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.

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