Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Boo-Yah . . . or Just Boo? | Writing in Slate's Sports Nut column, freelancer Matt Feeney delivers a spot-on deconstruction of the depths to which ESPN's SportsCenter has fallen since its talented A team of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann split in 1997, ending the show's glory days. Feeney uses the network's recent reality entry Dream Job, whose countless promos teased a piece of televised irrelevance that seemed completely unwatchable, as a way to point to SC's many, many faults:

Dream Job was something of an ordeal to watch. The contestants read too fast or too haltingly, exclaimed inappropriately, got snagged on Slavic hockey names, and painfully tested look-at-me catchphrases and snarky tonal flourishes. It's strange that ESPN added Dream Job to its lineup since they already have a show in which aspirants compete, with an irritating surfeit of eagerness and theatrical sarcasm, to capture the singular vibe of Dan and Keith. It's called SportsCenter.

It's not hard to realize where Feeney takes the rest of his piece. While Patrick still handles the 6 p.m. show, the coveted 11 p.m. slot is now in the hands of a collection of white-guy faux-playas and shouting hipsters who should have the word "IRONY" tattooed on their foreheads in bright crimson letters. If there's a flaw to the story, it's that it should have been written about four years ago, when SC had already imploded in a nightmarish jumble of self-parody, missing identity, and lax journalism. Of course, this never would have happened had Casey McCall and Dan Rydell gotten the job.


Post a Comment

<< Home