There was a time when sports television was entertaining and refreshing. Shows like ‘PTI’, ‘Around the Horn’, and ‘The Sports Reporters’ gave sports fans the opportunity to hear insightful and interesting commentary on the day’s top sports news. In search of higher ratings and more “buzz” networks like ESPN and FS1, have created more “debate” shows with less content and more bloviating from their hosts.
We’re now in the middle of an epidemic of poor sports content on radio and television. From ESPN’s ‘First Take’ to FS1’s ‘Undisputed’ to even Bill Simmons’ [poor excuse for a show] ‘Any Given Wednesday’; there’s a nonstop barrage of arrogant and despondent shot-jocks who spew their ignorance all over the airwaves. Take Max Kellerman for example, a once well renowned [and respected] American boxing commentator has become the heir apparent to Skip Bayless on ‘First Take’. He gave an interview a few weeks before starting the show explaining that he wasn’t interested in being the new Bayless; yet, he’s constantly trolling superstar players (i.e. Tom Brady & Drew Brees) while making outrageous claims. That sounds an awful lot like Bayless to me.
It’s not just on a national scale. Even local sports talk radio has gone down the tubes. Living in New England, I have the unfortunate pleasure of listening to the close minded dunderheads on WEEI [Boston affiliate]. I understand that they’re views are skewed towards Boston sports; but they don’t even try to make rational points and/or arguments. If a caller calls into a show and doesn’t agree that Tom Brady and David Ortiz are the greatest athletes in sports, he/she are called out and considered stupid for their opinion; that’s open minded thinking at its finest folks.
I truly miss listening to astute sports journalists give their take on sports. I know there can only be one ‘PTI’ or Katie Nolan or Scott Van Pelt, but that doesn’t mean all of this other trash should be polluting our eyes and ears on a daily basis. In a time where blogs (like this) and podcasts are a dime a dozen, why is it that there isn’t more talent found on these major/local networks?
There are plenty of smart and interesting people offering up their introspective take on sports; if the major sports companies/networks aren’t going to do their due diligence to find them, then maybe we should.
If you like what you’ve read you can find me on twitter: @lavalleech