The weird world of sports
A few non-March Madness thoughts on sports:
– People who know me are well aware that I'd rather have a painful medical procedure than watch figure skating on a regular basis. Now I see that they have created a "reality show" based on pairs figure skating called “Thin Ice.” It sounds really dramatic, but here's what it is: Figure skaters will be skating with other figure skaters who are NOT THEIR REGULAR PARTNERS! Oh ... my ... God. The missus is convinced that this is a major deal and super challenging because they're not used to skating with different people. I think it's a lot like taking major league baseball players and seeing if they can play slow-pitch softball, or taking football running backs and seeing if they can also run fast without their pads on.
– Another sport that I try to avoid like the plague because I find it about as exciting as watching grass grow is soccer. But it's pretty clear that somebody high up in the company at ESPN is a really, really big soccer fan. Because on ESPN News, when they run the crawl across the bottom with scores and sports news, scores from the English Premier League, the Italian Series A league, etc., are part of the regular rotation. I think I can say with great confidence that the overwhelming majority of ESPN's viewers couldn't give less of a $%^# about Italian soccer scores. But one of the big honchos at ESPN or its parent company must really want to see them, so the rest of us are subjected to them.
– The folks at ESPN were also nearly breathless over the weekend about their "exclusive interview" with illustrious golfer and serial adulterer Tiger Woods. Well, one would think it must be a lengthy, in-depth examination of Tiger's travails and his pending return at the Masters. Uh, not so much. ESPN and the Golf Channel got five minutes with Tiger. Yeah, five minutes. It took them more time to fire up the cameras and get people's microphones pinned on that it did for the interview itself. Apparently, the same interview offer was made to CBS, which said it would be delighted to conduct an in-depth, no-restrictions interview with the golfer. When Tiger's handlers told CBS they would get five minutes, the network told Tiger's lackeys to pound salt. Good for CBS. The only thing ESPN and the Golf Channel accomplished was to be used by Tiger. They were the pawns in his game, which will enable him to go to the Masters and claim, "I already did an interview about the other stuff, and I'm only going to talk about golf." The folks from ESPN and the Golf Channel should never, ever be able to claim again that they are professional journalists. They're media whores for Tiger Woods.