Alright, ESPN — let’s have a talk.
From the time that I was old enough to figure out how to turn on the TV by myself, I have been watching your broadcasts. Throughout my formative years, the first thing I would do when I got home was turn on the TV and immediately fall into awe watching feats of athleticism that made me think superheroes were real and walked among us.
But we’ve had a bit of a falling out recently. Oftentimes, I find myself either half-heartedly listening to your broadcasts without an ounce of enthusiasm or changing the channel entirely. So what happened to us, ESPN?
The foundation of our relationship was built on a sense of incredulity I felt when I watched an outfielder fly to catch a ball.
The foundation of our relationship was built on the wonder I felt when a quarterback and a wide receiver connected on a route that was so perfectly timed it seemed as though they were communicating telepathically.
The foundation of our relationship was built on those hard-hitting segments that questioned real sports news like trade deals, rules changes and the character of the men competing.
Now, when I turn on ESPN, I hear a detailed analysis of whether or not Kevin Durant is utilizing a fake Twitter account to talk back to people on social media, or an ESPN anchor allowing a virtual nobody onto his show, claiming he could beat one of the all-time greats in one-on-one.
I understand that sports broadcasting is a business, but where does the line get drawn?
The Cleveland Indians recently went on a 22-game winning streak (the longest in American League history), and the MLB postseason is two weeks away with the field as open and competitive as it has been in a while. Young stars are revamping old dynasties like the Yankees, and the Cleveland Indians are making a run seeking to erase the longest current championship drought in the MLB — a year after they lost in the World Series.
Does a report on Kevin Durant’s social media escapades really hold more merit?
On the West Coast, the L.A. Rams’ and L.A. Chargers’ combined total game attendance from this past weekend was less than that of the USC versus Texas game played in the Coliseum the very same weekend.
So why do you spend more time talking about whether or not Kyrie Irving told LeBron he was leaving Cleveland than you do about the financial viability of moving two teams and their fan bases (or lack thereof) to the same city?
I know that in today’s 24-hour news cycle, not every story can be an eye-opener. But can we at least try to keep the sports relevant, rather than looking to augment viewership by putting out sensationalized headlines similar to “father of NBA rookie says he could beat MJ”?
ESPN, I fell in love with you because of the way you made the impossible seem achievable in the sports world. I raced to the TV because of the highlights you showed and the stories of substance you ran.
You have not lost me yet; I will always give a glance to see what is being talked about. Can we please just go back to the good old days of diving touchdown grabs and walk-off home runs? I promise people will watch.