I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)
ESPN announced today that Jalen Rose will replace Hubert Davis on ESPN College Gameday. He will still serve as an NBA analyst during the NBA Playoffs.
Actually think Rose and Jay Bilas will make a good analyst combo. Their crew of the underrated Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Bilas, & Rose may even surpass the quality of the ESPN College Football Gameday crew now.
According to the Sport Business Journal we get some insight as to why the B1G was so protective of the Rose Bowl during the playoff negotiations this summer. (Hint - it wasn't nostalgia or a desire to play in the Granddaddy of Them All.)
The payoff has increased 167% to an average of $80M a year over the 12-year deal beginning in 2015 and ending in 2026. Link here http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/07/16/Colleges/BCS-playoffs.aspx via Kyle Meinke here http://annarbor.com/sports/um-football/report-rose-bowl-more-than-doubles-revenue-in-latest-espn-deal/?cmpid=mlive-@mlive-wolverines .
Deals for the Orange and Outback bowls are pending per the SBJ, so we'll see if the Rose Bowl deal is a market-maker.
So ESPN in my opinion does a pretty good job of covering live events. Gameday is great for both football and basketball and in general they nail day-of-game coverage type stuff. They've always been prone to self promotion (if a game is on ESPN you'll hear all about it. If it's not, you wont. How many minutes did they talk hockey during the playoffs? Or even the NBA playoffs that were on the other channel?) and I get that. The 30 for 30 series was great and I'm glad to see that they're doing more documentaries. They've made the NFL draft a 3 day event that gets great ratings. ESPN has also done a great job IMO of local content. They hired away TomVH from here and in general WolverineNation has been a success. Their city-based programming is great too. I live in Chicago and ESPNChicago.com and the local radio AM 1000 is top-notch sports coverage.
So what the hell are they doing with their national stuff? Are they trolling true sports fans? Someone over there has to know that Skip Bayless and Steven A Smith are terrible analysts/probably terrible people. And they're the front page coverage of the NBA finals. Last night I turned on ESPN as background noise and those two were debating if Lebron was greater than Jordan. Seriously? Between Tebow and Linsanity they can kill a story, make it a zombie, kill it, make a sequel zombie and then double tap just to be safe. Mike and Mike seem more interested in talking about their wives than sports, and are ridiculously quick to overreact. "Durant is great! Durant sucks. Lebron will never win a ring! Lebron wins tonight! Blow up Miami! Oh wait, their 3rd best player was out." And to top it all off they just hired creepster extraordinaire Rovell.
What's their end game here? Are they trolling and weeding out the knowledgable sports fans? (If you're on mgo you're a smart fan). Are some higher-ups so convinced that they're making great decisions and it's an emperor's new clothes situation? Or are they all conviced that they dominate the market so much that no one can touch them, so who gives a damn? I'm to the point where certain national things on ESPN are appointment viewing and I can't stand sportscenter as background noise anymore. Where are you with ESPN? Have any ideas on what the hell they're trying to do here? This link from mgolicious put it well http://holdintherope.blogspot.com/2012/06/espn-skip-bayless-and-where-this-is-all.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HoldinTheRope+%28Holdin%27+The+Rope%29&utm_content=Google+Reader when will their credibility erode completely?
ESPN breaks down Michigan as its preseason #10 team in their Top 20 Roundtable countdown today on College Football Live.
EDIT: ESPN has posted the video to their website.
Was just driving down State, and noticed the ESPN bus barked in front of Schembechler Hall. Anyone have a clue as to why the ESPN football crew would be in town right now?
I didn't take a picture of the bus, but it was the same on as in this pic.
Remember the ESPN editor who was fired for using the phrase "chink in the armor" to describe Lin's turnover problems? Lin reached out and had lunch with him. This isn't related to anything Michigan at all, just thought it was interesting how much classier Lin is than most NBA players.