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ESPN

ElkiElki get busyModerator, ClubPA mod
edited November 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
ESPN and its spin-offs. What do you like/hate about it?

The good:
  • Sports, sports, sports, sports! Never hurts to be able to watch more of it.
  • Monday Night Football. For some reason, there are always crazy-ass games on Monday Night.
  • SportsCenter is good background TV, and I get to catch up on most news and highlights.
  • PTI (those guys are great).
  • ESPN Classic: A lot of good stuff in there.


The bad:
  • East Coast bias is an understatement. If there's a good team somewhere near Bristol, then by God you will hear about it. They're definitely the best team that year. Maybe in the decade. Maybe ever. You know what? If those guys went against the greatest army in the history of the world, they will destroy it!
  • The experts: I don't even know where to start. NFL, college football, NBA, MLB. They're all garbage.
  • Announcing: One-upping experts on the badness scale (MNF crew excluded).
  • The fluff stories: Are disgusting. I can't switch the channel fast enough if I hear The Touching Story Music starting to play.
  • The non-sports: Fuck poker, OK? Just fuck it.


Doesn't have enough:
  • Soccer. There's more of it than the World Cup and UEFA, dammit. And I'm not talking about the MLS.

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Elki on
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    Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Hey man
    The Scrabble championships is an important event

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    poo
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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The yelling! Actually, here:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=le_anne_schreiber

    That's what doesn't work very well.

    enlightenedbum on
    Self-righteousness is incompatible with coalition building.
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    deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I really miss when SportsCenter would do more than 15 seconds of highlights per game.

    deadonthestreet on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, more highlights would probably be a lot better than having their experts fellate Brady, or whoever's hot at the moment. The NFLN's GameDay is now my destination for all football highlights, because SportsCenter just doesn't show much.

    Elki on
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    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Hey man
    The Scrabble championships is an important event

    Poker: No.
    Chess: YES

    Picardathon on
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    CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Can't really comment on ESPN per se, since I dont have it. In Canada, we have TSN, which is partially owned by ESPN. They renamed their newscast Sportsdesk to Sports Center a few years back, for example. They also carry a fair amount of ESPN content, like MNF and PTI.

    Theres bias there too, as TSN is based out of Toronto, and its joke name of "Toronto Sports Network" is often justified. The Maple Leafs, for example, are way overexposed for how shitty a team they've been for the last, oh, fifteen years or so.

    TSN's national hockey broadcasts are excellent however. Their CFL coverage has also done a lot for that league.

    Also, seriously, fuck poker. Between TSN, Sportsnet, and The Score, that shit is spreading faster then zebra mussels. Curling, billiards, and logger-sports all have more place on a sports channel then bloody poker.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
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    MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    You forgot to add Around the Horn and Jim Rome is Burning under the "bad" category.

    Those are easily two of the worst shows on the network.

    Marathon on
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    RaakamRaakam Too many years... CanadalandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    What? ATH is a ton of fun to watch. Mike & Mike is also pretty decent, if an hour too long. Eventually, ESPN will catch on, and we'll be seeing the Liverpool v Arsenal games on it. What the hell else do they show on Saturdays and Sundays during the day? Pigeon College vs The Mighty Dire Badgers is not something I particularly care to see. They have a channel called ESPN U, put all the shit college games on that.

    And fuck Nascar. If you want racing, put Formula 1 on.

    Raakam on
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    MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I guess I just don't like ATH because it seems like a cheap imitation of PTI. It's basically the same format except it has its annoying point system to decide that days "winner". At least Kellerman isn't hosting it anymore.

    Marathon on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    I am pissed at ESPN because it has MNF now and I don't have ESPN because I only have basic cable.

    Dammit.


    Dude, Around the Horn used to be good! I liked that show. Then it started to suck when they switched hosts.



    My favoritest thing about ESPN? The year recap they do right around New Year's. I've been very interested in collecting those clips for a while now, maybe I'll go hunt them down...

    Medopine on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    ESPN has its moments, but over the past five or so years, those moments have become few and far between.

