Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who is Most Responsible for the Steroids ERA? ESPN, That’s Who!

The thing to remember, and I sort of forget it myself from time to time – it's the E in ESPN. It stands for entertainment. The most important thing is that you be entertained. The sports are…secondary.



ESPN perfected the highlight reel. ESPN indeed provoked Barry Bonds who when Sammy and Mark were dominating SportsCenter EVERY SINGLE NIGHT in the summer of 1998, Barry Bonds had to see that and think, "WOW! I am so much better than those guys, but NO LOVE. If I cheated like they did I would be on ESPN even more than either of them!!"


And folks, this is why the problem probably won't ever get fixed. We value being entertained and controversy is way more entertaining than resolution.


When it comes to stirring controversy, ESPN is a Jedi master. ESPN totally knows how to whip people into a frenzy. I have to confess, I do like the entertainment. But I am a problem solver. ESPN.COM has a piece on whether Sammy Sosa should be in the Hall of Fame now that he's hit 600 homeruns. The commenting on that piece is…frenetic (look it up on dictionary.com, trust me, ESPN knows what it means).

Jerry Crasnick is the only one there who doesn't have small stones and said "No" he wouldn't vote for Sosa.

Check out this dopey comment from pretty boy Steve Phillips (and I think he is smart, and probably just said this crap to be controversial – SP, it worked, thanks man!)

Sosa did get busted for corking a bat during his playing days. Why would a player on steroids cork his bat? He wouldn't.

Haha. That's funny as hell. That's like saying, "Why would a guy who cheats and lies in one way ever cheat and lie in any other way? He wouldn't."

You HAVE to be kidding me!!

I love Jason Stark and he is a solid baseball writer, who is having a hard time trying to rationalizing his ethics:

As I wrote when I voted for McGwire, I don't feel comfortable casting votes based on assumptions. Or popular opinion.

I am OK with this because by this logic Bonds gets in too. I'm ok with allowing all of the cheaters with HOF numbers into the HOF, I'm not OK with picking and choosing which cheaters you pick though. But this points to a big part of the problem. Jason Stark's job is baseball. If he doesn't have access to players, managers, GMs, etc., he simply can't do his job very well. If he tells the truth his access will be limited. It's a part of the way the real world works.

Still, I personally am OK with using my brain and making assumptions with it. I can assume that Barry Bonds was lying his butt off when he said "I didn't know it wasn't flaxseed oil!" I can assume that when Jason Giambi admitted using steroids and then 3 years later got caught using amphetamines that Steve Phillips' logic is flawed.

I can assume that Bud Selig knew about Sosa and McGwire and Bonds and didn't do anything because we loved Sosa and McGwire and at least here in San Francisco, Bonds. And I think if Bonds was only at 600 HR right now there wouldn't be such a fuss over him either.

I can assume controversy around steroids is more lucrative for ESPN than no controversy.

I can assume all these things easily enough…because they are true. That Jack Nicholson quote from the movie holds up. Most of you people can't handle the truth, and ESPN is laughing all the way to the bank.

But you know what? It is entertaining as hell. Thanks ESPN!


1 comment:

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