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Thread: Sportscenter comments

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    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Sportscenter comments

    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.

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  3. #2
    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Yeah, I agree. I can't, nor do I watch Sportscenter anymore. It's slowly turned to garbage.
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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    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.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    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.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    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.
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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Good article from Slate. I rarely missed a Dan & Keith Sportscenter, but I rarely catch any Sportscenter now. I tend to watch ESPNNews instead.
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    Member 15fan's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    I honestly can't remember the last time I watched a SportsCenter.

    If they'd bag all of the "witty" 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.

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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    ESPN News is all I watch...and Classic...but I only watch ESPN when a game is on.....

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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed
    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......

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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191
    Jerk STORE’s the line! JERK STORE!
    That made me laugh out loud. Great Seinfeld reference.
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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    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. :

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted
    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. :
    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.
    Last edited by smith288; 04-08-2004 at 03:02 PM.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by smith288
    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.

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    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    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?)
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Sportscenter comments

    Quote Originally Posted by deltachi8
    ESPN, the main channel, no longerreports, they promote.
    Living in America.........


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