Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Growing up, it was one of my favorite shows. After being dragged to church on Sunday morning, coming home and turning on ESPN was one of the simpler joys in life at the time. This was the early-to-mid 90's and the internet was obviously not what it is today. It was refreshing to hear what people from around the country thought about different stories in the world of sport. But, then I went off to college and forgot that Sunday mornings even existed. Then, I entered the working world in which Sundays became my only day to sleep in. Yet this past weekend, I was up early and decided to visit an old friend. I hadn't really watched the show in over a decade but I noticed that the panel really hadn't changed at all. The same exact faces that I grew up with their story but something didn't feel right about it. Maybe that was the problem because the show that I once loved as a kid, is fucking abysmal to watch as an adult.
This week's Middle Finger goes to The Sports Reporters.
Have you seen this garbage recently? It's terrible. The cast of characters (minus Dick Schapp who is probably embarrassed of his baby up in Heaven) is primarily the same but none of them are saying anything new or interesting at all. Let me give you a taste of what a conversation is like if you haven't tuned in as of late:
John Saunders: After yesterday's scare, should Ohio State be worried about getting destroyed out in LA this coming Saturday?
Bob Ryan: Paul Pierce is the greatest player of all time and truly an American hero.
Mitch Albom: If you go out and buy Tuesdays With Morrie, I might get a haircut that isn't 25 years behind the times. Detroit Red Wings hockey will never be stopped.
Mike Lupica: (sitting on the edge of his seat and going crazy with his hand motions) If it didn't happen in New York, it never happened!
It's awful. The panelists are so insanely biased toward the cities that they cover that it isn't even funny/interesting anymore. The banter is pathetic. The chemistry lacks because no one appears to care anymore. They pander their elitist views on topics failing to realize that they don't connect at all with the common sports fan. The Sports Reporters is exactly why blogs have become so popular. No one gives a shit about Mike Lupica talking to Donnie Walsh about the status of the Knicks. I want a story about Starbury fornicating with a Knicks employee in the back of his SUV and threatening to unleash a ton of dirt on Isiah. I don't want to hear about something that the average fan could never imagine experiencing (a la every article written by Rick Reilly). But you won't get that on ESPN on Sunday mornings, they only cater to people that have no idea how to turn on a computer and are so used to watching the same boring product every week. The people that still follow The Sports Reporters have become so brainwashed that they can't tell that the product has deteriorated more than Pamela Anderson's sex appeal.
I've heard that Michael Kay is an occasional contributor on the show, too. Don't even get me started on that pedophile.
Case in point, I suffer through the episode on Sunday and actually make it to the parting shots segment. Albom rants about Chad Ocho Cinco and comes up with alternative names that the media could call him over the course of the season (Ocho Stinko, Ocho Pinko, Ocho Winko, etc.). He was trying to be cute and funny but the problem was that he wasn't cute or funny at all. That's just plain rotten. Does he write jokes for Carlos Mencia? Not even the worst blogger (me?) would come up with a piece that stupid and lacking of any wit. If that segment right there didn't tell you that the show is completely out of touch, I don't know what else will.
I don't know, maybe since I'm so entrenched in the world of blogging, I, too, have become an elitist when it comes to television coverage of sports. While that may be the case (and that's a topic for another day), it still doesn't change the fact that The Sports Reporters has run it's course and needs to be put out of it's misery. Because we're a long way away from the golden years where Bill Conlin would eat 42 cheesesteaks over the 30 minutes on air and Dick Schapp could actually keep the panelists on point. But, instead we see a group of gasbags attepting to stroke their own egos and push their own agendas. Ah, how I long for the old days...
So enjoy your Middle Finger this week, The Sports Reporters. Feel free to shove it all up Mike Lupica's pompous ass. You may have to move his head around a little bit to fit it up there but I'm sure there is plenty of room.
And let me give you readers a bit of advice, sleep in an extra hour on Sunday mornings now, you don't want to accidentally wake up and see Bob Ryan in HD. Well, unless you like to shit your bed. Maybe you like that? I tried it this week and I hated it.