Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creating News When Convenient

It is no secret that ESPN loves the big mouths and big attitudes in sports. If an ESPN personality is every pressed for content, stick a mike in TO's face and ask him about Jeff Garcia/ex-publicists/Donovan McNabb/Romo and Witten's man-crush and you have an immediate story no questions asked. TO is ESPN's cash cow.

The same is obviously not true for Cris Carter. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Cris "The Assassin" Carter is the anti-TO in more ways then one when he eloquently stated "I take one bullet and put it right in him. Bam!" Carter has since sheepishly addressed that statement claiming that somehow he didn't want to kill TO but was rather 'recommending a personnel decision' ( As if personnel decisions involved gunpowder.

That is fine that Carter said he used the wrong words, I expect that. Unless, of course, he and Rae Carruth are working on something we don't know about. But that comment was just as loaded as Tim Hardaway's anti-gay comments. ESPN jumped all over that story and others like the snitch in the Cowboys lockerroom or every time Ozzie Guillen opens his mouth, to name a few.

Yet there is nothing on ESPN's website anywhere related to the comment. Type in "Cris Carter" and "bullet" into google and get 100,000+ hits yet search for it on ESPN and get no hits other than some Dolphins receiver who is apparently named Cris Carter. Had this been a 'normal' non-ESPN affiliated comment, you can be sure we would now have TO's feedback, Carter's written apology, what gun Carter would have used and how Antonio Pierce would have hid the gun.

This story could be monumental as it relates to violence in sports. Have we forgotten about Plaxico "Safety Trigger" Burress and the over-dose of information ESPN bestowed upon us less than one month ago? Wouldn't a follow-up story on guns and violence seem logical here? Carter and Burress might only be the tip of the iceberg but we will never know because ESPN won't touch the issue as it pertains to one of their own employees.

Why does ESPN get immunity in these situations? If only to show that ESPN doesn't have an agenda with every single story, I want to know. Apparently all ESPN wants right now is for this Cris Carter issue to go away. How convenient. "Bang!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wanted: Detroit Lions Head Coach

Job Requirements:
Must exhibit a genuine ability to defy the laws of common sense. Must be a coach whose name would in no way generate excitement for fans of Detroit, and must have ability to assist in filling roster with averageness and mediocrity at best. Previous head coaching experience is discouraged and not necessary. A fondness for the drafting of wide receivers is also required, along with the mentality that the foundation of a team is built around the receiving corp. Upon hiring, a series of tests will be done to ensure that the mental capacity of said coach is not above that of a chimpanzee. These tests will include multiplication tables, Berenstain Bears speed-reading challenges, and ultimately a full body physical to examine if said coach is in fact breathing and has the ability to communicate nonsensical thoughts to others. One last requirement is the ability to bend over for any opposing coach in the National Football League. Please contact William Clay Ford, Sr. at 1-800-BAILOUT or

Monday, December 8, 2008

Appearance Counts For Something, Right?

Those of you that tuned into the Army/Navy game on Saturday saw the unveiling of the new 'Enforcer' uniforms for both Army and Navy. Both uniforms depicted the normal dress of their respected teams, with Army's uniforms being camouflage and Navy's including both the shoulder boards and the wings of the Blue Angel plane.

My favorite part of the Army uniform was that on the back,where traditionally most teams have the last name of a player, were the words 'Duty. Honor. Country'. They may have lost 34-0, but they definitely looked good in the process. Put that uniform on Ray Lewis and I guarantee opposing quarterbacks would soil themselves at the sight of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Plaxico Burress Entertainment Network

Hey did you guys know that Plaxico shot himself in the leg? BREAKING NEWS: PLAXICO BURRESS SHOOTS HIMSELF IN LEG.... Every time I turn on ESPN, the updates and coverage of this issue are beyond absurd. You can't get away from it. I feel like I'm 4 again and my mother is force feeding me chewable grape tylenol that tastes like chalk. Make. It. Stop. Please.

I saw a recent letter to that said something about how it seems like more and more athletes are getting into trouble nowadays when compared to athletes in the 1980s and before. On the surface that is a valid observation but if you think about it there are many other reasons for this perception. ESPN is so quick to report on Pacman, Plaxico, Tank Johnson, Michael Vick, and others who have been involved in off-the-field incidents. Do they really have to mention more than once that Charles Barkley owes a casino money? That half of Tour De France is on performance enhancing drugs?

