2/02/2006

 

ESPN Sucks (Reason #135,972)


There is something odd going on during this Super Bowl week. Generally, every year that the Super Bowl is not in Miami, Tampa, or Phoenix, professional sportswriters have made it their business to make fun of the host cities. This is generally looked upon by the public as "lazy, gluttonous sports writers who want to type their columns out while sitting poolside and hate being cold."

As such, after reading colums from writers who were at the scene of the game for the last two years; as the Super Bowl has been hosted in Houston, TX and Jacksonville, FL, respectively; I was waiting for the onslaught of "this town sucks" columns from the legions of sportswriters covering Super Bowl XL in Detroit, MI.

And so far, it's been all quiet on the Michigan front. I thought, for a moment, that maybe the sports world was throwing Detroit a bone after Ford had laid off 30,000 workers and they were trying to paint the city under a decent light.

But, maybe, just maybe, something else is going on.

"That's right, you're not gonna believe this ... it's another crappy day in Houston... You get the nagging feeling Houston wasn't quite ready to host the Super Bowl, like they needed six more weeks to get everything together. The light rail has been the running joke of the trip -- people are telling apocryphal stories about these accidents....When I write my book about Super Bowl XXXVIII, it's going to be called "Just Another Crappy Day in Houston!" ....Now we're back in the car ... and sitting in another hour of traffic. Because that's what you do in Houston. You sit in traffic." - Bill Simmons, ESPN Page 2 covering Super Bowl 38 (go to hell, you Roman Numerals. I saw "Gladiator!" You Romans are not cool, man! Not cool!)

Then I noticed that not only were sports writers not attacking the city of Detroit for sucking, they were actually defending it. The same group of writers who had viciously assaulted the last two hosts of the NFL's championship game, all of a sudden not going for blood?!? Excuse me, sir...but I smell a rat.

All of a sudden, it's become cliche for sports writers to not only stand up for the city of Detroit, but to also mock their fellow writers who were trying to bring the cities glaring flaws into public light. "Huh?" I thought to myself when I suddenly realized what was going on while eating fried chicken and masturbating to Summer Sanders on FSN. "Something is obviously amiss," I concluded as I pulled my pants back up and got to work.

"Not to say that Jacksonville was an ideal choice. Supposedly, the city only has 15,000 available hotel rooms, plus another 5,000 available on various luxury cruise ships, although there's no truth to the rumor that the gay cruise ship from "Boat Trip" will be there. Considering that Alltel Stadium holds nearly 77,000 fans ... well, do the math. There aren't enough rooms." - Bill Simmons, ESPN Page 2 covering Super Bowl 39.

"Oh, crap," I said to myself after a quick google search. "This case is easier to break than a bad Miami Vice episode (As my buddy Nate pointed out, for some reason 90% of the people living in Miami in 1985 were drug dealers, 8% were evil villians, and 2% were cops. Just who in the hell were running the grocery stores and flower shops in that town?)

"CBS had the Super Bowl two years ago. FOX had it last year. Well, who the hell is showing it this year? ABC? Wait...they only show one football game a week...They get a Super Bowl? Somethings not right here. OH!!! Who owns ABC?!? Disney! Why...They...They own ESPN, too! And ESPN controls what every sports fan in America thinks! No wonder no one knows that Detroit is a horrible sight for the Super Bowl! Most people seem to think that Steve Phillips is actually the GM for the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers based solely on his appearances as a fake GM on Sportscenter!"

"Memo to the press box: The public has no sympathy for those of us given a free pass, with all expenses paid, to cover the Super Bowl. Oh, it's going to be chilly? Well, I see no reason to call Amnesty International." Bernie Miklasz, ESPN 1380 AM, covering Super Bowl 40.

In fact it seems as if this year's press corps is actually taking a storyline from the fact that they usually make a storyline about how much the host city sucks. Aside from the "In case you had yet to notice, Jerome Bettis is from Detroit" storyline, this is the lamest storyline coming out of Detroit that everyone has already latched on to.

