Let me clarify: I do not hate Erin Andrews. Or Michelle Beadle. No, those two are some of the great reasons yet to watch the network.
And I, like most guys, live for SportsCenter, and am a religious follower of PTI. However, I do have fairly strong feelings towards ESPN.
The main founding of this distaste is in how they report some of their news. I get a lot of my SC fix in the morning (8/7 central). It just occurs to me a lot of the time that they seem to mirror themselves after a 24-hour cable news network, such as CNN.
This is the exact opposite of what I want; don't put spin on my sports stories, just tell me what happened!
Now, I'm not saying I want a monotone robot to read me box scores. Just keep the bias to a minimum.
One area that they do this a lot is in the covering of controversies between sports stars and any journalist, regardless of whether that journalist works for ESPN. To further present this, I have three examples:
First, and most recent, the discussion over Omar Minaya's statements about Daily News reporter Adam Rubin. Ostensibly, I have to agree with the GM; how many of us wouldn't love to get into player evaluation and scouting? Heck, that's half of what we do on here, and is entirely what fantasy sports is about.
However, in a fashion that would make Fox News proud, ESPN sliced up the video coverage of Minaya's news conference to make him look like an idiot, and spun the story to cast Mr. Rubin in a glorious light! If you'll note, you never actually heard him refute any of Omar's claims.
Second, the case about a year ago when Ed Werder reported that there was dissension in the Cowboys locker room, specifically swirling around Terrell Owens. Regardless of how you feel towards T.O., making up a story like Werder did is despicable, and goes against everything a journalist stands for.
Then, when Owens and other Cowboys challenged the story, ESPN quickly ran T.O.'s greatest hits, touching heavily on his less-than-glorious exits from San Francisco and Philadelphia.
Lastly, many of you may remember when Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy blew up at the reporter for criticizing one of his players, and made up things about him. While Gundy was somewhat over-the-top, I admired him as an assistant coach for doing what was right.
And how did ESPN choose to cover this event? They once again demonstrated their wonderful splicing skills and made Gundy look like a reckless hothead! One can't wonder what would have happened had Gundy done nothing; no doubt they would have made him look like he didn't care about his players.
Having said all that, I still love that there is a channel I can turn to at nearly any point during the day and see something related to sports.
I say nearly, because I don't feel as though the X-Games or cheerleading competitions qualify as sports. However, there is just one more bone I have to pick.
What is with ESPN hiring all the failed coaches they can find as analysts? Why should I believe the statements of someone who couldn't hack it in the sport they're now covering?
Give me an ex-player any day of the week, but unless the coach retired, get them out of the studio. Perfect example: the difference between Bob Knight and Avery Johnson. Enough said.
I still love ESPN; it's on right now as I write this. I probably always will. I just wish they'd prune some tactics.