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Friday, August 19, 2005

I approach all news about ESPN with the same attitude Joey has towards Michigan football: "I am a puppy about to get kicked." Even so, I don't think the fact that AC Slater's new "ESPN Hollywood" show gathered 0.08% of the viewing public can possibly be construed as bad news. EDSBS is on the case. This thing will probably last as long as "The Magic Hour." Yet another failure in the cap of one Mark Shapiro, the dude in charge of ruining ESPN.

10 bucks to anyone who gives
this guy a wedgie.
Rhetorical question: How many disasters does this guy have to greenlight before he's put out of his misery? Did anyone other than Warren St. John watch The Junction Boys? How about 3? (Daddy, I just wanna race!) Tilt: one season and gone. Playmakers: one season and gone. I'd Do Anything: are you serious? The final nail in Shapiro's coffin: petulant boy billionare Dan Synder, the man with the worst personnel judgement in the universe, has hired him, which is clear evidence of his complete insuitability for anything other than F-16 target practice. (Side note: Thanks Dan Snyder! You may be driving the Redskins directly into the ground, but you sucked Shapiro away from ESPN and are indirectly responsible for putting Spurrier at South Carolina. KUTGW.)

Perhaps sensing the growing discontent with ESPN, Comcast appears to be preparing to position OLN, home of the Tour De France, as a direct competitor to the Worldwide Leader in Suck. They scooped up the NHL (Off Wing Opinion has all you need on that) and may be preparing to bid for a new Thursday/Saturday night NFL package.

Hallelujah, especially if Brit TDF announcers Paul Sherwin and Phil Liggett are the canonical idea of a broadcast team to the OLN honchos. Even designated clown Bob Roll appears more knowledgeable and articulate in his field than any ESPN talking head outside of the Edge NFL Matchup set. Hopefully OLN will understand that even a hardcore sports fan such as myself can be wooed. There are games I have to watch--Michigan football, Pistons and Oilers playoff games--games I want to watch--any college football, regular season Pistons and Oilers, Michigan basketball--and games I can be convinced to watch if they somehow involve Gary Thorne, Marv Albert, and Steve Kerr--most things. I don't watch anything on ESPN except things I have to watch (and as much college football as I can cram into my head), because ESPN acts as an active detriment to the game at hand. Given the choice between an ESPN Pistons broadcast and George Blaha or Fred McCloud, I go with the local guy every time, even though every time Blaha says "2 and 25 left in the quarter" I cringe. Essentially the only reason I like the Tour De France is because it's presented spectacularly.

OLN: I don't watch random hockey games unless it's Hockey Night In Canada. But I'll start if you do it right. There's an opportunity to make some fiercely loyal viewers. Don't choose the screamy dark side. This I do humbly beseech thou.