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Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Love Hate Relationship with Sportscenter

I was sitting in my tdp 2000 class catching up on my blogs, when I read a comment by my brother Adam about fads and he stated how he felt sportscenter was a fad that would go away soon. That has inspired this post.

I love sports. ESPN covers sports better than anybody else. I wish someone would compete with ESPN in order to force them to create a better product, but the fact is no one is even close. They are the best. Anyways, I have always turned to sportscenter to get my daily fix of sports. I would say on the average day I watch at least 30 minutes of it and there are definitely days where I can watch two and half hours (keep in mind it is an hour long show, I just watch it again). It is fun to hear the subtle wisecracks and nicknames that the anchors come up with. I like being caught up. As of late I have found myself becoming a member of the grassroots movement that is sick of sportscenter.

I am not sick of sportscenter because I am sick of sports. I am sick of sportscenter because they are 'selling out'. I would compare it to the MTV of today that really has hardly anything at all to do with music. They are getting away from highlights and analysis and
moving more towards gimmicks and stupid countdowns. Who's now? What the heck was that. A countdown of who is the 'most now' sports figure. Do I care? I don't even know what that means. Now? Like someone who exists now? Is 'now' who I am thinkin
g about right now? It looks like a stupid countdown that I would read about in the magazines at the checkout lane of the grocery store.
'Who's now' is not all that is wrong though. Ever since the success of the show PTI where two sports columnist debate and discuss the top stories of the sports world, sportscenter has desperately tried to replicate this on the show. Stephen A. Smith, Sean Salisbury, and Skip Bayless are all byproducts of this. There is nothing harder to watch than when Sean Salisbury and John Clayton getting into t
heir little bullying matches when they try to debate sports. What makes PTI work is that they aren't attacking each other, they are talking sports. For some reason no one else can get this right. It is just two grown men making fun of each other. It really is hard to watch. I feel like I am going back to the 3rd grade lunch room where every disagreement turned into 'yo momma' jokes (If you are somehow reading this Kris Davis I am really sorry). What scares me is it feels like they are trying to recreate this now with their two NFL Draft experts of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. It is almost sad to watch. It is two very qualified experts who have all this knowledge that I want to hear, and instead it has digressed into a shouting match. I am getting dumber.

In between these debates things can be even more frustrating. I would love to see how many times in the first 5 minutes of sportscenter the words 'Yankees' or 'Red Sox' are uttered. I am so sick of this stupid rivalry being shoved down my throat. Joba Chamberlain may go to the rotation? No wait, the owner just said he may want that? UH OH!! Better kick it to five experts at Yankee stadium to get feedback. We should get a national poll about whether or not it is a good idea. Ask Steve Philips what he would do. Can we get a shot of the New York skyline while we get A-Rods quotes are being played? Guess what? I do not care. Zack Greinke is 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA. Talk about that. Talk about how good the Arizona Diamondbacks look right now. Talk about the Cardinals for goodness sake. Just please talk about something outside of the stupid Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.

The top 10 has also been corrupted. The top 10 plays used to my favorite part of the show. It was just the ten best plays they saw for the day, week, or month. Whatever the criteria was I loved it. I just ate that stuff up. Unfortunately they are getting away from the roots of what made the top ten so great. They aren't even plays anymore. The top ten 'plays' are now the top ten feel good moments. Cricket spitting? Better make that number seven. That guy who won the masters did the top ten on Letterman? Well we just found our top play? How is that a play? I do not want the top 10 'aww' moments. I am very happy that Griffey got 500 homeruns, but that is not a top play unless that was a game winning homer. Tim Duncan hitting that three is a top play. That is a shoo-in. Getting your 300th win in is not. Winning the Masters is not a play. Breaking a record is not a play. Making a diving catch is a play. A dunk is a play.

Other things that I would love to mention but do not want to drag this
post out any longer... Hockey, ESPN Deportes, The Patriots, The Budweiser Hot Seat, Lou Holtz, Creating News (T.O.), the death of the phrase "Say hello to my little friend", and when Nick Lachey did interviews.

I really am ready to move on to ESPN news. I am going to do it. I have said it before and I will probably say it again, but just writing all of this down has made me realize how sick of SC I really am. They have ruined a great thing.

Better Favre Coverage Please?

So here it is in the middle of the night (morning, if you want to be technical), and I am in my kitchen eating my nightly bowl of cereal and watching Sportscenter, recapping on the top news of the sports world from today.

There were a few things about Sportscenter that I wanted to BLOG about.


Anyone who is alive whether you like sports or not has heard about Brett Favre.

