PDA

View Full Version : ESPN says next big "sports" phenomenon will be Dominos



jmcclain19
04-02-2006, 09:50 PM
All I can say is, wow, has ESPN really gone south

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/02/MNGT4I254N1.DTL&feed=rss.news


Poker-winning ESPN has dominoes theory
Sports network bets numbered tiles game due popularity boom

Corey Kilgannon, New York Times

New York -- The next big thing in sports programming is dominoes?

To the occasional player, it is a stretch to even call this quiet game of straight-faced strategy a sport. But anyone who has spent time in a Latino neighborhood in New York City could testify that dominoes played there -- with the slammed-down tiles, the verbal sparring, the bragging and bluffing -- is no parlor game.

From the opening bid, a simple sidewalk match will quickly escalate into a raucous, freewheeling spectacle: a mini-fiesta where salsa and cigars, Bacardi and brown-bagged beers have as much a role as the little colored tiles with dots.

The games almost always draw spectators, so perhaps it is no surprise that the ESPN sports network has declared dominoes the next big spectator sport and is promoting it as both a cultural touchstone and a highly competitive game, complete with rankings, formal tournaments, celebrity events and sponsors.

Encouraged by the success of televised poker, the network has begun combing New York City for top players and colorful clubs for its coverage and has been taping segments on formal tournaments and casual neighborhood games.

Hourlong domino shows now run Tuesday nights on the network's Spanish-language sports channel ESPN Deportes. Hoping it will be popular with English-speaking viewers, the network plans to show similar programming on ESPN2 starting in June.

"We think it will be the next cool thing," said Lino Garcia, general manager of ESPN Deportes. "We're connecting with the best places dominoes is played, so naturally we're going to start in uptown Manhattan and the Bronx, the places where it really happens."

Garcia said he hopes to repeat the success the network has had with poker -- its World Series of Poker is its highest-rated regular series. Like poker, domino games offer plenty of suspense at the table, with clever decision-making and reading the strategies of other players all pivotal to winning. The network will also televise the world championships next year from the Dominican Republic.

The plan, Garcia said, is not only to present dominoes in world-class tournaments and flashy celebrity events the way the network showcases poker, but to capture the excitement and charm of "the highly energetic games on street corners and small clubs in basements where guys go every day."

New York's neighborhoods are filled with characters who come together to play. Older men in caps and young men in muscle T-shirts and gold chains go at it, slapping dominoes onto flimsy tables, speaking in Spanish in games lubricated by Presidente beer and salsa music.

Luis Guzman, a well-known Puerto Rican actor, said in an interview that the domino table is an arena where the very dramas of life play out: love, hatred, revenge. Tempers can flare, and lifelong relationships can begin and end around a domino game.

Guzman recalled that when he grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side, it seemed that every male Latino played dominoes.

"My pops would play for hours on end; all the men did," he said. "I know best friends who stopped talking to each other for years because of one game. After 10 years, one would still be saying, 'Man, why'd he play that one when he knew the other guy was holding the 6-3?' I know a guy who jumped out a second-story window and broke both legs after losing a domino game."

At a dominoes club in the Bronx called Hijos y Amigos de Altamira, the players had varying opinions about how old-school domino players accustomed to casual, free-flowing action would react to being analyzed and scrutinized by ESPN, which plans to install a dozen table-level cameras, along with others overhead and around the club.

"I think being on TV would make some of our players nervous," said Augusto Montan, 55, "but then again, I could name at least a few guys right now who would eat it up."

Larkin411
04-03-2006, 01:32 AM
That's funny, I saw this after I got home from playing dominoes. Technically we were playing "chicken leg." I've only just learned the game and I'm obsessed with it right now. Don't know that I'd watch other people playing dominoes though.

savafan
04-03-2006, 01:43 AM
Also planned programming for ESPN in 2007:

Uno
Solitaire
Pooh Sticks
Sudoku
Pik-up-Stix
Tiddly Winks
Operation
and Bomberman

MrCinatit
04-03-2006, 02:19 AM
until they start carrying strip poker - all female players, of course - i refuse to tune in.

savafan
04-03-2006, 02:31 AM
until they start carrying strip poker - all female players, of course - i refuse to tune in.

I think that is on ESPNU, which Time Warner doesn't carry...

BoomerSoonerRed
04-03-2006, 02:53 AM
Also planned programming for ESPN in 2007:

Uno
Solitaire
Pooh Sticks
Sudoku
Pik-up-Stix
Tiddly Winks
Operation
and Bomberman
I would add marbles and jumping rope to that list.
And what about chess? I know more great chess players than I do poker players.

KronoRed
04-03-2006, 03:02 AM
Also planned programming for ESPN in 2007:

Uno
Solitaire
Pooh Sticks
Sudoku
Pik-up-Stix
Tiddly Winks
Operation
and BombermanUno?

YES

I am a pro athlete :devil:

BoomerSoonerRed
04-03-2006, 03:03 AM
How about ping-pong? That's one sport I definitely specialize in.

GAC
04-03-2006, 04:13 AM
Uno?

