I’m really starting to get pretty much sick of ESPN, and for that matter, to some degree, sports in general. Understand, I’ve been a sports fan all my life, and still am, but the thing that’s annoying me these days is this (seemingly) incessant urge to made predictions about future happenings.
I first noticed it several years ago when networks carrying NASCAR would, in the middle of races starting sometime in July, it seemed, began carrying “if the race ended right now, these guys would be in the ‘Championship Chase’.” Well who gives a rip? The race isn’t ending right now. And there will be a lot more races to come. And what comes across is that these folks have so little to talk about, or more accurately, to display, that they feel they must pump us with useless “knowledge”.
But now, it’s gotten worse. A few years ago ESPN began making a pretty big deal of the NFL Draft. OK, I admit, I have an interest in that–it’s kinda fun. But now, it’s incessant–and it began in mid-February, more than two months before the actual draft. Last week–or is it this week? I couldn’t care less–they were talking about the NFL Combine, what guys ran what times in the “40”, or who did how many reps at what weight, and how all of this might project into where guys ought to go in the draft, who’s “stock is falling” and whose is rising–and all this, as I said, better than two months before the draft. Starting talking about it a week out, and I’d have some interest, but February? It’s asinine.
And then the other “gem” of ESPN coverage is guys speculating incessantly–there’s a “guru” now, the “Mel Kiper” of college basketball, I guess–who’s pontificating on which teams are “in” the tournament and which are “out”, but if that’s not bad enough, there’s a ticker that runs on the bottom of the screen, regularly, which lists “last four teams in”, as well as “last four teams out”. I’m honestly trying to figure out if there could be a more worthless piece of information given to us in February than this “news”.
And you put all this together, and it really, really turns me off to ESPN, and to some degree, to sports in general, because while for years we’ve been saying that sports occupies too great a position of importance in our society, this is really so far over the top as to make ESPN not enjoyable watching, at least to a point. Ironically, after our “contract” with DirecTV runs out in September, and we pay the last dime of our lifetimes to that awful company, we’re strongly considering getting “minimum cable”, like 12 or 13 channels, the package they don’t advertise but which they are required to carry by law. That would mean no more ESPN.
At this point, that’s sounding pretty good…
P.S. Somebody’s going to write and say, “why not just switch the channel?” Fair question, of course–to which the response is, “to what?” Note so self: check out what the History Channel is playing tonight…