Frank Deford Has Noticed That ESPN Has Some Influence

Once a week, Frank Deford ambles down to his local NPR station, talks into a microphone for three minutes, then goes back to his VHS library of women's Wimbledon matches. This week, he had "harsh" words for his some-time employer.

In a story with the fiery headline, "Take It Down A Notch," Deford points out to his audience of your grandparents and several prominent librarians, that ESPN is both covering and broadcasting the sports that you love. That's a whole lot of influence and a pretty gigantic conflict of interest. Also, it's "tacky."

ESPN does so much quality work, but at a certain point, in whatever field, if you become omnipotent, and if you are secure, you stop being a conceited smarty-pants and start exhibiting a measure of grace.

A smarty-pants? Whoa, whoa. Let's watch the language, Diceman. This isn't Twitter!

Of course, even though Deford's words are sleepy and predictable they are 100% correct. SportsCenter—the "news" arm of ESPN—probably shouldn't be filming advertisements with the famous athletes they are supposed to be covering. Unless Frank Deford is in one with Maria Sharapova, because that would be hilarious.

High-And-Mighty ESPN Should Take It Down A Notch [NPR]