Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Albanian tragedy

I just wanted to point out that TMQ's Gregg Easterbrook, definitely the smartest person ever to work at ESPN and maybe the smartest person ever to write regularly about sports, said the exact same fucking thing I did about the Eagles game. He mentioned the same two critical coaching gaffes, and he even piled on Andy Reid for having such a passing hard-on and intractable ego.

Thank God for a single voice of reason in the national sportswriting world. If it weren't for TMQ I would hate every single thing I read on ESPN, none more than the completely intolerable Bill Simmons, who has surpassed even Scoop Jackson in his sheer ability to enrage me (he's still far, far behind Andy Reid, though). I can't wait to read 15,000 words out of him in which he shamelessly blows Tom Brady for a terrible performance two days after the rest of the media shamelessly blew Tom Brady.

One thing I really don't get is, how does ESPN suck so much when most of the local sportswriting I read -- I'm thinking particularly of the Philly papers, which comprise most of my daily sports reading -- ranges from insightful and informative to legitimately great? Writing-wise, there is no conceivable way to justify having Jim Caple, Scoop Jackson, Bill Simmons, or DJ Gallo writing about sports to a national audience (I'm sure there are others, but these are the first Page 2 writers who come to mind). There's just no fucking way. None of those people has an iota of writing talent, and I doubt any of them has covered a professional sporting event -- I mean really covered, not just went to and wrote some horseshit column comparing it to the OC or whatever -- in years. And none of them has any significant background of success as an athlete or coach, so far as I know, which means they're not offering any real insight. And none of them is fucking funny! DJ Gallo writes some of the most inane tripe I've ever seen, and Bill Simmons has been doing the same stale schtick so long he might as well be Bill Shatner. They're just terrible writers and uninteresting fucking people. And ESPN's game coverage, when it actually has non-AP gamers, is nothing remarkable. Nor are most of its analysts, with a few noted exceptions (Gammons, Katz, Bilas, etc.). I just don't get that fucking network anymore.

I guess it's the commercialization factor, which values distinctiveness and/or name recognition over talent, especially in television -- the same reason Seinfeld bit players still get sitcoms that inevitably bomb after a few episodes -- but I wonder, especially when viewed in concert with ESPN's complete lack of editorial oversight, whether the network is even concerned with being a journalism outlet at all anymore. Even my boy TMQ spends most of his posts talking about astrophysics and pop culture.

But fuck it. I spend too much time here ripping ESPN. Let's get back to how right I am all the time: remember when I said how legit the Saints were back in week six? Discuss amongst yourselves.

1 comment:

Diesel said...

Umm ... you're not the only one predicting big things for the Saints in these parts. They've been my NFC pick for the SB since Week 7, roughly.

I'm convinced that ESPN has decided that most sports fans who give a shit about quality journalism will do what you do, and check out the local wrap. So, they're only interested in "entertaining" the people who don't give a shit, presumably by continuing to run that Caple series that is responsible for halving my IQ.