Monday, January 2, 2012

ESPN has SOME shame? Oh wait, no, ESPN has zero shame

The title is a quote from Chris W, uttered when I linked him to this story. It wasn't that big a deal on its own, nor is event that is the subject of this post, but if you put all these little puzzle pieces together they form a giant mosaic of questionable decisions that contains the phrase WE ARE A BUNCH OF CHODES when you step back and look at it.

There's a great quote from Those Guys Have All the Fun that I literally spent 25 minutes trying to find tonight. For the life of me I couldn't. It's from one of ESPN's top executives, perhaps John Skinner, and the essence of it is "We absolutely do not let our business relationships color our editorial and reporting decisions. No way. The two sides of the network are completely separate from one another." Again, I'm not quoting exactly, but the phrasing is somewhat similar; it's got a "methinks the lady doth protest too much" tinge to it.

Obviously the above link is a nice little anecdotal rebuttal to the exec's claim. An even better anecdote comes from an editorial decision ESPN made last week. If you frequently read internet weblogs on the world wide web you've already heard about it, but I had to make my own post on it so I could use that terrible and unclever mosaic metaphor in the first paragraph. If you somehow hadn't heard about it yet, here's the gist: every late December Sportscenter does a big "year in review" episode. Among the items in said episode is a tribute to those in sports who have passed away in the previous 12 months. Pretty standard stuff. This year, however, ESPN didn't include any hockey players. None.

Now granted the list of people they did include is reasonably short and has some legendary figures like Joe Frazier. But there are also some not-that-famous names on the list. Hideki Irabu? Walt Hazzard? Both guys who left a mark on their sport but were not marquee names. Derek Boogaard didn't have a very long or storied career but his death was sensational and brought some pretty troubling sport-wide issues to light. A couple other active players died, and some dudes who are in the HOF. Meanwhile, the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash was about as devastating and brutal as sports-related deaths get. Not a single peep from the Four Letter. Hmmmm. Could it have anything to do with this? Five will get you ten that it did. Of course, by the time the Stanley Cup Finals roll around and WNBA highlights are leading SportsCenter, it'll be a distant memory.

1 comment:

Chris W said...

This quote--from yahoo's Puck Daddy--seems most damning:

Notable Newcomers? Nope. ESPN found time for a WNBA player but not for either Logan Couture or Jeff Skinner.

Which is to say, ESPN subsidiary, but q-ratingless WNBA