Sunday, July 8, 2007

ESPN Jumps The Shark .... Again

The self-proclaimed World Wide Leader has given us yet one more reason to petition some billionaire to launch a new all sports network. Idiocy isn't new for ESPN, however. I'm thinking of Sean Salisbury fighting with John Clayton, Steve Phillips pretending to be your team's GM or Stuart Scott hosting just about anything.

The latest piece of evidence that ESPN cares little about actually covering sports--well, that it isn't shamelssly self-promoting because its airing a specific contest--is a new SportsCenter segment called Who's Now. This segment includes a large bracket which pits today's athletes against one another to determine Who's Now. That apparently means who is the coolest, most hip superstar in today's professional world. If you've had drinks with Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan you may get bonus points, or so it would seem.

It's not surprising that Stuart Scott is involved in this. But it's unfortunate that PTI's Michael Wilbon, Kirk Herbstreit and Keyshawn Johnson have lent their personalities to such drivel. It was even more distressing to hear Wilbon pimping this segment on Washington Post radio as the 'next big thing' because it's untraditional. He actually even took some sort of credit for it, suggesting that he and Tony Kornheiser paved the way for this with PTI.

I must say I agree with Dallas Cowboys 24-7, which writes that Who's Now is "P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!".

It should be called "Who the F--- Cares?" What I want to know is whose idea was this?
The Blog of Hilarity has a good explanation for the Cowboy blogger.
An idea that was clearly created in the marketing rooms ("Hey, they like brackets, they like athletes, let's make something with both those for the summer!"), in an effort to artificially manufacture news, ESPN's running a tournament to determine "Who's Now". What's the criteria or the logic behind it? Who knows! But they've got fancy graphics and legitimate commentators like Mike Wilbon completely selling out and taking it seriously, so that's gotta count for something.
For Stuart Scott, this is the latest ridiculous idea he's been at the center of. Before this came "Dream Job" and "Stump the Schwab"--both extremely long-lasting programs (heavy sarcasm intended).

For the World Wide Leader, the Who Cares, er Who's Now segment is just the latest example of why a new sports network is needed to compete with these clowns. I'd prefer--I know this is crazy talk--highlights and analysis of games and decision-making over a contrived segment about who generates the most buzz.


Dallas Cowboys Blog said...


Mark said...

ESPN seems determined to follow the paths of MTV and VH1. When was the last time anyone saw a video on the so-called "Music Television" networks?

Chris said...

Who's Now = Who Cares

I completely agree. I hate waiting for my sport highlights to watch this garbage. It's lousy.

Hawkeye State said...

It's worse. So much worse. They've somehow turned the most ridiculous thing in the history of TWWL into a cross-promotion with a shitty Adam Sandler movie...

Pardon me while I gouge out my eyes with an ice-cream scoop.

Tom said...

I'll defend ESPN a bit here. They are very full of themselves and put some BAD TV out there. BUT, is there anything better for sports? They still put out a lot of college FB, college BB, NBA, NFL and MLB. What more can you ask for? Sportscenter all morning, some quality early evening shows like PTI and Sunday morning withe Sports Reporters. They are still the best at what they do and nobody has even come close to matching their sports coverage.