Maybe ESPN has research on what sports fans want, that I just can’t comprehend. Maybe I’m just an old man yelling, “get off my lawn!” Or, maybe I’m so 100% right, that you will scream out: YES! I thought the same damn thing!
So I’m watching SportsCenter this morning, and knew that Russell Westbrook had a sweet dunk the night before because I had glanced at a few tweets regarding the throwdown. They lead the 8 o’clock hour with the Thunder and Rockets (fine) and show a decent amount of other game highlights (fine).
Then it comes to Westbrook’s dunk in the waning seconds of the game. Aaaaand… boom. Sweet. But nothing I am shocked to see, given what I already know about Westbrook as a bad-ass, high-flying, apex predator NBA player.
Well apparently, somebody at the “WorldWide Leader” decided this one play, deserved “full team coverage.” And they proceeded to show it again…. from every available angle…. 11x in all! ELEVEN! (I may have lost count, to be honest).
There were several player soundbites about the dunk. A coach soundbite. Graphic enhancements of the dunk. Slow motion. Even SLOWER motion….
I mean, really. Are you kidding me? It was a nice play. And anchor Jay Harris says… “We’ll all remember this dunk for a long time.”
Yeah, no. Like Spike Lee once lectured in a commercial for Air Jordan’s: “It’s two points.” Two or so replays would be fine, but eleven of them over 2 full minutes insults your intelligence as a viewer. Do SportsCenter producers think we have never seen a player dunk before? Do they think it might be the last dunk of the year in the NBA?
What if there’s an even BETTER dunk by a player this year? Would it merit 15 replays, over 3 minutes?
And then SportsCenter decided to showcase something even more stupid: “Drake Night” in the Toronto Raptors game against the Golden State Warriors.
In the meantime, sit back and watch what kind of nonsense qualified for featured action on SportsCenter. A rapper, who is not part of the actual game, doing everything he possibly can to INSERT himself in the game through 5th grade antics.
And even though Steph Curry is friendly with Drake and will bro-hug it out afterward, the whole thing is utterly stupid to the average sports fan. Even if you LIKE Drake, and LIKE the Warriors, I would bet you found this all to be an embarrassment.
The message is pretty clear. The game is not enough. The athletes are not enough. And ESPN will be a happy co-conspirator in cramming it down your neck.