Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ESPN Is Trying To Get You To Watch Less Sports

What Is Sent
Where It Goes
So leading off on Deadspin today is your shot in the bucket measure of full distaste from Drew Magary over how the World Wide Lemur is going to give Chris Berman that bonus MNF turd game (Chargers-Raiders, aka the annual reminder that the Raiders still aren't ready to turn all of those high draft picks into a good football team) on Opening Weekend.

Now, this may not seem like that big of a deal to you. After all, the MNF Second is likely the fifth football game of the long weekend that you can watch, after the Thursday night game, the two on Sunday afternoon, the earlier MNFer and then this one. The teams don't really matter, the rivalry not so intense unless you live in CA, and the lateness of the hour means that you can hie yourself off to bed, safe and secure that you have pushed yourself away from the too-big banquet of NFLery, before you feel totally piggish.

Not me.

Since I do the blogwork and the NFL is one of the three things I write about often, not watching games is downright difficult. I also tend to get more involved, not less, in the games that happen after my daughters go to bed. If I were a much smarter man, I'd just DVR everything, spend my game time in blissful ignorance, refuse to check my fantasy leagues until the week was fully over and get back an unconscious number of hours per year. And, well, if the day job keeps being as busy as it has been, I just might.

But all of that is not, can not, will not keep me from wallowing in the turgid, flaccid, self-satisfied fappery that will be the Berman Game.

Because, well, my two best keepers in my fantasy league, the two best properties in terms of possible return on income at their keeper price...

are Darren McFadden and Philip Rivers.

There's no way I can avoid this game. There's no way that I can keep myself from spending 3+ hours with a man who I would not urinate on if he were on fire. There's no way I can't keep my brain from hating everything about myself for watching this, for contributing to the ratings that tell The World Wide War Criminals that Everybody Loves Berman, and that they should do this more often.

Perhaps every Monday night. As the only guy in the booth, seeing how they've had so many layoffs recently. Or perhaps they can partner him with Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser in a psychological experiment to see if they can make secular Americans think twice about the existence of Hell, and in particular, the Ironic Torture Division. (WATCH FOOTBALL FOR ALL ETERNITY, SINNER... BUT ONLY WITH THESE GUYS AS COMMENTATORS, AND THERE'S NO MUTE! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Anyway.

I used to think that ESPN, even on its most ham-handed day, was better than the other terrible entities that broadcast the game. CBS has a pregame crew that's just so bad at what they actually do, it defies belief. Fox, I can feel my brain cells die at the nonstop nitrous chucklefest. NBC is so unctuous, with Holy Bob Costas and Holier Tony Dungy, as to make me want to punch a vegan and feed him steak, under the off chance or understanding that this would be the network he'd watch if he ever watches football. (The secret winner? NFLN, who does it so cheaply with the on-air talent, and with such earnestness as to be painful in the hype, but at least focuses on the damn game they are televising.)

But now? They are *all* better than ESPN, if only because they don't employ Berman, and all that he represents. Those networks would pop a vein to get you to watch them and try something new every year in terms of camera angles. (Personally, I'm waiting for one that is actually on the ball, so that fumble piles get to be rendered in all of their hidden horror.) ESPN? They know you are watching. They have no fear that you aren't watching. They care only about the rubber neckers, the spare mouth breathing millions who might actually turn on the game because the BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK guy say DA RAIDERZZZ ten or a thousand times, like some kind of nervous tic or '70s sitcom catch phrase twerp.

They Are. The Worst.

And if I think about this long enough, it's going to make me trade Rivers and McFadden for nothing, just to avoid watching them.

Or get a DVR...

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