November 29, 2005

52 Problems, But Jaws Ain't One: A (clearly abbreviated) list of what the ESPN/ABC/Disney sports-utainment cabal is doing wrong. Unless maybe you like 5 hours of TO highlights. The good news is there are other people putting together better highlight reels (link audio NSFW).

posted by yerfatma to culture at 07:31 PM - 37 comments

I always forget how spiteful that Tupac song is. I love it. Wouldn't it be a lot easier to make a list of things that are good about ESPN? Anything not on the list sucks compelte ass and must be destroyed.

posted by panoptican at 08:03 PM on November 29, 2005

I'm trying to recall that time, way back when (around 15 years ago sounds right) when I thought Chris Berman was funny. He's also the absolute WORST baseball announcer ever put behind a microphone. Nick Lachey doing ANYTHING is just plain sad. I only PLAY poker once every month or so, so why the hell would I want to watch these stupid jackasses play on TV? Why watch "Around The Horn" and "PTI" back-to-back when they talk about the same things? Ever notice how Mike Lupica never really listens to anyone else on the "Sports Reporters" panel, but only looks for his next opportunity to interrupt someone? What a smug little shit. How John Clayton ever got on a 24-hour sports network is one of life's great mysteries. The only thing I really like about ESPN is the games and shows they have in high-definition, and some of their commercials. I love the one with LeBron trying (and failing) to clear the paper jam in the copier, and Stuart Scott looking at him, saying, "Chosen One."

posted by dyams at 08:09 PM on November 29, 2005

It was worth it for the Shawn Bradley body slam. Nice piece. Thanks, fatty.

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:27 PM on November 29, 2005

I agree with panoptican; there's so very much bad, but my top pick would have to be lucky number 13: WHOOSH!!! ESPN/ABC/Disney: where you go after your parents coughed up for four years at the IMG Academies and you still can't get paid/signed/recruited.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:39 PM on November 29, 2005

I must admit that when berman came out with the nicknames and the noises i thought they were funny. Now, it is just plain sad! Even more so when Jackson chimes in with his noises as well. And yes, i did watch stu with his poetry for about a tenth of a second and changed it. I miss the days of keith olberman and craig kilborn as well. (Sigh...)

posted by blackdog1968 at 09:27 PM on November 29, 2005

I was surprised that all of the sportotainment on Monday Night Football didn't make the list. Tim McGraw may have hit a new low with the rewritten lyrics he's doing for halftime highlights.

posted by rcade at 09:30 PM on November 29, 2005

Tim McGraw may have hit a new low I work with Country music, and for some reason that made me laugh out loud, in a bitter, sarcastic way. Let's just say, I've heard a lot of friggin' Tim McGraw the past couple of years. Take that as you will.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:52 PM on November 29, 2005

38. World Series of Poker. Not bad in an hourís dose. Unbearable in four hour stretches. I love poker on TV, but I can't stay interested for more than an hour at a time, so this one hits home perfectly. I can't decide if TSN, Sportsnet and The Score (the three Canadian sports channels) are going down the same path. TSN uses a bunch of ESPN stuff, so they are definitely a pain in the ass to watch some times. However, their hockey coverage is excellent and I'm addicted to their nightly top-ten list thingy. Sportsnet has more annoying talking-heads, but they have the Blue Jays games and that's going to score points with me. The Score is probably the weakest of the three (content-wise) but have BY FAR the best talking-heads in sports TV.

posted by grum@work at 10:49 PM on November 29, 2005

That was really funny - and I don't even watch ESPN.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:54 PM on November 29, 2005

The Score is probably the weakest of the three (content-wise) but have BY FAR the best talking-heads in sports TV I think there's a reason right there.

