I’m done with ESPN. Done.
I decided after reading the Feb. 27, 2017 issue, with Chance the Rapper and Jimmy Butler on the cover.
Nothing against them. Love ’em both. Chance had the nobility and grace to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. Jimmy gives LeBron $1 million worth of fits whenever they play.
But browsing through the recent issue, I noticed nothing about sports. Nothing. They called it “The Entertainment Issue.” Isn’t every issue supposed to be “The Entertainment Issue?”
Yeah, I know. I get it. Sports and entertainment are mixing and blending everywhere. Halftime shows. Star-Spangled Banners.
In the 82-page issue, there was one page on NBA draft prospects. One paragraph on the top player at each position. There are really no more positions in basketball. Everyone is 6-foot-8 and shoots the 3-ball.
Shoots it too much.
There was one pretty good, pretty inspiring column on Special Olympics. Kudos, Ian Rawn. Nicely done.
There was a profile on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his comeback from concussion therapy. Outside of him and Danica Patrick, who cares about race-car driving except when there’s a make-believe, WWE-type rehearsed fight along pit row between drivers? One of whom claims the other made him crash? The fights look more like baseball, bench-clearing brawls—a lot of staring, pushing and shoving. No fighting. In other words, I went to a hockey game and a NASCAR pit row fight broke out.
There was an article on $10 hot dogs at the Staples Center. I wouldn’t give you $10 for a ticket to a Lakers game. Or a Clippers game. Too painful watching free-throw attempts by DeAndre Jordan.
There was this week’s reshuffled breakdown rankings of running backs in the NFL draft by Kiper and McShay. A whole one page. Those two think they know everything.
I like the post-draft issue, when they explain why they got it wrong.
There were two pages of what to do in New Orleans during the NBA All-Star Game weekend. One of them should’ve been: skip the game.
There were two pages of pictures of all the hats thrown on the ice when Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick.
As far as sports and entertainment go, call me when Jimmy Butler has a No. 1 hit song and Chance can guard LeBron.
Listen up, people. Sports are entertainment. They compete for the same discretionary-income dollar and most people don’t have much of those. There was a better, much deeper, much more sensitive and insightful profile of Chance in GQ recently. He is a complex, deep thinker with a conscience and a soul. Butler is a top-flight conundrum in shorts who wants out of Chicago.
There was an article about posses. Athletic stars have had posses dating back to Hercules. Rap stars have had posses since they had… rap stars. I couldn’t care less about their posses. Half their posses are athletes and half the athletes’ posses are rap stars.
There was an article about how much Leslie Jones loves her some Knicks.
I hope she’s patient.
All this is just the magazine. Do you watch the damn network? Or networks? ESPN. The Deuce? 3. U. Classic. College. W. Oh yeah, ABC.
Every once in a while they talk about sports. And with Elle Duncan anchoring on weekends now, they have officially run out of blondes. Although I have to admit, she’s pretty good: sense of humor; knowledge of sports; well prepped for the show.
The problem is, I’m not learning anything watching ESPN anymore. The football experts, some of them Hall-of-Famers, don’t say anything insightful. They state the obvious and make sure the network doesn’t get a phone call from the league about their elaborations. Bill Polian, brilliant as he is, says nothing impactful. Only Herm Edwards does, cautioning players about how “nothing good happens after midnight” and “don’t hit send” on that controversial social media post you’re about to prematurely ejaculate.
Michael Smith and Jemele Hill do a nice job with “The 6” SportsCenter. And Scott Van Pelt is the closest thing they have to a new Keith Olbermann.
Man, I miss him.
And ESPN. No, the real one.