Perhaps ESPN spent Sunday tripping over its own dick simply to distract from all the people they’re firing. After all, make yourself look like a truly stupid and balloon-handed organization and the masses might feel that those you’ve let go are actually better off (believe me I know). That would be the best explanation for all the things that slithered out of TV screens tuned to ESPN or ESPN on ABC on Sunday.
First, the day started with their coverage of Game 7 from TD Garden, where their definition of “celebrity” reached into the muck and came up with one of the world’s leading human bezoars:
Always good to hype your events as a big deal by showing that a barely sentient slug with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against him (which he denies) and a demagogue for racists and misogynists decided to grace said event with his presence. Only truly special events get that kind of Nuremberg-rally-type gloss. Then again, it’s Boston, so…
Happy Mother’s Day to the dumb broads watching baseball!
But don’t worry, if you thought ESPN was finished for the day letting women feel like shit for watching, nothing ESPN does is ever half-assed! During the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, somehow presided over by Karl Ravech, whose main claim to the job seems to be he’s been standing somewhere in Bristol for 59 years and has a laughable hairpiece, he and David Cone didn’t miss their opportunity to look like sexist fucksticks. Which is maybe why you don’t hire a guy for your signature telecast of the sport who once was accused of this, but hey, what do I know? These are the smartest guys in the room and if you don’t believe it just ask them.
While discussing Pitch-com and how Miles Mikolas had previously joked about getting John Hamm to do the voice for the Cardinals’ devices, Ravech and Cone descended into material that even Bill Burr would have thrown out before any open mic.
From Craig Calcaterra’s newsletter:
“...the ESPN booth was talking about the voice the pitcher and catcher hear on the PitchCom device. Someone mentioned the idea of having celebrities do it because Miles Mikolas wanted to get Jon Hamm to do it for the Cardinals. Then Karl Ravech said, “can you imagine a female voice?” Then David Cone, apparently pretending to be that woman’s voice mockingly said “That would sort of be, ‘I think this is a good pitch, maybe, y’know?” as if a woman would be inherently indecisive.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that Sunday Night Baseball actually had a woman in the booth, but apparently not only did ESPN think that was a mistake but that they had to swing wildly to the other side and let Cone and Ravech sandblast any cooties off the whole presentation. Next week during their on-field interview with any Met or Guardian will be entirely consisted of a discussion about how girls are icky-pants.
Let’s go to the NHL!
If you’re thinking, “Boy what a day,” brother we ain’t finished yet. Because it’s not a complete set for ESPN if they can’t also be bad at the thing that’s supposed to be the foundation of their entire existence, which is covering sports, while also being either accidentally or purposely hateful shitheads. According to some, ESPN refused to move SNB to ESPN 2 to start the Knights-Oilers game at a more reasonable hour than 10 p.m. EST. They also wouldn’t move the hockey game to ESPN 2. Which meant it was supposed to start right after the Red Sox and Cards. However, the baseball game ran long, which meant that the hockey game started on ESPN 2 for one choice…or you could have stayed on ESPN and gotten this surf and turf of the asinine:
Two goals were scored during this mishmash of helplessness, by the way. This serves exactly no one, attempting to give you the best of both worlds and giving you neither. If the hockey game was so important that they had to show some version of it from puck drop, it should have been on ESPN from the get-go and probably at a decent hour with a run-of-the-mill baseball game in May punted to ESPN 2. Also, the SNB game was 9-1 at this point, and though a channel probably can’t switch channels on a broadcast midstream, it only fed fans’ frustration more.
But we shouldn’t expect a network that hired Mark Messier and Chris Chelios as its studio analysts to give hockey any level of respect above the gum on your shoe. Say boys, how’s that prediction of the Capitals being a tough playoff out turning out anyway?
ESPN is too big to fail, as we know. It’s just a shame that they spend so much time trying to prove that.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate.