Monday, July 28, 2014

ESPN is unwatchable and Stephen A. Smith is the worst

As somebody who loves sports and works in the industry, I should absolutely love the wall-to-wall, 24 hour access to sports provided by ESPN. There was a time when I did. Their flagship news and highlight show, SportsCenter was informative and entertaining. And I loved their block of Sunday morning programming, anchored by Robin Roberts. It featured an intelligent and reasoned debate show in "The Sports Reporters" and "Outside The Lines", an investigative news show hosted by Bob Ley. Some of that stuff still exists but the quality of shows like that has been tarnished and overrun by the rot of what the network puts forth now. ESPN pays short shrift to sports it doesn't have a contract to broadcast, especially irksome to those of us who enjoy hockey. It's also more interested in itself as a brand, sponsoring their own line of video games, apps and logo-emblazoned trinkets than it is in doing their job. Worst of all, their programming now relies heavily on different shows that feature a bevy of bombastic "personalities" ranting and raving incoherently about a variety of topics, many of which branch out beyond the umbrella of sports. Turn the network on at different, random times throughout the day and there's a 50/50 chance you'll see people yelling at each other about something stupid. The worst of these is a show called "First Take" and it stars the two most obnoxious, ill-informed and grating broadcasters on the whole network, the dueling, braying jackasses known as Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.
"This is what I have to say about the matter: Hee Haw! Hee Haw!"
"If I may offer a retort, only louder: HAW-HEE! HAW-HEE!!"

ESPN should be for someone like me what C-SPAN is for someone who has a stake in the day-to-day actions of government, and it just isn't. Not anymore and not for a pretty long time. It's less than useless. It's bad. Especially when it comes to Smith sharing some really stupid ideologies. A while back, there was this beauty regarding gay people (as part of a discussion on St. Louis Rams rookie Michael Sams):
"I am a proponent of most of the causes the gay community has fought for. And I think that it's wrong how they've been prejudiced against. But having said all that, I think it's important to recognize that that doesn't mean [you] have a right to [people being] comfortable with you."

And then last Friday, while discussing the NFL suspending running back Ray Rice for two games due to a domestic violence incident, we got this genius-level dissertation on The Ladies' role in preventing these incidents:
"It's not about him, then. It's about you, and here's what I mean by that. We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don't know how many times I got to reiterate that. But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I'm going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I'm going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I'm going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I'm going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I'm going to be tempted to do. But what I've tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I've done this all my life, let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it's law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let's try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn't happen. Now you got some dudes that are just horrible and they're going to do it anyway, and there's never an excuse to put your hands on a woman. But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn't do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn't happen. We know they're wrong. We know they're criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice's case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying. No point of blame." 

Seriously, Why would I want to watch that shit?
"Duh, something stupid delivered in a condescending manner topped off with more duh."

1 comment:

Jeff Hickmott said...

The guy seems to have a very slim grasp of the English language, too.