If you don't know who this is, it's the Wrangler Jeans guy who is playing a casual game of touch football in a field. (While wearing his Wranglers of course! And smiling REALLY big! Gah, how can a man be that happy while playing a pick up game of football in jeans?!)

Sorry, I veered off topic.

But Brett Favre has been in the news since about March off and on. He "retired" in March but never signed the official retiring papers. Now he is claiming that he wants back in the league.

I am not here to give my opinion on the matter, I am just giving the Cliff Notes version of the event.

Since about April, when people started talking about a possible come back the news has grown each day. I don't think a day has gone by in which Sportscenter has not mentioned the future hall of famer in a show.

This is not what I am upset about. I love #4, I hope he comes back and wins a Super Bowl. In fact, I would rather him come back and win a title for the Pack then the Titans win a Super Bowl. (Of course, a Titans - Packers would be a nice matchup for the big game.)

Let him come back... You know he is already missing the game being bored at home during retirement. He is probably doing this.

The thing that upsets me is that on Sportscenter, NFL Live, PTI, Around the Horn, ESPNEWS, Rome Is Burning, Outside The Lines, Mike and Mike In The Morning, The Best of Mike and Mike In The Morning, ESPN's First Take, The World Series of Poker, you name IT! ANY and EVERY show on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN CLASSIC, ESPNEWS, and even ESPN 8 "The Ocho" airs the same dang clips of Brett Favre on each broadcast.

I mean come on! The man has been in the league for 17 years... SEVENTEEN!

And he hasn't missed a start since his first one. With his Ripken like record of consecutive starts, you would think we would be able to go three years (at least) without seeing the same highlight twice.

But no.

Instead, all we see is:
  • His record breaking touchdown slant pass against the Vikings.
  • Him picking up one of his receivers.
  • Him walking out of the tunnel with Aaron Rogers with his hands in built in hand warmer.
  • The four or five shots of him with his hands in the air after throwing a touchdown.
  • About three or four of the fist pumps.
  • The aftermath after his record breaking touchdown pass, where he throws some fist pumps and then throws his hands in the air.
  • The play against the Giants where he rolls out to his right, pump fakes, gets the defensive player in the air and then threads the needle by throwing a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone.
  • The shot of him by him self with his head down in the cold.
  • The shot of him with his helmet off in his away uniform looking off into space.
  • The deep pass he throws to a diving receiver against the Panthers.
  • His final pass thrown, the interception against the Giants in overtime.
  • The clip where he hits an open receiver in the back of the end zone while they are in their away uniforms.
  • The really quick cuts of him making a throwing motion.
Come on, ESPN. Dig deep into your archives!

Call Steve Sabol and ask him for some NFL Films footage!

If you don't acquire anything good (which won't happen... the man is a HALL OF FAMER TO BE!), then show us something like:
  • A QB sneak for a touchdown.
  • A Pass where the man intelligently threw the ball away while under pressure.
  • Maybe some hidden footage of Brett pulling a Jake Plummer or Chase Daniel and picking his nose.
  • A slowed up clip where you can clearly read the lips of Favre saying a certain four letter dirty word.
  • A 6 yard run on 2nd down and 13.
  • His hilarious Mastercard Commercial, "Monday Morning Quarterback".
  • His first completion, for all you true Favre fans, which was indeed, to himself!
  • Some of the Wrangler jeans clips!
  • A really nice fake handoff.
  • A clip of him stretching during pre-game.
  • A shot of Brett keeping his heartburn away.
  • A clip from Super Bowl XXXII where they lost to the Broncos.
  • A clip of him in the movie, 'There's Something About Mary'.
  • A clip of someone playing as Brett Favre on XBox 360 in Madden '09.
To me, any of these things clips would be more exciting/entertaining then the same ones they play each day.

Sorry ESPN, but if I am going to hear about this well into football season and possibly the playoffs depending on how well a Favre led team does, then I need some diversity!

And finally...

The second thing I wanted to say goes out to anyone who has ever made fun of me for watching MTV's The Hills.

If anyone noticed on July 12th's episodes of Sportscenter, during the Blue Jays vs. Yankees highlight of Roy Halladay's complete game shut out, Robert Flores made a Hills reference.

"Like Spencer from The Hills, Halladay was delivering the cheese!"
-Robert Flores, July 12th, 2008

So for all of you who DON'T watch The Hills, I'm sorry if you didn't get it! Better start watching this season (which starts up this August. Exact date, TBA).

And for those of you who DO watch The Hills, you probably appreciate it as much as you appreciate the new AT&T Commercial.

That is all for tonight. I need some sleep.

Thanks for reading...