posted by owlhouse at 11:03 PM on November 29, 2005

And I thought I was the only male in America who can't stand to watch 10 minutes of Sportscenter. I used to watch the same SC early morning while getting ready to go to work and eating breakfast! COldPizza! c'mon is this the failed attempt to make the metrosexual crowd just straight. Very few chicks can handle sports commentary. Around the Horn has sucked since Max left and it never recovered...altough Max on Fox sucks balls too PTI....well you can't touch that because Tony Kornheiser is the only highlight on the network built on highlights What's up with Stu's left eye? not to mock the handicapped but it's freaky on the close-ups....and his ghetto poetry sucks DreamJob....Stu you are not a the prompter and tell me that Kobe threw a mad-momma-jamma-dunk..booyaa! I know I will piss off all the redneck nation but NASCAR sucks...unless someone is throwing a fit or a helmet to another moving vehicle.. I know the story of the Patriots but can we stop talking about Teddy fucking Bruschi!!!! Repeating those feel good reports on the girl who overcame everything ESPN Hollywood....seriously my gay friends just watch the E channel and the style network...they only turn on ESPN when the bodybuilders are on or highlight reels of basketball during the 80's (short-shorts)

posted by danbibbins at 11:07 PM on November 29, 2005

SpoFi's version of Godwin's Law: some guy comments about what "chicks" can or can't do/do or don't like.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:16 PM on November 29, 2005

I love The Score. They can't get the same quality of live content as the Big Two, but they make up for it wonderfully by pushing everything else to the max:

  • complete and consistent highlight reel
  • continuous ticker, even during commercials (awesome!)
  • great former-player analysts who aren't forced to assume an on-air personality (unlike, say, Nick Kypreos on SportsNet)
  • the best damn talking heads on television
  • some great local coverage, like CIS sports in the fall
Most importantly, because their content is so limited, they put a priority on it. Sure, things are stylized, but I never get the feeling that their attempts to entertain me are taking priority over their attempts to inform me. At any given time of day, I can turn on The Score with a pretty good idea of what they're going to be showing me; because of this, if something happened in a game that I didn't see, I can tell myself with reasonable certainty, "I'll catch that on the Score". The downside of their low-live-content nature is the dismal quality of the live content they end up with: professional wrestling and some very random NBA matchups. But that's a small price to pay for what's otherwise a great resource.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:30 PM on November 29, 2005

I feel like Im gonna puke....and it aint the beer.

posted by GoBirds at 12:24 AM on November 30, 2005

#21 was by far my favorite.

posted by yerfatma at 06:23 AM on November 30, 2005

21. Ron Jaworskiís backseat role. His explanation of schemes and coverages is pure, elegant analysis. So heís forced to do it at 11:30 with a concussed madman and a very cute lesbian. Thatís a push, we suppose. I agree partially. This is the best show on ESPN. 'The Polish Rifle' is great at breaking down plays, but I like 'Mr. GOT TO HAVE A RUNNING GAME' too. Suzy switched teams? That is SUCH a shame...but now that I think about it, I couldn't land her if she was straight, so thinking of Suzy and your favorite TV gal is fun too. You know who this team needs? Michael Irvin. Just kidding. How about Tom Jackson. He is my favorite of ESPN's Pre Game NFL group and I love "JACKED UP!".

posted by Wrigley South at 06:53 AM on November 30, 2005

lbb: The n00b knuckledragger also got a dig in at black people with the ghetto poetry comment. What a way to announce one's entry into a community. Shit on everybody in one post.

posted by scully at 07:56 AM on November 30, 2005

this should've made the list.

posted by garfield at 08:26 AM on November 30, 2005

My gripe with ESPN; no fucking hockey, no fucking NHL tonight, NO FUCKING CHICKEN PARM!!!! I can still get my John Booch "hockey insight" through their website but good lord I miss Ray Ferraro and the Panger and the theme song. OLN has provided some of the worst hockey coverage I have ever seen (and I have the MSG channel *shudder*) They also ignore any sport that is not popular in North America. I read posts in here about cricket and rugby and it seems pretty interesting but I have no way of checking out a game. The only cricket game I have ever seen was played by a bunch of South African guys in Fresh Meadows and they wouldn't explain the rules to me. I would love to comment on their comentators (uber redundant) but don't know their names, and they all kind of look the same to me.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:38 AM on November 30, 2005

Hater, BBCAmerica has cricket, and they don't explain the rules, either. There are books at the library, or I could send you one. But I also find it hard to believe he stopped at 50. Personally, I could have produced around 3000 or so, and then I'd be through with their hockey coverage (when it existed) and move to their feeble coverage of other things. Poker? Who the Sam Hill in their right mind thinks POKER is a sport? Oh, yeah, the same people that think NASCAR is a sport.Go fast, turn left, go fast again, turn left, etc. But....ESPN has long ago run down the curtain and joined the invisible choir of lost tolerance, and the people who run the Disney Corporation/ABC network are so glitteringly ignorant they should all be unseated with Howie Long taking them and picking them out of their 60th floor office or boardroom and flinging them out the freakin' windows.