ESPN certainly does a fantastic job covering all of the depressing and negative issues surrounding athletes but the reality is that there is far more good being done by other athletes than the 1-2% that get all the news coverage for their criminal blunders. Did you know that Warrick Dunn established the Warrick Dunn Foundation and helped over 74 single parents buy homes for their families by paying the entire down payment? Or that Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood puts on a bowling tournament every year to raise funds for Children's Memorial Hospital? How about Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation that helps teenagers avoid drug and alcohol abuse? I could go on but you get the point. Don't let ESPN's coverage of a miniscule amount of players allow you to forget that their are a significant number of honorable people in professional sports. I, for one, would like to hear more about that.


...You like produce? How 'bout them apples?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bottom's Up?

More times than not, I am drawn away from ESPN's talking faces that are eerily infomercial-esque and drawn to the 'bottom line'. Side note: Who would win a Billy Mays - Steven A shoutout?

The bottom line is easily one of ESPN's greatest assets for a variety of reasons mainly because after viewing it for 30 seconds, you don't want to pound your face with a hammer or vomit into a paper bag. The reason it has become my go-to obsession is because of its brevity. I find myself watching the World Series Classic Championship of Poker Part 4 Round 50 on The Deuce just to see the stat lines of the night's games. It's quick, easy and I can get back to watching Survivor Man before the commercial break ends.

I would go so far as to say that ESPNews is now part of my channel flipping artillery based solely on the amount of no-nonsense stats it can spew from its bottom line. For those fortunate enough to have HD, ESPNews HD has a three-sided 'bottom-line' which causes salivation to Schwab-like stat-hungry fans.

One would be naive to think that something as simple as the bottom line could go awry under ESPN's guidance but signs are pointing to eminent disaster. Case in point, score alerts. Alerts are only useful if you really care about what is being alerted. And if I really cared about score alerts, I would probably be watching the actual game and not the bottom line to give me the latest news. Aside from a national tragedy or impending attack on my house, alert me never. And then there is the shameless cross-promotion, i.e. Catch Desperate Housewives tomorrow at 9 on ABC. Really? If devoting a full bottom line section to upcoming ESPN/ABC games is toe-ing the line, then this is surely jumping over the line and cannonballing into the pool off a high-dive.

Don't pollute the bottom line. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Want to Know How You Feel

So the other morning I was getting my daily dose of SportsCenter and the ever-present SportsNation poll popped up: "Which team has better running backs: The New York Giants or Tennessee Titans?" Now maybe because I am not a die-hard Giants or Titans fan or because I don't have any of the five running backs on my fantasy squad I could really care less. In fact, I have never felt compelled to vote in a SportsNation poll no matter how passionate I am about the question. Call me crazy but I am not searching for the nearest computer every time a poll pops up just so I can feel more like a member of SportsNation. What amazes me even more is the people that text in their answers. Uhhh what? I know we live in a democracy but how can anyone really care that much about the outcome of any of these polls to text an answer in?

I guess it boils down to giving fans a voice, an opinion of what is always so openly expressed by the representatives of ESPN. For example, you can rest assured that anytime SportsCenter anchor Josh Elliott is on air, he will make a snide comment about the BCS, "Come on, people! We need a playoff!" That is not to say that having a college football playoff is right or wrong but I can guarantee you if a playoff were to be adapted, Elliott would never live it down. And what does SportsNation think about a playoff? Just ask the only respondent from the state of Hawaii who has faith there will be a playoff in less than five years. You see? Hawaii knows what’s up. Their relaxed nature tells them that these polls aren’t necessary and they have better things to do with their time, like do the limbo or drink coconut juice- both of which I would rather do than vote for SportsNation.

So who has the better running backs? SportsNation seems to think the Giants do. Or at least 49 out of 50 states with Tennessee the only state in favor of Slash and Dash; thank goodness the home state pulled it out! So you want to know how I feel ESPN? I feel great, comfortable on my couch, orange juice in hand, eating some cereal. I look forward to not voting again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Skip Bayless Iron Kicker Award


I would like to present the first weekly Skip Bayless Ironman Kicker award to none other than Phil Dawson. Dawson was 5/5 on the game after he connected with kicks of 40,33, 43, 22, and the game-winning field goal from 56 yards.

