years out of drama school.

40. ESPNU. Not even sure what this is, but it’s unknown and strange–therefore by instinct we must hate it.

41. Chris Berman referring to himself as “The Schwam.” ****, ****, ****, ****, ****, **** you. Appropriate death strike: cruise missile while singing onstage with Huey Lewis.

42. ESPN, the Magazine. Huge pages, fellatio-style coverage of the ****tiest citizens of the athletic world, and very, very little content.

43. Mark Shapiro, the man behind the Sportstaimentization! of the network. Gone, but not forgotten.

44. Mike Lupica. Only makes two statements a year about college football, both atrociously wrong and dumb. Abrasive without insight. We’d say he represents the worst of Northeastern sportswriting, but Dan Shaughnessy still breathes in Boston.

45. Mel Kiper, Jr. We shouldn’t really hate on Mel–to be this wrong and still get paid for it bespeaks of a certain grandiose swindletude we have to admire. But that said–no one gets their assigned pundit beat wrong with greater consistency. Built entire reputation on saying Trev Alberts sucks, which, well, duh?

46. Not enough Sumo. The Bashos rule, and we have no idea when they’re on.

47. The ESPYs.

48. Rush Limbaugh, football analyst. Yes, it’s ancient history–but the shame remains.

49. The disappearance of Chris Mortensen. He’s your NFL insider, and you put him–literally–behind the set. Because he’s working back there during the show! It Sportstainmenttastic!

50. PTI. Not for the show itself, but for its shambolic impact on ESPN programming, which now features argumentative elements in even the least confrontational formats.

51. Jim Donnan. Looks like he rolled out from beneath an overturned fishing boat in someone’s front yard, put on a tie and and a coat, and rolled into the studio for a segment or two.

52. Chris Berman’s BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK call. Appropriate death strike: kicking knee break, joint-lock arm hold, thrown into path of oncoming commuter train.

Chip R
12-04-2005, 01:05 AM
I don't think this guy likes Chris Berman much.

Sabo Fan
12-04-2005, 01:38 AM
I'll add one:

53. Bill Plaschke. I tried watching Around the Horn when he was on for awhile, and then there came a point where I just couldn't stand it anymore. Woody Paige is horrendous, yet they've managed to find someone worse in Bill Plaschke. The guy makes no sense whatsoever and I can't think of one semi-intelligent thing he's ever said. What I can't figure out is why they let Plaschke come on at all. From what I can gather he's regarded in most journalistic circles as a complete hack. Maybe I misinterpreted what I read about him, but it seems to me the sentiment is overwhelming.

Caveat Emperor
12-04-2005, 01:57 AM
35. Lou Holtz. You have a speech defect, and should not make a living talking on television. Oh, and you’re a cheater. Would be entertaining only if they made him speak from behind his own salad bar shield; we’re guessing it would look like those shots of cobras striking at people behind plexiglass in zoos, with spit flying in gobs all over the surface.


It's OK, though...

Lou Holtz will leave "College Gameday" in a few years, and then the NCAA will immediately sweep in and place the show on probation for lack of institutional control.

Cedric
12-04-2005, 02:35 AM
Plaschke said earlier this year that Fresno State was better than any team Texas had played, including Ohio State. He instantly should have been fired.

Cyclone792
12-04-2005, 02:48 AM
Plaschke said earlier this year that Fresno State was better than any team Texas had played, including Ohio State. He instantly should have been fired.

Plaschke is a west coast fan boy. If it's east of the Grand Canyon, it's worthless in Plaschke's eyes.

deltachi8
12-04-2005, 03:12 AM
Theres only 53 reason they suck? I would have bet the over...

jmcclain19
12-04-2005, 03:26 AM
54. Skip Bayless. Cold Pizza is unwatchable just due to his presence. And speaking of that....

55. Cold Pizza. An actually decent programming thought that was horrid straight out of the gate - the idea of making Good Morning America have a sports twist was laughable, as was the talent of the on air folks. So they redid the show with Skip Bayless. Please make it stop. Right now. Make it stop and take Skip Bayless off my TV.

westofyou
12-04-2005, 12:12 PM
Plaschke is a west coast fan boy. If it's east of the Grand Canyon, it's worthless in Plaschke's eyes.Sounds like the reverse of everyone else covering sports in America.

Yachtzee
12-04-2005, 12:35 PM
Sounds like the reverse of everyone else covering sports in America.

Not to those of us in "Fly Over Country."