And if you think that ESPN isn't behind all of this, well...you're obviously not paying attention. I would imagine that the Worldwide Leader are on orders from up high to make sure that this Super Bowl looks as attractive as possible for the betterment of all of the Disney network.

Yes, the Super Bowl could have been in a more "fun" location. And, yes, Detroit has seen better days. But it really makes me wonder: How much does the lack of venom by the national press this year have to do with a respect for the city of Detroit; and how much does it have to do with the fact that ESPN essentially rules over every single sports writer in America (even if they're not getting checks from the Worldwide Leader, if they ever want to make great money doing what they do, they won't burn any bridges)?

ESPN (and, in essence, Disney's) control over sports media is one of the most obvious (but least serious) monopolies in all of America.

If Super Bowl XL was on NBC (or any other non-Disney owned network, for that matter) would ESPN be loosening the collar a little bit on their dogs? Would Chuck "I hate Coldplay Because They're Popular" Klosterman be writing a scathing expose on how Madonna's acting in "A League of Their Own" relates to the loss of jobs at GM? Or would Scoop Jackson be wondering about why the racist mainstream media made Eminem the main attraction out of D12 when Bizarre was obviously the media darling?

Probably so.

I'm obviously not bringing up any new ideas here (LOOK KIDS! ESPN LOVES SELF PROMOTION AND SYNERGY AND HAS COMPLETE AND TOTAL CONTROL OVER THE SPORTS MEDIA! HUZZZAH!) but my hope is that someone, somewhere will read this and see through the bullshit that is ESPN. And then that person will bomb Bristol, CT.

And then I hope they buy me a hot, hot Columbian bride and a gold plated Porsche.

Man, that would be sweet.

Comments:
Al, my mom and dad ran a grocery store in Miami which also had a flower shop in the back.

Evelio

P.S. 2.5 months and I will be in your neck of the woods.
 
I can't say as I buy your argument... what, that the ABC/Disney/ESPN conglomerate isn't hammering Detroit because the "oh, we picked a has-been city to host the Super Bowl" story would somehow tarnish the corporate brand? Seems a bit outlandish.

Have you thought that, hey, y'know, maybe Ford Field might just be a nice building? And that downtown Detroit's kooky variety of restaurants and Windsor's strippers (which may only be second to Montreal's) may just be keeping all those out-of-town reporters satisfied enough to give their stories a generally positive tone?

I know the city has worked really hard over the past couple of years, with the '05 All-Star game, the '06 Super Bowl, and I believe the '09 Final Four coming to town. Granted, it's no Portland, Vancouver or Toronto, but maybe it actually does have a couple of redeeming qualities these days.
 
JTL...Disney most definetly did not pick the city. If that was the case the game would be in LA, LV, NY, or Miami.

I'm sure that Ford Field is quite, quite nice; and I'm sure that Detroit has much to offer in form of nightlife, dining, and entertainment.

It's just that the same crowd who were in an uproar about the lack of nightlife in St Louis during last year's Final Four (which was broadcast on a viaacom channel) are silent about the lack of nightlife in Detroit (or Windsor for that matter)(when the big game is on a disney channel.)

I for one, think that every team with a NFL field should host the Super Bowl at one point or another(mainly because when you play in Chicago, Buffalo, Green Bay, NY, etc. you actually have to play outside...like men...like it was meant to be) but as long as they are being selective, the alpha-male sports channel (ESPN) shouldn't be allowed to make the cities of Houston, TX and Jacksonville, FL look like shit only because those reporter's corporate sponsers didnt care about those municipalities.

That's all I'm saying.
(well, that and I can't spell.)
 
Rick Telander got to it yesterday in the Chicago Sun-Times.
 
Just wanted to point out a typo, the abbreviation for Connecticut is CT, not CN.

Summer Sanders? You should get Cinemax. :-)
 
Thanks, David!
 
Hadn't even thought that Disney might be behind Detroit not getting ripped. I just thought even sports writers weren't that lazy to report on the obvious.
 
