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November 26, 2008

Why does Chris Fowler hate America?


Jason Whitlock of FoxSports rips ESPN to shreds in this column (ht - Scott Kennedy). It's an interesting read regardless of whether or not you agree with him.

I personally don't hate ESPN. I do recognize that ESPN College Gameday and SportsCenter are simply cross promotional vehicles for Disney/ABC/ESPN, and that they threw non-partisan coverage out the window years ago. I also recognize that their power is too great.

But I am hopefully that ESPN's self-interests are now aligned with my own. Consider:
  • ESPN will invest $2.25 billion over the next 15 years in the Southeastern Conference. It just so happens that I love the SEC.

  • ESPN also invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the BCS which will prevent us from having any sort of a playoff discussion until after 2014. It just so happens that I'm anti-playoff.

  • ESPN now owns six crappy small bowls. It just so happens that I like televised crappy small bowls.

  • ESPN employs a myriad of sideline reporters not named Holly who have nice ta-tas It just so happens that I like nice ta-tas
So pardon me if I don't join the ESPN Hate Wagon. Should I hate them simply because Herbie loves Ohio State more than UGA and pushed UGA out of the national title discussion last year in favor of Ohio State? No. That just means I hate Herbie.

Even if I do agree with much of what Whitlock says, I've waited 10-15 years for the World Wide Leader's interests to finally align with my own. Why hate now?

Separately, am I the only one that thinks Jessie Palmer, in spite of being a douche Gator QB and reality TV tool box, is actually exceptionally good at both in-game color commentary and in studio work? Does that make me less of a Dawg?

PWD

23 comments:

Smitty said...

ESPN is arrogant and they know more than everyone. I just watch the channel for the games and not the commentary. Been doing that for years.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I think Palmer is one of the better ESPN analysts. Its OK to like this gator

freelance fiend said...

Whitlock has some damn good points, but FFS he works for Fox. FOX- the network that helped make the NFL unwatchable, that brought us the 5-hour movie ad that was the '08 Sugar Bowl. Both networks need a boot up the arse.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else vote Ric Flair the other week?

Anonymous said...

Jesse Palmer was one of the few ESPN personalities that would step up and stand up for UGA. If he keeps it up, then he would be the new Trev as far as I am concerned.

Anonymous said...

I hate tro admit that I sort of kinda like Palmer's coverage on ESPN also. Herbie's still miffed at UGA over that L we hung on Ohio State in his last game as a Buckeye.

NebraskaDawg

Shan said...

I like that you acknowledge the bias, and then simply state that the bias works in favor of your interests. (which I agree with, BTW). And Whitlock's rip-job also comes from an (admitted) bias as well - his article is ostensibly about the accomplishments of his alma mater, Ball State.

The ABC/ESPN/Disney monolith now has a significant monetary stake in the success of the SEC (and BCS/Bowl system), and it will be interesting to watch their coverage adjust accordingly. One can only hope that means they will take Mark May out behind a production building in Bristol and shoot him, execution style.

And Palmer is okay as an analyst if you just listen to him. Seeing him on the screen just screams "Summer's Eve."

Squarebush said...

How about Palmer's ties? I am not a world-renowned tie tier, but damn, son.

Groo said...

Would anyone know who Ball State, Brady Hoke, or Nate Davis were if not for several nationally televised appearances on ESPN?

Whitlock's nostalgia for the pre-ESPN days is for an era where there were far FEWER games on TV, LESS exposure for programs like Ball State, and when the Heisman played by the same rules it still does.

Because of ESPN, we don't have to take the word of journalists. We get to see almost any program we care to - for better or worse. We saw what Ball State could do, and we also saw them need a 4th quarter comeback against a team that lost by 30+ at Georgia. Ball State has been on national TV at least 4 times this season? Oh for the heady days when Notre Dame was the only program with that kind of national exposure.

Would the MAC and teams like Boise even register if the only national college football coverage were Sports Illustrated and one or two network games of the week? Please.

Like pwd, I don't pretend that ESPN/ABC/Disney is impartial and recognize that they'd insidiously rather tell you that a game is on ESPN360.com rather than Raycom. I also realize that a network that has brought us What's Now and garbage like that probably won't resist the temptation to use its influence to tinker with the BCS.

But in the end, they broadcast the games. A lot of them. If cheerleading and bad analysis is the tradeoff, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Paul is anti-playoff.

I used to like you, Paul.

Muckbeast said...

Whitlock's article is dead on the money.

ESPN is the worst thing to ever happen to sports, just as CNN was the worst thing to ever happen to politics.

When networks have to fill space 24/7/365, they turn every issue into something titanic, and they are always in a rush to move on to the next big thing.