There's East Coast Bias, West Coast Bias, and "Festivus for the rest of us."

westofyou
12-04-2005, 12:38 PM
Not to those of us in "Fly Over Country."

There's East Coast Bias, West Coast Bias, and "Festivus for the rest of us."Except during college football season eh?

Gainesville Red
12-04-2005, 12:41 PM
Skip Bayless could get 10 or so reasons to himself.

Unassisted
12-04-2005, 01:36 PM
The only time I turn on ESPN anymore is once or twice a month when they carry a game I want to watch. If there is streaming audio available for the game, I turn down ESPN's audio, slip-delay the video with my DVR and watch the ESPN video in sync with the audio stream.

Best way to deal with the lameness of ESPN is not to watch it. Just think how much richer your life would be if you didn't know who any of the people mentioned in that list were. ;)

Jaycint
12-04-2005, 04:09 PM
31. The rape of Buster Olney, a fine sportswriter.

You gotta be kidding me.:laugh:

Heath
12-04-2005, 06:33 PM
You gotta be kidding me.:laugh:

Just as good as calling out Ron Jaworski.

Suzy Kolber's got a boyfriend. His name is Joe Namath. :D

OldRightHander
12-05-2005, 09:12 AM
I just don't have real high expectations from ESPN, so that way I don't get too disappointed. I mainly tune in to see who won what and catch some of the highlights. Anyway, regarding Berman, Saturday morning he was doing his Swami routine and picked the Steelers by 6 over the Bengals. Then yesterday he was on there saying that he knew the Bengals were good enough to knock off the Steelers. As well as he backpedals, maybe we could use him in the defensive backfield.

WMR
12-06-2005, 05:25 AM
I remember Plaschke saying how every fan of UK is racist and b/c of that Tubby should leave. One of the dumbest remarks I've ever heard. He sounded so dumb and had absolutely no frame of reference or proof to back up such a ludicrous comment.

Crash Davis
09-16-2006, 01:23 AM
The End of the "Boo-ya" era at ESPN?

http://thebiglead.com/?p=986

Sources inside the Worldwide Leader tell us that the NBA Shootaround team is the latest casualty in the ESPN bloodletting that is being characterized around the Bristol campus as the “End of the Boo-yah Era.”

In a deal that is nearing completion, host John Saunders, along with analysts Greg Anthony, Tim Legler, and Stephen A. Smith are being kicked to the curb. The new team, sources claim, will consist of Dan Patrick, Mike Wilbon, and Mark Jackson, the trio who worked together on ABC last season.

While the new team isn’t cast in concrete yet – i’s must be dotted and t’s must be crossed on Wilbon’s deal – Saunders, Anthony, and Legler will be reassigned to game coverage, sources say. Nobody’s exactly sure what will become of Smith. Suffice to say, NBA viewers won’t be forced to sit through another night of watching steam emit from Legler’s ears as he does battle with Screamin’ A. The plan is for the new team to rival TNT’s idyllic trio of Kenny the Jet, Sir Charles, and Ernie Johnson.

On a larger scale, this change signals yet another example of the end of the Boo-yah Era. We chose the phrase Boo-yah Era (don’t think it’s taken) because it exemplifies the attitude former honcho Mark Shapiro instilled at the network. He fell in love with people shouting on television. The blacker the better. The more bombastic and over the top, the sweeter the paycheck. Cold Pizza was his baby, too. And few at the network expect it to survive.

But slowly, over the last year, the Boo-yah Era has been virtually eliminated by new boss John Skipper. It may have been a subconscious change or an organic extension of Skipper’s personality, but the transformation is undeniable. After the jump, we chronicle a few subtle changes:

* Nu Skool vs. Old School. Remember that embarrassment? It’s gone. The buffoonery of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, slugging it out on the occasional weekday was awful. It was worse when it ruined our pleasant Sunday mornings. On the whole, Skip’s role at the network has been decreased. He has vanished without a trace from Sportscenter. He’s done at the .com. That disaster of a show, 1st and 10, is teetering on the brink of extinction. Whereas it used to kick off the afternoon screamfests (Jim Rome, ATH, PTI), it long ago fell out of prominence in favor of a show with actual substance, Outside the Lines. At least Skip’s still making in the ballpark of $750,000. (Kind of makes you wonder if Woody Paige was wise to quit his day job at the Denver Post, huh? Hopefully, he’s investing his $1.25 million a year wisely – and that’s probably a low estimate.)

* Quite possibly the most uncomfortable television in ESPN’s storied history were the days of bookish John Clayton being trotted out into the wilderness to do battle with career backup quarterback Sean Salisbury on the atrocious “Four Downs” NFL segment. Under the guise of discussing news, Salisbury would berate Clayton so badly that you almost felt bad for the guy. It was as if Salisbury - a very, very poor NFL quarterback - was taking out years of frustration on Clayton for all the times that sportscasters bashed him. We’re fairly certain the segment still exists in some fashion but it is no longer uncomfortable television where the jock picks on the journalist, and whomever screams loudest, wins. It’s no longer a one-on-one fight; now, it’s a tame fact or fiction segment.

* Scoop Jackson has been spayed and neutered. The guy spent the week writing about tennis. Need we say more? We’ve been giving this ink-stained wretch hell for weeks, but his tipping point may have come in July with this misinformed and silly piece that featured the humdinger: “Then I make the point: “Which means you all have a better chance to make it to the NBA than you do doing what I do for a living.” In early August he had this disastrous chat with readers. Scoop’s been on a short leash ever since. (The results will probably be catastrophic. His core readers - his family and parolees - liked his ghetto shtick and will probably turn away from his watered down product. And he turned off so many readers with his initial racist offerings that they won’t click on his stories, regardless. We’ve been reading; they aren’t missing anything.)

With the Boo-yah Era apparently over at ESPN, two logical questions remain: 1) Ummm, Stu Scott? 2) How does Michael Irvin still have a job?

The one-eyed bandit has supposedly toned down his rhymin’ and stealin’ on Sportscenter, our source says. Instead of quickly switching to reruns of 90210 when we see DJ Stewy on the tube, we’ll be monitoring his delivery closely.

As for why the Worldwide leader has someone with a checkered background of cocaine, chronic, and strippers conducting interviews, our on-campus source says the Playmaker “tests well.” In TV-speak, this means viewers like him. Perhaps it’s because he’s a flashy dresser. Or because the suits view Irvin’s modern-day minstrel act as harmless, Flavor of Love entertainment. As long as Irvin’s just talking about football, kissing TO’s ass, defending lawless athletes and not pulling a Stephen A. and veering into baseball and social issues (things outside his comfort zone), Irvin’s tolerable.

redsfan30
09-16-2006, 11:02 AM
Any network that lets guys like Mark May and Jason Whitlock on its airwaves deserves to have lists like this compiled against them.

Highlifeman21
09-16-2006, 11:19 AM
Plaschke is a west coast fan boy. If it's east of the Grand Canyon, it's worthless in Plaschke's eyes.


You're giving BP a lot of credit. I'd say once you get out of the LA city limits, he doesn't care.

Highlifeman21
09-16-2006, 11:21 AM
Come on ThatPitchIsDunn, defend your employer!

You took me on a tour of the Worldwide Leader, I got your back!

MaineRed
09-16-2006, 03:01 PM
Glad to hear that ESPN is getting rid of some of the thuggery. People who like sports shouldn't need people on TV yelling, to enjoy said sports.

Stuart Scott is a dope. I'll be glad when I see that he has accepted a postion to be the head sports guy at WPTZ in Detroit. Yes Stuart, I'm being a hater.

Glad to see some changes are being made to the unwatchable NBA studio show. The Kia NBA Shootaround. Hopefully they will change the annoying name. Nobody is shooting around. No NFL show is going to call themselves, NFL Kick Around. Come on!

I hate to see John Saunders lumped in with those other morons though. He is a good sportscaster. Does his best work in the studio. Never had any complaints about him.

I don't get the NBA pregame shows anyway. They don't do pregame shows for baseball. If the game starts at 7, coverage comes on 7. Why do they have to have this big build-up for these more or less meaningliess NBA games they show? You'd think you were about ready to sit down and Ali/Foreman, or something comprable. Not a December game between the Cavs and Pacers.

Think about it, there is less build-up to the final round of a golf major on the channel that is covering it than there is for EVERY NBA game that ESPN televises. And most of the time there are more important games being played elsewhere, ESPN just follows Kobe, Lebron and Dwaye Wade around.

Glad to see ESPN has lost golf coverage. Chris Berman at the US Open might be the number one reason to hate ESPN. The guy does not belong on a golf course, let alone leading the coverage.

I cringe when I hear him say, "here is Stewart "kitchen" Cink from the 8th fairway." AT THE US OPEN!!! Give me a break. If Berman worked for CBS, he might last an hour on Masters coverage before he would be sent to join Gary McCord in Hilton Head. I can hear him now, "Hootie and the Blowfish Johnson, former chairman of Augusta National joins us."

