Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Chad Orzel on ESPN

Fellow scienceblogger Chad Orzel has a post about ESPN, which is itself a reaction to this post from another blog. I can’t say I disagree with some of the reasons from the original post:

You took away David Aldridge and foisted Screaming A on me. From a thoughtful, insightful, coherent reporter to a screaming clown who is nothing less than a thug wannabe…

I remember Sunday nights with Patrick and Olberman being a smart, funny, hip program. There is nothing left on your networks that fits that description. Allowing Bonds on Bonds to air on your network (Barry owned a piece of the production company) eroded the last bit of credibility you had.

How you have managed to not fuck up PTI is the only thing that amazes me at this point.

I do disagree with him about Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy). I think he is as funny and interesting as he always was despite his new Hollywood friends. But I have to agree with much of what he says the rest of the time, including those damn ESPN phones. ESPN is known for their great promos, but I am so tired of seeing those idiotic ads with the guy trying to get into ESPN. Yeah, we get it, he’s a loser wannabe sucking up to the anchors. Enough already.

The first thing ESPN needs to do is stop the reality show crap. We used to have a reality show about boxing – it was called boxing. We sure as hell don’t need The Contender. We don’t want to spend an hour a week watching a competition to see who can be the next guy to wash jockstraps in the Yankee clubhouse. We watch ESPN for sports; period. And if they keep this up, ESPN is going to go the way of Mtv, which hasn’t actually had any music on it since about 1996.

And why on earth do we need to be screamed at all the time? Stephen A. Smith shouldn’t even be allowed to watch TV, much less be on it. There should be a Federal law that prescribes a punishment of public flogging for anyone who hands Dick Vitale a microphone. Give me David Aldridge, Greg Anthony, or Jay Bilas any day, guys who just give you the information without performing a clown act. In sports, the game is supposed to be the entertainment, not the commentators. The commentators are there to give insight into the action, to mention things that we might have missed or to explain a change in strategy. Dick Vitale would neglect to mention a game winning basket because he’s too busy talking about who picked up the check when he had dinner with Gary Coleman.


  1. #1 Will
    August 2, 2006

    I just wish ESPN would hire someone to redo all the graphics they use. The crap they’ve always used looks terrible and gives me a headache. Granted, all network sports programs use terrible graphics.

  2. #2 Will
    August 2, 2006

    They also need to change the music for ESPN and all sports shows. Who the hell thought John Tesh was a good choice for sports music?

  3. #3 FishyFred
    August 2, 2006

    those damn ESPN phones

    Oh my DAWG. A couple of months before they announced that, they were popping up dialogue boxes on espn.com asking if you wanted to take a survey. I did once, and it was basically testing to see if people wanted ESPN to launch a phone service. I remember thinking to myself “ANYTHING but a phone service. You’re not Apple. Stick to the TV.”

  4. #4 King Aardvark
    August 2, 2006

    I HATE John Tesh.

    Fortunately, I live in Canada, so the sports coverage via TSN or CBC or even CTV aren’t as bad as it is in the States. There’s very little screaming for no reason, and commentators actually do comment most of the time.

    As an outsider, I have to wonder: How come American TV doesn’t use actual music for its theme music? It just seems like really hyper noise to me. I haven’t heard an actual melody during American sports coverage in years (other than Wimbledon and the Olympics).

  5. #5 Matthew
    August 2, 2006

    They stopped using the Tesh song after NBC stopped doing the NBA 4 or 5 years ago. Personally I pine for those days. Tesh might not be cool, but that “the fate of the world depends on this game” music certainly was.

  6. #6 Chris Berez
    August 3, 2006

    Pretty much the only thing I watch on ESPN anymore is PTI, and the Red Sox when they’re on. I am looking forward to Tony Kornheiser on Monday night football, though.

    Bonds on Bonds is pretty stunning. The fact that ESPN even considered the program in the first place is baffling to me.

  7. #7 James Allen
    August 3, 2006

    All I can say is amen. Altough, PTI has even begun to suffer recently with Kornheiser’s disappearance. Dan Le Retard needs to go. And without Tony there to balance him out Wilbon is starting to grate on me too.

  8. #8 justin
    August 3, 2006

    There are far worse things about ESPN than Stephen A. (who I happen to like). For example- World Series of Poker, World Series of Darts, the dominoes show they have on ESPN 2, etc. I thought ESPN was a sports network? Since when did a bunch of out of shape dorks playing cards or tossing darts become a sport? And don’t even get me started on dominoes. Sports Center has gone in the crapper, too. Baseball Tonight and PTI are the only reasons to watch.

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