Re: Maybe there's hope for ESPN after all...
Someone else previously posted a much better reply here about this topic - but I'll do my best to summarize.
I do find it irritating that I - a late 20's male sports fan, seemingly am not the target audience of ESPN anymore. Perhaps because I don't like things dumbed down, my sports digested in bite size nuggets or talked down to about sports like I'm an idiot. (ESPN isn't alone in this - remember the Fox Sports Whiz Ball) Its the same reason I can't stand sitcoms - Guys are always the dopey beer drinking idiot who needs a savvy wife or girlfriend to help him make it thru the day. Add to that the massive growth of things like blogs, RSS feeds and micro coverage of the sports accesible via the net about topics I enjoy, I no longer need a one stop shop for my sports information needs. I can get richer, more detailed coverage elsewhere at my convenience and I don't feel less intelligent in the process.
That's a lose/lose situation for ESPN - Seriously - I have Google Reader as my Homepage and in my PDA. What am I going to choose - incessant coverage of basketball & hockey (two sports I don't watch) or pop on and check up on one of the many well written baseball blogs I read every day. No brainier choice there. Plus the major sports packages mean I don't have to wait until 10pm to see what happened in the Reds game, I can watch it myself.
And these outlets are way down the line in technology and advanced understanding of the game of baseball than ESPN. Do you know that the Diamondbacks home games now regularly feature Win Probabity Analysis as the game goes on? What Sabermetrically leaning individual ever dreamed that something like that would pop up on a telecast. Yet when someone like Peter Gammons mentions OPS on ESPN, you get idiots like Steve Phillips & John Kruk deriding it as non sequential. My father in law - about as un-stats savvy a person as you can get, but a huge baseball fan regardless, wondered aloud what the WPA percentage graphic that kept popping up on the bottom during the game on Easter. I took a moment, explained it to him, and he said "hmm...cool" and that was that. When we watched a game the other night he mentioned how he watches for that now during the games. And just like that - another smart baseball fan was introduced to different way of looking at the game.
Sad part is - I can remember when Sportscenter was required watching. My roommates and I would set a schedule and watch Patrick & Olbermann every night - several times some nights. Now it takes more than one hand to count the years since I've sat and watched an entire hour of Sportscenter from beginning to end. I'm not really upset about it to be honest - things change and I'm a happier sports fan for it.
Last edited by jmcclain19; 04-13-2007 at 01:44 AM.