He has no clue how to play golf, he has no clue what the rules are, he has no clue about anything to do with the game of golf. Go do your stupid home run derby that only 14 year olds watch and yell back, back, back 4 million times but keep that trash off golf coverage.

Thanfully coverage is moving to the Golf Channel next season. There you can get golf play by play from someone not interested in self promotion and golf analyst from non-pompous, former golfers. Not sure about anyone else, but I think TGC will do a good job. The analyst know how hard the game is and they don't take shots at people. Unlike that bozo Johnny Miller.

ThatPitchIsDunn
09-16-2006, 06:54 PM
Come on ThatPitchIsDunn, defend your employer!

You took me on a tour of the Worldwide Leader, I got your back!

Well, seeing as I do WORK there, that's what I was doing today, so I just got wind of this thread now. Being a huge Buckeye fan, I've seen this thing posted on bucknuts as well, and I showed it to some of my coworkers and we had a good laugh. Here's my thoughts/responses:

ESPN, while known now as that four letter brand, at one time was known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. With the emergence of EOE (ESPN original entertainment) being pushed to the forefront in the past 5-7 years, the Entertainment focus became ESPN's identity. They became the "hip/trendy/whatever you want to call it" sports network. They gave you the basic highlights you could get on your evening news, but they added a little more. Sometimes it was extra analysis, sometimes just a clever catchphrase or ad-lib, but it was new, fresh and sports fans ate it up. Many college football fans have gotten a kick out of Keith Jackson's "Whoa Nellie!" or Brent Musberger's numerous sayings. Well, that's what ESPN anchors began to give to sports highlights. Suddenly, the brand had grown and grown and ESPN became like Nike or McDonald's; it was a household name.

With any popularity explosion, the risk of overexposure is always there. The main ESPN anchors were becoming celebrities, and producers and other higher ups of course wanted to showcase their stars. And so, there may have been an oversaturation of the talent in viewers' minds because of it.

EOE also brought forth PTI and Around the Horn to the ESPN repertoire, taking a concept essentially of talk radio brought to the screen. Here's where I think it almost becomes a Howard Stern-type of thing. People tune in more to be annoyed with what they hear than if they agree. PTI's producers knew exactly what they were doing when bringing in brash, opinionated newspaper reporters. I'm not sure what it is, but people love to see issues argued, especially if they can argue along from the comforts of their own home.

Sure I'm biased; the Mouse signs my paycheck after all. But you sort of learn to gloss over some of the cheesiness, and some of the anchors and analysts you see truly are the best of the best. Rece Davis is a prime example. Having attended one of the top communications schools in the country, I've seen my fair share of wannabe broadcasters. And it makes you appreciate that much more how impressive it is when someone is really that good. Karl Ravech, Brian Kenny and Neil Everett are a few others on the anchor side. Granted, some of these are just cool enough to be nice and converse with you about sports, so that makes some stick out in your mind more than others. The analysts are the same way.

The bottom line is this: ESPN has the moniker of The Worldwide Leader in Sports. They still are the mainstay for the biggest news and coverage in sports. If you still don't believe me, ask any cable provider. Many cable channels charge a per subscriber fee to the providers. ESPN is far and away number one at over 3 dollars/subscriber. I don't think any other network other than the Premiums (HBO, Showtime, etc) warrant half that kind of number. Even if it doesn't seem like much, remember that ESPN is in over 90 million homes, ESPN2 in over 87 million homes, ESPN Classic in 50-some million homes. Multiply all those by 3 bucks, and you can see why Disney gives ESPN free reign. This is all before advertising revenue, not to mention licensing and several other types of green-generating practices. They are one of the biggest cash cows in the Disney company.

So I agree with a lot of what people say on this thread. But realistically, isn't this just a magnification of a company? Can you honestly tell me there aren't some people you work with that are just plain goofy, and no matter how awesome they think they are, you know they're just ridiculous? ESPN is just more exposed as its stars are constantly on the air.

MaineRed
09-16-2006, 07:12 PM
I love Brian Kenny. That guy is a pro!

