ESPN behaves like a dictator in a police state
Now that the general consensus is that IT'S_HAPPENING.gif, what kind of spin are we expecting to see from the worldwide leader when news breaks? Something along the lines of "nobody wanted him." or "he'll be back soon enough."
So, on this, one of three days a year in which there are no major four sports games going, we have the ESPYs.
I LOATHE the idea of letting people vote on awards. People are stupid. Voting is almost always done for a favorite and not a true winner.
First complaint: (EDIT) Chris Berman confusing me about what year plays took place (see below).
In the words of THE KNOWLEDGE: Comments commence.
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 and their Poynter Review Project has published a response to the Bruce Feldman affair. You can check it out here. Though if you don't want to get pissed off, I suggest you avoid it. It's a wall of text that does little more than fellate ESPN and attempts to pin blame for the "misunderstanding" on "gossip sites" like SportsByBrooks, who initally broke the story, and on Feldman himself, for not being responsible enough to realize that his book might make ESPN brass angar.
Awful announcing has a great post up that thoroughly fisks the Poynter piece. I like to say fisk. Fisk fisk fisk. But they're very much correct. The old ESPN ombudslady was awesome. She actually challenged ESPN on issues and tried to preserve some shred journalistic integrity. All they have now are a few snivelling lap dogs who'll do anything short of an old-fashioned to please their masters.
It's odd how ESPN continues to fuck this up at each step of the way. ESPN has grown too powerful, and it shows in the way it treats both its employees and its customers. They believe that they are above the rules of journalistic ethics and integrity, and that they can use their own media platform to cover their mistakes. At this point, I hope the other major networks are able to get a decent sports network off the ground, so that we have a second option (I'm looking at you, NBC/Versus and CBSSports).