ESPN personalities are not journalists. They are sensationalist schlock-mongers. Shows like PTI, Around the Horn, Rome is Burning, etc. are there just to create controversy and arguments. The BCS debacle suits them perfectly, because it is all about creating pointless arguments instead of fairly deciding a champion through actual play.

ESPN, CNN, and the BCS all believe it is better to instigate than to inspire.

Anonymous said...

My feelings about all this are very mixed:

ESPN sucks, but Fox sucks worse, and I suspect they are critical for many personal reasons, some stated (snub of Ball State), some not but there anyway (they get outbid for many things by ESPN).

ESPN is too powerful. Their virtual coronation of Ohio State/LSU as the BCS champions before the polls were actually out last year is an example of their undue influence. Still, I believe Fox would be just as bad or worse given the opportunity.

And in the end, we do have more football telecasts, and with the money put behind the SEC by ESPN, we should benefit from a lot from their power. I guess it is better than the alternative, but it will feel a little like being the hostage that the terrorists doesn't kill before they rescue you.

Dubbayoo said...

Give me Jesse Palmer over Herbstreit any day. At least Palmer recognizes the SEC superiority and defends the conference turf.

UnitedDawg said...

"Does that make me less of a Dawg?"

Maybe not with Palmer personally (though debatable), but if you feel that way with ESPN as a whole, then simply put, Yes. No self respecting Dawg fan should ever be saying "Aw shucks, ESPN's not so bad." From Gameday selections and general anchor biases by the idiots on it, to CINDERELLA MANIA and the way they handled the CWS, to the way they persecuted Richt for simply answering the AJC's question that time about Knowshon's CMU leap (it's not like he went out of his way to bring it up, yet they've gone out of their way ever since to take shots at him for it), if you don't loathe most anything ESPN, I not only question your dawghood, I question your sports fandom in general.

UnitedDawg said...

PS. Dr. Lou

If that alone doesn't tell you how far away from correctly reading the pulse of the nation the supposed WWL is regarding CFB, nothing will. ESPN is childish, clueless, and most of the time, content-less.

F--- em, right in the ear.

Anonymous said...

ta-tas gooood! ESPN baddd!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:59pm,
I agree TA's TA's GOOD, ESPN BADDDDD!

Hobnail_Boot said...

One good thing about the WWL, I love the way Rachel Nichols says "ESPM".

Oh, and did they ever release Pedro Gomez from his semi-permanent post up Barry Bonds' ass?

rbubp said...

Not wanting a playoff is anti-American in my opinion.
Ya'll just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Nice post PWD. I agree with everything you write. You should have pointed out the while he is a good lad, Jesse needs figure out how to tie a tie such that the bottom of the tie gets somewhere close to his belt. He also needs some help finding some suits that actually fit.

BCS-Sucks said...

I don't know about "exceptionally good", PWD, but I said the same thing about Palmer during the game last night:

"If you get past his frosted hair douchiness, Palmer is actually not a bad color commentator. Make the team Fowler and Palmer next year."

Anonymous said...

I too agree TA's TA's GOOD (especially Erin's- another gator), ESPN BADDDDD! What do you expect when they're headquarters are in Connecticut. Why does Mark May and Granny Holtz still have a job? Only in America!

Go Dawgs -- GATA!!!

skidawg1985 said...

1) I find it humorous that people blast ESPN GameDay and then complain that it does not come to Athens. You folks crack me up.
2) Didn't Whitlock get canned from the Sports Reporters on ESPN? Maybe he holds a grudge?
3) ESPN shows more college games that I can count. The depth of quality announcers is not very good IMHO, but at least they are there during the regular season unlike Fox. BTW, where is CBS during the Bowl season? Pretty much non-existent.
4) Nate Davis may well be a very good QB, but he has faced NO competition. I recall the Gordo Lockbaum lovefest and yet I doubt many Heisman voters ever saw him play. Davis has had more nationally televised games. The problem is there are a lot of QBs at big time schools who are playing against big time competition.
5) Whitlock takes on Fowler's journalistic integrity. Maybe Whitlock should look in a mirror. I remember Fowler from his days on ESPN covering high school sports--I really liked that show! How did Whitlock get his journalism start? Being an ex-player? In some ways he had a leg up on Fowler.
6) Someone commended Palmer for standing up for his conference and yet condemns Herbstreit if he stands up for his conference? To be honest, I cannot recall Herbstreit saying that the Big 10 was a superior conference. He has critiqued the Big 10 and Ohio State on the air (I know as several friends are Buckeyes and they whine about how Herbie has turned on them). I remember Hebrstreit talking up Michigan after they were #2 and barely lost to Ohio State a few years ago at Columbus. He was not alone in thinking a rematch in the title game should be a consideration. He was not alone in this thought.

 
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