Friday, September 23, 2011

When Cheap Heat Fails: The Bad Tooth Falls Out

I'm sure that if you look outside of this site at the rest of Blogfrica, you've already seen this lovely image. It tells you something about my life now that it was posted two days ago, and I'm just seeing it now, filling the blog hole at the end of the week.

And all I can think is that the scales have finally, completely, fallen off my eyes. My blood pressure doesn't rise from this, and I'm not moved to rant. It's more like watching some heel wrestler come out to crickets as he tries every desperate ploy to get booed.

You don't need to watch ESPN, read their magazine, look at their Web site, listen to their podcasts. Ever again. You probably shouldn't. I haven't since June. I'm much happier now that I don't.

You see, my job used to help this kind of behavior. I commuted 16 hours a week, spent another 40 to 45 in my office. And when there wasn't enough to do -- and there wasn't enough to do on many days, because that's just the way the business went -- I would look at ESPN.com, listen to the podcasts, and more or less allow this poison into my mind.

Now, things have changed. So, so, so much for the better.

The day job now is working from my home, in the Man Cave, pinging different designers, looking at statistics, managing the process. When things are slow, as they sometimes are, I do some quick housework, or advance the laundry, or check on the kids' homework. Maybe I listen to some stand up on Pandora, or put my iPod on. But after months of flood work and off-hours writing, I've quit the World Wide Lemur cold turkey.

And when you look back at it now, after so many years of having this burr under your brain... man alive, what a waste.

ESPN is, simply, the Fox News of sports, in that it has a dominant market position and public awareness, but has increasingly little to do with sports. You don't need to watch Fox to know the news; you don't need to watch ESPN to watch sports. You should just go straight to the league networks (I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed the MLB.TV hook up in the last few months) instead, because while those places are clearly PR propaganda of the highest order, at least it's game-centric.

ESPN is all of that, just without game, even when they show the game.

So let them do the same thing as always, but more, in the sports media equivalent of tying off while jerking off, because you just aren't feeling enough shame from the old ways. In another couple of years, maybe they'll just take the regional network approach to the final level, and just have the on-air talent take on accents, and stop showing any out of market highlight, or introduce the major market only fantasy leagues.

Go for it, boys. Best of luck.

I'm done with you, have been done with you for months, and don't miss you at all. You used to be great, but that was over half of my life ago, and those days aren't ever coming back. You aren't necessary to my enjoyment of sports; in fact, you actively ruin it. So who needs you?

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