posted by mrhockey at 09:10 AM on November 30, 2005

I actually like the PTI guys, but I agree with the Van Halen comparison: it worked there, so they figured they could throw any idiots at either end of a table and let them asshole away at each other. And yeah, 52 legitimate reasons without Sean Salisbury or Skip Bayless even being mentioned. It's been easier to turn the thing off lately. Oh, and Big & Rich are talentless moronic shills, as is the poor guy who has to come in every Sunday afternoon and recut that "and twins" song, over and over ad nauseam. Even he must hate that stupid thing by now.

posted by chicobangs at 09:56 AM on November 30, 2005

I like the Pti guys--but my biggest complaint of ESPN is the "making" of the story rather than reporting it.

posted by daddisamm at 10:09 AM on November 30, 2005

Oh, and I found one of the asian programming networks up in the channel-500s that shows one-hour recaps of test matches. And those commentators, even for the local matches in India & Sri Lanka in some of the ricketiest stadiums I have ever seen, are more insightful and respectful of the pace of play than a thousand Paul Maguires or Chris "Deep Slum"bermans ever could. Not many reasons to be thankful for cable overload, but that's one.

posted by chicobangs at 10:38 AM on November 30, 2005

my biggest complaint of ESPN is the "making" of the story rather than reporting it. It's not just ESPN that does that now. What passes for news now is mostly opinion and speculation.

posted by scully at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2005

What is 'news' has always been a product; of who tells it, of who reads/listens/watches/believes it, etc.

posted by garfield at 10:48 AM on November 30, 2005

Right, but ESPN is the most egregious case. The TO Watch is disgusting. TO's mom wouldn't want to see him on teevee this much. Who are they pandering to?

posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2005

my biggest complaint of ESPN is the "making" of the story rather than reporting it. It's not just ESPN that does that now. What passes for news now is mostly opinion and speculation. Thats true-the evening news is no more than a researched opinion story.... We are used to having our NEWs storys "formulated". Sports has always been a differant story. We like to get the "facts" of the story. We have become a nation of idiots allowing people to spoon feed us the crap news they think they know what we want. But they dont

posted by daddisamm at 10:51 AM on November 30, 2005

TO's mom wouldn't want to see him on teevee this much. Who are they pandering to? You know, I was thinking about this the other day while listening to the Dan Patrick Show, and lo! a caller griped about how much TO was being covered, and DP called the guy on it and said "Well, what do you want us to cover? Tell me what you want me to talk about, and I'll talk about it." Of course, the caller had nothin'. But in my mind, that just reinforces his point: nobody who tunes in exclusively to ESPN knows what the fuck is going on in sports because they cover sports so poorly.

posted by rocketman at 11:06 AM on November 30, 2005

The opinions of the few, disgust the many, and make absolutely no sense to The One! And I thought monday morning quarterbacking was dead!

posted by Tazz1 at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2005

So much more happens than what makes it onto the air, it is embarassing they call themselves the worldwide leader in sports. ESPN needs Sky Sports to tutor them on what I like to call "coverage." I just don't watch ESPN anymore. They've gotten complacent and hyper-specialized.

posted by garfield at 11:44 AM on November 30, 2005

Who are they pandering to? To everyone who doesn't know any better or anything else. It is akin to the nightly news and the Colbert's need to offer a treat to keep American viewers tuned in while he comments on Canada's lack of confidence.

posted by garfield at 11:54 AM on November 30, 2005

Another decent piece of video.

posted by yerfatma at 04:58 PM on November 30, 2005

I didn't realize until this afternoon that that coked-out chihuahua Jim Rome is still on the air too. Man alive.

posted by chicobangs at 05:33 PM on November 30, 2005

Oh sure, chico & the woman, hate on Jim Rome.

posted by yerfatma at 06:19 PM on November 30, 2005

Oh, snap! You burned me there! Woooooo!

posted by chicobangs at 02:17 AM on December 01, 2005

No, you're supposed to come over the table like Jim/ Chris Everett.

posted by yerfatma at 06:11 AM on December 01, 2005

Damn, that's some nice Bush video, yerfatma. Please don't take that out of context. Or do, what the hell do I care...

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:33 PM on December 01, 2005

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