ESPN, What Happened to You?: Tabloid Reporting Becoming Tiresome

Henry MontgomeryContributor IMay 27, 2008

I admit it, I watch ESPN excessively. On an average day, I'll absorb around four to five hours of programming, mostly because there isn't much else to watch. Most college kids all over the country are tuned into ESPN 24-7, making it one the most popular current cable channels.

However, ESPN has not been holding up their end of the bargain. Somehow, they have figured out how to cover sports without actually talking about the sport itself.

I actually play these sports. I don't want to know the stupid celebrity story lines of which guys are hanging out at which night clubs or which Dallas Cowboy is doing what at Jessica Simpson's house. It's all just fluff-garbage. All I want to know is why the athletes who play these sports on a professional level are able to do the things that make us cheer for them.

I don't want to know that Brett Favre has a strong arm. I want to know what the offensive play was, who his progression of reads are, the defensive set, and why he tried to force the ball into triple coverage as usual.

How long is NFL Live going to ask questions such as, "What are the surprise story lines in '09?" instead of asking football questions such as, "What makes a good three-technique tackle?" and "Why would the Raiders pay millions of dollars to Tommy Kelly to play that position instead of defensive end?"  

What's happening is that people are becoming huge sports fans without any knowledge of how the game is actually played.

If any of these broadcasters had a clue about these sports, maybe when my Oakland Raiders miss three tackles on defense, one might actually say “That linebacker should have known he only had safety help to his inside and shouldn't have spilled the play outside by taking on a blocker with his outside shoulder.”

Instead they give the highly intelligent answer of how “poor of a season the defensive line is having.”

Every once in a while Merrill Hoge will come on the screen and give a short segment with actual coaching tape. Something that was once expected by sports fans.

Now, the channel that considers itself the sports capital of the world has yet to display program content any better than amateur hour.

This is why, when these useless sideline reporters stick their cameras in a coach's face, they get nothing but the run-of-the-mill, screw-off, five-cent, cliché responses. Anybody associated with the sport knows that the media and the fans don't have a clue what is really going on in the trenches of the sport.  

I know I've focused my rant on football but the same is true for almost all sports. ESPN needs to stop worrying about branching out to everyone and start taking care of their avid sports fans. Come on, ESPN, step it up a notch.