Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rant #342: ESPN's Not On the Ball

Does anyone get as perturbed as I do with the constant over-coverage of football during the baseball season by ESPN?

I really can't stand it. It's the height of the pennant race, several divisions are still not spoken for, and you can't get a baseball highlight on either Saturday or Sunday. Case in point was on Sunday evening into Monday morning.

I could not sleep, so I woke up at about 1 a.m. and put on the TV, looking for the highlights. There were none to be found, just football, football and more football--including over-analysis of every game.

Baseball was relegated to the level of auto racing, and there was actually more golf coverage than baseball coverage.

Sure, the Yankees-Red Sox Sunday night game was being rerun on ESPN2, but during the height of the pennant race, you would think baseball wasn't even being played.

Baseball remains our national pastime, the only 12-month-a-year game of the four top professional sports. And for a network that has baseball on its calendar--so they have a vested interest in the sport--to give it such short shrift is curious.

And yes, I wrote to ESPN about this, but I got back what I thought I would--a form letter. I realize that a good number of football "fans" are only fans because they are in a betting pool--and that goes for the college game too--but the way ESPN handles this is truly ridiculous.

And yes, I know that ESPN has "Baseball Tonight" on its schedule. But that show only segregates baseball talk and news and clips into a single segment--coverage is not spread throughout the day like it should be.

I think this situation has totally gotten out of hand. And don't tell me that baseball is old fashioned, and not made for the digital age we are in today like football is.

Baseball is as current as today's news, and has been for over a century. And I can tell you that baseball will be at a fever pitch during the next few weeks, and certainly will be at the top of the sports menu in places like New York, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Texas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and California as the game goes into the playoffs and the World Series.

But ESPN will probably continue its ambivalence.

I ask the same question:



  1. Football is driven by money and betting -- and that is what is keeping basketball afloat -- ESPN goes where the money is, and also where the fans are as football, both NCAA and NFL has many more fans than they otherwise would due to the betting aspect... Football and Basketball betting is simple to follow and participate in, and at times win with, than Baseball and Hockey (which is murder to comprehend and participate in by the common sports-fan.

    I agree that baseball should be the sport keyed in on at this point of time... and I would argue that in various markets it eclipses football in the minds and hearts... but I don't expect football to take a backseat for the foreseeable future, no matter how they try to shoot themselves in their own feet.

    Just my take on the matter.

  2. I agree with you 1,000 percent. The money and betting aspect puts football and college basketball into another realm, and ESPN shamefully feeds off of that.

    ESPN should be ashamed of themselves, but you are correct, they will never change. And the NCAA is the biggest culprit in these shenanigans, for reasons that I won't get into here because I would be writing for the next six hours about their indiscretions.

    You should hear what goes on here at work, where point spreads are spoken about with more interest than actual game results.

    What a joke.



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