In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting than watching a potentially game-winning field goal. I had the privilege of attending the Michigan State/Wisconsin game on November 1st, a game in which Michigan State won on a last second field goal by Brett Swenson. Michigan State was trailing the entire game and the comeback was fueled mainly off the foot of Brett Swenson and some clutch FG's. I have been to plenty of sporting events in my time, but i have never been involved in such an electrifying atmosphere, made possible mainly by the field goal kicking of Brett Swenson

Monday, November 17, 2008

Skippy Bayless

Looks like we have a growing interest in the blog and I would like to thank Deadspin for featuring my blog on the site:

I would like to also point out that while I do express my disapproval about various gimmicks and segments on ESPN, I do watch the channel frequently and will continue to do so until another channel is on ESPN's level with sports coverage. With that being said, this is just an outlet for me to vent my frustrations with ESPN and some of their content.

Which brings me to my next bone to pick with ESPN: Skip Bayless

This man is quite possibly the biggest moron that has ever been on television. His arrogance is only rivaled by that of Chad "Ocho Cinco." His condescending nature and stubbornness are the main reasons why I find it so difficult to watch 'Cold Pizza' whenever I have a chance. Can this guy please just make one intelligent observation for me? Because I have yet to witness that.

I tuned in not too long ago to 'Cold Pizza' and to my dismay Bayless was arguing his case about how field goal kicking should be eliminated from the game of football. Uhhh what? This is an actual excerpt from a column of his on ESPN's Page 2 site:

"Once more: Field-goal kicking should be eliminated from football. Punting and kickoffs should remain. But if teams decide not to punt on fourth down, they should be forced to go for it (and either fail or score a touchdown), just as they should have to go for two after scoring a touchdown"

Hey Skip while we are at it, why don't we just eliminate running backs, too? Field goal kicking is arguably the most important aspect of a football game and often times provides the most excitement and appeal to the game. While many kickers go unnoticed Of course Skip's argument was that gridiron warriors shouldn't have to play their hearts out and have to watch as some former soccer player decides the outcome of the game. Clearly this is a personal jab at any place kicker in the NFL and an attempt for Skip to inflate his ever-increasing ego. Field goal kickers are some of the most talented and underrated players in professional sports. What gives Skip Bayless the right to undermine this talent and propose that they should be eliminated from the game? The fact that he can run a marathon? Yea him and thousands of other people....I bet all 32 starting kickers in the NFL would lay Skip Bayless on his @ss given the opportunity. In fact, I would actually pay a pretty penny to see Sebastian Janikowski throw a haymaker and put Bayless out. Given Sebastian's track record, I think it would be pretty interesting to have him on as a guest for Cold Pizza. It is a wonder (albeit joke) how Bayless continues to be gainfully employed by ESPN.

Who's Now?

In what was quite possibly the nadir of ESPN's never-ending attempt to revolutionize the world of sports, this abstract competition was just downright absurd. What was even more asinine was the panel discussions that were held during Sportscenter with four to five personalities debating over a completely nonsensical competition.

"Well I think that Dwayne Wade is definitely more Now than Shaun White because he lives in Miami and is in the spotlight more than White, thus making way Wade more Now than him"

That is not an exact quote but nonetheless you get the point. Hey ESPN, you know what's Now? What's 'now' is you wasting my time with your farcical and irrelevant competitions. Oh you want me to vote online? How about a write-in vote for punting the executive that approved this into a ceiling fan? That almost certainly would have received more votes than the eventual winner, Tiger Woods. This was officially the worst competition since the advent of "Slamball," which I actually enjoyed watching more than this jargon.

Upon completion of the segment, ESPN released the following statement...

"No single topic has ever drawn the volume and intensity of unsolicited complaints to either my or my predecessor's mailbox that this sports popularity contest has."

So one would think that they would learn from this mistake, but judging by "The Greatest Highlight with Chris Berman" that was subsequently aired, that was not the case.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Michael Vick

Can someone please explain to me how Michael Vick wanting to play football when he gets out of the can is somehow newsworthy?  What on God's green earth do you think he is going to do?  Go back to school and finish up his degree (I'm not sure what that would be for but my intuition tells me 'general studies') and get a job?  I highly doubt that Vick is going to be getting out of the klink and putting his resume on Careerbuilder.  I would venture to say that outside of the Vick family, quivering pit bulls across the country, and NFL general managers that there are zero people that actually were wondering or care what is going to happen when Vick gets out of the slammer.  Yet another prime example of how ESPN chooses what their audience wants to be informed of and floods all facets of their media outlets with their flavor of the week (in most cases even longer than a week).  I would rather watch The Notebook...twice...than have to hear about this hot garbage until Vick gets released.