It’s been a rough year for ESPN.
In an age where individual highlights directly stream through fan’s phone screen’s mere seconds after they happen, ESPN’s undergone an identity crisis, and while they’ve scrambled to keep it together, ESPN has alienated some of its crowd, including me.
I can’t get rid of ESPN, it’s hard to replace the live TV, so instead, I keep them around like a punching bag and watch them take blow after blow.
They had two rounds of layoffs, the second of which preceded ESPN President John Skipper’s resignation for substance abuse. Now, reports say the substance abuse was a lie to get out ahead of a sexual harassment scandal.
You know what looks worse than claiming to battle such a fierce substance abuse its forced to you stop working just weeks after deciding to lay off a ton of employees during the holidays???? ALLEGEDLY LYING ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE TO GET AHEAD OF SEXUAL HARRASSMENT SCANDAL.
Or worse, both are true.
The whole Jemele Hill saga didn’t play too well in the media.
ESPN has zigged when they should have zagged on a majority of their decisions and it’s allowed little brothers like Fox Sports to infringe on their television viewers.
Like I mentioned, ESPN has enough Live Sporting Events to keep them relevant and competitive. The internet is where they’ve taken a beating.
In the matter of one year, Bill Simmons has recreated his Grantland site and then some with his new site, TheRinger.com. Recently, Simmons announced Ringer Films, which will be similar to 30 for 30’s, a venture he helped bring off the ground at ESPN before being kicked to the curb.
Then, the Barstool Van Talk fiasco, which despite a cancellation after one electric episode, went completely in Barstool‘s favor. They’re killing ESPN on the inter-webs, and dancing on their graves.
I can’t wait for the Sarah Spain celebration, Go Prez Go.
My favorite punch of the year though? It came from a guy with his hands behind his back in metaphorical handcuffs.
In the week preceding the Miami/Notre Dame game Nov. 11 in Miami, ESPN decided to dust off the Catholics vs. Convicts tagline first used prior to their 1988 matchup.
Instead of coming up with new content, they took the lazy route and labeled a group of Miami players ‘Convicts’, again. This is just two weeks after ESPN devoted hours of coverage rightfully shaming Bob McNair and his ‘inmates’ comments.
Miami’s current players weren’t even born when the Cane’s were first likened to ‘Convicts’.
Notre Dame though, they’re the Catholics, the good guys. Who cares their coach is the biggest dickhead in College Football.
So, Miami comes out and drags Notre Dame through the dirt for a half hour. It’s 27-0 at half, and all the analysts are eating shit over their pregame selections. They are flip-flopping their opinions, saying how Mark Richt and his staff are so innovative and inspiring.
Before all of that buttering up though, this happened:
Who’s that convict?
That is Braxton Berrios. Valedictorian of the School of Business Administration. Academic All-American. Pop Warner College Football Award Winner for combination of performance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community, and Campbell Trophy finalist for the same credentials. Jim Tatum Award Winner for the top senior student-athlete in the ACC.
Of all the Haymaker’s landed on ESPN this year, Braxton Berrios’s perfectly timed jab was my favorite. I once broke a team rule in college, and my coach made me walk up to him, get nose-to-nose, look him in the eye, and say “Fuck You” to his face, because that was how he interpreted broken team rules. Whether he meant it or not, that’s exactly how I interpreted Braxton’s celebration. A nice, fat, thick loogie spit in the face of ESPN, and of course, those angelic Catholics.
Braxton, you’re already a legend to this generation of Cane’s fans. Go ahead and cement your legacy amongst the all time IDAGF Hurricanes on your last night of your indentured servitude to the NCAA. Tonight, when you score your 2nd touchdown, take your pads off and reveal a shirt saying, “WHY ARE WE THE ONLY UNCOMPENSATED WORKERS HERE?”
Make it happen Braxton.
If not, all good, I still love you. Enjoy your 10 Super Bowls and 1,500 catches with 41-50 year old Tom Brady.