Who's ESPN Now?

An article in this week’s Newsweek poses the question, "Has ESPN become the worldwide cheerleader in sports?"

Yes, it has.

Oh, I’m supposed to write more? Ok. I’ll start by admitting that saying something isn’t as good as it used to be always makes me uneasy, because it leaves open the “You’re old and cranky” argument, which is tough to refute. The point of the article, that ESPN has moved from an impartial reporter of sports and sports news to a creator of the stories that it then covers, is certainly accurate. I think the problem started when ESPN started expanding so rapidly, and suddenly had numerous cable channels, web outlets, a magazine, radio, and who knows what other media for which it has to provide programming 24 hours a day. If there’s not enough relevant sports news, ESPN has to make some of its own.

This has led to about 10,000 shows that use slightly varying formats to have writers debating top sports stories of the day with each other. (Thanks a lot for making Skip Bayless a semi-household name.) It also led to “Who’s More Now,” the widely panned series where people vote in a bracket-style tournament to determine, yes, “Who’s Most Now.” This morning I witnessed Stuart Scott moderating the Tiger Woods-Dwyane Wade matchup with Mike Greenberg, Jessica Biel, and Kevin James. (For those following the bracket closely, this matchup took place in the Jordan Region.) I am not making that up, nor am I making up that Kevin James was wearing a stylish cap that said “Chuck and Larry.” I like Greenie a lot; he’s funny, smart, and acts like an adult. He and Golic got me through several years of commuting. To his credit, he did a good job pretending not to be mortified to be participating this morning. At least it wasn’t Michael Vick versus Pac Man Jones in the Rae Carruth Region. Nevertheless, when Jessica Biel’s on the screen and I still want to gouge out my eyes, something’s rotten on Planet ESPN.

posted by Jimmy Chitwood @ 12:21,


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