I think that sports writers think that ripping this city would touch too sensitive of an issue, and they would get mauled by coleauges. Remember the Sacramento Kings when the Pistons came to town?

Detroit sucks, and something needs to be done. I think the writers should tell everyone how bad the city really is.

And I'm from Houston, and I think we did a nice job. So FUCK YOU Bill Simons.
 
You could at least spell "Simmons" correctly.

And the real reason isn't about ESPNABCDISNEY, it's about Political Correctness. Detroit is a majority African-American city, and sports writers are mostly arrogant liberals who nonetheless are terrified of being called a racist for daring to criticize one of the country's worst cities, by ALL accounts.
 
I'm just glad to finally hear somebody call Scoop Jackson out for the racist piece of shit he is.
 
I don't think sportswriters are necessarily "liberals;" I've never gotten that particular vibe (or a conservative one for that matter) from that section of the paper. And I usually notice things like that.

I'm not sure how much the whole "Detroit has black people" thing plays into it either. Yes, the city itself is largely black, but the suburbs (since the '50s) have been largely lily-white (with a generous dose of brown in places like Dearborn). So, the Detroit metropolitan area is a pretty mixed-bag, all in all.

Maybe the whole "Detroit is a shit-hole" story is just too old-hat for it to mean anything. Yes, we know there are abandoned buildings standing blocks away from Comerica/Ford... but people have known that for decades. I dunno... but I hardly think ABCESPNDisney "has it out for" cities like Houston, St. Louis or Jacksonville.
 
Jeebus, Bill Simmons sucks so bad, there's never been suckage that bad, ever. It's like he has a clause in his contracts that he has to drop some lame, pointless pop culture reference in to everything he writes. Him and Klosterman, what a pair.

And sportswriters liberal? Hahahahahaha. Next thing Jeff'll be telling us is that Fortune 500 CEO's are all socialists.
 
As the only person on here that was actually born and raised in Detroit, currently lives here now and actually attended the Super Bowl this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. (And after all those great baseball posts.)

My company and I have worked with Roger Penske and the host committee for three years now on the Super Bowl and this committee got it right. They worked with their weather and the growing rebirth of the city to provide an amazing experience for everyone.

I hate that people from St. Louis or Houston or where ever the fuck you are from feel that they need to rag on Detroit. Maybe it was just a great time. I was there it was and that is that! I mean you could drink beer in the middle of the streets for a week...what is not to love about that.

I am not here critizing St. Louis where I lived for awhile after college or Houston where I was conceived because each city has its good and bad. If you have never been somewhere you don't have the right to go after it.

Come visit and feel the rebirth and then you can critize if you don't like. And if you still don't like it here is a big fuck you from Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Motown, Eminem, the White Stripes, KISS and Henry fucking Ford!

Alex...pitchers and catchers report this week get excited
 
ESPN is not the world leader in sports. It is slowly becoming junk. Why are they showing Spelling Bees, Food Eating Contests (a true testament to our gluttony), Car Auctions, Fishing, WSOP (I love poker but it should not be on a sports network), WSO Darts. Any activity that you can do with a beer in hand is not a sport. Spelling Bees?? Car Auctions?? wtf? In one Fishing competition, the fisherman would fish in the morning and then later on the results would be revealed on a stage in a stadium to the fans...how the hell is that live sporting event?

Give me real sports: Football, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Rugby, Motorsports (any kind), boxing, martial arts, golf, tennis, track & field, swimming, skiing, speed skating, lacrosse, cricket, cycling over the above. Yeah I left out hockey cause the whole notion of being able to engage in a fist fight and just serve 3-4 minutes in a penalty box is stupid; I also left out other sports involving judging (gymnastics, skating etc)--i can't stand to subjective criteria!

In short, there are plenty of sporting events for ESPN to cover rather than airing non-true sports programming. what's next the World Series of Bingo? or the World Series of Weaving?
 
We actually just blogged about
ESPN's suck at NGPF,
carrying on the torch of hatred. :)
 
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