ESPN declares itself the “Worldwide Leader in Sports”. I would beg to differ. First off, I love ESPN. Anyone who knows me knows I have my television tuned into the channel all of the time. I check ESPN.com frequently throughout the day, and even listen to 98.7 FM ESPN New York during car rides. ESPN is a big reason why I am so well informed in sports. ESPN does a lot of great things, such as provide great analysis and stories about the sports we love. ESPN also does other things poorly, and this is where ESPN needs to improve to be the true worldwide leader.
1. Beating a dead horse- ESPN is like Seth McFarlane of Family Guy. When Seth makes a joke, he repeats the shit out of it! ESPN is the same way, as once they talk about something, they repeat it over and over.I am a big Tim Tebow fan, but my goodness does ESPN just constantly talk about him. In a way ESPN is part of the problem as to why it is so hard for Tebow to find work. Over the summer, ESPN had a camp set up during Jets training camp, to follow every Tebow move from him throwing a pass to running shirtless in the rain. If Tebow was cutting his grass at home it would have been big headlines. ESPN constantly talks about the Jets as well. I guess it is because of Rex Ryan and the stupid things the Jets constantly do, but even when the Jets are awful that is all ESPN talks about. ESPN New York radio talks more about an awful team like the Jets than it does the recent Superbowl champion Giants! And why do they do that? I guess losing and stupidity make for more entertaining stories than winning and playing the game the right way. Other honorable mentions include the Manti T’eo fake girlfriend story, the Sandusky scandal and Robert Griffin III. I understand it is ESPN’s job to talk about these big stories, but to repeat it over and over and over across all forms of media is exhausting.
2. Sports coverage- ESPN lives for football. Baseball, basketball, college, golf and nascar round out the remaining coverage. There is limited to no hockey coverage at all. As a die hard hockey fan this bothers me. ESPN used to show hockey games all of the time, but since the 04-05 lockout, that has stopped (due to a television contract running out between ESPN and the NHL). A Stanley Cup playoff game will get about two minutes of coverage total, but analysis of an NBA Finals game will spend two minutes alone on just one quarter of basketball! You want to be the worldwide leader, then show more sports evenly. Also, it is ridiculous that “sports” like bowling, poker and pool get shown on ESPN, but hockey doesn’t get a glimpse at all.
3. The personalities- Some of ESPN’s personalities are great. Linda Cohn, Chris Berman, Michael Wilbon, Adam Schefter, John Clayton, Stuart Scott, Scott Van Pelt are all fantastic. But boy, does the worldwide leader certainly have some of the dumbest, ill informed sports analysts ever. Where do I begin? You can start off with Stephen A. Smith, aka Screaming A. because he has to scream to get his point across. He is on the radio from 1-3 pm during the weeks, and he makes my ears bleed. His opinions are ill informed, and he goes back on things he says all of the time. He just rambles about sports topics and never completes a full analysis. He is also cocky, and thinks he is some big time celebrity when no one would notice him walking down the street. Screaming A. was even accused of yellow journalism by Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall in 2012. That is a pretty serious accusation Smith. Next is Skip Bayless of ESPN First Take. The man just knows nothing at all, and I call him Mr. Negative. Over the summer he came out and claimed Derek Jeter must be taking steroids because he is playing great for being old. Many went on to accuse Jeter of taking roids based off of Skip’s false and non-factual claims. Real great journalism there! Finally, there is Colin Cowherd. HE IS THE WORST. When he isn’t showing how stupid he is on the show “Sportsnation”, he is making America dumber by having people tune into his raido show, “The Herd”. Anytime Cowherd is asked about a story involving an NFL team, he will automatically bring it back to Tom Brady and the Patriots. “How was Griffin’s play tonight Colin”? “Well, he is certainly no Tom Brady. You know who would have led the team down the field? Tom Brady”? Vomit. This isn’t because I dislike the Patriots, but the worldwide leader in sport should tell their analysis’s to keep the biasness out of their reporting. It is pretty pathetic.
I said I want to be an ESPN writer, but if ESPN ever happened across this article somehow I doubt they would hire me, either way I’ll take my chances they won’t see this. Just wanted to vent a little bit and get some things off of my chest. Reading other sports articles from amateur sports writers, it shows me what else is out there. There are better places and people to get information from. As a communication and journalism major, I learned to never partake in the practices of yellow journalism, to be unbiased and factual 24/7. A lot of the ESPN personalities don’t do any of this, and ESPN should really consider getting some new talent in the studios.