Sports TV In Excess

Craig MeyerCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2009

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  (L-R) Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, Mike Greenberg of ESPN, former NFL athlete Don Hasselbeck, Rich Eisen of NFL Network, Mike Golic of EPSN, James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays and Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speak during the 'Reebok SmoothFit Select Ride Shoe' Press Conference at the Tampa Convention Center on January 30, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for Reebok)

We as sports fans are a demanding type, and that is no slight to any one of us.  Our passion and enthusiasm for the games and teams that we follow inadvertently translates to a constant need for the most up-to-date news and scores. With the way that the modern media is structured, our needs are more than facilitated, and who are we to complain about it?

Gone are the days of having to wait for the morning newspaper to get the latest developing stories. The information age that we live in expands far beyond the world of sports, but perhaps no facet of our daily lives has been more directly impacted than our desire for sports news.

The biggest benefactor of this trend has undoubtedly been ESPN, the 24 hour sports network that is become a fixture of any sports fan's daily routine. 

Despite ESPN's numerous and laudable contributions to the sporting community, the question (at some point) has to be asked—has all of this around the clock analysis and constant bantering gone a little too far?

Sure, news and analysis are essential to our understanding of the sports landscape and the teams that we follow, but there needs to come a time when some of us take a step back and try to gain a little perspective.

Now don't get me wrong here: I watch ESPN on a daily basis and rely on it heavily for my sports knowledge. But, I began to ask myself these aforementioned questions and began to wonder about the legitimacy of my sports obsession and how far I needed to take it.

For example, is it really necessary to have NFL Live and College Football Live air every day, even during the long days of summer when football season won't be starting here for at least another couple of months? 

When the top stories of the day include Terrell Owens' stint on ABC's The Superstars and Lane Kiffin's tweets, it should pretty well resonate that there isn't much going on in those respective sports at this moment.

And how about the debate-style shows that "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" airs in the late afternoon?

Pardon the Interruption is that standard of this genre and Tony Kornhesier and Michael Wilbon do a wonderful job on this must-watch program, but ESPN brass has to realize that just because PTI has had so much success, that doesn't mean that there have to be five other shows just like it that air before it.

Around the Horn is entertaining and usually mildly humorous and is probably the only other show of its kind worth giving any credence.

But shows like Jim Rome Is Burning and First and Ten are nothing more than forums for presenting the same recycled stories, only they're done by abrasive talk radio hosts or less accomplished and insightful journalists.

The time has come for this nation of sports fans to take a collective look in the mirror and assess our current states as fans.

If the current ESPN afternoon lineup is any indication of where the sanity and intelligence of sports fans has gone, the future of the sports media and those who follow it sure doesn't look all too promising.