Saturday, August 31, 2013

Speaking on Sports

I compiled some sports-related "Shark Bytes"-ish comments into a single post. If you aren't into sports, though, feel free to turn right to the page with the horoscopes and the Jumble.

*I don't know why so many of us thought that Fox Sports 1 might provide a decent alternative to ESPN's Sportscenter, but we kind of did. My early thoughts are that the clutter is too much, the highlights are too little. and I can do without the panel segments. I haven't seen much of the personalities yet, but I just don't think there's anyone there besides Charissa Thompson who is compelling enough to keep me from changing the channel. That said, I like the idea of someone making an effort to give the Worldwide Leader some competition.

*I caught a little bit of ESPN2's new "Olbermann" the other night. This show stars former Sportscenter anchor...Larry Biel. No, it's Keith Olbermann, of course, and he is full-on Olbermann for better or worse. I thought what I saw was pretty good, but I was puzzled that he led off with a Johnny Manziel monologue, then had John McEnroe on to talk about Johnn Manziel. I love Johnny Mac, and it was a decent enough chat, but it was in the middle of the U.S. Open. Eventually Keith thanked McEnroe for leaving the tournament early to come to the studio, and I thought, "OK, next segment, they'll talk about tennis." But, nope, that was it! Maybe Tim Tebow will buy a racket and start taking lessons, and then the sport will be important enough to be spotlighted on ESPN's main shows.

*At some point it became acceptable for announcers and sports journalists to talk about "my" team, meaning the teams they root for. That was a terrible point in sports media history. I think hearing some guy talk about "my Patriots" or whoever in the middle of an analysis segment is even worse than hearing him talk about players being on his fantasy team.

*I have long hated the Philadelphia Eagles so much I don't even want to sit through their games long enough to root for their opponent, but with Chip Kelly putting in a fast-paced offense, the team might actually be fun to watch. That's good to know as we get ready for the weekly NFC East Game of the Week on Fox and NBC.

*I don't know if I can ever be more than a casual college football fan again. It's the combination of what happened at Penn State ("my" Penn State, that is) and the idiocy of the NCAA and all the off-field nonsense. Oh, well. I still check out the games when I can.

*Fascinating story by Don Van Natta for ESPN on the possibility of Bobby Riggs throwing the infamous Battle of the Sexes tennis match with Billie Jean King. I feel sorry for King, who has been proud of her victory for years and now has to confront the possibility that Riggs tanked to settle gambling debts. "Outside the Lines" had a good piece on this story. Hey, you know what would have improved it, though? Inviting John McEnroe to come on and give his take...on Johnny Manziel.

*This is a dumb thing to place as the seventh bullet point, but the one thing that annoys me about the advent of football season is how many people are willing to kick baseball to the curb.

*I've been waiting for the cheapskate special on MLB.TV. Last year, membership from September 1 to the end of the season was only $10. This year, the special is in effect now, and it's $20. I don't even think there's any discount there. It might just be a prorated amount based on the regular season price. Point being, it really isn't a cheapskate special at all. MLB, I guess you don't want my money, or at least the small amount of money I was willing to give you after not paying you all season for the regular version of your product. Well, fine, then!

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