Category Archives: ESPN Is The Devil

Herbie comes a little late to the party.

I believe I detect a note of buyer’s remorse from Mr. Herbstreit.

Kirk Herbstreit says the playoff is redefining what fans view as a successful season. Coaches have less time than ever to find success, and Herbstreit says an 8-team playoff would make it worse.

“I was a guy that thought we’d eventually go to eight,” Herbstreit said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “This is the first time I really felt that fans, even maybe players, that there was a focus for 15 weeks for the four.… Then the teams are decided, and it was like fanbases getting frustrated with a 12-1 season or an 11-2 season, ‘Ugh, going to the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl.’ It’s like, what have we created where fans are so focused on the four, that if their team still has a great year and goes to a Jan. 1, they’re left frustrated?

Can you imagine, if it was eight, how that would create? Fans call it a meaningless bowl game. I could not disagree with that any more. Any time the Big Ten plays in a bowl game, to me, that’s significant. Any time the SEC and Big Ten play each other, I don’t care if it’s the Outback Bowl or Gator Bowl, I find those matchups interesting and important to the conferences and their pride.

“I’m a little concerned, even at four, that we’re getting to the focus of playoff-or-bust. If it went to eight, I think it would get worse, where the only games that ‘matter’ to people are if you made the playoff. I don’t think that’s healthy for the game of football when the only thing that matters if your team is successful if they make the playoff.”

Well, duh.  This is what people like me warned about as the cost for postseason expansion, dude.  Once bracket creep starts, the only thing that can stop it is a failure to find more revenues to support it.

At least your network has those nifty selection committee shows to broadcast, though.  Which is really the point here.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

An 800-pound gorilla with a contract

Verizon comes up with a “skinny bundle” that excludes ESPN.  Mickey cries foul and sues.  Verizon revises its “skinny bundle” arrangement and comes up with a second option that includes ESPN.  Mickey seems pleased.

In a statement, ESPN said, “We are encouraged by the changes that Verizon has made to Custom TV.” It added that it expected subscribers to enjoy “ESPN and ESPN2 as part of the new entry-level Custom TV offering.”

Verizon says it’s not about the lawsuit at all.

A Verizon spokesman said the changes had not been made to settle the lawsuit ESPN filed in State Supreme Court in New York, but to adapt to its customers’ buying patterns.

Still, Verizon’s chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, said Verizon was planning to “refresh” Custom TV “in the short term to be in compliance with our contractual relationships.”

Uh hunh.  Sounds like ESPN still has some leverage.  The next contract negotiation will be interesting, though.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, See You In Court

Somebody’s gotta pay for ESPN.

What do you get when you cross ESPN’s preference for cable bundling with a decline in subscribers due to cord cutting?  Why, the worst of both worlds, of course.



Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Wednesday morning buffet

Plenty to graze on today…


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

“Preseason FPI is designed to take the guesswork out of preseason ratings.”

ESPN, any ratings system that has Tennessee coming out ahead of Alabama may be many things, but guesswork-free ain’t one of ’em.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Stats Geek!

That’s Entertainment (and Sports Programming Network).

Remember when ESPN’s public editor asked, “Who’s expected to live by the traditional rules and ethics of journalism, and who isn’t?” and answered by saying,

“Expecting analysts to magically transform into journalists is not a realistic expectation — and, frankly, not the role they are being asked to play.”

Yeah, well, Todd McShay.

I heard from a lot of readers on Twitter looking for information on why ESPN college football reporter and NFL draft analyst Todd McShay was part of Michigan’s signing day event hosted by the Players’ Tribune on Feb. 3 at Hill Auditorium. The optics were odd given this was essentially a pep rally for Michigan and McShay had a formal role in the show. It was unclear if you were watching whether McShay was being paid by Michigan, which would really be odd given he’d have to report on them as a sideline reporter and draft analyst. Viewers clearly notice this stuff.

ESPN management said that McShay was not paid for the appearance and it did not know about his attendance prior to the event. To his credit, McShay answered the question when asked by SI. “I completely understand that I made a mistake and clearly should have discussed this appearance with ESPN in advance,” he said. “I will obviously learn from this situation, and in no way will this compromise the quality or objectivity of my work going forward.”

These guys aren’t even fucking trying anymore.  Sure, Todd, I’ll respect your objectivity as much as you do.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

“To be fair to ESPN’s consumers, it’s a complicated issue.”

ESPN’s Public Editor gives a pass to this:

One of the issues that most confounds ESPN’s audience is how to assess the differing roles played by its many on-camera personalities. What’s the difference between a SportsCenter anchor, an on-air reporter, an analyst or a sideline reporter? Who’s expected to live by the traditional rules and ethics of journalism, and who isn’t?

These questions run through much of the feedback I get from ESPN’s audience. It’s hot again this week, after Deadspin called out ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen for sending out sponsored tweets for a Domino’s Pizza deal that were not labeled as advertising. It was hot last week back when Mike Ditka responded to Al-Jazeera’s HGH report on Peyton Manning by calling the network “garbage.” It was hot back in November when it was revealed that ESPN NFL pregame analyst Ray Lewis had given a motivational speech to the Bills the night before a Monday Night Football game he was working.

What do I mean by a pass?  This is what I mean:  “Expecting analysts to magically transform into journalists is not a realistic expectation — and, frankly, not the role they are being asked to play.”

In other words, drop those expectations, kids, and remember what the “E” in ESPN stands for.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil