Monday, January 28, 2008

All Apologies

Have you ever done something you thought was a good idea at the time, only to regret it later? Sure you have. We all have. Maybe you’ve taken a dump on someone’s car. Or “borrowed” your roommates shirt and stained it beyond all recognition with a substance not appropriate for mixed company. Or cut a fart in a crowded elevator right as you were getting off. Or peed in someone else’s bed while you were off on a Mormon mission. Or stole your neighbors cable AND ordered porno flicks. Or . . . Well, you get the picture. Please note, I’ve only done one of the aforementioned things.

If you were on the short end of any of these activities, wouldn’t you want someone to apologize? I know I would. That’s why I’m still waiting for an apology from ESPN after they’ve done the equivalent of all the above to me.

I used to watch SportsCenter religiously. Just about every night. Sometimes, a couple of times per night. But, I’ve basically stopped watching SportsCenter entirely simply because of one segment, the putrid“Who’s Now?” segment that appeared about nine months ago. It might possibly have be the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen them do, and I’ve watched them do a lot of stupid things over the years.

I’m not a complete SportsCenter hater . . . yet. I used to love the show, but I got real sick real fast of the anchors thinking they’re more important than the story or the score (yes, I’m talking to you Mr. Berman and Mr. Scott). “Who’s Now?” is the segment that finally broke the Donkey’s back.

It was so bad it was almost laughable. And it went on for so long it was painful. I’d flip over for a second and, sure as shit, they’d be broadcasting this complete farce of a sports segment for about 10 minutes straight.

Really, did anyone care who’s “Now?” What does being “Now” really mean? Why do the filler segment at this time? I mean, it’s not like baseball wasn’t in full swing, the NBA signing period hadn’t just started, and NFL training camps were beginning in a week, or anything like that.

See, the thing about it was that it was so antithetical to the SportsCenter brand, that someone should have had the foresight to kill it before it saw the light of day. If you’re going to call yourself “The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” well, then you’d better stick to sports. That’s why people watch ESPN. For sports. Maybe they forgot that. After all, they’d only been doing it for a quarter century or so. It’s easy to forget about your identity over such a short period of time. Instead, they turned about 15 minutes of every show into some bizarre hybrid of local cable access sports and E!’s red carpet special.

I’m not saying I’ll never go back to watching a full episode again. I’m just saying it’s going to take a sincere apology. If they’d been thinking, they would have run a 30 second spot a couple of times during every episode that just said, “Sorry for being completely lobotomized over the last month. We’re not sure what came over us. The intern that came up with the crap fest ‘Who’s Now?’ has been beaten like a piñata and then wedgied. Atomically. We’d like to say we’ll never pull a bonehead stunt like this again, but Sweeps Week will be here before we know it and we’ll probably have the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders in here doing their own version of the Vagina Monologues. We’re that slutty for good ratings. And, since we’ve already bought the ad space, we’re apologizing for that stunt in advance as well. Thanks for watching.”

They would have had me at “Vagina Monologues.”

1 comment:

Karen said...

It's about time you're back! It's been too long.

I hate ESPN for lots of things. As you stated so eloquently, the anchors think they're bigger than the network. Then you have Dana Jacobsen making a drunk-ass fool of herself and still having a job.

It's not sports news, it's just all highlights, all the time. It's JACKED-UP to excess.

Here's the problem. It won't stop until we stop...watching that is.

Thanks for writing again.