Highlifeman21
09-16-2006, 08:11 PM
Well, seeing as I do WORK there, that's what I was doing today, so I just got wind of this thread now. Being a huge Buckeye fan, I've seen this thing posted on bucknuts as well, and I showed it to some of my coworkers and we had a good laugh. Here's my thoughts/responses:

ESPN, while known now as that four letter brand, at one time was known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. With the emergence of EOE (ESPN original entertainment) being pushed to the forefront in the past 5-7 years, the Entertainment focus became ESPN's identity. They became the "hip/trendy/whatever you want to call it" sports network. They gave you the basic highlights you could get on your evening news, but they added a little more. Sometimes it was extra analysis, sometimes just a clever catchphrase or ad-lib, but it was new, fresh and sports fans ate it up. Many college football fans have gotten a kick out of Keith Jackson's "Whoa Nellie!" or Brent Musberger's numerous sayings. Well, that's what ESPN anchors began to give to sports highlights. Suddenly, the brand had grown and grown and ESPN became like Nike or McDonald's; it was a household name.

With any popularity explosion, the risk of overexposure is always there. The main ESPN anchors were becoming celebrities, and producers and other higher ups of course wanted to showcase their stars. And so, there may have been an oversaturation of the talent in viewers' minds because of it.

EOE also brought forth PTI and Around the Horn to the ESPN repertoire, taking a concept essentially of talk radio brought to the screen. Here's where I think it almost becomes a Howard Stern-type of thing. People tune in more to be annoyed with what they hear than if they agree. PTI's producers knew exactly what they were doing when bringing in brash, opinionated newspaper reporters. I'm not sure what it is, but people love to see issues argued, especially if they can argue along from the comforts of their own home.

Sure I'm biased; the Mouse signs my paycheck after all. But you sort of learn to gloss over some of the cheesiness, and some of the anchors and analysts you see truly are the best of the best. Rece Davis is a prime example. Having attended one of the top communications schools in the country, I've seen my fair share of wannabe broadcasters. And it makes you appreciate that much more how impressive it is when someone is really that good. Karl Ravech, Brian Kenny and Neil Everett are a few others on the anchor side. Granted, some of these are just cool enough to be nice and converse with you about sports, so that makes some stick out in your mind more than others. The analysts are the same way.

The bottom line is this: ESPN has the moniker of The Worldwide Leader in Sports. They still are the mainstay for the biggest news and coverage in sports. If you still don't believe me, ask any cable provider. Many cable channels charge a per subscriber fee to the providers. ESPN is far and away number one at over 3 dollars/subscriber. I don't think any other network other than the Premiums (HBO, Showtime, etc) warrant half that kind of number. Even if it doesn't seem like much, remember that ESPN is in over 90 million homes, ESPN2 in over 87 million homes, ESPN Classic in 50-some million homes. Multiply all those by 3 bucks, and you can see why Disney gives ESPN free reign. This is all before advertising revenue, not to mention licensing and several other types of green-generating practices. They are one of the biggest cash cows in the Disney company.

So I agree with a lot of what people say on this thread. But realistically, isn't this just a magnification of a company? Can you honestly tell me there aren't some people you work with that are just plain goofy, and no matter how awesome they think they are, you know they're just ridiculous? ESPN is just more exposed as its stars are constantly on the air.

Leave to a Syracuse grad to offer this board honest insight, while being surprisingly unbiased.

While I can't stand Stuart Scott or Stephen A Smith or Chris Berman or Linda Cohn, the majority of the rest at ESPN just plain get it right. I challenge someone to come forth and offer an intelligent response to name 1 sport ESPN doesn't produce correctly. ESPN goes out and employs what they feel to be some of the leading analysts for all sports. Even though some of us may not like some of their personnel decisions, bottom line, they employ people that are good at what they do.

I tune in for ATH and PTI regularly, knowing full well that I'm not going to agree with Jay Mariotti on 95% of the topics, that I can't stand anything that come out of Bill Plashcke's mouth, and that I think Michael Wilbon champions minorities far too much; not quite to the level of Joe Morgan, but you get the point. I tune in because even though I may not agree with some of the personalities on the Worldwide Leader, they offer their opinions in an elegant and intelligent manner, the majority of the time.

But really, I just watch ESPN for Erin Andrews, Stacey Dales-Schumann and Alex Flanagan, so what do I know?

ThatPitchIsDunn
09-16-2006, 09:32 PM
But really, I just watch ESPN for Erin Andrews, Stacey Dales-Schumann and Alex Flanagan, so what do I know?

