Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Bristolmetrics: SportsCenter Introduces WAR, Degenerates Into Shouting About Basement-Dwelling Nerds

Illustration for article titled Bristolmetrics: iSportsCenter/i Introduces WAR, Degenerates Into Shouting About Basement-Dwelling Nerds

This a regular feature breaking down, minute-by-minute, the content that appears on ESPN's 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter throughout the week.


Total time: 425 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 321

NFL: 79.25 minutes (24.7%) (last week: 41.4%)
College football: 67.25 (21%) (last week: 21.7%)
NBA: 65.75 (20.5%) (last week: 16.9%)
SportsCenter staples*: 40.25 (12.5%) (last week: 10%)
MLB: 27 (8.4%) (last week: 1%)
College basketball: 23.5 (7.3%) (last week: 1.1%)
NASCAR: 15.5 (4.8%) (last week: 1.7%)
Other sports: 2.25 (0.7%) (last week: 6.2%)
NHL: 0.25 (0.1%) (last week: 0.1%)
Golf: 0 (0%) (last week: 0%)


*-Includes things like the "Top 10," "Encore," "What 2 Watch 4," etc.

Chicago Bears (NFL): 21.25 (9.3%)
Texas A&M Aggies (college football): 21.75 (8.6%)
Los Angeles Lakers (NBA): 39.5 (3.3%)
Indiana Hoosiers (college basketball): 8.75 (0.7%)
Miami Marlins (MLB): 11 (0.3%)

Rather than break down the amount of time a specific athlete or figure was covered, we counted how frequently names were mentioned in the transcripts from the week. The 15 most-mentioned sports people for Nov. 9-Nov. 15.

Johnny Manziel: 75
Phil Jackson: 53
Mike D'Antoni: 50
Kobe Bryant: 33
Brad Keselowski: 31
Dwight Howard: 30
Jay Cutler: 26
Ben Roethlisberger: 26
Collin Klein: 24
Carmelo Anthony: 24
"Heisman:" 24
Mike Trout: 18
Miguel Cabrera: 16
Jimmie Johnson: 16
"Wins Above Replacement:" 10


Total time: 19,978.75 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 15,049.25

NFL: 3,069.25 (20.4%)
MLB: 2,886.25 (19.2%)
NBA: 2,867.25 minutes (19%)
SportsCenter staples: 2,024 (13.5%)
Other: 1,743 (11.6%)
College basketball: 1091 (7.3%)
College football: 911.25 (6.1%)
NHL: 457.25 (3.%)



It's Johnny Footballsanity! After Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel led the Aggies to a stunning upset over Alabama, ESPN basically went full Tebow. There was one minute on SportsCenter—not during the game highlights—when Manziel's name or nickname was spoken 15 times. We also got two three-minute segments on the legend of Johnny Football going back to high school. With Matt Barkley not meeting expectations, college football has been dying for a superstar QB. Well, he's here now, and you're probably going to hate him very soon, even if he's as awesome as advertised.


Sabermetrics, ESPN-style: This is hardly news but SportsCenter is probably the last place to go for nuanced commentary and debate on advanced metrics. So, if you happened to click over to ESPN the day before the AL MVP was announced, you would have seen a three-minute segment on the statistic WAR. Hey, it's a start. But after introducing the formula and why Mike Trout's WAR of 10.7 was so impressive, it turned into a "war" between the slide-rule geeks and the "eye test" crowd. Get it?

What does NASCAR have to do to get some coverage?
For NASCAR to earn top billing on the Sunday SportsCenter, a car has to explode, or there needs to be a huge brawl, like the one between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer's teams last Sunday. While ESPN's NASCAR analyst wanted to talk about the implications the race had in the last week of the Sprint Cup, both anchors were much more interested in the fight. Guess which got the bulk of the segment?

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