If, at any time in the last several years, you invested heavily in ‘ESPN/schadenfreude’ futures, then last week was the moment when you became a very wealthy person.
I, of course, preferred to wait a decent period to comment on last week’s layoffs, out of respect for those…
Oh, who am I kidding? I was laughing my ass off over “The Worldwide Leader” and its problems. Not so much over the people laid off; most of them deserved better, I’m sure, and for the ones who were just doing the job of covering their beats–like Ed Werder or Ethan Sherwood Strauss–I have varying degrees of actual respect. They weren’t the ones who were creating the clown show; they just happened to be the ones who paid for it.
No, the main theme is a simple one: ESPN brought a lot of its woes upon itself–and if you tuned in to last night’s Sunday Night Baseball–while the ink on the pink slips was still not dry–you could see exactly why the network is having its problems.
Continue reading The Bell Tolls In Bristol
Bitch Bitch Bitch
About a week has gone by now, and I tried to let this pass, but, like a loose tooth, I just can’t leave it alone: the NHL is continuing to screw up the outdoor games.
The Winter Classic in St. Louis: Too-wide open spaces
As previously noted, there are three major problems with the Winter Classic and its sibling (Heritage Classic and Stadium Series) games. And, despite my and others’ best efforts, the NHL is not getting the message about this. Let’s try again.
Continue reading Bitch Bitch Bitch
Simmons’ Ball Stops Bouncing
Schadenfreude alert: News has come down that HBO has canceled Bill Simmons’ show Any Given Wednesday.
I can’t say I’m surprised, given my reaction to the two episodes I tried to watch back when the effort was first born. The show just wasn’t very good. But this is just a minor setback, right? Simmons is sure to land on his feet somewhere, isn’t he?
Don’t be so sure. Continue reading Simmons’ Ball Stops Bouncing
Somebody Up In Bristol Likes Me
Several weeks ago, when I pointed out how heavily ESPN was pimping Lindsay Czarniak leading into the early edition of SportsCenter, I subsequently noted it when the “Worldwide Leader” ceased that practice shortly after my post.
Now, in the wake of my substantially more positive comments on Rachel Nichols and her appearance on PTI, I have to acknowledge that not only did Nichols return for a second engagement on the program yesterday (and apparently will return to the seat again today), but that her co-host for the episode was none other than Pablo Torre — who I suggested as the best partner for Nichols should the network wish to retool the show for a younger generation by moving Messrs. Kornheiser and Wilbon to a farm upstate and installing younger co-hosts.
I suppose it may have been inevitable that Nichols, once she moved into the PTI guest host rotation, would be paired with Torre at some point, since he’s been on that scene for a while now. But the fact that it happened so soon after my suggesting it…Well, let’s just say that I’m beginning to suspect that somewhere in Bristol, CT there’s a DFR reader who’s been passing along my nuggets of wisdom to the local higher ups.
Of course, the real challenge will be getting the folks at the Connecticut Clown College to turn on Jon Gruden and realize that, maybe, just maybe, he isn’t really all that on Monday Night Football. Sean McDonough is in for a long first season. Trust me.
One minor follow-up on this past week’s Feature, on Rachel Nichols and her performance on PTI:
I mentioned in that piece that ESPN’s erstwhile darling Bill Simmons made little impression on his few sojourns as guest host of PTI, a fact that deserves extra notice now that Simmons has his own show on HBO, Any Given Wednesday.
Though I have been critical of Simmons in the past, I decided I needed to give AGW a chance. It is, after all, being televised by HBO, an outfit that has shown a good eye for serial television before. Plus, on a venue where he could say anything he wants, perhaps Simmons could produce some must-see sports TV.
Alas, after attempts at two episodes, I have to report that it looks like that will not be the case. Continue reading HB-NO, Bill