Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Please ESPN, no more.

So, the other night I (Pat) am up late as usual, and I had been surfing the web with ESPN on the TV in the background. It’s easy to tune it out, because the same news gets recycled every hour or so and they repeatedly hit you with it. Anyways, I’m minding my own business and I look up at the bright flashing lights of the television screen. I was horrified. I looked for the remote faster than I would have if I had seen the Poltergeist fuzzy screen or that mysterious video from The Ring. What had I seen? NASCAR Now - a new segment dedicated to solely stock car racing. The second I realized it wasn’t a Sportscenter segment the television was off. I sat in absolute silence in the pitch black for five seconds thinking about what I had just witnessed. Being that it was about 2:30 a.m. and I had seen the Fresh Prince episode airing (that’s about the best thing on at that hour), I went back to watching South Park on my computer. But I couldn’t laugh. I had been too mortified.

You readers may have had a similar experience, albeit maybe less traumatic. But I think you get the point. For fellow blogger Andrew Vitelli and I have had enough. It may have been because the Daytona 500 was this past weekend, or that we think there’s some bass fishing event coming up soon, but we can’t help but think that there has been a recent onslaught of crappy, uninteresting and well, frankly, redneck type sports programming thrown our way on the ESPN networks. We continue to see ads of men sitting in their hotel rooms at 4 a.m. desperately trying to pick out which fishing rod to use for the day, and then dramatically setting out on the lake for an action-packed thrill ride only the BassMasters and ESPN can bring you. There is non-stop NASCAR coverage. We, along with hopefully many of you, just don’t care ESPN. Sure, there are ratings to be had, NASCAR diehards to satisfy, and well, deluxe lures and sinkers to be discussed. But you know what? Take it elsewhere. And take Blue Collar Comedy Tour with you. Please. We have nothing against the states where this programming may be more popular or the people who enjoy it. You can have your gators and grits, but keep this stuff too.

We all know ESPN is pretty business savvy for the most part. Our solution to this whole ordeal? Simply start a new channel. ESPN South. ESPN Rural. EXPN. Anything. And sure, we know writing this that some people in our home state of New York like this programming. It will still be offered to you, for free or a small charge. But it won’t be on everyone’s sets, because well, we can’t have anyone mistakenly tuning into the ESPN original film “3.”

In fact, while we’re at it, maybe ESPN should take a lot of its dumb programming and dump it onto another channel. There is a lot of useless stuff on ESPN. Some of you may be saying, but then there is going to be more NFL Live reruns in March or more over-discussed stories. We have a solution for that too. It’s called, “ESPN spend some of the billions of dollars you have and buy up Friday Night Lights reruns, some movies, and bring back Playmakers.”

Anyways, Southerners or NASCAR lovers don’t be offended. We don’t just want to single out your dumb programming, there is other crap we want to see gone too. So ESPN it’s up to you. We’ve set the table, and we’ve even laid out the listings for your new channel of crap, EXPN. The only time we want to hear about these sports is if someone passes out during a spelling bee, or if Tony Stewart punches someone. Enjoy, and may we never see another 2 a.m. drag racing competition ever again.


6 pm - World Series of B-List Celebrity Poker
7 pm - NCAA Division 3 Blindfolded Bass Fishing Finals
8 pm – Outside the Lines: The Stump McCrackin Log Chopping Tragedy
9 pm – Cockfight Tonight: Hosted by Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal
10 pm – EXPN Movie of the Week: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

6 pm – Canine Chess NIT Semi-finals
7 pm – Alabama Spelling Bee (four letter limit)
8 pm – The Y-Games: Drunk Snowmobile Capture the Flag Finals
9 pm – Outside the Lines: Steroids in Bowling
10 pm – Virginia Dog-fighting Championships (postponed)

6 pm – Tobacco Chewing Tour
7 pm – Outside the Lines: The Integration of NASCAR
7:01 pm – World Series of Hunting Finals: Randy DeDecker vs. Dick Cheney
8 pm – Daytona 500

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