    First off, sack Jim Rome. No one cares and no one has ever cared about what he has to say. If he backed up his points, sure. It's just a half-hour show of him ranting. It hurts me when I accidentally turn his show on.

    Around the Horn isn't that bad, as long as Jay Mariotti and Tony Reali don't have their little lovefest going on. Woody Paige is always good for some laughs, and I like when I can hear what various regional sportswriters have to say about a topic. I'm originally from Detroit, and I have no idea what the Angels are like this year. Bill Plaschke is on, and he can give me some great information on that team. Sometimes the points get carried away (I remember one day when Mariotti had about 30 points, where the other three combined for about 20) when Reali is getting his groove on for somebody.

    PTI is a mixed bag. It depends if Tony "Why Am I On MNF?" Kornheiser is on or off his old man meds that day. It can get unwatchable if Wilbon isn't there to control him. He's extremely dismissive of a topic he doesn't particullary care about. If you don't care, Tony, that's fine with me. Don't keep interupting Wilbon (or whoever is across from him) when they're trying to talk about it. I know you don't like NASCAR. Watch the show for a week and you can't miss you taking shot after shot at NASCAR. I don't care for the SportsCenter tie-in of PTI. Usually I'll turn PTI off when it's over and catch the rest through the podcast.

    SportsCenter... ugh. Most of the time, pathetic announcers reading from a prompt pretending they are interested in Crap Team vs. Crappier Team. I especially hate when then they bring in Barry "America Hates Me" Melrose, possibly the worst announcer for hockey ever. Also, cut your hair.

    Sports coverage overall... I agree, get rid of poker. I'm sure they have a contract with WSOP but I beg and plead that they let that run out, not renewing. Even the WSOP announcers admit that entrants are way down over the past couple years as the kids in college that cared about it graduated. More soccer, but that probably won't make it on ESPN until the Ocho goes live. ESPN does a pretty damn good job of covering college football. This is probably in part of there being a hojillion games on weekly and having to hire local announcers to cover.

    East coast bias is there, no one can argue that. When Joe Torre announced he was leaving the Yankees, ESPN went crazy for about an hour. Bat-shit fucking loco. ESPN2 aired an Outside the Lines (what the hell does OTL have to do with this?) special edition on ESPN2 to bring us up-to-date coverage of the 'situation'. I heard from several reporters who knew a few things: he's quitting, we don't know why, no one is talking, we don't know who is going to do what when. Then at 5:00, I switched to ESPN to watch Around The Horn... and was greeted with Outside The Lines. They canned ATH that night to give me another half-hour of the Yankee lovefest. Just over an hour after Torre made his announcement, I was sick of the story. Record time, ESPN! Please, don't try and beat it.

    Satan. on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=88zWUKEHx0w

    Pretty sure this is the montage for the 2000 new year.

    Medopine on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    Medopine wrote: »
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=88zWUKEHx0w

    Pretty sure this is the montage for the 2000 new year.

    I like how the only WNBA piece (that I saw) was during "Dream on, dream on, dream on".

    Satan. on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    Medopine wrote: »
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=88zWUKEHx0w

    Pretty sure this is the montage for the 2000 new year.

    I like how the only WNBA piece (that I saw) was during "Dream on, dream on, dream on".

    Haha yeah and the clip of the Tennesee chick crying on her coach's shoulder.

    Brandy Chastain made it in though :P


    Also: Chris Webber calling time out will make me cringe for the REST OF MY LIFE. I remember watching that game.


    Edit: Here's another more recent one. http://youtube.com/watch?v=6LmutQ7ZvHA

    I remember the one from 2000 new year's being really good but I can't find it :(

    Medopine on
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    Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood My baby's in there someplace She crawled right inRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I love ESPN. Sure, it has its flaws (IE Jim Rome and Madden Nation) but hey, it could be so much worse it's not even funny.

    Re: Around the horn, I don't see what the problem is. I personally just like getting to hear four differing viewpoints all at once.

    Clint Eastwood on
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    Lord Cecil EaglelaserLord Cecil Eaglelaser Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I pretty much hate the conflict between PTI and ATH. There just aren't enough sports stories in a day to fill two very similar shows.

    Also, bowling. Fuck I hate bowling.

    Lord Cecil Eaglelaser on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Considering ESPN has shown poker tournaments, dart tournaments, and this morning a scrabble tournament, I wonder if will ever see fighting video game tournaments. I don't see why not, they are just as valid as any of the above games. I'll speak from the perspective of Virtua Fighter 5, as it's the game I know best:

    Poker: VF5 is at least as deep of a game as poker. Memorizing all your characters moves, combo options, series, juggles and how they interact with different opponents is easily as challenging as memorizing all the card probabilities of poker. It wouldn't be hard to argue either that there is just as much reading and out bluffing your opponent in VF5 as there is in poker. It's the very nature of a mix-up in a fighting game, two or more powerful attacks from an advantaged position that forces your opponent to make a guess to successfully defend.

    Darts: VF5 requires the same amount of physical fitness/co-ordination as darts. For crying out loud one of the darts player was like 300 pounds. Not that you can't play VF5 and weigh 300 pounds. The reaction time and speed it takes to put in three throw escapes on reaction from a zero frame throw attempt is easily as taxing as anything a game of darts could ever ask you to do. Which is stand and flick your wrist limply.

    Scrabble: Watching someone play VF5 has to be at least as entertaining as watching some play Scrabble. Which was basically just watching people sit and have concerned, thoughtful looks on their faces.

    Given this, there's no good reason why a fighting game like Virtua Fighter 5 shouldn't get tournament coverage on ESPN. Obviously there are some hurdles holding stuff back, but I think they could be easily over-come. The stigma of videogames being dorky becomes less and less everyday, as more and more people play videogames. Certainly couldn't be much dorkier then Scrabble.

    What VF5 really needs is a proper tournament structure that is TV friendly and real announcers. Not some "videogames are extreme" jackhole, but someone who knows the game and the tournament scene well. There's a lot happening on screen at once sometimes, and the action can be hard to follow sometimes, especially if you aren't familiar with the games mechanics. An good announcer would really go a long way. Saying that a hit was just a "major counter hit" or caused a "side crumple" would really help watching the game not be so confusing. Then just toss in poker tournament esque pop-ups that explain the terminology and you'd be set. Something like "Zero-frame throw: A throw from a guaranteed situation, giving the opponent less time to insert throw escapes" when an announcer mentions something about a zero-frame throw.

    Heh, that kind of became a rant. Basically, I can think of no good reason why VF5 is less valid for ESPN based on some of the stuff they currently air.

    Inquisitor on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    Sounds like a sport for Versus!

    Medopine on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    You'll have to forgive my ignorance here, but what is Versus? I tried to search ESPN site for it, but searching versus on a sports site yielded less then prime results.

    Inquisitor on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    http://www.versus.com/

    It's another sports station. They seem to show a few more of the weird/unknown/not shown sports than ESPN, but they do have mainstream stuff too.

    Medopine on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Considering ESPN has shown poker tournaments, dart tournaments, and this morning a scrabble tournament, I wonder if will ever see fighting video game tournaments.

    They also have Madden Nation, which is even closer to that than poker/darts.

    Elki on
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    FrosteeyFrosteey Elaise 1521-2945-8940Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I can't stand anything about the Jim Rome show. He just says whatever he can think of to attack whoever he's talking about. I remember he was talking about people who said that everyone was being too hard on Vick for the dogfighting, and he responded with the spiel about dogs being man's best friend, and there's an emotional attachment there, and Americans don't like to see bullies.

    A few days later, that pitcher talks about what a terrible fucker Vick is for what he did. Rome's response is to tell him to chill out, they're just dogs.

    And his guests...oh Jesus, that's up there with the worst talk formats I've ever seen.

    Edit-That's about the part with the dating show guy. His actual athletic guests aren't as bad, even if he generally does ask stupid, uninteresting questions.

