Last week, I worked a bit on a piece that I didn’t end up posting. It was about the 50,000th airing of SportsCenter on ESPN and I was attempting (and failing miserably) to write something cobbling together how I’ve become a cynic regarding “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Meh. I’ll leave that to those who are better equipped to detail the smudged history of ESPN. People like Dan Patrick. James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales. Or the talented crew at Deadspin. Give DP a listen if you don’t already. I love his show and his crew and he’s one of the smartest voices in sports. Read the ESPN book by Miller and Shales. It deepened my mistrust of ESPN, while also giving me an appreciation for the history of the network. Weird, I know. And over the last two years (when I should have been studying) I’ve come to love the work of Deadspin, whose motto is “Sports News without Access, Favor, or Discretion.” ‘Nuff said. And there’s so many more outlets out there that just cover sports better, more fairly, and without bias.
I guess that’s the crux of my cynicification or whatever you want to call it. [Editor's note: It's cynicism . . . but whatever.] I grew up watching Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann on SportsCenter. I had a crush on Linda Cohn (Who am I kidding? I still do!). ESPN was the beginning and the end of sports and sports news for me back in the day. But as much as they want to think they still are the Alpha and Omega of sports, they just aren’t anymore. They’ve monopolized and bullied and hogged and cozied their way to media dominance over the past 33 years and they’re still trying desperately to cling to it. But their grip is loosening. Seriously, read Those Guys Have All the Fun.
Anyway, I’m a goofball. I don’t want to be a downer and write stuff like this on here. It’s much more fun to write about sunshine and ponies and how the Dolphins suck.
I’ll leave you with this: Don’t just be an apostle of The Mothership (Dan Patrick’s term for ESPN). View them as a source of information (and entertainment) and not THE ONLY SOURCE. Embrace all the beauty of the Interwebs (like NoCoastBias!) and other sports television networks. Be a thoughtful consumer of sports and don’t just be satisfied with what you’re fed by “The Worldwide Leader.”
(Image courtesy of TheHamsterdam.com)