Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SportsCenter's 'Who's Now' -- who cares?

If sports fans and SportsCenter viewers haven't recently noticed, ESPN has created a tournament including some of the sporting world's biggest icons called "Who's Now?". In what is essentially a made-up popularity contest, viewers get to vote and personalities such as Kirk Herbstreit and Keyshawn Johnson get to voice their opinions on certain current athletes and how popular they are in relation to other athletes. ESPN has obviously started this event to try and cover up one of the quieter sports periods of the year when basketball and football are both in their offseasons. The problem is this -- ESPN is again beating a dead horse by wasting time arguing such useless topics like which players and athletes in a variety of sports are more popular. What does it matter if Tiger Woods is more popular than Tim Duncan or whoever? Seriously, does anybody really care?

Not only is this "contest" very boring, but it isn't really sports-related at all. This type of irrelevant information is more Hollywood than anything involving sports should be, and it seems better fitted on Entertainment Tonight -- not ESPN. Undoubtedly, ESPN can't just discuss baseball and NASCAR (the most popular sports currently taking place in the U.S.) every single moment over the next few weeks, but a glorified and random popularity contest, including an endless loop of a new T.I. song, seems extremely cheesy, but it will surely drag on for at least a month.

If that's not bad enough, ESPN has also managed to bring in Michael Wilbon, AGAIN, to frequently give his opinion on the matters at hand. ESPN has been shuffling Wilbon from NBA game coverage to the over-used PTI shows with Tony Kornheiser, and even Wilbon, who I greatly respect, is starting to get on my nerves because of his constant TV exposure.

Slowly I'm losing patience with ESPN and, primarily, SportsCenter. At some point, we as sports fans have to draw the line somewhere, or else ESPN will end up being nothing but Budweiser Hot Seats, Miller Six-Packs of Questions, SportsNation Polls brought to you by Burger King, and Ultimate Highlights that really end up only highlighting how lame the shows have started to become.

Or maybe I'll just take the easy road and blame everything on Stuart Scott. Yeah, that might work... for now.

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I'll have more to add about actual SPORTS in the next day or so, but I have just one other point to mention briefly. The other day, John Kruk of Baseball Tonight mentioned that Jimmy Rollins should be on the NL All-Star team. I completely agree, but not with another point by Kruk. He says that fans want to see players like Rollins because they hit with power, and fans want to see power, not guys like Reyes who can spray the ball all over the field and run faster than most people ever could.

Really -- fans don't want to see Jose Reyes? Surely baseball fans want to see Jimmy Rollins, but they only want to see him because he has power? Fans don't want to see other professional hitters like Placido Polanco, Derek Jeter, Michael Young, Ivan Rodriguez, Brian Roberts, and Carl Crawford? And they don't want to see players like Ichiro and Reyes, who hit some HRs, but aren't really power hitters?

That's interesting stuff, Mr. Kruk, because I do want to see those players just as most real baseball fans do. Hitting home runs isn't only what baseball is about.

All that NutriSystem dieting with Dan Marino, Sean Salisbury, and Mike Golic must have fried your brain.

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