    Frosteey on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Elki wrote: »
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    Considering ESPN has shown poker tournaments, dart tournaments, and this morning a scrabble tournament, I wonder if will ever see fighting video game tournaments.

    They have Madden Nation.

    Oh, snaps. I have to admit, I don't watch very much ESPN (can you tell?) so this totally flew under me radar. Though, I have to admit, it seems a little silly to watch people play a videogame of football when you can just watch football. Then again, I guess it could easily be argued that it's silly to watch people play a fighting game when you can just watch people do UFC or something. So that's probably just my personal bias of not football games, but liking fighting games.

    Madden Nation convinces me that it's really only a matter of time at this point before we'll see more and more videogames covered on TV. I wonder if there will eventually be a channel just for videogame tournaments.

    Inquisitor on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I would like Madden Nation a lot better if it seemed like the dudes playing were better at Madden.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    RaakamRaakam Too many years... CanadalandRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Uhm, they used to show Magic:The Gathering on ESPN. It flopped. While it's a "deep" game, it's also near incomprehensible to most people. Poker is super easy to understand, and so people can identify with the players. Same with darts. And yes, G4TV should have video game tournies. Starcraft, SF3, SSBM, etc. There's so much potential there, and yet, nothing.

    Raakam on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    To be frank, I don't trust G4 enough to do a videogame tourney without screwing it up.

    Inquisitor on
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Elki wrote: »
    ESPN and its spin-offs. What do you like/hate about it?

    The good:
    • Sports, sports, sports, sports! Never hurts to be able to watch more of it.

    As far as I'm concerned ESPN is not a sports channel, it's an American entertainment network. There are no winer sports - biathlon, cross country, jumps. There are virtually no athletics, no volleyball, no solid coverage in moto-sports, the 2nd most ridiculous tennis coverage in the world(after Canada) etc. There is ZERO live sports of any kind outside the US.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in all of the above sports, but there sure are people who crave their moto GP.
    Years ago when it started I thought Eurosport is a shitty channel because they didn't have enough live football on, it's become pretty obvious that it's the sports channel by excellence.

    zeeny on
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I thoroughly enjoy watching the last 4 or so laps of a MotoGP race.

    Anymore then that though gets boring, fast. Though, watching everyone start off the line is cool too.

    Inquisitor on
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    Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    zeeny wrote: »
    Elki wrote: »
    ESPN and its spin-offs. What do you like/hate about it?

    The good:
    • Sports, sports, sports, sports! Never hurts to be able to watch more of it.

    As far as I'm concerned ESPN is not a sports channel, it's an American entertainment network. There are no winer sports - biathlon, cross country, jumps. There are virtually no athletics, no volleyball, no solid coverage in moto-sports, the 2nd most ridiculous tennis coverage in the world(after Canada) etc. There is ZERO live sports of any kind outside the US.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not interested in all of the above sports, but there sure are people who crave their moto GP.
    Years ago when it started I thought Eurosport is a shitty channel because they didn't have enough live football on, it's become pretty obvious that it's the sports channel by excellence.

    How do you propose ESPN fits all those sports in with the popular American sports? There aren't enough hours in the day. Things of that nature are relegated to ESPN2. Other channels exist (Speed Network, Versus) to support the 'smaller' demographic of most of those sports. Also, ESPN has volleyball from time to time. They don't cover it on SportsCenter, but it's been on.

    Satan. on
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    VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    This is more of a pet peeve of mine, but they should show more Ultimate Frisbee, even if it's just the highlights, because the highlights are sick.

    And fuck baseball highlights.

    Hey! He hit it over the fence! Let's show that. Again.

    VishNub on
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    AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The only real reason to watch ESPN rather than other networks was Keith Olbermann on Sportscenter, and that was a long time ago. These days, Sportscenter is the home of boring people attempting humor and failing. Well, most of the time. But the humor is inadvertent, I am amused to hear educated adults yell and do odd voices while narrating highlights. I am amused hearing those same adults call an interception returned for a touchdown a "Pick Six," or call Rasheed Wallace "Sheed". If you've ever had that moment in your life when your parents try to "act cool" watching Sportscenter can help you relive that.

