Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sleep deprived or just plain dumb

For reasons unavailable at type time, I lifted my ban on ESPN's SportsCenter. Boy, what a lucky night for me because I witnessed the "Total Sports Network" once again make a total mockery of itself.

The hype to start the show surrounded the Dream Job champion's debut on SportsCenter. Not Eddie George's decision to ask for his release from the Titans and not the Cardinals-Cubs fiasco with Jim Edmonds and Carlos Zambrano. I had to wait until Linda Cohn congratulated the Dream Job champion (name withheld, since he got enough free pub on the show), who in turn had a few quick snippets of what at least one person perceived as comedic input. I was not that person, but I was hoping for Steve Berthiume to run out onto the set and scream "Say hello to my little friend!!!!!!!"

SportsCenter has become what it once tried to change. It's a joke of a sports show, with every anchor trying to find a schtick that makes them the most imitated sportscaster in the local dive bar. It's sad, really, to watch this once-bright beacon of sports fade away into an ignominious well of despair. It's like watching Evander Holyfield try to box now -- funny, but at some point, you start to feel bad and have no choice but to unplug the television.

ESPN is in the midst of celebrating its 25th anniversary. Perhaps the honchos up there in Bristol should take a look back at what made the program so successful. Boo-yah!

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