Don't forget, it's just Stacy Dales now, she's single again boys.:thumbup:

Razor Shines
09-17-2006, 02:41 AM
I don't think ESPN is that bad, I don't like some things about it, but a lot of this list does a lot of things that it complains about ESPN doing. And it kind of contradicts itself.
Like here:

29. Wide angle shots, fades, and pensive shots of young athletes recounting the trauma of growing up poor/fatherless/in Bosnia/stricken with acne/slightly nervous/average/motherless/with rickets/etc in puff pieces. Adversity, dear ESPN, is boring. Show us how long it takes for Matt Leinart to pick up a girl in a bar–now that would be Sportstainmenttastic! Hey-yo!

15. TomBob Ley’s banishment. Outside the Lines, one of the best shows on ESPN, is relegated to the status of “Sunday Morning Boring Old Man News Thing.” How Ley stays at the network when he could be at HBO’s Real Sports is a testament to his loyalty–or his laziness, perhaps.
Don't they do a lot of that on OTL?

And here:


8. ESPN Hollywood. Lower ratings than “Christopher Lowell, After Hours.”

29. Wide angle shots, fades, and pensive shots of young athletes recounting the trauma of growing up poor/fatherless/in Bosnia/stricken with acne/slightly nervous/average/motherless/with rickets/etc in puff pieces. Adversity, dear ESPN, is boring. Show us how long it takes for Matt Leinart to pick up a girl in a bar–now that would be Sportstainmenttastic! Hey-yo!

Wasn't that what ESPN Hollywood was?



Or here:

24. The Outdoor Games. In a typical move, ESPN takes our insomniac treats–including the World’s Strongest Man competitions–and packages them into Sportstainment!. What they fail to understand is that we liked them because they were on when we got home from the bar drunk enough to find them entertaining.

46. Not enough Sumo. The Bashos rule, and we have no idea when they’re on.
Maybe they were being sarcastic.

I'm sure I'm in the minority.

GoGoWhiteSox
09-18-2006, 12:26 AM
ESPN Classic sucks big time. Why did they have to ruin such a good thing? Hey, instead of showing Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, lets show classic bowling! Oh, here's a better idea. Let's show classic poker! Morons. I wonder who has the final decision to put this crap on?!:angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

Gainesville Red
09-18-2006, 01:21 AM
I used to love ESPN Classic. Old college football, Willie Mays, Homerun Derby. Sadly, you're right. Now it's poker. Next hour, it'll be poker. When I wake up in the morning, if I'm lucky it'll be bowling, followed by poker.

Someone tell whoever that does whatever at ESPN that Stump the Schwab or Dream Job from last year is not "classic."

Yachtzee
09-18-2006, 01:28 AM
ESPN Classic sucks big time. Why did they have to ruin such a good thing? Hey, instead of showing Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, lets show classic bowling! Oh, here's a better idea. Let's show classic poker! Morons. I wonder who has the final decision to put this crap on?!:angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

Yes. ESPN Classic used to be pretty excellent. The SportsCentury series was great and I loved how it showed classic baseball games and old "This Week in Baseball" and "This Week in Pro Football" shows.

As far as the ESPN channels go, I really wish they would try to expand their coverage of International Soccer. I know they have the MLS, and they show some UEFA Champions League matches, but I'd really like to seek scores and highlights from some of the top leagues around the world on a weekly basis. Something like a "Soccer Tonight" show that could air once or twice a week instead of those endless World Series of Poker shows.

And what about track and field, swimming, alpine skiing and other Olympic sports. They have competitions outside of the Olympics. I remember they used to show some of these on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Now that ESPN has taken over the sports productions for ABC, why not resurrect Wide World of Sports?

machineguy
09-18-2006, 01:59 AM
ESPN needs to do a show about Anna Benson and other sexy wives. Maybe a show that involves some talent competition with the wives. Ha Ha.

westofyou
09-18-2006, 10:39 AM
As far as the ESPN channels go, I really wish they would try to expand their coverage of International Soccer. I know they have the MLS, and they show some UEFA Champions League matches, but I'd really like to seek scores and highlights from some of the top leagues around the world on a weekly basis. Something like a "Soccer Tonight" show that could air once or twice a week instead of those endless World Series of Poker shows.

Dream on macro, I instead got the Fox Sports Package on DirectTV instead of Cinemax, thus I get Fox Sports World all the time, plus their Soccer coverage, good stuff, I got to spend yesterday morning watching the Man United - Arsenal game.

flyer85
09-18-2006, 11:54 AM
I'm still mad about them getting rid of the original Sportscenter anchor ... and thus sentencing Reds fans to be tortured by his presence.

