The ESPN Monster Strikes Again!

John GallagherContributor ISeptember 15, 2009

CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Brett Farve #4 of the Minnesota Vikings hugs Eric Mangini head coach of the Cleveland Browns talk prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

It is getting impossible to watch ESPN when there isn't a live game on.

The "World Wide Leader" knows who it loves and wants you to love them, too.

It knows you could not stand the summer love fest between Favre/ESPN/Vikings, but it doesn't care. You are going to have to hear about everything Favre and the Vikings do, even if Favre doesn't necessarily do anything. Go to and read the recap of the gameβ€”I have some time to wait.

Another one of their writers is trying to convince me that Brett Favre, along with Adrian Peterson, won that game. That's only half true. "All Day" Adrian Peterson was the show in Cleveland, pushing around the defenders like they were his little brothers. Favre? Oh, he played. Just not all that well.

That didn't stop ESPN from writing gushing reviews of Favre. The only knock on him I heard on ESPN was that he "started off shaky" but then pulled himself together and threw a touchdown pass. That touchdown "pass" was a dump to Percy Harvin who had to shake numerous defenders from six yards out to get into the end zone. But, you know, that was all Favre.

It is tiring trying to weed through the ESPN spin. Favre has an average game and we hear about how he lead his team to victory, along with the old boring cliches of "looks like a kid out there" and "he hasn't lost his joy of playing."


Look, I know ESPN is all about ratings. Any media outlet worth a hill of beans cares about putting people on his/her couch and flipping on the network. My argument is that ESPN is so big that if it really wanted to it could create buzz about something else besides Brett Favre, Tom Brady, and Mark Sanchez.

Tom Brady is a slightly different story. Brady lost all but 15 minutes of last season due to knee injuries. He's a Super Bowl MVP on a team that is thought to contend this year. As an added bonus for ESPN, he plays in the metro Boston area, so he's one of the three ESPN staple cities (the other two being NYC and Philly) and it's most recognizable face.

Brady and the Patriots were down late against the Bills but, like every other Belichick coached game, found a way to win.

That's what ESPN wants you to think.

Ask any Bills fan what happened that game and they will tell you that it wasn't as much a Patriots win than a Bills loss. Dick Jauron is to blame almost as much as Leodis McKelvin, the Bills player who fumbled the kickoff on their own 31 with less than two minutes to play.

Jauron didn't change his defensive scheme, which had worked well up until the fourth quarter when Belichick realized the same packages over and over.

ESPN wants you to know on the recap that "Tom Brady doesn't do mediocre." Which is true, because until the fourth quarter he was less than mediocre. The last two drives were where Brady did more than quick slant routes to Moss and Welker, who then made of it what they could.

Both Favre and Brady are great players, don't get me wrong. They will both be in the Hall of Fame someday (assuming Favre ever retires.) However, ESPN needs to let you know About the whole game, not just what the stars did.

You can say SportsCenter has led to the downfall of professional sports in a way that it's become more individual. The more highlights a player gets the more attention he/she receives and then the endorsements and big contracts.

Though there is a difference between hype and giving credit where credit's due. Bill Belichick was the MVP of the Patriots game, not Tom Brady, and Peterson was the real headline in Cleveland, not Brett Favre playing "just like one of the boys."

ESPN has the power to create new stars. Instead it has chosen to tell you how they saw it, which might not be the same as what actually happened.

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