YES

I am a pro athlete :devil:

Our family has moved up a level to Uno Attack. ;)

Heath
04-03-2006, 08:54 AM
No new ESPN programming is complete with out the National Strat-a-Matic Baseball World Series and the Super Bowl of Paper Football.

I miss study hall.

registerthis
04-03-2006, 09:21 AM
No new ESPN programming is complete with out the National Strat-a-Matic Baseball World Series and the Super Bowl of Paper Football.

How about the Super Bowl on the vibrating field? I had the '85 Super Bowl version of that. I think the board still vibrates, but most of the players are missing or were chewed up by the dog.

Johnny Footstool
04-03-2006, 09:53 AM
They showed a Magic: The Gathering tournament on ESPN a few years ago. Riveting. Absolutely riveting.

Yachtzee
04-03-2006, 09:57 AM
If they want to capture the younger generation, they could always put on Beer Pong Tournaments, or maybe Speed Quarters.

RFS62
04-03-2006, 11:04 AM
Mumbly peg.

Roy Tucker
04-03-2006, 11:46 AM
ESPN is looking for a green field sport that is cheap as all get out to stage and then market the bejesus out of it and make it a big deal.

See the World Series of Poker.

guttle11
04-03-2006, 11:59 AM
They are really missing out on the passion people have for "52 Pick Up".

Falls City Beer
04-03-2006, 02:01 PM
Mathletes.

Caveat Emperor
04-03-2006, 06:48 PM
Also planned programming for ESPN in 2007:
...
and Bomberman

You know, I remember reading some time back that they televised video game matches over in South Korea, specifically the old computer game Starcraft.

Here's an article: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050912-5302.html


The answer lies in South Korea, and a professional gaming culture so far advanced from North American pro gaming that it seems to come from a century in the future. Lingering resentment over treatment in World War II caused South Korea to apply stifling tariffs on Japanese video game consoles, which when combined with a near-universal broadband internet infrastructure, created an environment where multi player PC games could flourish. Starcraft in particular, with its three well-balanced sides and emphasis on strong strategy and competition, appealed to the Korean public. Today, the best professional Korean Starcraft players have their own team uniforms, practice every day for games that are played on no less than four full-time Starcraft TV channels, and earn yearly salaries rumored to be in the high six figures.

How far away are we from something like this on ESPN, especially as the technology for video games get much better for producing a more "watchable" experience for a 3rd party w/ better graphics and sound?

BoomerSoonerRed
04-04-2006, 02:33 AM
How about televised tournaments of people playing "Clue," "Monopoly" and "Risk?"

savafan
04-04-2006, 02:40 PM
How about televised tournaments of people playing "Clue," "Monopoly" and "Risk?"

Interesting idea. I'd probably watch Twister if it was televised.

CTA513
04-04-2006, 03:16 PM
How about televised tournaments of people playing "Clue," "Monopoly" and "Risk?"

Im the car if we play Monopoly. :D

KronoRed
04-04-2006, 03:24 PM
I got the thimble.

It's lucky.

Heath
04-04-2006, 03:49 PM
Cool - I like being the hat!

Whohoo redszone.com Monopoly all-nighter here we come!

Krono - you bring the Sierra Mist..errrrr...Sprite!

Heath
04-04-2006, 03:51 PM
How about televised tournaments "Risk?"

Unfortuntely the live version of Risk is on CNN.

oneupper
04-04-2006, 04:29 PM
Shame on you all!

Dominoes is BIG in many parts of Latin America and taken just as seriously as the US takes POKER, for example.
There are books on how to play, how to read your opponent and your partner.
It is NOT a kids game and a good game involves the ingestion of large quantities of alcoholic spirits.

Now, from there to making it spectator-worthy, well....don't think so.

Newport Red
04-04-2006, 08:34 PM
Interesting idea. I'd probably watch Twister if it was televised.

Celebrity Twister

Yachtzee
04-05-2006, 12:22 AM
Celebrity Twister

Celebrity World Series of Crisco Twister.

GAC
04-05-2006, 06:13 AM
How about televised tournaments of people playing "Clue," "Monopoly" and "Risk?"

Uno Attack. There's alot more action when it starts shooting cards out at you. Them things could put out an eye and requires a certain level of athleticism. ;)

KronoRed
04-05-2006, 02:32 PM
Celebrity Twister
They would make it nude and pay per view.

savafan
04-06-2006, 01:47 AM
They would make it nude and pay per view.

Have Jerry Springer host, and I'm there.

MrCinatit
04-06-2006, 09:01 AM
My disappointment grows: for ages, i had aspirations of being a professional Magic 8-baller.
Oh, i could shake that thing for hours, and every time, the answer would come up "The future is unclear."
Oh well. Perhaps next year, i can participate in the national Rock, Scissors, Paper tournament (http://www.wzzm13.com/news/watercooler/watercooler_article.aspx?storyid=51967)

Hollcat
04-07-2006, 12:19 PM
How about a decathelon on Jacks, hopscotch and Chinese jumprope

Johnny Footstool
04-07-2006, 12:24 PM
Im the car if we play Monopoly. :D

Top Hat rules!

Heath
04-07-2006, 01:02 PM
Have Jerry Springer host, and I'm there.

I'm not - having Jerry around would guarantee some type of incest. Pass.