Unassisted
09-18-2006, 12:03 PM
Leave to a Syracuse grad to offer this board honest insight, while being surprisingly unbiased.
I'm a Syracuse/Newhouse grad, too. There are other Syracuse grads here. Many of us even know the story of the Saltine Warrior. :beerme:

Yachtzee
09-18-2006, 12:30 PM
I'm a Syracuse/Newhouse grad, too. There are other Syracuse grads here. Many of us even know the story of the Saltine Warrior. :beerme:

Mmmmm...Saltines. :)

zombielady
09-18-2006, 12:39 PM
#57 What passes for sports... Dominoes Championship? SPELLING BEE :confused: ?

ochre
09-18-2006, 01:10 PM
I miss Australian Rules Football :(

Heath
09-19-2006, 03:52 PM
I miss Australian Rules Football :(

I miss the Canadian League - used to have the Grey Cup during Thanksgiving Weekend.

I don't watch much ESPN anymore - I used to be addicted to SC and Baseball Tonight. I like the Live Sports they show, but the other stuff isn't my style anymore

ESPN Classic could have some cool potential. But they keep re-running the same stuff, over and over again.

RedsFan75
09-19-2006, 04:20 PM
I liked the Canadian league, Grey Cup is great.

ESPN Classic is worthless now, and I could really do without all the yelling/screaming/conflict shows.

Matt700wlw
09-19-2006, 08:04 PM
Stephen A. Smith's name didn't come up? Wow!

Highlifeman21
09-20-2006, 12:04 AM
Stephen A. Smith's name didn't come up? Wow!

Oh, he was mentioned plenty in this thread, you just need to go back and read up!

WMR
09-20-2006, 12:06 AM
Highlifeman, you may not be a soccer fan or care in the least, but soccer is one sport that ESPN apparently has nary a single producer or director that knows how to broadcast or comment on correctly.

Luckily the WC was broadcast on a World Feed, controlled by a European director/producer. When ESPN is in control, it's sometimes laughably bad.

Highlifeman21
09-20-2006, 08:53 AM
Highlifeman, you may not be a soccer fan or care in the least, but soccer is one sport that ESPN apparently has nary a single producer or director that knows how to broadcast or comment on correctly.

Luckily the WC was broadcast on a World Feed, controlled by a European director/producer. When ESPN is in control, it's sometimes laughably bad.


I'm a soccer fan, used to have season tickets to the Columbus Crew when I lived in that neck of the woods. Unfortunately, ESPN really doesn't carry all that much soccer, so their production value/coverage of it pales in comparison to the European networks that exclusively cover UEFA. Soccer is the big sport in Europe, much like football, baseball and basketball are huge over here, so they cover Soccer like we cover those sports.

MaineRed
09-20-2006, 09:46 AM
I challenge someone to come forth and offer an intelligent response to name 1 sport ESPN doesn't produce correctly. ESPN goes out and employs what they feel to be some of the leading analysts for all sports. Even though some of us may not like some of their personnel decisions, bottom line, they employ people that are good at what they do.

You challenge people to come up with a sport, someone comes up with a sport and you tell them the reason it doesn't get covered well is because it is not baseball, football or basketball?

Silly me, I thought you said 1 sport, not 1 among the big 3.

ESPN does a great job on a number of things. I hated it when they lost NASCAR coverage because they did such a good job IMO. But there are plenty of sports where they put half assed effort into it. There are some sports that the announcers don't even travel to the events to cover. They just sit and watch a tape off the game while sitting in a recording studio.

ESPN is a joke when it comes to college hockey. They gain the rights to the final 4 but they don't show any other hockey during the regular season. Then because of them one of the games has to be played in the middle of the afternoon. Imagaine that, the second most important hockey game of the year being played at 1 in the afternoon on a Thursday. What a joke.

They are showing more games now on ESPNU but you gotta pay extra to get that channel. On ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS they give no respect to college hockey all thru the season and then when the season has two days left, all of a sudden they are college hockey experts.

I like my world with ESPN. But they are not perfect with everything they touch. Not even close.

ThatPitchIsDunn
09-20-2006, 01:16 PM
Highlifeman, you may not be a soccer fan or care in the least, but soccer is one sport that ESPN apparently has nary a single producer or director that knows how to broadcast or comment on correctly.

Luckily the WC was broadcast on a World Feed, controlled by a European director/producer. When ESPN is in control, it's sometimes laughably bad.

