Tuesday, February 01, 2005

ESPN SportsCenter

The Off Wing Opinion blog has a good post about the demise of SportsCenter as a place where we gather to get sports news. It links to an article by a Chicago college student, and boy did I feel old when he talks about watching Keith Olbermann while in the fifth grade! (I first saw Olbermann on Sportscenter after the 1992 NCAA Final, and, upon seeing his Ron Burgundy-style moustache and hair, I thought "Who's the new guy from the Witness Relocation program?") The essence of the comments is that SC has long ago jumped the shark.

So true. In fact, my wife stopped watching SportsCenter in the late 80s in favor of CNN Sports Tonight with Fred Hickman and Nick Charles -- a principled and rational worldview to which she attracted no adherents. But also, in my view, this metamorphosis a direct result of the Internet and (more recently) blogs. Face it, we don't need to go to SportsCenter anymore to get scores, analysis or even highlights. So they have to do goofy things to keep people's attention. Even if the "old" SportsCenter came back, I'm not sure I could sit through the Clippers/Sonics highlights anymore to get to what I really want. More and more I'm opening up the laptop instead of turning on the TV in the evenings, and I'm not really missing the TV.

Also, that vibe we got from SportsCenter that we enjoyed so much has been amply replaced by Pardon the Interruption, which is a much more compatible with my laptop blog hopping than SportsCenter. I look forward to that like I did SportsCenter in the late 1980s.

3 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, Blogger SuperNoVa said...

Funny, when I was reading this, I thought that Dexys wrote it.

I'm with you, Sportscenter is passe with the advent of the Web for 24 hour access to every detail of a game...it makes SportsCenter superfluous by comparison.

The other point to be made here is the utter frivolity of 11 p.m. news sports segments

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger dexys_midnight said...

Back in law school, I often watched Sportscenter a couple of times in the morning (yes, the same episode), but now, I rarely ever do, and almost never a full episode.
The only times I specifically put it on is if there is some highlight I know I want to see, some team I like that rarely gets coverage (like my Penn Quakers), but I think probably will that night because of some event, or just to watch the scores ticker when I don't feel like going to the computer. Oh, and I do watch at the gym sometimes.
I think your PTI point is an excellent one DM. I TiVo PTI each night and almost never miss an episode. I can watch it in 20 mins (15 on the rare occasion that I have no interest in the 5 good minutes guest and am pressed for time), and that gives me everything I really feel the need to "view."
One devil's advocate argument I will make though is that we are older now, and you and I have kids (not together :-p ), so we don't have time for Sportscenter like we used to anyway. Given the few minutes I have each evening to really devote to following the sports headlines, I am always going to choose PTI. I wonder if someone who has a bunch more time for it feels differently.

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger DM said...

I take your point, Dexys, about time being a more precious commodity these days. Lord knows I worked very hard in college to waste as much time as possible in front of things like SportsCenter, Tecmo Bowl, and Birdie King. I am convinced that if the Internet as we know it existed back then, I would be incarcerated right now.

But, as my schedule these days works out, my free time comes between 9 PM and 12 midnight, which could easily accomodate SportsCenter, and I have no desire to watch it. I really think the way I want to obtain information has changed significantly in light of the Internet.

 

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