LeBron-a-thon Adds To Sports Media Calamity

July 19, 2010 | Tom Federline

I know it has been almost 2 weeks, but the Lebron James spectacle still gnaws at me. Another example of what is wrong with sports coverage in the first decade of the new millennium. As disgusting as it was to watch, the over-hyped, self-indulging, “Court Jester” James and ESPN grabbed my attention that Thursday evening. And evidently they did their job…….because the story and vomit producing coverage, still lingers. Remember Nathans?

I turn on ESPN (Erratic Sports Plummeting Network) that evening,  just to catch some scores. Next thing I see is – Special – we are interrupting regular programming – for “The Decision”. The (….blankin’…) what?  A one hour, special coverage of a young male athlete announcing where he is going to play basketball next year. I cannot write the first words that came to mouth, but for those of you who know me………..it was quite flavorful. One hour – yeah right, it was more like four to six. It was 6:30pm EST, 2-1/2 hours prior to “The Decision” and apparently the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports Entertainment” decided that there were no other sports stories worthy enough to report on…………… in the world! They were already in the process of shoving NBA fodder down our throats.

As if I needed another reason NEVER to watch an NBA basketball game, good ole ESPN and supporting sports journalist were kind enough to remind me. “The Decision”, was a joke. ESPN coverage that night, a joke. The NBA, is a joke. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, a joke. The Miami Heat, a joke. But guess what?  The joke worked ………..all the way to the bank! Once again the sports entertainment business scarfing up on millions/billions of dollars. Three of arguably the top ten NBA players on one team. A potential 3-headed monster that I can only hope ……fails. Three over-inflated egos that will potentially crush all “team” morale. But guess what? The sports media will be there to follow it, report it, then re-gurgitate it, follow, report, re-gurge……..and unfortunately there are addicted sports “junkies” out there that will support it.

Good ole ESPN – is having a tough month. How can a network air classic sports documentaries like “30 for 30” one night, then come back with Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest, “The Decision” and the straw that broke my back last week – MLB’s All-Star Home Run Derby Contest…….. I mean Steroid Convention? Obviously, there are to many hands in the pot. And that pot (of money) is deep. I am going to boycott that supposed “sports” station for the rest of the summer. It’s not worth my time. Unless I’m lucky enough to hear about a “30 for 30” special. I’ll check back with College Football in the Fall.

It was nice to catch some of the British Open this past weekend on ESPN. Yes, they actually covered a sport, live, from Scotland. Then, the Erratic Sports Plummeting Network,  follows their at times, riveting golf coverage and magnificent video shots of  the St. Andrews landscape with………….Poker. Yep, the 2 of clubs, five hearts beat three-of-a-kind, ace of spades, oops better fold, can they see my cards in my mirrored sunglasses I’m wearing indoors? Gosh dern it, I done started singing “The Gambler” – Kenny Rogers. You go ESPN. You go without me.