*Hats off to the Blackhawks. Now for other breaking sports news: ESPN Sucks….
MAKE-US- BRISTLE, CT – Remember when ESPN was a novelty? When it was hard to fathom a television network devoted exclusively to Sports? (sort of) Of course, growing up in Queens meant not having Cable TV until the mid-1980s… at the earliest. Oh sure, there was Wometco Home Theatre (WHT), which showed scrambled soft core porn late nights that occasionally allowed 4 or 5 uninterrupted seconds of flesh, but I digress.
When I first viewed ESPN in 1981 I was blown away.It was better than the Amazin’ Bill Mazer or Warner Wolf going to the videotape. An entire 30 minutes of sports highlights! Wow! Orlando Woolridge scored how many? Rick Monday did what with the Flag?! Again, Steve Howe???
But now ESPN Sucks. And aside from watering down content to not include content, it’s on the anchors. And while some have had distinguished careers working for Disney (Steve Levy comes to mind, in spite of his Hockey specialty, as does Short Matt, who likely was/is inspired to try Rugby after being mesmerized watching Australian Rules Football at Third Base in Buffalo int the wee hours), many others have shamelessly hammed it up for their own indulgence, putting the “sigh” in S.I. Newhouse.
So, with ESPN Sucks as our blueprint, let’s see who can annoy the crap out of anyone and who are the standouts…
For the first 10 years, some of Chris Berman’s plays on names of athletes were absolute classics. “Walking the Dog Andujar,” “Bert Be Home Bly-Leven” and “Oh-to-be-Young Again McDowell” were personal favorites. But like virtually all of the memorable moments that ESPN brought us, that Berman is gone-or actually not gone unfortunately, and Berman-like much of ESPN now-is simply unwatchable. With the All-Star game at CitiField rapidly approaching (and let’s not start on the absurdity of the Wilpons hosting an ASG) comes events like the annual Home Run Derby – with Berman again-calling the “action.” It’s inconceivable that no one at ESPN has pulled Boomer aside and alerted him to the fact his “back back back back” signature call on balls in the air stopped being mildly amusing/entertaining around the time Von “Purple” Hayes debuted for the Phillies in the early 80s. He actually has the balls to continue using this crap-seemingly believing that this is what people want to listen to as they watch the current crop of synthetically enhanced HR hitters do their thing. But Boomer can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming as this video surely demonstrates…
Bob Ley: that fat face with the Don Draper haircut, couldn’t possibly be more self-important as he reports on sh*t outside the lines that nobody outside the lines of his own property gives a sh*t about. Rarely smiles, but loves “Chunky” because chocolate and raisins take him back to his days with The Lovin’ Spoonful.
Keith Olbermann: “He hit the ball real hard,” and “It’s deep and I don’t think it’s playable” were classics, but every breath he’s taken on this planet since those, have nauseated everyone from Rupert Murdoch to the Dalai Lama. A bright guy with strong liberal tendencies, he pisses people off because he’s just so freakin’ smug.
Craig Kilborn-string bean anchor who put the “snarky” in Douche Bag. Later had a stint as Jon Stewart’s predecessor and hasn’t been seen since a smarmy role in the classic film, Old School.
Brian Kenny: always picked last for Punchball, Kenny is now the geekiest of all SABR/Moneyball geeks and regularly challenges Harold Reynolds on anything that isn’t quantifiable by advanced analytics. Annoying DePodesta disciple whose smug know it all approach has me routinely chucking sh*t at the TV while watching him on MLB Network.
Karl Ravech: not a bad guy, and fairly knowledgeable, but it’s always annoyed me that no one has ever pointed out that he’s wearing a wig; or has Hair Club or whatever. The front third of his hair is clearly fake as it resembles an Optimum Online modem and has for 10 years.
Stuart Scott-he beat Cancer so it’s hard to knock him and feel good about it. But putting that aside, he’s really kind of difficult to look at. On any given night, he appears to have either 1 or 6 eyes, and at least 5 of them appear closed. Just not getting what’s going on there. A little creepy, and his full on sycophant routine runs thin quickly-but the eye thing—a bit disconcerting.
Linda Cohn: She was really a pioneer, and as a female sports anchor, we took her seriously because she looked like Bruce Boisclair. Similar to a “Curb your Enthusiasm” episode from last year when Larry and Jeff were confident in a guy’s credibility and honesty based upon the fact that the guy was voluntarily married to a big fat girl. That’s Linda Cohn-legit, because she’s a bit of a Mishkite.
Rich Eisen: I’ll admit, I’ve mostly enjoyed his work – though I’m not sure how he was involved with the sexy anchorwoman from Philly that time. I don’t like the NFL Network commercial in which he walks out among the ex-NFL stars as though he’s “One of them.” But what really soured me on Eisen was a fun pre-game segment the Network did in January of 2012 in which all of the on-air “talent” took turns trying to drop Warren Sapp and Kurt Warner into a dunk tank by throwing a football at a target. Eisen’s throw, his motion, his delivery and his performance were simply those of a 7-yearold girl. Wow.
Dan Patrick: my all time fave. His understated “Gone” after a sure thing HR was awesome. His appearances in several Adam Sandler films over the years have only added to his gravitas and his legend. Yeah, he does the pretend Sunday Night Football show, but it’s not enough of him. He’s too good to waste. The fake sideburns in GrownUps were scene stealers.
The Worldwide Leader is no more. Angry Ward, tomorrow.