A Necessary Rant: ESPN is The Worldwide Leader in Distasteful, Disgraceful Programming

By Ryan Heckman
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports…but is it really?

As time goes on over the recent years, ESPN has shifted from its still-intact slogan and become the TMZ of sports programming. If I cared about Lamar Odom and whatever Kardashian tramp he was dating, I’d flip to TMZ. If I wanted to watch a reality show about the next celebrity to steer Tony Romo‘s mind away from the game of football, I may try a popular soap opera. What’s the difference? And if I wanted to watch argument after argument involving sweet nothings and illiterate fools, I would turn my TV to Judge Judy.

ESPN simply doesn’t understand anymore. They aren’t TNT. They should not “Know Drama.” But instead, they have set out to prove the exact opposite. The following examples are a few that have made me sick, frustrated and somewhat embarrassed of a network I once respected.

Atlanta Falcons‘ cornerback Asante Samuel was brought on this morning to talk about the NFC South and his Falcons’ free agency spending, but Chris McKendry insisted on firing questions at him regarding Jason Collins and his recently coming out; a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with Samuel’s original purpose for visiting Bristol.

Seattle Seahawks‘ cornerback Richard Sherman was right on about Skip Bayless. Sherman may have went about it in an unprofessional manner, but I guarantee if you would ask any dedicated sports fanatic they would agree that Bayless in no way, shape or form belongs on the set of the so-called “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Both Sherman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have expressed their strong opinions in the past couple of years over just how ridiculous Bayless sounds on the air, and neither could be closer to the truth. Bayless belongs on Lifetime for Women, not ESPN.

Chris Broussard was taken advantage of by ESPN’s alternative motives over the past few days. He was originally set to air and discuss the NBA Playoffs with the crew in Bristol, but instead Jason Collins decided to make his announcement and come out into the open with his sexual preference. This changed things severely for Broussard. If you’d like to see exactly what he said, I’ll let you check that out on your own time. But the bottom line is this: Regardless of whether or not you agree with Broussard’s comments, they did not belong on a dedicated sports network. Instead, maybe get him a spot on Joel Osteen’s bit every Sunday morning.

In other news, an official statistic has found its way into my lap and it is this: The amount of spit projected from the mouth of Stephen A. Smith on the set of “First Take” is in fact greater than the amount of sports knowledge Mr. Smith actually retains in that squirrel-sized brain of his.

Finally, while I respect Curt Schilling as one of the all-time greats in the MLB, why on earth is he being featured as an analyst covering the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks series? Sure, his Boston Red Sox made an incredible comeback and made history a few years back against the New York Yankees. There is a parallel there. But asking for his insight and predictions for an extensive period is a completely irrelevant waste of time.

These are just a few problems I have with ESPN at the moment, and I would venture to say that I am not alone. It has gotten to a point where the network needs to get their stuff together and find their way back to being the sports experts they claim to be. Until then, maybe their slogan deserves a bit of a tweak.

Ryan Heckman is a writer for RantSports.com covering the NBA and NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

You May Also Like