Intemperate Thoughts: ESPN Spoiler Crybabies

20 November 2010

Paragraph two of this piece finally was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. It was yet another asinine American Premier League blogger crying like an eighteen month old who was told they couldn't get their favorite candy bar in the checkout line. Why? It was because of the fact ESPN actually did its job while broadcasting their game in the round and inform their viewers of the scores from elsewhere. After having to deal with the whaling and gnashing of teeth from bloggers, and reading the comments from readers for a third of a season, I've finally had enough. In fact, I've got just one simple thing to say to them, SHUT UP!

Where do I start with these folks? Mind you, these are the same folks who, in a time not too long ago, were begging ESPN to take some games off FSI, and even Setanta. They got their wish when Setanta went out of business and ESPN helped FSI out with the contract. For those who think HD is the greatest thing since sliced bread, they even got their wish thanks to this. But that's where the compliments ended.

Last season it started with the fact the ESPN bottom line didn't go away for entire matches at a time. Then it was the fact the halftime presentation was awful, which at the time it was. Thankfully ESPN quickly rid America of the root cause and, while not spectacular, was respectable the rest of the season.

Moving onto this season, ESPN got mixed reviews for hiring one of their brighter spots to their World Cup coverage in Ian Darke. They also started doing their own production from Premier League grounds around the country, which no one had complaints about that. However, the one thing people can't stand (or so it seems), is ESPN having a traditional 10 am game. Maybe not that in particular, but something ESPN has done for years, and will continue to do until every generation in the future dies: give away scores from games they are not doing live.

When ESPN agreed to sublet rights from Fox Sports International, ESPN wanted and received the first choice game at 10 am whenever there was no Saturday lunchtime kickoff. They also got first choice whenever midweek games came about. They did it knowing they would get the game that would attract the most eyes. It also meant that unless one of the Fox Soccer Channels was going to show the game from the team you support, you were more than likely going to watch the game on offer from ESPN.

The reality is that in these situations, there are going to be multiple games going on at the same time. It's unavoidable, it's not tragic, and it doesn't require one to set up multiple triggers just to avoid scores ESPN gives out during telecasts. Look, if your watching the game on ESPN, it means that game was the highest priority live. In today's day and age of instant everything, unless you decide to live the life of the Amish during match days, avoiding scores is simply impossible. If you feel the need to sink to shallow depths to watch the ESPN game last because of spoilers, please don't hesitate to also stick your pacifier in your mouth and pour your pint into a sippy cup. We get it: your going to whine and that's never going to change. You think ESPN can only broadcast a game one way and if it's not done that way, your going to kick, shout, and scream until they do things your way. Well toddlers, that's not how life in broadcasting works.

You wanted ESPN, and you got it. Just one last message to these crybabies: please come back to the real world. We'd all appreciate it.


toddmintz November 20, 2010 at 1:35 AM  

John, great article. However, I think you were being a bit harsh in one sentence only..I happen to "choose" at times to tape let us say Manchester United game at 10 Eastern if on ESPN. I know you were not criticizing that., but it is my choice and I do not complain at all. I just do it. That is because I love the league so much, no time to watch all those games all day. So i try and watch split screen many as I can at 10 Eastern and watch United Game later. If people are choosing generally the game on ESPN it is because it is the game they want to watch.

If the announcers ignored the scores or gave updates like Ian does a lot and always has, it ruins ther'e flow, and commentary. Alexi and Steve M need to refer to those games. Otherwise you are crippling them as well, you cannot ask everyone to go into a cave and hibernate like Yogi Bear and come out later. It is the 21st Century. I make adjustments more than Sammie Long Ball A-Dyce does for Blackburn Wonderers...Out....

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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