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SportsCenter Crosses the Cross-Promotion Line

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  Stuart Scott of ESPN speaks onstage during the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Patrick MauroAnalyst IJanuary 8, 2017

After what I saw Sunday night, I wish I could make the bold statement, "I will never watch SportsCenter again," but I'm pretty sure it would end up being a lie.

I'm way too conditioned to watch sports highlights on TV and ESPN seems to have the sports highlight market cornered.

I’ve largely chosen to ignore the smarmy anchors, the guys (and gals) hoping so desperately to be the next Keith Olberman or Craig Kilborn, shoving a catchphrase—that isn’t even their original thought—down our throats:

“No soup for you!”

“Sit on it Potsie!”

“Run Forrest run!”

“Jumanji!”

“He’s so money and he doesn’t even know it.”

“I am Kaiser Soze!”

Makes you long for a simpler time—the days before the “big sports network” secured the near monopoly on these types of shows and just painlessly gave you the scores and highlights.

Maybe that's too much to ask for in our media proliferated universe.

Up to this point, I hadn’t let this stop me from enjoying my highlights, but what I witnessed Sunday night was so disturbing counseling may be necessary. It ranks right up there as one of the worst things I've ever seen.

It was like being betrayed by a good friend or a significant other.

It was trainwreck-esque.

It nearly induced vomiting.

Let me set the scene that solidified my opinion of the “big sports network” and their signature highlight show.

Towards the end of the Sunday night SportsCenter, David Cook of American Idol fame from a couple seasons ago joined Stuart Scott and John Buccigross on the part of the set where they all stand around.

Call me a traditionalist, but I’m more a fan of sportscasters sitting behind a desk.

This was after he appeared on Baseball Tonight. No guest is ever on just one ESPN show.

To his credit, Cook did seem to know his baseball and appeared to be a real fan, but that's not the point.

After giving some baseball highlights, the anchormen asked Cook if Simon Cowell was intimidating.

Cook said yes, at which point, Scott and Buccigross quite enthusiastically tell him to bend his knees while assuming what appeared to be Queensbery Rules sort of boxing stances.

As if Mr. "Boo-Ya" and his scrawny co-anchor were going to teach the finer points of how to administer a beat-down.

It was cross-promotion gone lamely absurd.

It was no where near as “cool as the other side of the pillow.”

If I'm a SportsCenter anchor, I'm embarrassed/annoyed sharing the stage with a kid semi-famous for singing show tunes.

Even if you like American Idol (I'm not here to judge you), you can’t possibly like it while trying to enjoy some sports highlights.

The two just don’t go together.

It’s like chocolate and tuna.

Or Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer.

Or Michael Vick and your dog.

Or Plaxico Burress and a firearm.

Keep them apart.

Wish I could make the bold proclamation and go cold turkey, but I'm hooked on late-night sports highlights.

I'm an addict.

I know I'll watch tonight.

Doesn't mean I'll enjoy it.

Listen on the radio Saturday and Sunday nights—Tune into Patrick Mauro’s Sports Overnight America Weekend from 10:06 p.m. to 1 a.m. PDT

You can call the show at (800) 878-PLAY (7529)

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