ESPN has been losing its edge since ABC took it over. But their coverage of their EW Shrine game was the worst so far. The bone heads at ESPN failed to give complete lineups with numbers. In a normal game, draft nicks like me could get the player numbers from the college pages of the ESPN website. But evidently they couldn’t afford to buy the game program from a local vendor after spending so much money on the big ESPN bus parked in the stadium. I have been unable to find the numbers anywhere on the net so far.
They did show the names and numbers of the QBs, RBs, and WR/TE. But those names are repeated regularly throughout the coverage. More than half the time, they did not give the name of the tackler which would have helped to identify some of the players on the D side. The O linemen were totally anomalous because even when they committed a penalty, the announcer usually ignored the name of the offender. Sometimes, the camera man would help us out with a closeup of the player.
So it was up to us to study the tape as closely as possible to get the numbers associated with the players. In a tradition of the game, the players regularly trade decals which further hinder recognition by the viewing audience.
As a service to our readers, I will provide the list of as many as I can to anyone that emails me at [email protected] I will have a report on the results of my analysis of the play Wednesday here.
Now understand that ESPN stands for Economic Suspension of Programing for No reason. Anyone that bothered to tape a replay of a college football game has found how it takes 2 hours to see about 15 minutes of football. A typical broadcast contains the touchdown followed by a commercial break followed by the extra point. Then there is another commercial break followed by the kickoff. At that point a commercial break is interrupted by the phrase “due to time constraints we move ahead to further action…” That of course is followed by another commercial break.
This is the bottom line. IF ESPN wants to be the leader of sports broadcasting, it is going to have to tighten up its programming. If things continue to slide like they have been, it won’t be worth watching. Thank heavens that the NFL Channel is covering the Senior Bowl.
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That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on
and edits .