Don't get me wrong here - my TV viewing experience just would not be the same without ESPN. I love that I can watch the evening's Sports Center for the ump-teenth time at 4 in the morning instead of being inundated by infomercials. Speaking of *mercials, if ever there was a commercial I was excited to see or didn't mind seeing for the zillionth time, it's those hilarious spots their marketing geniuses make for SportsCenter - like you have to promote that show. Even knowing that in a few short months I will once again have Madden-free Monday Night Football, over the past few months I've become increasingly annoyed by what seems to be a lack of attention by their production crews. Mind you I am not talking about the anchors, field reporters, or games announcers - though I could certainly do with out hearing Stephen A. Smith's whiny, bitchy voice ever again and I'm probably oblivious
to any faux-pax the lovely Rachel Nichols makes.
At first I started noticing little things - misspelled names, wrong or swapped scores, missing information on the stat screens - and I can guarantee you that if my senses of observation are changing at all, there is no way they are becoming sharper. Seriously, though, when you're watching a game and they try to display the score box, but fail to list the teams, scores, time, period, and what not, the pretty little graphics just don't quite stand on their own. I've even noticed miscued video on shows like SportsCenter a few times. I know, I know - that's all pretty petty stuff, and I can certainly laugh and forget about it - they're never very long flubs.
However over the past few days as the NBA season is winding down, they are now committing programming atrocities. Being the die-hard Lakers fan that I am, the past week has been very exciting and very tense. For those of you that don't know, the Lakers and the Kings are in the midst of a battle for the "thank god we don't have to play San Antonio", I mean 7th, seed in the Western Conference (yes, the one where all the playoff teams are at least several games above .500).
So why, may I ask you, was I forced to watch Phoenix vs. Golden State - neither of which the game mattered at all for, at least not for NBA fans - last Friday night when I could have been watching the Lakers vs. Portland, a game that actually did matter a lot? If that wasn't enough, I now see that some genius has decided that tonight I can watch the Clippers vs. Dallas (won't change a thing) at 8 EDT instead of either Washington, Chicago, or Indiana, all of which can have an effect of the Eastern Conference race? And for my viewing pleasure at 10:30pm, I get Denver vs. Seattle, which means nothing, instead of the Lakers vs. New Orleans, which I believe I've established does have some ramifications?
What sense does this make? Does anyone besides the guys on Sports Center have a clue that there are still some playoff races going on??? With any luck I'm just getting screwed here in Atlanta, but I imagine many of you are in the same boat. Really, if I wanted to watch a meaningless game, I could easily watch the Hawks vs. Cleveland... and maybe I just will.
Boomer, Stuie - if you're out there, go flip that switch for me - I hope I'm pleasantly surprised later...