And I'm loving every minute of it. Click here, but only if you don't mind snorting with laughter at your cubicle.
"Stephen A. Smith. Mark Shapiro, the prime mover behind Sportstainment! and former head of ESPN, said he just HAD to hire Smith after every focus group detested his ass. Well, there you go."
"Speaking of songs that suck…Big and Rich have made their way onto our Orbital Death Ray list, along with Mark Shapiro. For a long time college football existed as a fiefdom apart from the Sportstainmenttastic! world of ESPN–pleasantly stodgy, frills-free coverage of a sport that allowed you to soak in the atmosphere of each game through the screen. Now we have Nick Lachey interviewing people and Big and Rich suggesting that we need more Ying with our Ying Yang. Two old pieces of redneck jerky–including one who one of our readers pointed out, bears a striking resemblance to Phyllis Diller–who were pulled out of a hat at random by marketing schmucks in New York who were like, “Okay, people. Red state sport—we need us some edgy country!” Total, horrid, absolute fecality soiling the last show we watch on the network. We’re coming…and we’re shit-tayyy!!!"
"Ron Jaworski’s backseat role. His explanation of schemes and coverages is pure, elegant analysis. So he’s forced to do it at 11:30 with a concussed madman and a very cute lesbian. That’s a push, we suppose."
"Woody Paige. In our hometown, this guy cleaned your septic tank. On ESPN, he’s an 'expert.'"
"Lou Holtz. You have a speech defect, and should not make a living talking on television. Oh, and you’re a cheater. Would be entertaining only if they made him speak from behind his own salad bar shield; we’re guessing it would look like those shots of cobras striking at people behind plexiglass in zoos, with spit flying in gobs all over the surface."
"Mike Lupica. Only makes two statements a year about college football, both atrociously wrong and dumb. Abrasive without insight. We’d say he represents the worst of Northeastern sportswriting, but Dan Shaughnessy still breathes in Boston."
Evidently, the column has touched a nerve, since there have been over 50 comments in a matter of hours.
I was just thinking about the complete decline of the network this morning as I turned on SportsCenter while packing my gym bag, foolishly thinking that there would be highlights on the show, and instead being treated to a heart-to-heart between Andrea Kremer and the totally underexposed Tedy Bruschi. Didn't ESPN have a Sunday Night Conversation with him shortly after his return from his stroke? And haven't they thought to convene focus groups to reach the obvious conclusion that interviews with athletes are, with very few exceptions, completely useless?
And then this morning, when I did my quick scan of ESPN.com's college football page, it occurred to me that I don't read any of the writers there other than Bruce Feldman and his blog is behind the Insider wall. The featured column was by Craig James, helpfully telling USC and Texas that they can't look ahead to the Rose Bowl when they have games this weekend. (In a related note, Earth revolves around the Sun.) I used to read Ivan Maisel, but his columns rarely provide me with any information that I couldn't get from watching a game and/or looking at the box score afterwards. He's also an apologist for just about everyone. For instance, check out this gem from today's Three Point Stance:
"O.K., Bobby Bowden isn't going to fire Jeff. But the Florida State legend and his son the offensive coordinator are in a no-win situation. Injuries on the line and general inexperience have hampered the Seminoles' offense. But as long as Jeff stays, Bobby won't be the loyal head coach. He'll be the daddy protecting his son."
Yes, let's blame injuries and inexperience for the fact that the Noles' offenses for the past two years have been putrid. Note to Ivan: FSU didn't have any more injuries on offense than most teams in college football this year and their insane amount of talent ought to compensate for inexperience. (It's funny how young teams with good offensive coordinators like Auburn don't suck on offense.) And their offense was even worse in 2004 with a four-year starter at QB, seniors on the offensive line, and two stud juniors in the backfield. But still Ivan argues that it's the perception of Bobby protecting his son, rather than the fact that his son gets lousy results, that presents a problem. If only us impetuous fans wouldn't demand results from coaches.