Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good Lord I hate ESPN

By Scott Cavanagh
There was a time long, long ago, when I liked ESPN--a 24-hour sports hub providing timely news, highlights and insight.

What was once a good idea has morphed into the train wreck we see before us today. From dork SportsCenter anchors trying to out-hip each other’s inane catchphrases to the self-congratulatory jerk-off fest of the ESPY awards, ESPN just plain sucks.

A perfect sample of what this overblown self-promoting advertising vehicle has become is its website. Looking for a Yankees-Red Sox score or a PGA update? Not until you've waded through 75 European soccer finals. Are most American fans really concerned with who won the “friendly” between Norway and visiting Germany? The ratings say no, but ESPN’s contract with FIFA screams yes. Want some insight or interesting analysis of those baseball games, golf tournaments or soccer matches? You can get some--as long as you pay to become an ESPN "Insider." The only original stuff you get for free are videos of their wacky anchors or features on why Ronda Rousey is a cross between Rocky Balboa and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  

A quick look at tonight’s story roll provides all we need to know about ESPN. Top headline--Watt, Gronk and Rodgers top Madden 16 lineup. That’s not sports news—it’s an ad for a freaking computer game sponsor. Headline two? John Cena gets revenge on Jon Stewart. A make-believe wrestler pretends to beat up a retired comedian—great stuff.

Let’s not forget the aforementioned ESPY’s. ESPN was quick to accept the media kudos and advertising dollars jettisoning this year's Courage Award  to millionaire reality star Caitlyn Jenner provided, but slow to acknowledge that she had not competed in a sporting event since the Ford Administration. They also ignored the wounded warriors and terminally ill athletes who deserved it, while neglecting to mention that the whole thing was set-up in advance so parent network ABC could appease Jenner's agents and secure the Diane Sawyer interview. Again, ESPN sucks.

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