Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Lemur Dance

Rock Out, ESPN
OK, folks, I know that February is the Dead Time for sports. I know that Sports Illustrated spends the month going for soft-core porn, and that the rest of the sports blogosphere gets down on their knees and prays for a dong shot scandal, dog fighting ring, porn movie shoot or horrific injury. There's also wildly premature fantasy baseball mock drafting, a ton of coverage of the spectacularly non-cinematic event that is the NFL draft, and as much non-sports wankery as you can stand.

(And, well, I'm not trying to throw too many stones here. It's not like I'm going to keep FTT Off-Topic away from y'all this month, either.)

But even with as much of a pass as you can muster, there's the following phrase that just staggers the mind, and makes me wonder what we've done to a presumably kind and loving God to deserve this...

ESPN The Magazine, The Music Issue.

It becomes more and more obvious, with each passing day, that the World Wide Lemur is doing everything it can to broaden the brand beyond sports. As big of a market as sports is, it's static, aging, and relentlessly competitive, and ESPN has ruled it for well over a decade, with occasional moments like TNT doing a better job with the NBA, or having to put up with other networks always having the Super Bowl. They aren't afraid of NBC Sports Network, or the Fox local cable channels, or Comcast or the direct league outlets. (Of those, by the way, I think the latter do the best job, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

What they are afraid of is TMZ, and Twitter, and Facebook and Spotify, and all of the other things that kids and 20-somethings do, rather than just turn on ESPN and fake laughs with studio personnel that are old enough to be their parents. (And, well, the fact that they are running out photos with athletes posed like Devo? Doesn't exactly make me want to find out anything more. Not one damn thing more.)

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