    As far as the rest of their sports coverage, it offers no convincing reason to watch it over any other networks coverage, except when you can't view it elsewhere, such as MNF (why is Kornheiser there). In many cases, coverage on events like tennis or soccer, etc. is so weak that it's not even worth mentioning.

    Conclusion: Watch ESPN for what you can't get anywhere else (MNF) for interesting commentary (I like PTI, and isn't the NFL show fairly okay?) and to watch grown men and women make utter fools of themselves on Sportscenter.

    Oh, and one last thing: Fuck Jim Rome. I hope he really does burn one day.

    Alecthar on
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    FrosteeyFrosteey Elaise 1521-2945-8940Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The Sportscenter commercials have some pretty funny stuff. And Kennie Mayne is entertaining most of the time.

    I like the celebrity softball game during the all-star break.

    And Battle of the Gridiron Stars. They need more of this.

    Frosteey on
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    AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    But the beauty of the ESPN commercials is that, unless I'm mistaken, you can download them for free on iTunes. Making the actual watching of ESPN even less necessary. Also, doesn't it say something truly awful about a program when it's advertisements are less irritating than actual viewing?

    Alecthar on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I think you guys aren't watching Sportscenter correctly. It's fun to watch precisely because the anchors (and Chris Berman types) are saying the sort of silly shit that you'd say in your living room. ESPN is the network that made it cool to be a sports nerd, and all they're doing is throwing some positive reinforcement at that market. And if Stuart Scott and his lazy eye can make the highlights funny and make me laugh, so much the better.

    I mean, if you just want to a guy to read you the box score, you can watch any old news channel. Or listen on the radio. Or shit, buy a newspaper. You watch ESPN because the personality of it is compelling or amusing, not because their material is anything special.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2007
    My problem is mostly their football announcers that aren't their main team. Oh my fucking god do they enjoy sucking the dick of certain teams because through their sheer will that team will win the national championship just because they said so!

    Either that, or their coverage of the Nebraska/Texas game:

    Colt McCoy throws too fast and low, fucks up the play
    "He made a smart decision to throw the ball like that, to prevent it from being intercepted"

    Sam Keller makes a very similiar play a bit later
    "He threw it too low. His guy never had a chance."

    :x

    And their constant bitching when Nebraska was up in score.

    FyreWulff on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    To be frank, I don't trust G4 enough to do a videogame tourney without screwing it up.

    Yeah...the last time they did, they got caught cheating.

    AngelHedgie on
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    AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I do watch Sportscenter to be entertained, but they're trying too hard to be funny (and thus failing) and they're insulting the intelligence of everyone watching with their inane nickname crap. As though sports fans are such boobs as to think "Oh he said 'pick six', how cool of him! I identify with that". You can be smart and still be funny, it's exactly what Keith Olbermman used to accomplish.

    Alecthar on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Hey man
    The Scrabble championships is an important event

    Hey, if it's almost a sport, it's on the Ocho!

    But yes, WSOP needs to fucking go.

    I'm actually not a huge sports fan, and I still love ESPN. It provides an outlet for sports programming so that it doesn't take up as much time on non-sports networks, and also gives me somewhere to go when I do need my sports fix. Aside from that, and my crappy Dodgeball reference, I have little else to add here.

    mcdermott on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    To be frank, I don't trust G4 enough to do a videogame tourney without screwing it up.

    Yeah...the last time they did, they got caught cheating.
    Huh?! Link please?

    Couscous on
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    AdrenalineAdrenaline Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Hey man
    The Scrabble championships is an important event

    Poker: YES
    Chess: No.

    :P

    Anyway, I've stopped watching ESPN since they wouldn't show the highlights from a Rays/Royals game because WHO COULD POSSIBLY CARE, RIGHT? HA HA! Right guys? Look, we're so funny.

    Adrenaline on
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust
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