Domestically no, but ESPN's International division, which feeds roughly 200 countries on six continents, has the exclusive rights to UEFA, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian football. ESPN Deportes has HUGE soccer rights as well. Granted you have to pay for these extra channels, but isn't that the same with FSC? I thought ESPN/ABC's World Cup coverage was outstanding, not delaying any of it, but showing it in real time, regardless of whether that meant 7 in the morning or later in the evening. This being said, I'm a casual soccer fan, went to lots of Crew games back when I lived in Columbus and saw a few World Cup games when I was in Japan in 02, but I don't know how "pure" or whatever their coverage might be.

It's all a ratings thing unfortunately, and you can see that reflected with the International channels vs ESPN, ESPN2, etc. International is TONS of soccer, with some IRL and baseball mixed in.

Highlifeman21
09-20-2006, 09:52 PM
You challenge people to come up with a sport, someone comes up with a sport and you tell them the reason it doesn't get covered well is because it is not baseball, football or basketball?

Silly me, I thought you said 1 sport, not 1 among the big 3.

ESPN does a great job on a number of things. I hated it when they lost NASCAR coverage because they did such a good job IMO. But there are plenty of sports where they put half assed effort into it. There are some sports that the announcers don't even travel to the events to cover. They just sit and watch a tape off the game while sitting in a recording studio.

ESPN is a joke when it comes to college hockey. They gain the rights to the final 4 but they don't show any other hockey during the regular season. Then because of them one of the games has to be played in the middle of the afternoon. Imagaine that, the second most important hockey game of the year being played at 1 in the afternoon on a Thursday. What a joke.

They are showing more games now on ESPNU but you gotta pay extra to get that channel. On ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS they give no respect to college hockey all thru the season and then when the season has two days left, all of a sudden they are college hockey experts.

I like my world with ESPN. But they are not perfect with everything they touch. Not even close.

Unfortunately, ESPN, as we know it, is pretty much broadcasting to USA and Canada. Soccer is not big in these two respective countries, so you're not going to see massive soccer coverage when there's only an emerging market for it. As for the rest of the world, the soccer market is established, so ESPN is in place in those areas of world with their various "fringe" networks. ESPN Deportes, and other network offshoots named by ThatPitchIsDunn. If we were in England and posting, we wouldn't be bickering about soccer coverage, b/c it's already in place there. If we were in Spain, same thing. We're not. We get the American version of ESPN, which shows big rating popular American sports: Football, Baseball, Basketball, and lower on the food chain, Hockey. The college versions of those sports then have their own rating system: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey. While I enjoyed college hockey at OSU, bought season tickets and all that jazz, found it very amusing, I still treated and view college hockey as a fringe sport. It's not mainstream. People don't follow the Baker Award like they do the Heisman, or the Naismith, and that's b/c of the popularity of each respective sport.

WMR
09-20-2006, 09:57 PM
Domestically no, but ESPN's International division, which feeds roughly 200 countries on six continents, has the exclusive rights to UEFA, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian football. ESPN Deportes has HUGE soccer rights as well. Granted you have to pay for these extra channels, but isn't that the same with FSC? I thought ESPN/ABC's World Cup coverage was outstanding, not delaying any of it, but showing it in real time, regardless of whether that meant 7 in the morning or later in the evening. This being said, I'm a casual soccer fan, went to lots of Crew games back when I lived in Columbus and saw a few World Cup games when I was in Japan in 02, but I don't know how "pure" or whatever their coverage might be.

It's all a ratings thing unfortunately, and you can see that reflected with the International channels vs ESPN, ESPN2, etc. International is TONS of soccer, with some IRL and baseball mixed in.

Dave O'Brien, being a newbie at broadcasting soccer, did reasonably well and was getting better at the end at letting the game breathe and not talking every second.

What really killed the experience for most fans was Marcelo Balboa. The guy is seriously the biggest load on two feet and whoever at ESPN decided he should be their lead color guy for the World Cup should have been fired.

ThatPitchIsDunn
09-21-2006, 09:21 AM
Dave O'Brien, being a newbie at broadcasting soccer, did reasonably well and was getting better at the end at letting the game breathe and not talking every second.

What really killed the experience for most fans was Marcelo Balboa. The guy is seriously the biggest load on two feet and whoever at ESPN decided he should be their lead color guy for the World Cup should have been fired.

I completely agree here. I actually enjoyed JP Dellacamera's calls, although I can remember being in the studio in a wraps situation on a Sunday, and one of the producers sitting there saying "Harkes isn't talking enough!" It was like you HAVE to have input instead of just letting the game breathe as you put it.

I work alongside them, but I'll never fully figure out producers at the Worldwide Leader.